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  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Interesting look at the Japanese MSDF vis--vis China. The ratio of Sailors to ships (The MSDF, with 45,400 personnel, has a ratio of 680 personnel to each of its warships.[5] That compares to ratios of over 1,000 for the navies of France and the United Kingdom.) demonstrating a very lean organization that to grow will need to expand not just in raw numbers but in "maintenance, refit, and supply roles." (logistics and sustainment always have a vote) The reckoning of sheer size of vessels, as opposed to combined fleet tonnage, as it pertains to magazine size, range and the concurrent need for replenishment is also reviewed.



    Born Again: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force Revitalization

    Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), as it is officially known, is one of the world’s most powerful navies. Its fleet is larger than those of traditional European powers like France and the United Kingdom combined. But over the last decade, the MSDF has seen its position eclipsed by that of China’s navy, which has grown to twice its strength in terms of submarines and oceangoing surface combatants, like destroyers and frigates. More worrisome still for Tokyo, China has added a host of warships with entirely new capabilities, including aircraft carriers that can launch fixed-wing aircraft and an array of amphibious vessels. By comparison, the MSDF has seemed trapped in time. Its force structure and personnel strength, until recently, have been nearly identical to what they were two decades ago.

    But for all the stillness above the waterline, there has been stirring below it. For most of the 2010s, Tokyo has worked to lay the groundwork for the revitalization of its navy, a key component of its “dynamic defense” strategy. Although that may immediately bring to mind then-Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s efforts to change Japan’s pacifist constitution, his government’s efforts to improve Japan’s defense procurement process and defense industry’s competitiveness were also vitally important. With those efforts set into motion, Tokyo could set about transforming the MSDF from a force narrowly focused on defending Japan’s home islands and performing escort duties into a more balanced one with the amphibious and power-projection capabilities needed to protect its remote territories. So far, Japan has managed that naval transformation on a shoestring. But if further progress is to be made, the MSDF will require not only more funding, but also more personnel.
    Go South, Young Sailor


    Throughout the Cold War, the MSDF’s strategic orientation was directed to the north and west, towards the Soviet Union. The MSDF’s missions were to defend Japan’s home islands from the Soviet Pacific Fleet and help the U.S. Navy protect the sea lanes of communication across the Pacific Ocean. Naturally, those missions put a premium on anti-air and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. That focus was reinforced during the first couple of decades after the Cold War. North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs led Japan to build the world’s second largest fleet of Aegis-equipped warships, whose powerful SPY-1D air-search radars can function as part of an anti-ballistic missile defense network. They also kept the MSDF oriented in the same general direction.

    But the first inklings of change were already in the making. In 2001, a Chinese navy surveillance ship circumnavigated Japan for the first time.[1] While top Japanese leaders worried at the time whether it was a portent of the future, they did little in response. They were more concerned about wringing more efficiency out of the navy. By 2004, they trimmed the size of the MSDF’s fleet and consolidated its command structure. But a few years later, rising Chinese assertiveness over the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu in China) in the East China Sea and the rapid growth in Chinese naval capabilities finally convinced Tokyo to reorient the MSDF southward.

    The shift was also reflected in Japan’s national policy. Over the course of the next decade, Tokyo became ever more concerned about its southern maritime border. The level of that concern could even be quantified in Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), which outlines the country’s security plans every five years. Between the 2013 and 2018 editions of the NDPG, the number of references to China doubled. In a decided departure from earlier iterations, the 2018 NPDG openly called Beijing’s “unilateral, coercive attempts to alter the status quo” as “incompatible with the existing international order.”[2] Though perhaps not fighting words, they were, for a normally diplomatic Japan, remarkable.
    Towards a Balanced Fleet


    By the early 2010s, China had begun to routinely send its coast guard vessels well within 12 nautical miles of the Senkaku Islands and its navy warships through the straits between Japan’s islands in the Ryukyu archipelago. Given the growing possibility that China could seize one of the Senkaku Islands, Tokyo decided that it needed an amphibious landing capability to either defend or retake the islands. Such a capability would serve as a deterrent to China. And so, in 2013, Japan began to raise a new 3,000-man amphibious rapid deployment brigade. By the end of the decade, Japan would also acquire two helicopter carriers, 52 amphibious assault vehicles, and the first of 17 American V-22 transport aircraft for fast insertion.

    Of course, amphibious forces require air support if they are to succeed. While Japan’s air base on Okinawa would be the most likely source of that support, it is almost 400 km from the Senkaku Islands and could easily be targeted by Chinese ballistic missiles. Aircraft carriers are an obvious solution. Hence, it was not entirely surprising that the design of the MSDF’s two new Izumo-class helicopter carriers resembled that of an aircraft carrier. Likely, even before the keel of JS Izumo was laid down in January 2012, Japanese naval planners had wanted the option to convert it and its sister ship into fully fledged aircraft carriers in the future.

    Perhaps not so coincidentally, only a month earlier, Japan chose the American F-35 as its next generation multirole fighter. Doing so gave it the option to procure the fighter’s F-35B variant, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings on aircraft carriers, without the need for substantially more aircraft maintenance and pilot training infrastructure. A little over six years later, Tokyo exercised both options. In 2018, Japan revealed that it would convert its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers into light aircraft carriers and buy 42 F-35B fighters for carrier duty. Given the number of fighters it ordered and the likely aircraft capacity of its Izumo-class aircraft carriers, Japan would have enough fighters for one or two more small aircraft carriers. Those carriers could prove useful for an expedition near the East China Sea.

    But if such an expedition were necessary, the MSDF would have to be prepared to encounter the full might of China’s navy, including its submarines. Given that potential, Japan has also begun to increase the size of the MSDF’s submarine fleet. The 2018 NDPG called for a fleet of 22 boats by 2023, an increase of three over the current order of battle. The latest of these is the JS Taigei, launched in October 2020. It is the lead boat for the Taigei class of diesel-electric attack submarines, which features not only air-independent propulsion, but also lithium-ion batteries. Air-independent propulsion allows submarines to extend their underwater endurance from a few days to almost two weeks. Meanwhile, lithium-ion batteries will enable them to stay submerged even longer and cruise at higher speeds. Such capabilities, along with new acoustic absorbent construction and materials, will likely make the JS Taigei the world’s stealthiest diesel-electric attack submarine, when it is commissioned.

    Over time, new Taigei-class submarines will replace the MSDF’s older Oyashio-class diesel-electric attack submarines. But even the oldest Oyashio-class submarine (which was converted into a training boat) is barely 20 years old and still highly capable. In many respects, Oyashio-class submarines are more modern than the Kilo-class or Song-class diesel-electric attack submarines in China’s navy. In fact, Japan has had a long history of replacing naval warships long before they are obsolete. That rapid retirement cycle gives Japan the flexibility to quickly enlarge its fleet by simply reducing the rate at which it retires older warships.

    However large the MSDF becomes, it must ultimately be ready for battle. That requires frequent training and exercises, which the MSDF has stepped up even in the distant waters of the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Of course, a force’s readiness is hard to measure. But the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 offered a glimpse of what the MSDF’s readiness might be. Within 24 hours of the event, the MSDF had put its entire fleet under a single commander and sortied over a third of its surface combatants. While not all of the ships were fully manned, the fact that they could be loaded with relief supplies and get underway so quickly was an impressive feat for any navy.
    Scaling with Economy


    Maintaining a high state of readiness with limited resources is not an uncommon problem. Indeed, the MSDF has dealt with it better than most navies. But more needs to be done, if it is to fully execute Japan’s “dynamic defense” strategy, which emphasizes the conduct of timely and tailored operations rather than force levels. To carry out such operations, the MSDF will have to work ever more closely with Japan’s air force, otherwise known as the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF). The MSDF will have to rely on the ASDF for not only air cover and air support, but also persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance from its airborne early-warning aircraft and ground-based early-warning radars. The need to conduct such joint operations was noted in the 2013 NDPG and further stressed in the 2018 NDPG.[3]

    Responding faster is one thing, responding on even terms is another. With China building increasingly powerful warships, like its 13,000-tonne Type 055 destroyers, the MSDF will eventually need ships and submarines with larger magazines and longer ranges (as well as additional replenishment ships to keep them supplied at sea). But at this time, Tokyo has not made such vessels a priority. Japan currently envisions a total tonnage of 66,000 tons for the ships it will acquire through 2023. Considering that its five planned Taigei-class submarines alone constitute 15,000 tonnes, that leaves only 51,000 tons for the remaining ten destroyers, four patrol vessels, and four “other ships” in its plan, hardly enough for bigger warships.[4]

    Nevertheless, the MSDF’s most pressing need is personnel. While Tokyo plans to modestly expand the size of the MSDF’s fleet, it has revealed no corresponding plan to increase the number of its personnel. Already, Japan’s navy operates more leanly than many others. The MSDF, with 45,400 personnel, has a ratio of 680 personnel to each of its warships.[5] That compares to ratios of over 1,000 for the navies of France and the United Kingdom. While eking out greater efficiency from any organization is admirable, the MSDF will eventually reach a point where it can no longer do so without meaningful tradeoffs. More personnel on sea duty means fewer ashore personnel who are devoted to maintenance, refit, and supply roles. But performing those roles well remains critical, especially if the MSDF is to maintain a high state of readiness during prolonged crises.

    Japan has answered the question of whether it is willing to overcome its past inertia to prepare for a more dangerous future. Its navy’s quiet renaissance over the last decade has been proof of that. But the bigger question is whether that will be enough should push come to shove in the Western Pacific.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan organization that seeks to publish well-argued, policy-oriented articles on American foreign policy and national security priorities.

    [1] Doug Struck and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, “Nations Across Asia Keep Watch on China,” Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2001, p. A23.

    [2] Japan Ministry of Defense, National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and Beyond, Dec. 18, 2018, p. 5.

    [3] Ibid.; and Japan Ministry of Defense, National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2014 and Beyond, Dec. 17, 2013.

    [4] Japan Ministry of Defense, Medium Term Defense Program (FY 2019 – FY 2023), Dec. 18, 2018, p. 33.

    [5] The MSDF’s ratio is derived from its current order of battle, which includes 19 diesel-electric attack submarines, 44 destroyers, and 6 frigates.


    Link:
    https://www.fpri.org/article/2020/12...evitalization/

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    Japan sends three vessels to South China Sea in anti-submarine exercise | Japan Today | Oct 11 2020

    Japan's Maritime Self-defense Force conducted anti-submarine drills in the South China Sea on Friday, deploying three vessels including a helicopter aircraft carrier and a submarine, according to the Japanese defense ministry.

    The purpose of the exercise was "to boost their tactical capability", the ministry said in a statement Saturday, without giving more details on the geographical location of the drills.

    The three vessels will stop at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam over the weekend to replenish supplies, the statement said.

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  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Some coordinated concrete actions by Japan and Vietnam to counter China in the South China Sea
    Every new hull in the water helps.

    Link:
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20.../#.XzKJuihKjIU

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    Originally posted by Oracle View Post
    IN sails those waters already. Not that frequent though.
    To date just show the flag ops to friendly ports in the Phillippines & Vietnam.

    Not the same.

    FONOPS means we go through parts of the SCS that China says is theirs

    This would be a major change of policy because we have the same policy as China when it comes to foreign warships transiting close by.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 17 Jul 20,, 10:44.

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  • Oracle
    replied
    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
    Great so when will we participate in FONOPS ?
    IN sails those waters already. Not that frequent though.

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    Great so when will we participate in FONOPS ?

    Leave a comment:


  • Oracle
    replied
    South China Sea part of global commons, firmly stand for freedom of navigation: India

    Leave a comment:


  • Oracle
    replied
    South China Sea: What's China's plan for its 'Great Wall of Sand'?

    Despite all the other issues demanding China's attention this year - the virus, its trade war with the US, Hong Kong's national security law, and a host of economic woes - the South China Sea has been revived in recent months as an arena for serious tensions.

    With US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now - for the first time - calling China's territorial claims in the South China Sea unlawful, Alexander Neill examines China's plans to extend its reach in the region.

    The South China Sea, home to vital shipping lanes, has been a flashpoint for years, with several countries claiming ownership of its small islands and reefs and with it, access to resources.

    In recent years, China has been increasingly assertive over what it claims are its centuries-old claims to the contested region, and has been rapidly building up its military presence to back up those claims.

    Former Commander of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris once referred to this as the "Great Wall of Sand" - a "nine-dash line" creating a protective ring and supply network around Chinese territory at sea, as the wall did on land.

    But while China and the US have traded increasingly barbed comments over the South China Sea, broadly speaking, they had managed such differences.

    Despite their trade conflict, the US had avoided taking sides in China's territorial disputes with other countries - other than to demand freedom of movement for its vessels.

    Then, the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

    Criticism of China's early handling of the outbreak, led by the US, has enraged China.

    Many Western leaders appear to be persuaded by Mr Pompeo's argument that China was exploiting the pandemic to double-down on its coercive behaviour in general.

    And those rising tensions have been playing out in the South China Sea.

    Military tensions at a worrying time
    In early April, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel close to the Paracel Islands, which China and Vietnam claim as theirs.
    Then, a Malaysian oil exploration project also found its operations disrupted off the coast of Borneo by a Chinese marine survey vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, backed by China's Navy and Coast Guard.

    Consequently, the USS America, a US Navy amphibious assault ship, joined by an Australian frigate, was deployed to waters nearby.

    The escalation continued with the deployment of two US Navy guided missile destroyers, USS Bunker Hill and USS Barry to the Paracel and Spratly Islands (known as the Xisha and Nansha in Chinese) respectively.

    The warships conducted Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) aimed at challenging what the US views as a pattern of China's unlawful claims in international waters.

    Most recently, China closed off a swathe of sea space to conduct naval exercises in the waters surrounding the Paracel Islands. The US angrily said this violated Chinese commitments to avoid activities exacerbating disputes.

    Meanwhile, the US Navy deployed not one but two aircraft carrier strike groups - the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan - for joint operations in the region.

    In addition to the US Navy fighters conducting carrier operations and the P8-Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft criss-crossing the sea, the US Air Force sent a B-52 strategic bomber for good measure.

    China's state media reacted with predictable vitriol.

    The US Navy's surge into the South China Sea increases the risk of an incident between the two rival powers and a rapid escalation in hostility.

    The situation is particularly dangerous in light of a recent pattern of increasing assertiveness by China over its "core concerns".

    Its recent use of lethal force on its disputed border with India, and the imposition of the National Security Law on Hong Kong, have prompted many to ask how restrained China is likely to be in its response to these challenges.

    What is China's South China Sea goal?
    Beijing views the South China Sea as a crucial part of its maritime territory, not only serving as a bastion for its seaborne nuclear deterrent based on Hainan island but also as a gateway for the Maritime Silk Road, part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

    The South China Sea is critical, for example, for the future success of China's Greater Bay Area economic development plan, into which Hong Kong is incorporated.

    China's plan for populating the South China Sea was launched in 2012 when "Sansha City", the administrative centre for all Chinese-claimed features in the South China Sea on Woody Island in the Paracels, was upgraded from county to prefecture-level status.

    The government re-settled the small fishing community there into modern dwellings, built a primary school, a bank and a hospital and installed mobile communications. Tourists have been visiting on regularly scheduled cruises to the islands.

    The second phase of the plan was initiated in April this year, when China created two further county level administrative districts subordinate to Sansha City, including the establishment of Nansha District People's government, headquartered on Fiery Cross Reef and administering all the Chinese claimed features of the Spratly Islands.

    In the six years since China began reclamation of several reefs and atolls in the Spratlys, satellite and air surveillance has revealed one of the world's greatest feats in maritime engineering and military construction.

    In addition to the military facilities on the islands - including 3,000m runways, naval berths, hangars, reinforced ammunition bunkers, missile silos and radar sites - images show neatly arranged accommodation blocks, administrative buildings roofed with blue ceramic tiles, hospitals, and even sports complexes on the reclaimed islands, which have become visibly greener.

    Subi reef is now home to a farm - including a six-acre fruit and vegetable plot pollinated by bees imported from the mainland, a herd of pigs, flocks of poultry and fish ponds.

    Meanwhile, the China Academy of Sciences established an Oceanographic Research Centre on Mischief Reef in January 2019.

    China's top hydrologists have announced that the water table on Fiery Cross - once little more than a rock in the sea - has been expanding rapidly and will allow water self-sufficiency within 15 years (link in Chinese).

    The residents of the island already enjoy 5G mobile data access and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables shipped in refrigerated containers.

    Imagery also shows large fishing fleets moored in the larger lagoons on Subi and Mischief reef.

    Perhaps before too long, fishing families could be permanently housed on China's southernmost islands, their children schooled alongside those of party and government officials.

    An 'irreversibly' Chinese waterway?
    The most symbolic evidence of China's push into the South China Sea is quite literally set in stone - transplanted from mainland China.

    In April 2018, 200-tonne commemorative megaliths, erected on each of the three biggest island bases in the Spratly Islands were unveiled amid some secrecy.

    Quarried from Taishan stone and shipped to the Spratly islands, the monuments resonate with President Xi Jinping's China Dream of national rejuvenation.

    Mount Taishan is viewed as the most sacred of China's mountains, a symbol of unbroken Chinese civilisation for thousands of years.

    All of this shows China has moved into a second phase of a calculated plan to make this great strategic waterway of South East Asia an irreversibly Chinese one.
    The recent US Navy exercises in the South China Sea were aimed at demonstrating US resolve to protect the "freedom of the seas": for the US Navy to operate in and ultimately protect the seaspace across these international waters.

    Alongside the US Naval manoeuvres, Mr Pompeo's announcement formally stating that China's claims across the region are "completely unlawful" begs the question of what the US is prepared to do next.

    At a minimum, Mr Pompeo wants to build a diplomatic coalition to demonstrate China's self-isolation, not just with some of the other claimants but also along with bigger powers.

    The US could very rapidly reduce China's new Nansha district to concrete and coral rubble - but this would entail a war for which neither the US nor China has an appetite.
    US calls China the new East India Company at sea
    Lol. It's true.
    Last edited by Oracle; 15 Jul 20,, 05:00.

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    That article is implying the local commanders made the decision to use bats in the Jun 15 clash.

    James Palmer said the same thing coming from a different direction.

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  • Oracle
    replied
    ^ Much like how Paks inferred that tactical nukes rest with battlefield commanders?

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Confrontational or irrational moves by Chinese warships and planes may not be actions of a “rogue commander” but rather decisions by a political commissar, a new report describes.
    We ask this question too when it comes to dealing with them in the mountains.

    I've concluded there is no such thing as a rogue commander and any decision to confront is coming from higher up.

    What your article is implying is with the political commissar there is no need for decision to go up that high.

    They can decide among themselves whether or not to confront.

    Autonomous decision making at the unit level and these actions taken can be difficult to comprehend in a larger context because they appear to be at cross purposes.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jul 20,, 00:52.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    So they're not just party hacks like the typical Soviet zampolit?
    All Chinese military Officers are Party Hacks. To be an Officer, you have to be a member of the CCP. Very rarely would you get a real Professional Officer. To get anywhere above Captain, you have to do the CCP political schtick.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    For intents and purposes, the Political Commisar is the 2IC. As a matter of career path, all Officers must serve as Political Commisar at least once in his career. All Political Commisars must serve at least one military tour and must qualify to assume command.
    So they're not just party hacks like the typical Soviet zampolit?

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    For intents and purposes, the Political Commisar is the 2IC. As a matter of career path, all Officers must serve as Political Commisar at least once in his career. All Political Commisars must serve at least one military tour and must qualify to assume command.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Political Commissars on Chinese Warships Play Crucial Role in Interactions With Foreign Vessels

    By: John Grady
    July 3, 2020


    Confrontational or irrational moves by Chinese warships and planes may not be actions of a “rogue commander” but rather decisions by a political commissar, a new report describes.

    Cmdr. Jeff Benson, a senior military fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former U.S. Naval Institute fellow, said Tuesday at a CSIS event that the role the political commissar plays aboard a People’s Liberation Army Navy warship is little understood but critically important in assessing Chinese short-term intentions and Beijing’s longer-range goals. The radically different command structure from the American hierarchy of a single skipper at the top also puts into play questions about “what is the party trying to achieve” by having a destroyer sail dangerously close to another vessel or an aircraft buzz a naval formation.

    Zi Yang, co-author of “Party on the Bridge: Political Commissars in the Chinese Navy,” said President Xi Jin-ping “has tipped the balance a little more to the commissar” over the military commander in operations of a submarine, surface vessel or aircraft squadron to ensure adherence to party loyalty across the military.

    One way of ensuring that shift is to ensure that political commissars are trained and skilled in the operations of the class of vessel or aircraft squadron they are assigned to. They “learn how to take command,” as one had to do during a confrontation with the Vietnamese after the ship’s commander fell ill.

    What is often overlooked in examining Chinese military operations and its strategy is Xi’s emphasis on party-building during day-to-day operations.

    “It’s time to understand” how decisions are made in the dual-command Chinese military structure. A commander and a commissar are aboard every vessel, Zi said. Benson added, “command and control are integrated as one; there is shared authority.”

    Benson said the commander and the commissar have “distinct responsibilities” when it comes to serving aboard a warship. Among the commissar’s duties are personnel, including evaluating the commander, maintaining military and political discipline, checking on morale, conducting psychological operations and serving as a co-equal with the skipper.

    Decisions are reached through an on-board party committee with at least two other members participating.

    In short, the committee “decides to confront or not” or “whether to surface of not” for submarines underwater, Zi said, but “they first try to sort out matters in a personal manner.” Benson added, “it’s all about managing risk, and the commissar is in on that.”

    This system can reduce unnecessary errors in operations, but it also is time-consuming in a rapidly developing emergency. Benson said “it’s up to the military commander to execute the military part of the operation.”

    But in the end, even after handling an emergency, Zi said the commander’s decisions would be evaluated by the commissar.

    Benson said the Kremlin had tried the dual command system but scrapped it. Before its collapse, “the commissar in the Soviet system was subordinate to the commander” when it came to operations.

    Zi added there was a historical precedent for insisting on party loyalty in the Chinese navy. In the 1949 revolution that brought the Communist Party to power, most of the vessels in the fleet had been commanded and crewed by defectors from the Nationalist regime under Chiang Kai-shek.

    Mao Tse-tung “wanted to ensure absolute loyalty to the party” from the start, he said.

    The Communist Party under Xi doesn’t “want to fall into the same mistake as the Soviets” in downplaying loyalty in its military forces, Benson said. Link
    ____________

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