As bilateral ties between China and Japan continue to rift further, a retired People’s Liberation Army senior official says the likelihood of war is increasing but he believes his country seems to have the upper hand. However, some military experts think otherwise, regardless of China’s military build-up and modernization because of the PLA’s lack in actual battle experience.
Retired Major General Luo Yuan, vice-president of the Beijing think tank China Strategy Culture Promotion Association rejected Japanese media reports that their troops are superior to China’s. “That conclusion is a deceptive tactic used by Japan to confuse the public,” he said. Luo compared the aircraft and logistics support China has deployed to the disputed Senkakus or Diaoyu as called by the Chinese, over Japan’s. “So far, all aircraft sent by both countries to the Diaoyu waters have been third-generation fighter jets. The PLA’s newest and most advanced planes entered service at the turn of this century, including the J-10, J-11B and the [Russian-made] Su-27. In contrast, Japan has deployed to the region only about 30 F-15Js, which their air force has used since the 1980s,” he noted. While declining to comment on the number of fighter jets China can employ during conflict, he said his country has a wide array of aircrafts to choose from.
Luo also noted the advantage of China on deploying air force support to the Diaoyus as it has several airports near the area, while Japan only has one airport nearby, Naha airport in Okinawa. In spite of Luo’s claims, the director of a defense policy research center in Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, Ni Lexiong noted that while logistically speaking, China has the advantage with its readiness for war against Taiwan since the 1950s, allies of Japan such as the United States must not be disregarded as they “play a decisive role in any armed conflict between China and Japan.” Another military expert, Antony Wong Dong observed that while China may have more fighter pilots, one Japanese pilot is probably equivalent to three PLA pilots because they have undergone more “intensive training and joint drills” with US forces.
[via South China Morning Post]
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