China’s Military-Civilian Fusion

Mao Zedong (Mousey Tongue) asserted that “to oppose imperialist aggression, we must build a powerful navy.”

The truth is that ALL civilian projects in China, all civilian fishing boats and cargo ships and nuclear power plants and medical research has two tracks that are inexorably interwoven. The Wuhan Virology Laboratory (now famous) is a bio-weapons laboratory along with a “civilian research facility”. Only in the west do we separate the two.

In a communist country ALL banking transactions are matters of state interest, all property is ultimately held by the state. It’s true that there are the trappings of capitalism in China, but all commercial interests also fall within the jurisdiction and ownership of the State.

Our fellow blogger BOBBOOKWORM raised the issue of the PLA(N)’s use of semi-submersible heavy lift ships (Jamestown Foundation article) in its war games against the Republic of China on Taiwan. To me it doesn’t represent a game changer so much as it validates ALL Chinese shipping is valid as a military target.

Much has been made of Communist China putting military containers containing missiles aboard its container ships both as self defense measures and as offensive weapons. The containers are seemingly benign until a conflict arises and then (sort of like a Q-Ship), they can spring into action. We can each speculate on how effective that would be, but it, too, underscores the Chinese philosophy of using ALL shipping and all assets as state assets.

Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) Another example of how civilian and military integration is used has been the training of peasants in Tibet. The Chinese call them “excess laborers”. Essentially, they are plucked from their homes, given rudimentary military training and are shipped to different parts of China as ‘conscript labor’. They are fed by the state (a bowl of rice and cold rat meat) to labor wherever the state requires coolie labor to be undertaken. This activity in Tibet was ramped up in 2019 and 2020.

Forced conscription of labor for state (and military) purposes is not new in the worker’s paradise. Minority groups often provide this ‘excess labor’. In the US or in the West, machines are used. In China, machines cost money, and peasants don’t. So it’s pick and shovel work and they’re not free to go.

In a war these conscripts with very little military training, provide cannon fodder, to draw fire so that other regular maneuver troops can undertake other missions (presumably more valuable). They can also participate in human wave attacks, wherein they are often not armed with more than sharpened bamboo stakes.


  1. China’s fleet in its entirety would be a target — sounds about right and I can’t imagine it lasting long either.

    You can imagine the anguished howls from Bidens, Pelosis, Clintons and everyone else who’ve been dipping into the rice bowl for decades.

  2. When does this coming war kick off? A few months? Assuming Sleepy Joe wins, I would guess that would postpone the hostilities.

    With Trump winning (in a landslide) leaning on the PRC for another 4 years, perhaps Xi’s military might sink a Taiwanese fishing trawler or two and build another couple of islands in the South China sea?

    • I don’t know. I’d cast the runes for guidance if I genuinely cared… (haha)

      President Xi is likely very vexed by the US selling arms to Taiwan maybe they’ll try to intercept a shipment? Or sink a cargo ship? Or provoke something that leads to the dominoes tipping?

      Remember, President Xi ruthlessly scourges all who speak badly of him there in the Worker’s Paradise. Having the Nationalist Chinese thumb their noses at him might bruise his tender ego to the point of action, hoping that the US fears to act.

      The upcoming election in the US will tell the tale.

  3. Yeah…I’m not really impressed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know they hate us and I know they want to destroy us, but they are a long way off from truly challenging us. Taiwan is the ultimate test. If they thought they could take Taiwan without engaging us they would. They do not have the Navy to support a full scale invasion.

    Their navy is a stop gap navy. Every choice they make is because they can not produce the real deal. They produce ship killing frigates because they can not out produce us in capitol ships. They counter with out dated Soviet style jump jet mini-carriers and concrete ‘aircraft carrier’ style islands because they are not technologically proficient enough to field a fleet of full size Western style Nuclear carriers.

    Most of all they fund through the back door compromised military style civilian publications who constantly lament the so called ‘out dated state’ of our fleet in order to demoralize Americans and erode our confidence.

    No. When Taiwan comes under attack, then you’ll know that China believes itself to be our equal. Or Until the Democrats have regained the White House in which case they know they truly have nothing to fear from a party that sold out to China long ago.

    Just my opinion.

    • There is a lot of hubris in China. They might end up doing something on the spur of the moment that they regret. Generally China plans 100 years out, but things can goad them into action.

      • I agree, about the hubris and their planning. They also have very long memories. The left may have convinced the world that we lost or stalemated the Korean War, but they most certainly remember the beating we gave them.

        American and South Korean troops were vastly out-numbered and even though we were pushed almost into the sea, we fought our way back to the opening line, with nothing but sheer determination. We stopped the invasion cold, and no matter what anyone says we did what we came to do, and they will remember.

        I read a list somewhere about the amount of battles each nation had one. France/Franks were first at over 1100 victories, the United Kingdom was 2cd, and the Chinese with over 2,500 years of history was sixth with about 250 or so.

        We on the other hand, not even 300 years old have won 855 battles! No, they are far to smart to get into a ground war with us again. They can not hope to challenge us in the air and so all that is left is to to try and stretch our Navy thin enough that they can start controlling small chunks of the world nearest them like Taiwan.

        It won’t work. If some old barge Captain has figured this out, you can’t tell me there are not a few West Pointers who don’t already have these guys number!

        By the way, nice site you got here!

  4. One open question is whether the Chicom zampolits or the US zampolits have greater power.

    Ours (for values of “ours”) have captured popular entertainment (Hollywood and pro sports), most of academia, over 50% of newsmedia, and at least a third of the legal system. Their influence in the military? It’s obviously there, but I don’t have perspective on how much.

    • Theirs do. Many of us openly defy things that we thing are wrong. In China we could lose our home, our job, etc. It’s true that if you’re in Hollywood or in the media that it could happen to you as well, but it’s not because of direct government action.

  5. Divide number on Chinese ships by number of U S torpedoes. If answer is less than 1, then Chinese population equals zero.

  6. If it kicks off, I hope the CIC will let the military prosecute it with maximum speed, violence, and destruction of their assets.

    And I hope they clearly and unequivocally start it, if it starts.

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