Defense Ministry warns of threats from Russia and China

foreign countries Internal Paper

Defense Ministry warns of new threats from Russia and China

, Brussels

The Chinese army during military training in early January The Chinese army during military training in early January

The Chinese army during military training in early January

Source: AFP

The federal government is responsible for the new military capabilities of China and Russia. Russia is pursuing the “destabilization and weakening of NATO as a maxim for action,” according to an internal planning paper of the Defense Ministry.

Dhe Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) warns of an increasing threat from the claim to power and the new military capabilities of China and Russia. Beijing’s aim is to “secure economic development and shape international order in line with its own interests”, according to an internal BMVg planning paper that is available to WELT AM SONNTAG.

Russia is pursuing the “destabilization and weakening of NATO as a maxim for action”. One conclusion of the ministry: “China is increasingly outstripping Russia in terms of global influence, including with regard to arms sales and military cooperation.”

China not only has two million soldiers, around 6,850 battle tanks and 1,600 fighter planes, but also the “world’s largest conventional missile potential”, including the extremely dangerous hypersonic missiles with a long range of up to 2,500 kilometers. In addition, Beijing is systematically expanding its nuclear capabilities.

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In addition: “China’s armed forces already have an extensive portfolio of armed drones. At least six systems with ‘standing times’, i.e. ranges of up to 30 hours, are ready for use, ”says the internal report of the German military experts. China is now also the “world’s largest exporter of armed drones”.

Beijing is also increasingly active in space and “already has an extensive portfolio of space-based reconnaissance and effective capabilities”. China could also take efficient action against other states in space and successfully carry out space operations. The BMVg sees the lack of professionalism of the armed forces and the coordination between sea and air units as weaknesses.

According to Berlin, the Silk Road project serves China as a “global expansion of its own sphere of influence” and is primarily aimed at enforcing foreign and security policy interests.

“Hardly interceptable hypersonic missiles”

In this context, it is interesting that the Bundeswehr experts see another creeping danger for the West: “Digitization is being vigorously promoted and implemented worldwide as part of the digital Silk Road in order to achieve global digital influence and long-term dominance in the short and medium term to reach.”

The planned deployment of the frigate “Bavaria” to the Indo-Pacific in August shows how serious the Chinese aggression is now seen in Berlin. It should be a statement that Berlin, like Washington, does not want to allow a blockade of the international sea routes through China – which would be of the greatest importance for an export nation like Germany.

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With a view to Russia, the BMVg is particularly concerned about “the introduction of high-precision, far-reaching and hardly interceptable hypersonic agents (hypersonic missiles)”. In addition, major investments would be made in “maintaining nuclear sea-based second strike capability” and in “priority modernization of nuclear weapons potential”. Moscow already has around 6,375 nuclear warheads.

The 840,000 soldiers are well trained and can be relocated quickly: “Conventional Russian armed forces are able to achieve superiority in terms of time and space,” write the military experts. A weakness of Moscow, however, are currently the “limited capabilities for worldwide, sustainable maritime use” and the lack of armed drones.

“Political instrument of power”

For Russia, the military is an “instrument of political action and power”. The document goes on to say: “The greatest possible benefit is generated with comparatively little expenditure of funds.”

This is also confirmed by new figures from the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. According to this, China and Russia only spend a third as much money on defense as the USA.

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