Indi­katoren für Kriegs­vor­bereitungen Chinas

Das ist doch eine spannende Frage: Woran erkennt man, dass ein Land sich für einen Krieg vorbereitet?

The Economist hat sich die Indikatoren einmal angeschaut:

  • In the early 1980s, (…) the Soviet Union feared that America and its allies were considering a nuclear strike and went looking for warning signs. The kgb’s list of indicators ranged well beyond the military sphere. Big campaigns to donate blood, the slaughter of livestock and the movement of art might signal that an attack was coming.“ – bto: Das ist eine nachvollziehbare Liste.
  • „‘Were China planning to invade Taiwan, its military preparations would be hard to hide. But before troops begin to muster, other actions, of an economic and financial nature, might signal China’s intent. The Soviet Union mistook ordinary activities, such as blood drives, for possible indicators of war. When it comes to China, finding signals in the noise is even harder.The country has spent decades improving its armed forces. It routinely stockpiles food. And it has hardened its economy against potential sanctions. (…) The challenge for Western intelligence agencies, then, is to imagine how China might deviate from this wary baseline in the run-up to an actual attack.“ – bto: Und das wird sicherlich konstant gemacht.
  • One area to focus on is commodities, namely energy, food and metals. China would want to secure adequate supplies of each before launching an invasion. Many of these goods come from abroad and are bought by the state, so trade data are a useful gauge of the government’s intentions. Patterns that would warrant attention include large and continuous increases in supplies, sudden changes in imports or exports, purchases that go against the market and moves that are out of line with historical trends.“ – bto: Und diese Punkte sieht der Economist sich dann an.
  • Energy is a good place to start. China imports nearly three-quarters of the oil it uses. The substance accounts for only 20% of the country’s energy use, but it would be crucial to any war effort. Military vehicles run on it, as do the lorries that transport supplies. If China were to start increasing its reserves—it currently has enough to last three months at today’s consumption rate—that would be one of the best indicators that it is preparing for war…“ – bto: Jetzt kann China natürlich per sofort jeden privaten Verbrauch unterbinden.
  • Chinese imports of oil have been rising for a decade. The country is expanding its storage capacity, building underground caverns that are both more secure and harder to spy on than tanks out in the open.“ – bto: Wir wissen es also nicht genau.
  • Gas makes up a far smaller share of China’s energy mix, but it may still hold clues to a coming conflict. If China feared being cut off from foreign supplies it would probably burn more coal, of which it has plenty. It might also go on a buying spree. Such was the case in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, when Russia’s main gas company curbed supply. In the six months before the attack, Chinese entities bought more than 91% of all the liquefied natural gas purchased worldwide under term deals (…) the deals raise questions about China’s complicity with Russia.“ – bto: Da fragt man sich, wieso wir überrascht waren…
  • China imports more agricultural produce than any other country. Obsessed with food security, it already has enormous stockpiles. In 2021 an official said its wheat reserves could meet demand for 18 months. Over the past decade China has greatly increased its purchases of wheat, corn, rice and soyabeans.(…) One product to watch is soyabeans. China imports 84% of its stock. Much of it is used to feed pigs. The country currently has enough beans to feed its pigs for under two months. A rapid increase in buying could indicate that it was preparing for conflict… “ – bto: Auch diese ist naheliegend.
  • When it comes to metals, the challenge may be even greater. Items such as beryllium and niobium are used to make military gear. Platinum and palladium go into engines. How much China has of these metals, most of which are imported, is difficult to say because its consumption patterns are unclear. As with fuel and food, unusual metal-buying patterns could be a signal. Changes in China’s exports would be a more visible indicator. It might become more reluctant to part with the rare-earth metals crucial to many technologies. China has a near-monopoly on many of these. In July it announced export controls on gallium and germanium, two metals used in chips. This was part of its tech battle with America, though, not a sign of a looming hot war.“ – bto: Das wäre aber synergistisch.
  • Similar thinking infuses China’s approach to the financial system. It has introduced a cross-border payment mechanism that could, if necessary, bypass Western financial institutions—though at present most transactions still go through foreign platforms. China and its state-owned firms increasingly push trade partners to sign contracts in yuan, to reduce the country’s dependence on the dollar. If it were planning for war, China might also move its foreign-exchange reserves out of dollars and euros and into assets that are harder to sequester, such as gold.“ – bto: Genau das passiert zur Zeit.
  • „(…)  Mr Xi says ‚stormy seas‘ are ahead. The state’s efforts to batten down the hatches could be mistaken for something worse. To a certain extent, that is the point. Part of China’s strategy is to convince the world that it is ready and willing, if not about to invade Taiwan. But its behaviour risks confirming the most pessimistic assumptions of Western analysts.“
  • „(…) if economic and financial indicators—along with satellite imagery, signals intelligence and human sources—can help America and its allies see a war coming, perhaps they can prevent it.“ „Could economic indicators give an early warning of a war over Taiwan?“, 27. Juli 2023