|Where is the target?|
The Global Times, a publication affiliated to the Communist Party’s mouthpiece The People’s Daily today affirmed that smog could thwart missile attacks and hamper hostile air reconnaissance.
That is indeed an interesting military doctrine!
The Global Times' headline is "The impact of smog on military equipment".
It argues: "Smog may affect people’s health and daily lives … but on the battlefield, it can serve as a defensive advantage in military operations."
The South China Morning Post (see below) commented on the Chinese netizen's reactions to China's new defensive weapon.
However, the same day, China Tibet Online, affilated to Xinhua, reported: 'No hazy weather in Tibet'.
It quoted the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection: "No hazy weather has been witnessed in Tibet even though it has visited 20 provinces in inland China and caused severe air pollution. Tibet is much colder compared with many inland areas, but is much cleaner."
That's not good for the Chinese defence preparedness in their Western sector?
The Chinese website explains: "Recently, it is reported on many media that hazy weather has hit 104 cities in middle-east China continuously, and the National Meteorological Centre has sent orange alert to heavy fog and haze.
The polluted air condition has caused traffic troubles and serious impact on people's health. Some cities like Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, have even suspended classes of secondary and elementary schools.
However, none of that happens in Tibet where blue sky is the most common scene in winter."
According to the latest White Paper 'Development and Progress of Tibet' issued by the Information Office of the State Council in October, the Tibet Plateau is "the third-cleanest area in the world in terms of its environment after the South Pole and North Pole".
The White Paper affirms that Tibet has a clean and transparent atmospheric environment, and similar contents of pollutants to the North Pole.
Does it mean that it is bad for China's defence of its borders with India?
The Indian Ministry of Defence should seriously study this issue?
Another possibility is that the PLA has stakes in some polluting industries and the generals are trying to preserve their interests.
It is however surprising that the 'official' press is allowed to publish such a non-sense.
|The clean Tibetan plateau|
Smog? It bolsters military defence, says Chinese nationalist newspaper
South China Morning Post
A nationalist newspaper has tried to put a positive spin on China’s smog, claiming it is conducive to the country's military defence strategy. Smog, it argued, could thwart missile attacks and hamper hostile reconnaissance.
The article in the Global Times under the headline, "The impact of smog on military equipment". It has provoked a lively discussion on Sina Weibo - and also some angry comments.
Missile guidance that relies on human sight, infrared rays and lasers could be affected by smog in varing degrees, the article said. It explained that tiny particles in the air contributing to air pollution could hinder missile guidance systems.
The article said that during the Kosovo war, soldiers of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia used smoke from burning tyres to hamper Nato air strikes. The smoke reduced visibility, hindering reconnaissance efforts, the article said.
Photographic reconnaissance equipment employed by satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and reconnaissance vehicles would be rendered useless by smog it added.
The article also said that during the first Gulf war, sand storms reduced the identification distances of thermal imaging equipment on US tanks from 2,500 metres to 800 metres, while optical detection of Iraqi tanks was reduced to almost nil.
For most of the past week, extensive areas of eastern China including the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing have been hit by severe smog, the worst so far this winter, which some described as an “airpocalypse”.
Smog in Shanghai today. Photo: Brandon King Chinese internet users were unimpressed by the Global Times article, which was seen as an attempt by authorities to put a positive spin on deteriorating air quality and to divert public anger from official inaction.
“Are you saying the smog is not air pollution, but a national defence measure?” a blogger said on Sina Weibo microblog.
Another reader who commented on the article said: “But enemies wouldn’t need to resort to missile attacks if the smog continues to increase – people will simply be poisoned to death.”
Yet some others compared the article to a widely-reposted comment made by a military spokesperson who earlier this year claimed that US nuclear submarines would avoid China’s eastern Yellow Sea because their propeller’s might become entangled by ropes used by farmers to grow seaweed.
“After seaweed, China has added another secret weapon to the country’s national defence arsenal – smog,” one Internet user quipped.