“This includes Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are the three running dogs of the United States in Asia,” added Dai, a researcher at Beijing University’s China Centre for Strategic Studies. “We only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”
An animated speaker with a shock of thick black hair that’s slightly long for a military man, Dai sometimes appears for television interviews in fashionable civilian clothes. On other occasions he appears on the state-controlled military channel, CCTV 7, in his neat, sky-blue air force uniform giving lectures to junior officers on air power or conflicts in the Middle East.
He is also the author of popular books on China’s strategic outlook. His 2009 best seller, “Sea Totem, China’s Carrier,” argues that China’s new aircraft carrier, commissioned in September, is a symbol of the nation’s maritime rejuvenation.
In “C-Shaped Encirclement,” published in 2010, Dai describes how an entrapped China must break out from the curving perimeter around China the United States and its allies have established from northern Japan, through South Korea, Taiwan, South East Asia, India and up to Afghanistan. Dai did not respond to a request for comment on this article.
“EXPRESS YOUR BOTTOM LINE”
Retired army Major General Luo Yuan is a gruff, plain-speaking member of China’s top government advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Luo, who often appears in uniform for his television appearances or panel discussions, has built up a strong online and media following with frequent hard-line advice for dealing with maritime disputes.
His suggestions, however, that Taiwan and mainland China should send hundreds of fishing boats to the Diaoyu islands to fight a “people’s war at sea” and to turn the tiny, uninhabited islands into a firing range appear to have been tongue in cheek.
“Chinese aircraft can bomb the islands on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Luo said at a seminar in Hangzhou on September 29, “while the Taiwanese can launch attacks on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.”
Mixed in with his sometimes combustible rhetoric are practical suggestions, including his recent recommendation that China form a coastguard on the U.S. model to unify the nine government agencies that have overlapping jurisdiction over maritime policing.