This year is a very busy year in China’s weapon development with a lot of achievements such as the completion of the part of the Beidou GPS system that covers China and its nearby areas, the commissioning of China’s first aircraft carrier, the virgin flight of J-31, China’s second type of stealth fighter, the successful deployment of China’s first generation of carrier-based fighter J-15 and the smooth taking-off and landing of J-15 fighters on China’s aircraft carrier.
China’s unilateral arms race with the US began when US President Obama announced the US return to Asia (see my post Arms Race between China and America on March 5). It has put great stress on China’s elite weapon development scientists and engineers.
The recent death of Luo Yang, who was responsible for the J-15 fighter project, is a case in point.
Luo, 51, died of a heart attack while overseeing the tests of J-15 taking-off and landing on the aircraft carrier.
He was an excellent engineer in China’s Shenyang Aircraft Corp. that has developed most of China’s jet fighters. A graduate with a master degree from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Luo has been awarded many times for his prominent contributions to China’s weapon development. He had been paid special allowance by the state since 1999 and was appointed top management posts in the corporation, being its chairman of the board and general manager at the time when he died.
From 1966 to 1976 when Luo was 5 to 15 years old, school education was almost nonexistent in China due to the Cultural Revolution. However, Luo was still able to become a top engineer. It was certainly because of good family education as at that time educated parents tried their best to teach their children.
Some people regard the generation of Chinese people from Luo’s age to Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang’s age as a lost generation as they lost some years of schooling when they were young. I described in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” that due to family education and the free time they had in that era, some of them, though a small proportion, became well educated through self-study under the guidance of their relatives and friends.
I regard them in my book as the youngest of the new generation of talented scholars with moral integrity. As those scholars are in power now, and will remain in power for one or two decades, I say in my book that I am quite sure that China may catch up with or even surpass the US in one or two decades.
That worries me most especially because there are clear signs that China is quickly catching up with the US in its weapon development.
There is unfortunately the probability under China’s current political system that a despot like Mao may rise to the top. When such a despot does come to power, there is no mechanism in China to restrict or remove him when China is stronger than the US and the despot wants to use China’s military strength for aggression.
The people of the world people must be on their alert to that probability. That is why I have written so much about China’s weapon development in my blog.
Twice Mao brought the world to the verge of nuclear war. Prominent US diplomat Henry Kissinger describes it in his book “On China”, but still praises Mao. In spite of the problem in China’s political system, he tries to make people believe at the end of his book that people need not compare China’s rise to Germany’s rise before World War I. He says there will not be confrontation between China and the US because the leaders in both countries may act soberly.
He says that if before World War I, if European leaders had known the disaster caused by the war, there would not have been the war due to Germany’s rise.
Unfortunately, European leaders were not wise or sober then. Not even after World War I. Hitler was mad in starting World War II. Mao was mad to bring the world to the verge of nuclear war. Mao did not care if half of Chinese population perished in the war.
We Chinese have to make great efforts to improve China’s political system to prevent the emergence of another Mao and to establish the mechanism to restrict or remove a mad leader. On the other hand, world people certainly have to be on their guard.
You may wonder why I write so many posts at the age exceeding 70. I have to as I have not much time left. I have to make more people pay attention to my warning.
- China: J-15 fighters successful take-off and landing on aircraft carrier (chinadailymail.com)
- The mystery of China’s carrier-based aircraft (chinadailymail.com)
- “Flying Shark” J-15 flies for China (chinadailymail.com)
- China honors engineer in aircraft carrier program who died of heart attack (foxnews.com)
Categories: Politics & Law