As much as the elites want to make the rising military and economic power of China seem like a benign event, we must remember that China is governed by a ruthless authoritarian state apparatus.
China’s military spending has been rising dramatically year after year, as the communist state seeks to catch up to the United States in terms of military power.
One area China is seeking to dominate is in armed drones, particularly drone swarm technology.
According to a recent Financial Times report, China is looking into deploying swarms of 3D-printed drones that could be used to swarm aircraft carriers and fighter jets – rendering those expensive weapons vulnerable.
China now claims to have already surpassed the U.S. in drone technology, and now operate over 1,300 military drones.
Not only is China’s drone technology advancing rapidly, but they are also a big exporter of military drones.
Dispute within China’s high-command
There is reportedly a dispute at the top levels of China’s military about how much to prioritize drone warfare compared to conventional military technology. With that said, the continued increases in China’s military budget make it likely the nation will do both simultaneously.
China is well-positioned from a manufacturing perspective, as they are the largest drone manufacturers at the consumer level, and the FT points out that the People’s Liberation Army can easily direct those companies to do what China’s military demands.
This could give China a significant advantage as drone warfare becomes more prevalent, and this is a serious area of concern for western democracies. A more powerful China is a more influential China, and that means an influence coming from a government that believes the people exist to serve the state, rather than the other way around.
Canada should invest in our own military drone industry
Canada has a strong tech industry, and with drone swarms being based heavily on advanced software we are well positioned to build a strong drone swarm capability. We could match our software capabilities with manufacturing to build a large military drone industry here in our country.
This would be superior to just buying drones from another nation, as both the Harper and Trudeau government proposed.
As much as many Canadians may be hoping that the United States is all that Canada needs as a hedge against the rising influence of China (while the elites want to sell us out to China), relying on another country for our defence or hoping for benevolent actions from China is not a sufficient strategy.
While we should work closely with our ally the United States, Canada must build our own homegrown military capability, which will help boost our economy and make our nation more secure as we face an uncertain future.
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