Chapter 127: Book 5 Chapter 5-2 China in flames: The Grand Conspiracy
Two days prior to President Xi’s private consultation with General Chiu Ji Liang Ji, another meeting had transpired.
“The air raids from Korea is adversely affecting our economy, with inflation occurring at an alarming rate.”
The Minister of Economic Policy, Li Keqiang said as he sighed.
“The problem is the dropping value of the Yuan as prices go up.”
Director of Finance Lou Jiwei added in support of Minister Li Keqiang’s pronouncement. On November 8, the massive Korean air raids had damaged a third of China’s manufacturing infrastructures and the economy’s collapse was now imminent. Prices of commodities have been steadily rising since the war broke out, and were now at an all-time high; the value of the Yuan continued to plummet.
President Xi Jin Ping swore in a frustrated tone. The President had taken defeat after defeat in the war, and now the economy that had been growing rapidly for the past 50 years was under threat of collapse. He could no longer hide his anger.
“Shortage of supplies is happening across the nation. We expect the shortage to reach its limit within a month. The bigger issue is the increase in the prices of imported parts supplies and equipment for the military that will slow down the rate of production,” Minister Li Keqiang said.
The drop in the Yuan’s value would have been a welcome prospect for Chinese corporations if it were not a time of war. However, China was at war. Under a national emergency and to mobilize existing supplies, most items were being used domestically rather than being exported overseas. Also, China’s manufacturers relied on imports for raw materials and key parts for most of their equipment. Thus, the drop in Yuan’s value had compelled them to pay more to import goods and worsen their business.
“How could the production of military supplies drop in a time of war? How does that make any sense?” President Xi asked.
“We expect production to hold out for another month. There are raw materials we have imported previously that are left over for use. However, after a month we will—”
“Minister Li Keqiang! Do you have a solution to this predicament?”
The Chinese economy had shown a rapid rate of growth for the past 30 years. The start of this economic growth was signaled by opening the market to the world in 1979. China adopted an agricultural responsibility system and transitioned into the pluralization of corporations, thus, turning the economy into a privatized system with property and business management.
China had, therefore, adopted the separation of ownership and management, and diversified the options of those working in the economy. Also, the government had changed its economic policies from instructional to proactive leadership to ensure free economic activities for leading members. In terms of rationing, policies had now become more profit-orientated for citizens and private companies rather than for the government and had been reborn into a market economy. In short, China had proactively adopted the free-market system while maintaining its socialist status.
The successful open-market policy’s driving forces were the full support from the government and the strong market economy with a population of 1.5 billion. Unlike Korea, which had to rely heavily on trade, China did not have to rely on exports to maintain its surplus economy due to its strong market economy and huge population. Thus, China had been able to sustain its high-paced economic development.
“There is no clear solution, sir. Thirty percent of our manufacturing footing was taken out in an instant. We could increase imports and stave off the inflation temporarily, but as I have reported before, the dropping Yuan value would in turn increase import costs due to high inflation—our economy is indeed caught in a vicious cycle. In this situation, our large population of 1.5 billion, which was our asset, has become our weakness.”
The dismal scenario presented further made President Xi Jin Ping somber; Minister Li Keqiang continued.
“Mr. President, sir, if we have to arrest this collapse, I think it would be best to consider General Chiu Ji Liang Ji’s suggestion.”
“Do you also believe that that is the only way?”
November 25, 2020, 10:00, Yongsan-ku B2 bunker (ROK Military Joint Command Center), Seoul
The Korean military’s second phase of establishing a Western encampment and occupying the three Northeastern provinces had gone smoothly due to China’s retreat. The 16th Army Group, which was the largest obstacle in Korea’s occupation of the three Northeastern provinces, had retreated all the way to Northern Chang Chun. This allowed the Korean military to subdue the area without bloodshed. Ten days after their march, the Korean military had occupied most of the three Northeastern provinces and now was focusing on maintaining the peace and eliminating remaining Chinese forces.
That day at the B2 bunker in Yongsan, Seoul, President Suh Hyun-woo and the Minister of National Defense visited in person to be updated about the status of the war.
“We will begin the briefing of the Korea-China war’s status. Please direct your attention to the screen.”
Operations Director Lieutenant General Kim Yong-hyun pointed to the digital map that showed up on the screen with his laser pointer.
“The 7th Mobile Corps and the 3rd Armored Division have established a Western encampment that blockades the Chinese mainland from the Northeastern provinces. If you look at the map, the 20th Armored Division has been deployed to the Jinzhou area, and the Capital Armored Division at the Fu-Xin area along the Lishuan mountains. Above, the 3rd Armored Division is stationed at the Tung-Lao area, while the Huolínguole area is occupied by the 30th Mechanized Infantry Division to complete the Western encampment. The critical Jinzhou and Fu-Xin area will be reinforced and occupied by the 25th Light Armored Infantry Division from the 1st Corps.”
Lieutenant General Kim Yong-hyun pointed to each area on the map while explaining. He continued his clear explanation.
“Up next is the status of the 2nd and 5th Corps’ occupation areas in the Northeastern provinces. First, the 7th Mechanized Infantry Division under the 2nd Corps has marched and is now occupying 95 km northwest of Qiqihar Province. The 27th Light Armored Mountain Division is occupying the Lichun area, while the 15th Light Armored Mountain Division has marched 66 km north of Beian Province. In the future, the 7th and 8th Mechanized Infantry Division will march to Hulunbuir Province where the 16th Army Group is stationed.”
Minister of National Defense Kang Soo-hyun raised his hand.
“Wouldn’t two divisions be not enough to face the 16th Army Group in battle? I have heard the 16th Army Group has organized all forces in its area and now has manpower equal to two army groups.”
“Yes, you are correct, Minister. The 16th Army Group has the numbers of two army groups by integrating forces from Jilin, Heilongjiang, and all Northern military districts. However, most of the army group consists of infantry, and we believe the 7th and 8th Mechanized Infantry Division would be enough to bring them down. The 2nd Corps’ aviation unit will be deployed as well.”
When Lieutenant General Kim Yong-hyun finished his explanation, he signaled to his aide-de-camp manning the screen to show a chart with detailed information about the 16th Army Group.
“As you can see on screen, the size of the army is equivalent to two army groups, but most are infantry.”
“I see, please continue.”
The screen changed back to a digital map of the Northeastern provinces, and the Operations Director continued his presentation.
“The 6th Mechanized Infantry Division under the 5th Corps has marched 22 km west of Baichung area, and the 8th Mechanized Infantry Division is stationed at 30 km north of the Songyuan area. They will march to Qiqihar. Also, the 1st Marine Division has passed Jishi and is now undergoing occupation of the Jiamusi and Hujiang area. Lastly, the 1st Corps’ 9th Mechanized Infantry Division will stay behind and hold the Da-Ren area. The 3rd corps’ 2nd and 12th Light Armored mountain deployed to the Ap-rok River border are working on eliminating remaining Chinese forces without any issues. This concludes the briefing. I will take any questions that you may have.”
As soon as the Operation Director finished speaking, Minister Kang Hyun-soo asked a question.
“What about Russia’s movements? If our military approaches Russia’s borders, I am sure they will react.”
“Yes, sir. The Russian military has not shown any movement so far, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff will not march within 30 km of the Chinese–Russian border to avoid any unnecessary conflict.”
Chairman Kang Ui-sik caught on to the Minister of National Defense’s concerns and spoke up.
“Minister! This is something the Joint Chiefs of Staff is aware of and is taking care of. No need to be concerned.”
“Yes. I seem to be wasting my energy by being concerned. The Joint Chiefs of Staff is doing a marvelous job on its own after all. Hahaha.”
“No. It is something that would be a concern from your position.”
“We are not too far from occupying the Northeastern provinces.”
“Yes, within the next ten days we plan to oust the 16th Army Group and completely take the three Northeastern provinces.”
The Minister of National Defense asked another question.
“What is the plan after that?”
This time the Operational Planning Director, Lieutenant General Na Tae-yoon stood up from his seat and answered.
“After we completely occupy the three Northeastern provinces, our military will continue the march to Beijing. The 7th Mobile Corps will march north via the land route and the 2nd Marine Division stationed at Da-Ren Port will begin an amphibious invasion by landing at Ten-Jin.”
“Will you actually attack Beijing?”
“Under our current strategies, a march to Beijing is included.”
President Suh Hyun-woo, who had been listening intently while nodding, spoke in a serious tone.
“If we can take the enemy’s capital then we could end the war. However, that will also mean we will take a considerable amount of damage as well. Let’s rethink the march to Beijing when we get there.”
“Yes, Mr. President.”
November 27, 2020, 11:00, Ulsan-si Hyun-oong heavy industries shipbuilding yard, Korea
The Korean Navy’s first KC-1 heavy cruiser was boasting its splendor for the christening. The heavy cruiser was built inside the internal docks in secret two years ago, and it was completed after a year and 11 months passed. Under the original plan, the christening would have been next February, but the evolving shipbuilding technology of the Hyun-oong heavy industries had completed the ship 3 months ahead of schedule and the ship’s christening was set for today.
Minister of National Defense Kang Hyun-soo, Commander of the Navy Na Hyung-hwan, Hyun-oong industries members, and other VIPs from the government were in attendance for the heavy cruiser Admiral Lee Sun-shin’s christening event. The event would follow the tradition of firing cannons. Commander Na Hyung-hwan had stepped up to the podium to give the address and order the firing of the KC-1 heavy cruiser’s guns.
“This is the Admiral Lee Sun-shin CG-1101 heavy cruiser. It will be a key piece of equipment to expand the area and sustainability of operations for the Korean Navy. With this addition to the navy, we will continue our mission of preserving the lives and properties of our citizens across the world.”
During the building, many names were under consideration for this heavy cruiser. The name Admiral Lee Sun-shin was unanimously voted to befit the world’s best heavy cruiser for the next 20 years to protect Korea’s three seas. Commander Na Hyung-hwan changed the name of the KD-2 Admiral Lee Sun-shin (DDH-975) ship to Kim Jong-suh (DDH-975) and gave the name to the newly built KC-1 heavy cruiser.
The 200 people in attendance all applauded when the name reveal took place.
“Up next is the tether-cutting ceremony.”
The ceremony host’s voice boomed out through the speakers. A moment later, the First Lady Kim Un-young and the Commander’s wife stepped forward and cut the tether. The ceremony, after well wishes were expressed for the safe sailing of the Lee Sun-ship, ended with a breaking of a bottle of champagne.
The Admiral Lee Sun-shin (CG-1101), which has a length of 235 m had caught the attention of all the attendees in the ceremony. It was planned to be deployed in May of next year after a six-month inspection.
November 30, 2020, 24:00 (Russia Standard Time 18:00), Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow, Russia
Russia’s Domodedovo International Airport was Russia’s largest airport situated 42 km away from downtown Moscow. Three Asian men had just passed through Customs and were headed toward the underground parking lot. All three men wore black suits, and the largest of them was carrying a briefcase.
Ten minutes later, the three Asian men arrived at the parking lot near the pillar marked B11. The man wearing glasses made a phone call, then two black vans waiting nearby drove up to the three Asians. Two large Russian men wearing sunglasses got off the van and spoke with the Asian men. Soon they got on the vans and left the parking lot heading to the highway.
An hour later, the two black vans arrived at the entrance of an underground parking lot of a building guarded by armed guards, somewhere in Moscow’s suburbs. After they went through three security checks, the two vans finally arrived inside the parking lot. Three Asian and five Russian men got off the vehicles and headed toward the elevator. The elevator doors bore a crest and the letters “SVR,” Russia’s foreign intelligence agency.