AuthorTopic: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea  (Read 7618 times)

Offline Palloy2

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Duterte: China threatened war in South China Sea if Philippines drills for oil
Published time: 19 May, 2017

Beijing threatened the Philippines with war if Manila pressed its claims over the disputed South China Sea islets and drilled for oil in the area, according to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte produced his seemingly sensational comments while delivering a speech at the National Convention of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in Davao City. The Philippine president recalled Monday conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping regarding the disputed areas of the South China Sea and explained why he abstained from pressing the claims.

Thitu Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea © AFP Philippines moves troops, supplies to disputed S. China Sea island claimed by Beijing

“I really said, ‘It’s ours. I’d like you to listen for a while.’ I said, ‘Mr. Xi Jinping, I would insist that that is ours and I will drill oil there,’” Duterte said.

The Chinese leader, however, allegedly threatened Duterte with an all-out conflict if the latter greenlighted drilling.

“[Xi Jinping] replied to me, ‘We are friends. We do not want to quarrel with you… We want to maintain the present warm relationship. But if you force the issue, we’ll go to war,’” Duterte said.

“What more could I say?” added Duterte.

The Philippine strongman allegedly insisted in his claims, citing the July 2016 Hague arbitral ruling, which did not find the Chinese claims to be strong enough and ruled in favor of the Philippines. The Chinese government replied that its claims were “historical,” according to Duterte.

Beijing, however, did not rule out discussion of the arbitral decision at some point in the future.

“China said if we remain friends, it said, ‘We will talk about the arbitral ruling. But it cannot be now. You know why? You are not the only claimant. Vietnam is also a virulent claimant,’” Duterte told the audience.

Duterte then claimed that if it was solely up to him, he would go to war anyway, but China’s military superiority would turn the conflict into “massacre and it will destroy everything.”

Several groups of islets in the South China Sea have been a source of contention between various states in the region, including China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the others. Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of China, has also laid claims on some of the islands.

Similarly to the situation with the disputed islands in the East China Sea, primarily contested by China and Japan, the dispute escalated when supposedly rich oil and gas reserves were discovered in the area.
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Offline Palloy2

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Seems like a bad time to be annoying China, but hey, maybe they won't notice or bother protesting because they know that the US Navy is so strong it can do what it likes.
US warship challenges China’s territorial water claims in ‘freedom of navigation’ sail-by – reports
25 May, 2017

The USS Dewey guided missile destroyer has reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, apparently challenging Beijing’s sovereignty claims over disputed island chain.

The US warship passed near Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands on Wednesday under the “Freedom of Navigation” principle, according to Wall Street Journal and Reuters sources.

If indeed the USS Dewey sailed within 12 nautical miles of the disputed land, then Washington seemingly violated China's territorial claims. Territorial waters are defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as a belt of coastal waters extending 12 nautical miles from the coast.

Wednesday’s freedom of navigation sail was the United States’ first since October and the first since Donald Trump took office in January.

In a statement to The Japan Times, the Pentagon refused to confirm or deny the report. The Wall Street Journal also failed to get a definitive answer from the Pentagon.

“We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told the publication in a statement.

“We operate in accordance with international law,” he added, emphasizing the patrols are “not about any one country, or any one body of water.”

While the Pentagon is reluctant to confirm the reports, photos posted on Commander – the US’ Third Fleet Facebook page – appeared to show the US vessel sailing the disputed waters. “USS Dewey (DDG 105) transits the South China Sea before a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Pecos (T-AO-197),” the picture post reads.

Earlier this month, US Navy Commander Gary Ross revealed that Washington is looking to continue its Freedom of Navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea region under Trump’s administration.

“We are continuing with regular FONOPs (Freedom of Navigation operations), as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” Ross was quoted as saying.

The alleged intrusion into the disputed waters comes at a delicate time when Trump is seeking Xi Jinping’s cooperation to resolve North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile question. While Beijing has yet to issue a comment regarding the latest incident, China has strongly condemned such actions in the past.

China says it respects the principles of freedom of navigation and overflight but disapproves when other states undermine its sovereignty using this pretext.

Beijing has laid claim to nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which some $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. The Spratly Islands, or Spratlys, comprising more than 750 islets, atolls, and reefs, have also been caught up in the multinational dispute, with the claimants having their own national names for the archipelago.

The United States has repeatedly criticized China’s reclamation of land in the Spratly chain as well as the buildup of military facilities on these islets, voicing concern that they could be used to restrict free movement in the area.
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’Unsafe intercept’: US officials accuse China of buzzing spy plane
Published time: 26 May, 2017

A US Navy P-3 Orion Maritime patrol aircraft © Carlos Jasso / Reuters

Two Chinese jets got uncomfortably close to a US surveillance plane flying off the coast of China this week, the same day a US Navy ship was sailing near a group of islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, according to US officials.

A P-3 Orion surveillance plane was flying 150 miles (240 km) south east of Hong Kong when it was approached by two Chinese fighter jets, officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

In what the officials termed an “unsafe intercept,” the Chinese aircraft came within 200 yards (182 meters) of the P-3 and one plane flew in front of the US aircraft, “restricting its ability to maneuver.”

On the same day, a US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly island chain – claimed by Beijing – in the South China Sea, marking the first 'freedom of navigation' operation since President Donald Trump took office.

The intercept took place a week after a US Air Force WC-135 was buzzed by two Chinese jets over the East China Sea. US officials described the intercept as “unprofessional,” saying, the SU-30 jets came within 150 feet of the US aircraft and that one of them even flew upside-down.

Reacting to that incident, China’s Defense Ministry said the US account did “not accord with the facts” and urged Washington to stop its surveillance flights near Chinese borders.

“The relevant action [of the Chinese pilots] was professional and safe,” the ministry said in a statement, quoted by Reuters. “We hope that the US side stops relevant surveillance activities, to avoid this kind of incident happening again.”
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Offline Palloy

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Just to remind you of how China is threatening Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea:

And why wouldn't they build a run-way that was long enough to take long-haul, big-lift planes, since that is what it will take to service the remote islands?
US Seeks "Maritime Hegemony", Is Acting "Irresponsibly" In South China Sea, Beijing Warns
Tyler Durden

It’s now been nearly a year since the world woke up to what Beijing was doing in the South China Sea.

Early in 2015, satellite images seemed to show that China had embarked on a rather ambitious land reclamation effort in the Spratlys a disputed island chain claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

As the months wore on it became readily apparent that this was no small project. Ultimately, China would build 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory atop reefs in the area much to the chagrin of Washington’s regional allies.

Especially disconcerting for the US was the construction of a giant runway on Fiery Cross Reef (one of the artificial islands).

It’s long enough to land military aircraft and just last month, Beijing began to land planes on the man-made outpost.

China also build a number of other things on the islands including cement factories, greenhouses, ports, and a lighthouse.

Beijing contends it has every right to continue its construction efforts. In fact, China says it can forcibly expel other nations from the area if it so chooses.

As the summer wore on, the situation devolved into a war of words between Beijing and Washington with each accusing the other of acting "aggressively" in the Pacific. Each side also swore up and down that in the end, the "agression would not stand - man."

The staring contest lasted until late October when, after months of deliberation, the Obama administration sent a warship to the islands in what Washington called a "freedom of navigation" exercise.

Fortunately, China didn't shoot at the vessel, but Beijing was profoundly displeased. The Pentagon patted itself on the back for reasserting America's right to control the shipping lanes through which some $5 trillion in global trade pass each year and Washington promptly decided to conduct the exercises several times per quarter.

As it turns out the US has so far kept its promise. Late last week the USS Curtis Wilbur, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton island.

China is not happy.

"The so-called freedom of navigation plans and acts that the United States has upheld for many years in reality do not accord with generally recognised international law," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing on Monday.

Lu didn't stop there. He also accused the US of "ignoring numerous littoral states' sovereignty and security and maritime rights [on the way to] seriously harming relevant regional peace and stability."

And just to drive the point home, Lu delivered the following sharply worded assessment:

    "Its essence is to push the United States' maritime hegemony in the name of freedom of navigation, which has always been resolutely opposed by most of the international community, especially certain developing nations. What the United States has done is dangerous and irresponsible."

What's particularly interesting there is that it was just last month when we reported that Japan is set to build a missile blockade in the East China Sea in order to keep China from exerting complete control over regional waters.

In other words, both sides say the other is attempting to establish maritime hegemony. Of course there's one glaring difference: these are waters are nowhere near the US mainland. Why should the US get to decide what goes on in China's backyard?
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China dispatches military vessels & fighter jets to warn off US warship sailing near disputed island
2 Jul, 2017

“Under the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation,’ the US side once again sent a military vessel into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China's approval,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that such US behavior “violated Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, and disrupted the peace, security and order of the relevant waters.”

"China dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel," the statement reads.

“The Chinese side is dissatisfied with, and opposed to, the relevant behavior of the US side,” Lu added, saying that the US is "deliberately stirring up troubles in the South China Sea, as well as running in the opposite direction from countries in the region who aspire for stability, cooperation and development.”

The US Navy did not officially confirm the operation. The US Pacific Fleet spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, told Fox News that the fleet conducts “routine and regular FONOPs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” without specifically mentioning the Sunday incident.

However, an unidentified US Defense Department official earlier told Reuters that the US Navy destroyer USS Stethem came within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, which is a part of the Paracel Islands located in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam.

The head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, recently criticized China’s activity in the region. "China is using its military and economic power to erode the rules-based international order," he said in a speech delivered on Wednesday in Brisbane during the joint US-Australian military exercises.

"Fake islands should not be believed by real people," he added, as reported by Fox News.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said in its recent report that “Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels” and particularly started building new facilities on Triton Island.

It was the second such operation conducted by the US during Donald Trump’s presidency. On May 24, the US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Dewey, came within 12 miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands – another disputed archipelago that lies in the southern part of the South China Sea.

At that time, the Chinese Defense Ministry also sent two frigates to “warn off” the US vessel and said that it was “firmly opposed to the US behavior of showing force and boosting regional militarization.”

The Paracel Islands are contested by China, Taiwan and Vietnam while the Spratlys are also additionally claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. China claims sovereignty over a large part of the South China Sea, a region crucial for China’s maritime trade.

China has already built runways, aircraft hangars, radar sites and hardened surface-to-air missile shelters on its artificially-created islands in the region, according to photos analyzed by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Beijing’s actions have sparked concerns in Washington and the US Navy, which is fiercely opposed to this Chinese initiative, has deployed additional warships in the disputed zone, conducted maneuvers near China’s artificial islands, and flown over them, claiming it has been done in the interest of the “freedom of navigation.”

In response, China called Washington’s involvement in the dispute the “greatest” threat to the region.

In early June, China and the US both held exercises involving air and navy forces, in another episode of confrontation over the disputed South China Sea. The US sent two B-1B Lancer supersonic bombers to fly a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, which was conducted in conjunction with the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer the USS Sterett.

A day earlier, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted its own air and navy exercise off Hong Kong. The patrol mission involved three helicopters and two Type 056 corvettes, the Qinzhou and the Huizhou, the Defense Ministry reported.
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Offline Palloy2

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Just another micro-aggression by the US - OK until it isn't.
Chinese interception of US spy plane ‘legal, necessary & professional’ – Beijing
25 Jul, 2017

The interception of a US spy plane by two Chinese jets over the Yellow Sea was “legal, necessary, [and] professional,” Beijing said, adding that such flights by Washington threaten China’s national security.

“Close-in reconnaissance by US aircraft threatens China's national security, harms Sino-US maritime and air military safety, endangers the personal safety of both sides' pilots and is the root cause of unexpected incidents,” Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said.

The actions of the Chinese jets’ pilots were “legal, necessary and professional” and conducted “in accordance with the law and the rules,” he added.

The statement comes after US officials told local media that an American surveillance plane was intercepted by two Chinese jets on Sunday.

A US EP-3 ARIES signals intelligence plane was flying about 140km south of the port city of Qingdao on the east coast of China, when it was approached by two Chinese J-10 interceptors, armed with air-to-air missiles.

One of the Chinese jets flew under the EP-3 and appeared 90 meters (295ft) in front of the US plane, causing the crew “to take evasive action to avoid collision,” according to one official.

The EP-3 Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System (ARIES) is a version of the P-3 Orion spy plane.

US forces have recently stepped up their activity in the region, provoking China’s anger. Earlier in July, Beijing spoke out after two US long-range supersonic bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea.

China noted that it “resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China’s sovereignty and security.”

Also in July, Beijing said Washington is damaging peace and stability in the South China Sea and is undermining China-US relations. The comments came a day after the ‘USS Stethem,’ a guided-missile destroyer, sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the region.

In May, two Chinese jets came close to a US P-3 Orion surveillance plane flying off the coast of China, the same day a US Navy ship was sailing near the Spratly islands, claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea.

The majority of the South China Sea is claimed by Beijing, despite similar statements from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
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Offline Palloy2

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WTF is the Chief of the US Pacific Fleet doing saying a thing like that, at a time like this, FFS?  He should be immediately thrown overboard and told to scrap the bottom of USS Ronnnie Raygun.
I’d launch nukes at China on Trump's orders, says US Pacific Fleet chief
Published time: 27 Jul, 2017

Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile built by Lockheed Martin is being test-fired from the submerged submarine USS Tennessee on February 22, 2012 ©

The US Pacific Fleet chief said he would obey a hypothetical order to launch a nuclear strike against China if the president chose to give it. The remarks follow the director of the CIA’s recent assessment that Beijing poses a major threat to the US in the long run.

Commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift was speaking at an Australian National University security conference on Thursday, AP reported.

Responding to a question on whether he would initiate a nuclear strike against China at President Donald Trump's orders “next week,” the admiral bluntly said: “The answer would be: Yes.”

Swift, who has led the Pacific Fleet since 2015, explained: “Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us.”

He then struck a conciliatory tone, saying: “This is core to the American democracy and any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem.”

The statement came in the wake of the massive US-Australian biennial exercise Talisman Saber 2017, which involved 36 vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS ‘Ronald Reagan,’ 220 aircraft and 33,000 military personnel.

It also came just a day after CIA Director Mike Pompeo asserted in a rare interview that China is more of a long-term threat to US national security than any other world power, including Russia.

“It's hard to pick between China, Russia and Iran to be honest with you. I guess if I had to pick one with a nose above the others, I'd probably pick China,” Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.

“They have a real economy that they have built, unlike Russia that lives and dies on how many barrels of oil they can pluck out of the ground. And Iran that is similarly very single sector derivative and not to the scale of China population-wise,” the intelligence chief explained.

According to Pompeo, Beijing is willing to become a near-peer opponent to the US.

“I think it’s very clear when they think about their place in the world, they measure their success in placing themselves in the world where they want to be vis-à-vis the United States and not as against anyone else,” he said.

Following Admiral Swift's comments, Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain Charlie Brown explained that he was referring to the principle of civilian control over the armed forces. "The admiral was not addressing the premise of the question, he was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military," Brown said. "The premise of the question was ridiculous."

There has been no response from China so far.

While remaining major trading partners, the US and China still share several points of contention. The most acute ones involve tensions over the status of the South China Sea, an area crossed by numerous maritime shipping lanes.

Whereas Beijing claims that its sovereignty over key parts of the sea dates back centuries, Washington insists on what it calls freedom of navigation.

To back its stance, the US regularly deploys warships and combat aircraft to contested waters. Beijing frequently protests those missions and deploys its own military assets to counter the projection of US power.
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Offline Palloy2

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US is trying to put the scares on everyone.
White House Threatens Beijing With "Consequences" Should Missiles Remain In South China Sea
Tyler Durden

In what sounds eerily like a re-run of the Cuban Missile Crisis (though admittedly not nearly as dire), the US has threatened Beijing with unspecified "consequences" if China doesn't remove missiles from islands in the South China Sea that are also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.

According to the South China Morning Post, the US is seeking to verify a CNBC report from last week that China had installed anti-ship and air-to-air defenses on some of these disputed islands over the last 30 days. The missiles are reportedly stationed on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.

China, for its part, has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the missiles.

    At a regular briefing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying neither confirmed nor denied the deployment.

    "China’s peaceful construction in the Spratly archipelago, including the deployment of necessary national defence facilities, is aimed at protecting China’s sovereignty and security," she said. "Those who don’t intend to violate [this sovereignty] have no reason to worry."

Following land reclamation efforts that have transformed reefs into full-fledged islands, China's military has built air bases, radar and communication systems, as well as naval facilities, on some of these islands.

As the SCMP points out, tensions over the South China Sea have been brewing for years, which could be one reason why markets ignored the reports about the missiles last week, and have generally viewed the worsening tensions between the US and China as a non-issue.

Back in 2015, the International Criminal Court ruled in favor of the Philippines, declaring that the country could officially exert sovereignty over some of the disputed islands. But China ignored the ruling, and threatened military confrontation should the Philippines try to enforce the ruling.

Admiral Philip Davidson, President Trump's pick to lead the US Pacific Command, has repeatedly warned that China is trying to muscle the US out of the Pacific so it can assert unilateral domination over the territory.

    In written testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee released last Tuesday, Adm. Davidson said China is seeking "a long-term strategy to reduce the U.S. access and influence in the region," which he claims the U.S. must maintain its critical military assets in the area. He views China as "no longer a rising power," but rather a “great power and peer competitor to the United States in the region.” Adm. Davidson agreed with President Trump’s recent assessment on China, calling the country a "rival."

Despite President Trump's public "friendship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the relationship between the two countries has never quite recovered from Trump's first diplomatic faux pas - accepting a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. China recently terrorized Taiwan by holding the largest-ever live fire drills. Tsai has advocated for a more confrontational relationship with China, though she has specifically said she dosn't oppose the "One China" policy.

Washington takes no position on sovereignty claims, but it has accused Beijing of "militarizing" the South China Sea. Likewise, China has warned the US against continuing its "freedom of navigation" operations - deliberately provocative missions where US destroyers sail within the defensive perimeter of China's South China Sea holdings.

The US, meanwhile, insists that China itself benefits from US "freeops", which a Pentagon spokeswoman says have helped make the region more secure.

    "China has to realise that they’ve benefited from the free navigation of the sea, and the US Navy has been the guarantor of that," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. 

    "We will continue to do our operations."

China's defense ministry responded by saying the islands are "part of Chinese territory" and that China alone will decide what happens there.

In other words: The US needs to mind its own business.
"The State is a body of armed men."


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