Doomstead Diner Menu => Geopolitics => Topic started by: knarf on June 14, 2015, 02:09:05 PM

Title: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: knarf on June 14, 2015, 02:09:05 PM
An increasingly assertive China has warned that World War 3 is "inevitable" unless the United States stops meddling in the South China Sea affairs. Earlier this week, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said in a new white paper that it is going to up the ante in the South China Sea. In a sign of its growing self-confidence, Beijing said that it would now focus less on defensive capabilities, and step up efforts to build offensive capabilities.

(http://www.valuewalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/China-United-States.jpg)

China ready to use force beyond its borders
China is aggressively building artificial islands in the disputed Spratly Islands. The construction includes runways and port facilities that could harbor military planes and warships. Islands in the region are also claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, who have all protested against China's expansion.

Last week, a U.S. military plane ignored repeated warning from the PLA to fly a reconnaissance mission over the disputed islands. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has refused to recognize artificial islands as "maritime zones control by a nation." He said Washington was determined to protect the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as is allowed under International conventions.

(http://www.valuewalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/World-War-3-South-China-Sea.jpg)

The Chinese military's new white paper notes that it is ready to use force beyond its borders in the air and at sea "to safeguard its maritime possessions." Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, said that China does not want a war. But if the United States' bottom line was to make China halt its activities, then a World War 3 was inevitable.

U.S. interference could trigger a World War 3
The newspaper suggests that China will not stop construction of these artificial islands at any cost. Any more interference by "external countries" could trigger a World War 3 and Beijing will "accept" it. Experts say neither United States nor China wants to back down. They fear that even a minor incident around the artificial islands could escalate rapidly into a full-fledged war.

Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at the Temple University, said that China misjudging the situation is the real concern. Neither country wants a war if it can be avoided, but both countries have some red lines, said Dujarric.

http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/05/china-warns-of-world-war-3/ (http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/05/china-warns-of-world-war-3/)
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on June 14, 2015, 06:30:41 PM
"primarily a defensive weapon" - er, what?

http://rt.com/news/267115-china-tests-hypersonic-missile/ (http://rt.com/news/267115-china-tests-hypersonic-missile/)
China confirms test of new hypersonic strike vehicle 'Wu-14'
June 14, 2015

The Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed the fourth test of a hypersonic nuclear delivery vehicle, which the US called an “extreme maneuver,” amid rising tensions between the two powers in the South China Sea.

The test of the hypersonic glide vehicle, which the US has dubbed the “WU-14”, was carried out on June 7 and is the missile’s fourth test in 18 months.

"The scheduled scientific research and experiments in our territory is normal, and those tests are not targeted at any country and specific goals," the ministry said in response to a report published on Thursday by the Free Beacon.

The strategic strike weapon is extremely advanced and can travel at 10 times the speed of sound, or 12,231.01kph.

US missile defenses can only counter ballistic missiles and warheads that have predictable trajectories. The Wu-14 is capable of maneuvering during flight while travelling at the edge of space, and so is extremely difficult to shoot down.

US intelligence officials have called the tests “extreme maneuvers,” but experts say the timing of the test launch was designed to coincide with a visit to Washington by Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Fan will visit the US for a week and the launch was timed to increase his “bargaining power [at] the negotiating table when he deals with his US counterpart,” Macau-based military observer Antony Wong told the South China Post.

Fan held talks with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday. The disputed islands in the South China Sea were top of their agenda, according to Chinese state media.

The US thinks China is acting aggressively in the South China Sea and Carter “called on China and all claimants to implement a lasting halt on land reclamation, cease further militarization, and pursue a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in accordance with international law,” the Pentagon said in a statement on the meeting.

China maintains most of the South China Sea is its own, but there are overlapping claims with the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China recently built artificial islands in areas over which the Philippines and other countries also have claims. Both the Philippines and Japan have opposed China’s attempts to reclaim land in the South China Sea.

Hawks in Congress said Fan’s visit to the US should have been canceled, because of recent reports of US government computer networks being hacked by the Chinese military.

The WU-14’s test flight was also interpreted by some military analysts in China as a response to a flight over the South China Sea by a US spy plane last month.

But the analysts also stressed the WU-14 is primarily a defensive and not an offensive weapon, although it is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

“The Wu-14 … is designed to penetrate US missile defense systems, meaning the PLA is capable of defending China’s territorial sovereignty. But such a test is only a nuclear deterrent. Neither China nor the US wants to declare war over the South China Sea issues,” said Professor He Qisong, a defense policy specialist at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on June 16, 2015, 09:46:34 PM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-16/china-completes-island-construction-will-now-build-military-facilities (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-16/china-completes-island-construction-will-now-build-military-facilities)
China Completes Island Construction, Will Now Build Military Facilities
06/16/2015

“I’m an amateur student of history and I’m reminded of ... how Germany was testing the waters and what the response was by various other European powers... But unfortunately, up to the annexation of the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, the annexation of the entire country of Czechoslovakia, nobody said stop. If somebody said stop to Hitler at that point in time, or to Germany at that time, would we have avoided World War II.”

That piece of revisionist history is brought to you by Benigno Aquino and is excerpted from a speech the Philippine President gave to the Japanese parliament earlier this month.

Aquino was of course referring to China’s controversial land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea. Beijing’s construction of some 2,000 acres of new sovereign territory atop reefs in the Spratly archipelago has alarmed the country’s neighbors and drawn sharp condemnation from Washington, with President Obama accusing China of “throwing elbows” and using its size and relative to power to “bully” nations with competing South China Sea claims and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter assuring Asia Pac allies that the US will sail and navigate wherever it pleases.

For its part, China has ratcheted up the rhetoric, saying its Navy and Air Force will adopt “offensive” strategies if necessary and claiming that, if threatened, it will establish a no-fly zone over its new islands. The US also claims Beijing had at one point positioned artillery in the Spratlys although it has apparently been either moved or hidden since being spotted by a PA-8 Poseidon spy plane.

The Philippines, in an effort to counter a series of Chinese documentary films that aired in 2013, ran a video called “Karapatan sa Dagat” or “Maritime Rights” on Independence Day. Reuters has more:

    "Our objective is to inform our people," Charles Jose, the foreign ministry spokesman, said adding they hoped to "rally support of our people behind our Philippine government's policy and action".

    The Philippines has filed an arbitration case against China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy resources and where $5 trillion ship-borne trade passes every year. Brunei,

    Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the sea.

    In 2013, China's state-run CCTV network aired an eight-part documentary called "Journey on the South China Sea", a rare peak into how Beijing was trying to consolidate its claims in the disputed sea.

    The "video war" comes as China rapidly expands its footprint in the South China Sea, constructing at least one airstrip and other military facilities on reclaimed land in the Spratly islands.

Now, the Chinese foreign ministry is out with a statement indicating the country has nearly completed its construction projects. While this could be viewed as a sign that China has effectively backed down, albeit on its own terms and at its discretion (i.e. saying the project is “complete” is something different than saying the project has been halted due to international pressure), that will likely come as no consolation to the US and its allies because even as China signaled an end to its dredging activities, it also implicitly admitted that it will continue to build military facilities on the islands, although this was buried in the fine print.

“Apart from satisfying the need of necessary military defense, the main purpose of China's construction activities is to meet various civilian demands and better perform China's international obligations,” the foreign ministry said, before saying that “after the land reclamation, we will start the building of facilities to meet relevant functional requirements.”

Since one of the “relevant functional requirements” is “satisfying the need of necessary military defense,” it seems China will continue to construct just the type of facilities on the islands that have become the subject of intense controversy. WSJ has more color:

    China said it is shifting work on disputed South China Sea islets from the dredging of land to the construction of military and other facilities as it pushes forward with a program that has aggravated tensions with the U.S. and neighbors.

    Analysts say the imminent end to China’s island-building work could signal a willingness to seek compromise with Washington and rival claimants in the South China Sea, even as it demonstrates Beijing’s ability to unilaterally dictate terms in the long-standing dispute.

    “This is a step toward halting land reclamation, which the U.S. has demanded, and at the same time, China can tell its people that it has accomplished what it wanted to do,” said Huang Jing, an expert on Chinese foreign policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

    “China unilaterally started the land reclamation and now China is unilaterally stopping it,” Mr. Huang said. “China is showing that—as a major power—it can control escalation, that it has the initiative, and that it can do what it sees fit for its interests.”

    The Philippines’ Foreign Ministry said it is awaiting official confirmation from Beijing on its Tuesday statement, while the Vietnamese and Malaysian foreign ministries and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    China’s statement came on the final day for Beijing to submit comments to an international arbitration tribunal that is considering the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea.

For its part, China wants nothing to do with arbitration proceedings in The Hague, contends The United Nations has no jurisdiction, and says it will not recognize the tribunal's verdict.

In other words, expect tensions to rise over the coming months as the supposed "completion" of Beijing's "sand castle" building simply means China will now move into the next phase of development which is apparently the installation of military facilities.

*  *  *

Full statement from Chinese foreign ministry:

The construction activities on the Nansha islands and reefs fall within the scope of China's sovereignty, and are lawful, reasonable and justified. They are not targeted at any other country, do not affect the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all countries in accordance with international law in the South China Sea, nor have they caused or will they cause damage to the marine ecological system and environment in the South China Sea, and are thus beyond reproach.

It is learned from relevant Chinese competent departments that, as planned, the land reclamation project of China's construction on some stationed islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands will be completed in the upcoming days.

Apart from satisfying the need of necessary military defense, the main purpose of China's construction activities is to meet various civilian demands and better perform China's international obligations and responsibilities in the areas such as maritime search and rescue, disaster prevention and mitigation, marine scientific research, meteorological observation, ecological environment conservation, navigation safety as well as fishery production service. After the land reclamation, we will start the building of facilities to meet relevant functional requirements.

China is committed to the path of peaceful development. She follows a foreign policy of forging friendship and partnership with her neighbours, and a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China remains a staunch force for regional peace and stability. While firmly safeguarding her territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China will continue to dedicate herself to resolving relevant disputes with relevant states directly concerned, in accordance with international law, through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts, pushing forward actively the consultation on a "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea" together with ASEAN member states within the framework of fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. China will continue to uphold the freedom of navigation as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Title: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Palloy on October 12, 2015, 06:30:43 PM
US Fonops (Freedom of Navigation Operations) are entirely unnecessary when there is 300 miles of open ocean between the Spratlys and Vietnam for shipping to pass freely.  US is trying to push China into defending the islands, so they can then blame China for militarising them.  This has the effect of increasing the number of things that could trigger a major war.  Is that what they want, or is it that the Empire just can't help itself?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-12/obama-wont-back-down-after-chinese-threat-sends-warships-china-islands-matter-days (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-12/obama-wont-back-down-after-chinese-threat-sends-warships-china-islands-matter-days)
Obama Won't Back Down After Chinese Threat, Sends U.S. Warships To Contested Islands In "Matter Of Days"
Tyler Durden
10/12/2015

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/2015/09/ChinaIslands_0.png)

On Friday, we reported the latest provocation in what has truly become a very dangerous, if largely pointless, staring contest between Beijing and Washington over China’s reclamation of land in The South China Sea.

Responding to suggestions that the US was set to sail warships around the islands Beijing has constructed atop reefs in the Spratlys, China served noticed that it would “never allow any country to violate China's territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.” This was simply a formalized version of the more concise phrasing the PLA navy used when they instructed the pilots flying a US spy plane to “Go now!” when it ventured too close to Fiery Cross earlier this year.

It’s not immediately clear what China intends to do with the islands and further, it’s not entirely clear why anyone should necessarily care if Beijing wants to build “sand castles” in the middle of the ocean, but then again, for America’s regional allies the land reclamation efforts look a lot an attempt to build a series of military outposts by creating sovereign territory where there was none thereby effectively redrawing maritime boundaries and so, big brother in Washington is set to step in in order to protect vital shipping lanes.

Of course having already said that the navy plans to sail ships into the waters around the islands, the US can ill-afford to allow China’s “we won’t tolerate that” pronouncement to deter the Pentagon because the optics around that would be terrible at a time when the world is already questioning the strength and resolve of the US military. So the ships will indeed sail. Here’s WSJ:

    The U.S. determination to challenge China with patrols near Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea will test Xi Jinping’s recent pledge that Beijing doesn’t intend to “militarize” the islands, an announcement that took U.S. officials by surprise.

    The Chinese leader made the commitment during a news conference with President Barack Obama at the White House late last month, though he left it unclear how the pledge would affect China’s activities in the disputed area of the South China Sea.

    If Mr. Xi’s goal was to discourage the U.S. from conducting patrols near the artificial islands, he doesn’t appear to have succeeded. After months of debate in the U.S. government, there is now a consensus that the U.S. Navy should send ships or aircraft within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands to challenge China’s territorial claims there, according to people familiar with internal discussions.

    A U.S. official confirmed Sunday that a decision had been made to conduct such patrols but said it was unclear when that might happen or where exactly. “It’s just a matter of time when it happens,” the official said. Another U.S. official indicated that the operation could come within days.

    The question now is whether China will respond to such operations by reining in its plans to develop the islands or backing away from the commitment not to militarize them, pointing to the U.S. patrols as a provocation.

Anyone who knows anything about how China generally prefers to respond in situations like these knows that Beijing will almost certainly call any US naval presence a "provocation" and they'll be exactly right. After all, there's something rather ironic about claiming that China is in the process of militarizing the South China Sea and then deciding that the best way to de-escalate the situation is to sail warships to the area. Here's WSJ again:

    The Pacific Fleet has been ready to conduct “freedom of navigation operations,” or Fonops, around China’s artificial islands for months after being asked to draw up options by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this year. The decision to begin the patrols appears to have been delayed to avoid disrupting the summit, people familiar with internal discussions say.

    “A U.S. Fonop gives China an opportunity to assert that the United States is the country ‘militarizing’ the South China Sea and, if China chooses, such a Fonop provides a rationale for China to further militarize or develop the features it occupies,” said Taylor Fravel, an expert on the Chinese military at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

So in reality, the real question is this: now that Russia has moved to effectively reclaim the Mid-East from US influence, and now that China is in the process of using its island building efforts to establish what we've called a kind of Sino-Monroe Doctrine, how long will it be before someone actually challenges the US military by shooting down a plane in the desert or firing on a ship in the Spratlys just to test Washington's resolve?
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Eddie on October 12, 2015, 06:53:31 PM
So stupid and pointless. Climate change will wipe those "islands" off the map anyway.

We have to protect our valuable imperial bag man, the Sultan of Brunei.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTLC-n1uYQ_VqpSsJNT25SKIepZyMwmIE3lIu5Gh4ojET3DW_0M)
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Palloy on October 18, 2015, 06:38:05 AM
This sounds ominous.  China invoking the Cuban Missile Crisis as precedent for the US to stay out of their Spratly Islands waters.  I suppose they could mine the 12 mile limit, or maybe fly in some anti-ship cruise missiles.  They would both have made their positions clear when Obama met Xi in Washington three weeks ago.  Someone must think the other was bluffing.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-10/17/c_134722902.htm (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-10/17/c_134722902.htm)
U.S. provocations threaten to militarize South China Sea
2015-10-17
Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States' provocative attempts to infringe on China's South China Sea sovereignty are sabotaging regional peace and stability and militarizing the waters.

The U.S. Navy is reportedly preparing to conduct "freedom of navigation" operations, sending warships within 12 nautical miles of Chinese islands in the South China Sea. The U.S. operations may take place within days, according to reports.

Last month, in his response to China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the United States "will fly, sail and operate wherever the international law allows, as we do around the world."

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said on Oct. 8 that U.S. warships patrolling close to artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea "should not provoke significant reaction from the Chinese."

Let us not forget that in October 1962, when the Soviet Union was building missile sites in Cuba -- not even on U.S. soil -- U.S. President Kennedy made it clear in a televised speech that the United States would not "tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place."

What on earth makes the United States think China should and will tolerate it when U.S. surface ships trespass on Chinese territory in the South China Sea?

China will never tolerate any military provocation or infringement on sovereignty from the United States or any other country, just as the United States refused to 53 years ago.

China's stand on the South China Sea disputes is firm and clear. China's sovereignty and claims of rights over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters in the South China Sea have been formed over the long course of history and upheld by successive Chinese governments, and have adequate and solid historical and legal basis.

Just as Article 15 of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea stipulates, delimiting the territorial seas of China and other countries in the South China Sea shall be in accordance with China's "historic title" to the region.

China has always been, in a constructive and effective manner, a firm upholder of the freedom of navigation as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea. And China has vowed to continue to do so in the future.

China's construction of civilian and public facilities on the Nansha Islands and reefs, which fall within the scope of China's sovereignty, serves not only China but also coastal nations in the South China Sea.

For instance, two lighthouses recently built on reefs in the region have helped guide passing vessels from around the world and significantly improved navigation safety.

Contrary to U.S. claims, it will be the United States, as an outsider, that further provokes tensions in the South China Sea by sending soldiers and warships to Chinese territory in the name of "freedom of navigation."

This is not the first move by the United States to undermine the regional peace and stability that China has worked so hard for.

Over the past several years, the United States has held frequent large-scale drills with its allies in the South China Sea, flexing their military muscles.

According to the website of the U.S. Department of Defense, the country has deployed thousands of civilian and military officials, as well as a huge number of weapons, to the Pacific region.

To destabilize the region and contain China, the United States has deliberately involved non-party nations, such as Japan, in the South China Sea issue and stirred disputes between China and other parties, including the Philippines.

By no means will China let the provocateurs make waves in waters that should be characterized by peace, friendship and cooperation.

Last year, the bilateral trade volume between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) exceeded 480 billion U.S. dollars.

Concerned nations have no alternative but to jointly deal with disputes in the South China Sea that pose a threat to the development and prosperity of parties in the region.

On Sept. 18, in response to remarks made by the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific on patrolling the South China Sea, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China, like the United States, upholds freedom of navigation in the waters.

However, the spokesman stressed, China opposes any country's challenge, in the name of freedom of navigation, to China's sovereignty and security in the South China Sea.

During a visit to Europe in March 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping stressed that his country will "never stir up any trouble, but will resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights" when it comes to sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Even though enhancing mutual trust and managing disputes through high-level visits and talks still remains the first option for China, the country will, without any doubt, adopt countermeasures against the United States if it doesn't stop military provocations that infringe upon China.

People with vision in Washington should and must see clearly China's determination in safeguarding national sovereignty and regional security.
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Surly1 on October 18, 2015, 07:43:43 AM
This sounds ominous.  China invoking the Cuban Missile Crisis as precedent for the US to stay out of their Spratly Islands waters.  I suppose they could mine the 12 mile limit, or maybe fly in some anti-ship cruise missiles.  They would both have made their positions clear when Obama met Xi in Washington three weeks ago.  Someone must think the other was bluffing.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-10/17/c_134722902.htm (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-10/17/c_134722902.htm)
U.S. provocations threaten to militarize South China Sea
2015-10-17

Saw this on ZH earlier today and am glad you posted it. This will end as well as the Empire's Adventures in Ukraine.

People with vision in Washington should and must see clearly China's determination in safeguarding national sovereignty and regional security.

My only question is where we would find these worthies?
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 20, 2015, 11:06:16 PM
http://www.strategicrelocationblog.com/blog/china-s-space-weapons (http://www.strategicrelocationblog.com/blog/china-s-space-weapons)
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Palloy on October 21, 2015, 12:32:36 AM
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission was set up by Congress in 2000.  Its Members are at http://www.uscc.gov/commission-members (http://www.uscc.gov/commission-members) .

http://www.strategicrelocationblog.com/blog/china-s-space-weapons (http://www.strategicrelocationblog.com/blog/china-s-space-weapons)
Bill Gertz [Washington Times] has the story, although only the Chinese side is being leaked by government to Gertz.
=====

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/14/inside-the-ring-details-of-chinese-space-weapons-r (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/14/inside-the-ring-details-of-chinese-space-weapons-r)
A copy of the draft report was obtained by Inside the Ring and is the latest publicly available draft. The final report will be released next month.
=====

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/US-China_Commission (http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/US-China_Commission)
The U.S.-China Commission's annual reports are typically lengthy, with scathing criticisms of China and long lists of recommendations for Congress and the executive branch. In large part, the commission's recommendations are routinely ignored, although other China critics cite the commission's findings to bolster their own conclusions about security and economic threats from China.
=====

So the Washington Times report was based on a draft report, written by a bunch of Washington insiders, and funded by Congress.  They wouldn't be able to cite who they got their information from.  Now that doesn't mean it is wrong, but it would probably be so biased that it can be dismissed as more anti-Chinese propaganda. 

Satellites can only geo-locate themselves, and hence geo-locate others on Earth, if they are receiving and transmitting signals, so will all be wiped out by an EMP.  No doubt all sides have plans to do that, but it would blind everybody, so it will not be done lightly.  Hunter-killer satellites and anti-satellite missiles are probably in the same class.
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Palloy on October 23, 2015, 06:33:00 PM
Quote
Someone must think the other was bluffing.

Oh the irony - hilarious.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-23/three-chinese-warships-dock-florida-port (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-23/three-chinese-warships-dock-florida-port)
Three Chinese Warships To Dock In Florida Port
Tyler Durden
10/23/2015

At a time when the US and China are practically at arms over the artificial islands in the South China Seas, with the US sending warships on location to patrol (despite White House Spokesman Josh Earnest saying on Oct. 8 that U.S. warships "should not provoke significant reaction from the Chinese") and a stunned China responding "What On Earth Makes Them Think We Will Tolerate This", the last thing we thought we would see right now was three Chinese warships about to port in Florida's Naval Station Mayport.

And yet according to USNI that is precisely what is about to happen: citing US Navy officials, USNI reports that he three ships about to dock in the US are the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Jinan (152), the Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate Yiyang (548) and the Type 903 Fuchi-class fleet oiler Qiandao Hu (886).

"Three vessels are on an around-the-world deployment and will conduct the goodwill visit after completing port calls in Europe,” read a statement from Navy Region Southeast. "The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) will serve as the host ship. In Mayport, sailors from both navies will participate in sporting events and interact during ship tours."

The close navy encounters go both ways: yesterday, a collection of about two dozen U.S. naval officers paid a visit to the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning in China, according to Chinese state controlled press and confirmed by the Navy.

U.S. officials would not elaborate if there would be an at-sea training component to the visit slated to run from Nov. 3rd to the 7th.

What makes the visit particularly awkward is that, as Navy officials stressed, the visit was planned months in advance and comes just as Washington and Beijing are at loggerheads over territorial possessions in the South China Sea.

It is also notable, that in addition to the Mayport visit, China has sent the flotilla to first ever port visits in the Baltic Sea in ports like Stolkholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland as part of the world tour. Perhaps it is just part of China's due diligence.

Some US Congressmen are not too happy about the Chinese visit: "While the U.S. has been fervently cultivating military-to-military exchanges, China’s behavior at sea has not tracked with its rhetoric of a ‘peaceful rise’,” read a Thursday statement from Rep. Randy Forbes, from the chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, to USNI News.

“Engagement like the upcoming Chinese visit to Mayport should not be done purely for engagement’s sake, and I hope that in addition to increased transparency, we start to see China moderate its other destabilizing activities.”

However, the most interesting news is that according to the US Naval Institute, despite much posturing, the Obama administration has not yet dispatched ship toward China, and instead has been merely weighing for weeks whether or not it will send a freedom of navigation mission within 12 nautical miles — the internationally recognized maritime border — of features in the Spratly and Paracel China has reclaimed from the sea.

It would appear that Obama was once again all talk and once China threatened to call the U.S. bluff and warned it would use force, the US desire for confrontation promptly evaporated.
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: RE on October 23, 2015, 06:47:09 PM
None of the 3 Majors can afford a direct confrontation.  The Proxy Wars will continue a while longer.

RE
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: MKing on October 23, 2015, 06:55:31 PM
People with vision in Washington should and must see clearly China's determination in safeguarding national sovereignty and regional security.

This entire article seemed like a bad joke. "people with vision in Washington"…right….take a shot at a US carrier battle group and watch what happens next from all those visionaries. Maybe Taiwan needs some modern offensive weaponry…we'll see what happens next with how much China has determination with national sovereignty, they can't even clean the rebels off an island close by the coast, let alone project practical power much beyond sight of land.
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: Palloy on October 27, 2015, 11:14:41 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34647651 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34647651)
China says US warship's Spratly islands passage 'illegal'
27 October 2015

Chinese officials have condemned a US ship's passage near disputed islands in the South China Sea as "illegal" and a threat to their country's sovereignty.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen breached the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.

The US has confirmed the operation took place, apparently as part of its Freedom of Navigation programme.

The operation is a challenge to China's claims over the artificial islands.

Lu Kang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said Beijing would "resolutely respond to any country's deliberately provocative actions".

He added that the ship had been "tracked and warned" while on the mission to deliberately enter the disputed waters.

The Chinese foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to protest over the move.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter confirmed that the USS Lassen had passed within 12 miles of the islands, during questioning by the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

US Defence Department spokesman Cdr Bill Urban had earlier said that "the United States is conducting routine operations in the South China Sea in accordance with international law".

The move was welcomed by several countries in the East Asia region, including the Philippines and Japan.
Title: Re: US - China - Spratlys
Post by: RE on October 27, 2015, 11:37:07 PM
He added that the ship had been "tracked and warned" while on the mission to deliberately enter the disputed waters.

WTF does "warning and tracking" do?  They gotta sink the ship if they expect to stop this.

RE
Title: South China Sea Confrontation: South Front Video
Post by: RE on October 29, 2015, 11:32:58 PM
Will it escalate? When?  Who pulls the trigger first?  What possible False Flags?

This one has reams of possibilities.

RE

Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: RE on October 29, 2015, 11:38:10 PM
Threads Merged & Stickied

RE
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on October 30, 2015, 12:55:50 AM
I didn't know that China had a warship on hand to warn the US ship off.  +1 for military preparedness.

But -1 for the weak response of only summoning the US Ambassador and expressing displeasure. -0.5 would have been withdrawing China's Ambassador from Washington for consultations.  0 would have been permanently withdrawing their Ambassador.  +1 would have been doing that AND expelling the US Ambassador in Beijing.

The US media is excitedly saying that China is only making a fuss so that they can claim provocation and then militarise the islands.  This must have Washington backing, but as yet I haven't heard of any official saying it on the record.  Anyway it would be a reasonable thing for China to do this under the circumstances.

China's next level of escalation could be to try to block the US ship's passage with their own ship.  Or maybe to fly a helicopter directly over the US ship, or have a bevy of speed-boats running around the big ship.  These are EXTREMELY dangerous waters for a big ship to allow itself to be forced off course in - shallow reefs, narrow passages, odd currents.

Then we might get to actual ship-against-ship contact, aka ramming, or leaving ropes in the water to foul propellers.  Where is Sea Shepherd when you need them?

Anyway, the art of escalation is NOT to go for WW3 straight away.  Plenty of time yet.

I know, Putin will propose a new UN conference where all these sovereignty issues can be discussed like mature people.  :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: MKing on October 30, 2015, 07:59:59 AM
China is currently a military joke. Of course, every other country in the world is currently a military joke if you compare them to the US. This is as it should be, so that Eddie doesn't have to fight his way through local drug cartel check points to make a few pesos filling teeth and whatnot.

China is trying to push a tough angle, and until they are willing to enforce THEIR rules by opening fire on someone or another, there is no reason to take them seriously. The US is just providing the target, knowing that they might be more inclined to want to blow up a fishing boat or two from Vietnam, but are less likely to go after a US warship. China is attempting to project power, and doesn't have the capability to do it very well. Yet. Give them time and they might…I think a minefield would be a cool way to ACCIDENTALLY enforce their will around the islands, then they can stand around with a bemused look on their faces while claiming "well gee, we told everyone we would enforce our sovereign rights, you should have listened" without someone pulling the trigger on the weapon itself.

That would be interesting, and a nice back door way to start causing heartburn for the US, while pretending to be innocent of direct action. Of course, two can play that game, and when Chinese resupply ships suddenly disappear somewhere between the mainland and the islands..well…must be shoddy Chinese construction of their boats, certainly no one would suspect a slew of Mk-48 torpedoes had anything to do with it.

 ;D ;D
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on November 01, 2015, 06:14:53 PM
Australia is having naval exercises with China, while the US is insisting on its rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which it hasn't formally ratified.  US says it is going to continue entering the disputed waters, even though no regular shipping would use it, and says "it should not be viewed as provocative in nature", when it clearly is - and Australia agrees.   :icon_scratch:

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2015/10/28/australia-delays-naval-exercise-with-china-amid-south-china-sea-escalation/ (https://www.hongkongfp.com/2015/10/28/australia-delays-naval-exercise-with-china-amid-south-china-sea-escalation/)
Australia to go ahead with naval exercise with China amid South China Sea escalation
28 October 2015
Updated October 29, 2015
Karen Cheung

A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Defence has responded to HKFP’s enquiries and denied that any naval exercises with the Chinese navy has been delayed, saying, “The Royal Australian Navy has a long history of engagement with regional navies and regularly conducts port visits and exercises—including in China. No upcoming engagement activities with the People’s Liberation Army Navy have been delayed, suspended or cancelled.” A previous version of this article under the headline “Australia delays naval exercise with China amid South China Sea escalation” mistakenly suggested that the planned naval exercises will be delayed until the US push is complete, citing news.com.au.

Australia has announced that the naval exercises with China will go on as planned despite its show of support for the United States, after the US navy brought one of its warships near a man-made island in the disputed South China Sea, a move which Beijing strongly condemned.

The Australian Anzac-Class frigates HMAS Arunta and HMAS Stuart were scheduled to sail to Zhanjiang, home to China’s South Sea Fleet, to conduct exercises with the People’s Liberation Army Navy next week.

The Australian government’s announcement that it will go ahead with the exercises as planned came amid rising tensions between the US and China over the South China sea. On Tuesday, the USS Lassen, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer homeported to Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, came within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit Beijing claims around its possessions in the Spratly archipelago, signifying the most significant challenge yet to China’s claimed exclusion zones.

However, the Australian Department of Defence minister also said in a statement that the US had acted in accordance with international law and that “all states have a right under international law to freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight”, a right which Australia supported.

Australia also clarified that while it was not involved in the US naval activity, it was interested in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, through which around sixty per cent of Australia’s exports pass.

Around 30 percent of world trade, including half of global oil exports, pass through the sea lanes of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, a US treaty ally, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

Freedom of navigation

The US Defence official said that this would likely become “a regular operation” in the South China sea, and that it should not be viewed as provocative in nature.

According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 12-nautical mile limits cannot be set around man-made islands built on previously submerged reefs. The US Freedom of Navigation programme, which was developed to challenge “excessive claims” to the world’s oceans and airspace, was based on such convention, although the US has not formally ratified the treaty, reports the BBC. Operations in South China Sea territories to which different countries have claims over were conducted by the US in 2013 and 2014.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: azozeo on November 01, 2015, 06:35:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/a3b1cqwcyWM&fs=1
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: azozeo on November 01, 2015, 06:37:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/a3b1cqwcyWM&fs=1




Why now ?      :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on December 19, 2015, 11:27:07 PM
"may have strayed off course" - absolutely impossible.  Their GPS would be accurate to less than a metre, and the location display would have all the sovereign borders clearly marked, probably with alarms to alert the pilot of upcoming infringements if they didn't change course.  The Pentagon is just thumbing its nose at China.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12060338/US-says-B52-flight-over-Spratly-Islands-may-have-strayed-off-course.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12060338/US-says-B52-flight-over-Spratly-Islands-may-have-strayed-off-course.html)
US says B52 flight over Spratly Islands "may have strayed off course"
By AP
20 Dec 2015

The United States said its two B-52 bombers had no intention of flying over a Chinese-controlled man-made island in the South China Sea, after Beijing accused Washington of "a serious military provocation" in the strategic waters with overlapping claims.

China's Defence Ministry on Saturday accused the U.S. of deliberately raising tensions in the region, where China has been aggressively asserting its claims to virtually all islands, reefs and their surrounding seas. It reiterated that it would do whatever is necessary to protect China's sovereignty.

Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said that the Dec. 10 mission was not a "freedom of navigation" operation and that there was "no intention of flying within 12 nautical miles of any feature," indicating the mission may have strayed off course.

The U.S. uses pre-planned freedom of navigation operations to assert its rights to "innocent passage" in other country's territorial waters.

"The United States routinely conducts B-52 training missions throughout the region, including over the South China Sea," Wright said in an email to The Associated Press. "These missions are designed to maintain readiness and demonstrate our commitment to fly, sail and operate anywhere allowed under international law."

Wright said the U.S. was "looking into the matter."

The U.S. takes no official stance on sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in international trade passes each year. However, Washington insists on freedom of navigation and maintains that China's seven newly created islands do not enjoy traditional rights, including a 12-nautical-mile (22-kilometer) territorial limit.

China's Defence Ministry demanded that Washington immediately take measures to prevent such incidents and damage to relations between the two nations' militaries.

"The actions by the U.S. side constitute a serious military provocation and are rendering more complex and even militarising conditions in the South China Sea," the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that Chinese military personnel on the island went on high alert during the overflights by the B-52 strategic bombers and that they issued warnings demanding the aircraft leave the area.

As is China's usual practice, the Foreign Ministry took a more diplomatic tone, saying the situation was stable.

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Berlin, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi drew a contrast between the situation in the South China Sea region and the chaos and turmoil in other parts of the world. "The situation in the South China Sea is essentially stable overall," he said.

Wang also said that while China understands the concerns of nations from outside the region — a clear reference to the U.S. — they should "do more to benefit peace and stability and support efforts to find a resolution through talks, and not manufacture tensions or even fan the flames."

"We don't think this is a constructive approach and will not receive the support and welcome of relevant nations," Wang said.

The Foreign Ministry said it had "lodged solemn representation with the United States" over the incident.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on December 19, 2015, 11:38:22 PM
This incident should really go ahead of the previous one, date-wise, happening on November 25.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-16/chinese-editorial-warns-raaf-planes-could-be-shot-down/7034664 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-16/chinese-editorial-warns-raaf-planes-could-be-shot-down/7034664)
'It would be shame if a plane fell from the sky': China's warning to RAAF over South China Sea flights
By political reporter Matthew Doran and China correspondent Bill Birtles

A Chinese state-owned newspaper has issued a strongly worded warning to Australia about a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) surveillance plane carrying out "freedom of navigation" exercises over the South China Sea.

The editorial in the Chinese language edition of The Global Times appears to warn Australia its planes could be shot down if such operations continue.

On Tuesday, the BBC broadcast audio of an Australian pilot alerting the Chinese Navy of its flight over the disputed Spratly Islands.

"China Navy, China Navy," the voice said.  "We are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the international civil aviation convention, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."

The BBC said it recorded the message from a RAAF AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft in the early afternoon on November 25.

According to the BBC, the message was repeated several times by the RAAF pilot, but no response was heard from the Chinese.

The Global Times editorial, which was toned down in the English language version of the newspaper, said: "Australia should not count on being welcomed or accepted" when it is in air space around the disputed territories.

"The Chinese people cannot understand why the Australian military would get involved, and to be honest, they have less patience to prevent a flare up," the newspaper said.

"Australian military planes better not regularly come to the South China Sea to 'get involved' , and especially don't test China's patience by flying close to China's islands.

"Everyone has always been careful, but it would be a shame if one day a plane fell from the sky and it happened to be Australian."

'Freedom of navigation in South China Sea out of question'

The newspaper goes further to say China and Australia are "friendly nations" and should have a "friendly relationship," suggesting diplomacy between the two nations could sour if Australia continues the flights.

"It's impossible to set up a military alliance against China in the South China Sea," the newspaper said.

"China has not violated the core interests of those countries, they come to the South China Sea to 'play cards', for other strategic goals, and they're not really there to oppose China."

On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry voiced a more muted concern over the flight.

"The Chinese side has made its solemn position clear on many occasions," spokesman Hong Lei said.

"I'd like to reiterate that the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is out of the question.

"Countries outside the region should respect other countries' sovereignty instead of creating trouble."

'It's what we do, it's called Operation Gateway': Payne

But Defence Minister Marise Payne said China should not be surprised about the flights.

"It's actually not an assertion of freedom of navigation, it's what we do, it's called Operation Gateway and it's been underway since 1980," Senator Payne said.

"Perhaps the approach that the media take of a shock, horror revelation is one for them to take, not me."

Senator Payne argued such an operation was unlikely to provoke anger from the Chinese Government.

"I don't think the Chinese are at all surprised to know that Australia supports freedom of navigation, freedom of flight in accordance with the international law of the sea," Senator Payne said.

The Department of Defence in Canberra confirmed the flight took place between November 25 and December 4.

"A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion was conducting a routine maritime patrol in the region as part of Operation Gateway from November 25 to December 4," it said.

"Under Operation Gateway, the Australian Defence Force conducts routine maritime surveillance patrols in the North Indian Ocean and South China Sea as a part of Australia's enduring contribution to the preservation of regional security and stability in South East Asia."

China claims most of the South China Sea — where more than $5 trillion of world trade passes through each year — in the face of rival claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Taiwan.
Title: The South China Sea Crisis and the “Battle for Oil”
Post by: RE on January 13, 2016, 03:53:16 PM
Oil & NG, as usual.  ::)

RE

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-south-china-sea-crisis-and-the-battle-for-oil/5501075 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-south-china-sea-crisis-and-the-battle-for-oil/5501075)

The South China Sea Crisis and the “Battle for Oil”

By Brian Kalman
Global Research, January 13, 2016
South Front 12 January 2016
Region: Asia
Theme: Law and Justice, Oil and Energy

Asia-Pacific Military Dominance: U.S. Makes Waves In South China Sea

A long brewing crisis of both regional and global proportions has been festering in the South China Sea in recent years between claimants to a variety of islands, reefs and shoals and more importantly access to oil and natural gas resources that are worth trillions of dollars. Although this dispute, or more accurately put, many individual and interlocking disputes, have gained in importance in recent years, they have been a bone of contention for centuries.

The discovery of vast stores of oil and natural gas and the assertiveness of a resurgent China have brought a long dormant dispute back to a level of international importance.

The “dispute” may be broken down into three main areas of argument.

The first is the matter of delineating territorial waters and economic exclusivity zones (EEZ) for each individual nation that borders the South China Sea and how these areas may often overlap.

The second issue are the legal rights to exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas, mineral and renewable resources in the overlapping EEZs as well as the international sea zone that lies outside territorial and EEZ areas.

The third matter of contention is the free passage of international commercial traffic and warships through United Nations delineated “International” waters.

At first glance it may seem easy to rely on the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, 1982) to resolve these issues; however, a number of factors make this quite difficult.

UNCLOS exists in part to establish the legal status of territorial waters and to lay down a framework to determine who has the right to harvest the bounty of the world’s oceans both between nations with maritime borders and those that are land locked. It also sets up a legal framework for dispute resolution. This dispute resolution framework exists partly due to the fact that the adopted method for delineating EEZs often leads to overlapping EEZs between one or more nations. This is the case in the South China Sea.

To add to the legal ambiguity, there are historical factors that only magnify the ambiguity. For example, who has right to the ownership of islands that no one has ever built permanent settlements on when their location was known for centuries? Now that vast oil and natural gas fields may lie under these remote areas that cannot independently support human habitation, a number of nations are claiming historical precedent to ownership regardless of their lack of utilization and the generally laissez faire attitude toward their sovereignty for hundreds of years.

China submitted an official case to the United Nations in 2009, laying out the Chinese claim to most of the South China Sea. What has come to be known as the “Nine Dash Line Claim” (which China has asserted in one form or another for years) asserts that almost the entire South China Sea is the sovereign waters of the Peoples Republic of China. China sights both historical factors and their interpretation of UNCLOS to support this claim. A group of nations bordering the South China Sea, and who have conflicting claims refute the Chinese position. A number of nations without any legal claim to these waters for purposes of territorial waters or EEZs, also refute the Chinese claim for a number of significant reasons.

Territorial Waters and the EEZ

The UNCLOS clearly specifies how the borders of a nation’s territorial waters are to be established and delineated:

    Article 2

     Legal status of the territorial sea, of the air space over the territorial sea and of its bed and subsoil

        The sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond its land territory and internal waters and, in the case of an archipelagic State, its archipelagic waters, to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea.
        This sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil.
        The sovereignty over the territorial sea is exercised subject to this Convention and to other rules of international law.

Furthermore:

    Article 3

    Breadth of the territorial sea

    Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

    Article 4

    Outer limit of the territorial sea

     The outer limit of the territorial sea is the line every point of which is at a distance from the nearest point of the baseline equal to the breadth of the territorial sea.

Furthermore, it less clearly specifies how the extent and borders of a nation’s Economic Exclusivity Zone (EEZ) are to be established and delineated:

    Article 55

    Specific legal regime of the exclusive economic zone

     The exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in this Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal State and the rights and freedoms of other States are governed by the relevant provisions of this Convention.

    Article 56

    Rights, jurisdiction and duties of the coastal State in the exclusive economic zone

        In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has:

    (a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;

     (b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to:

    (i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; 44

    (ii) marine scientific research;

    (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment;

     (c) other rights and duties provided for in this Convention.

        In exercising its rights and performing its duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have due regard to the rights and duties of other States and shall act in a manner compatible with the provisions of this Convention.
        The rights set out in this article with respect to the seabed and subsoil shall be exercised in accordance with Part VI.

    Article 57

    Breadth of the exclusive economic zone

    The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

    (United Nationals Convention of Law of the Sea, 1982)

Obviously, these definitions were created by lawyers, as they are somewhat ambiguous and leave ample room for limitless future argument; such arguments guaranteeing lawyers a livelihood since time immemorial. They have created a patchwork of overlapping EEZs and legally agreed to or disputed territorial waters delineations.

China’s claim

The UNCLOS attempts to legally delineate territorial waters and provide for established EEZs for the benefit of coastal nations. That being said, it is quite easy to see that China has a much easier to justify claim, both historically and legally to most of the Paracel Islands. The majority of them lie in their EEZ, they have built settlements and installations on some of the islands, and they have fought and won at least two past naval engagements with Vietnam (in 1974 and 1988) to enforce sovereignty. A justifiable claim to the Spratly Islands or Scarborough Shoal by China is another matter altogether. The map below easily illustrates the established EEZs (as proposed under UNCLOS, which China is a signatory).

Map of EEZs and International waters in the South China Sea.

Conflicting claims in the South China Sea

Apparently, China has decided to push their claim to a majority of the South China Sea by actually establishing habitation and extensive facilities of both commercial and military significance on a number of islands in both the Paracel and Spratly Island chains, as well as around Scarborough Shoal (although to a lesser extent there).

China is clearly embracing the old adage that “ownership is nine tenths of the law”. When one considers this strategy alongside the significant Chinese modernization and expansion of its naval area control and denial capability in the past two decades, it is obvious that China aims to overthrow the current status quo. The old status quo does not support China’s interests, so they aim to change it. Other parties to the conflict, most notably the United States desire to maintain the status quo.

Chinese land reclamation efforts at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands August 2014 – January 2015.

Chinese land reclamation efforts at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands August 2014 – January 2015.

Vietnam has chosen a more tactful and nuanced approach. Vietnam has decided to seek international diplomatic support for its claims, diplomatic mediation, as well as a robust yet less ambitious naval modernization strategy. While the United States pledged $18 million (USD) to help Vietnam protect its territorial waters and coastline in June of 2015, a long-standing U.S. arms embargo is still in effect. Vietnam had been reliant on Russian naval arms for 40 years; however this is changing as Vietnam looks to supplement its relatively small navy with western armaments and patrol craft.

Vietnam has chosen the strategy of building a more powerful and robust coastwise navy, planning to acquire more modern vessels of small displacement such as patrol boats, corvettes and frigates. This will bolster Vietnam’s territorial defense capabilities, while not fomenting an arms race that they have no hope of winning with their larger neighbor China.

Indigenously produced Patrol Boat TT-400TP of the Vietnam Peoples’ Navy underway.

Three US Arleigh Burke Class DDGs on maneuvers in the Pacific.

The United States and the Issue of Freedom of Navigation in the International Waters

The issue of freedom of navigation in international waters in the South China Sea is a valid concern by many “neutral” parties. This is a centuries old concept; that there should always be free and uninhibited commercial and military traffic (both on the water and now in the air as well) on internationally recognized waterways of the high seas. These international free transit corridors are a core foundation of international trade and cooperation that must always maintain their neutrality and absence of sovereignty. They, quite simply put, belong to all nations and individuals of the world for the purposes of transportation and commerce.

This age old concept is essential to maintaining what should be a universally embraced concept of equality amongst all peoples and all sovereign nations of the world and their equal and unequivocal right to commerce and peaceful pursuits on the high seas. The determination of the United States to defend this concept is honorable, just and essential; however, it is not through righteousness and altruism alone that the government of that nation has adopted such a stance. At some point in the past, when the United States still held the moral high ground and obeyed international law in all respects one could honestly come to such a conclusion; but any concept of truly altruistic intent in the geopolitical maneuvering of any nation is naïve. All nations act in their own interests, regardless of the nation, or the era of human history.

Three US Arleigh Burke Class DDGs on maneuvers in the Pacific.

Three US Arleigh Burke Class DDGs on maneuvers in the Pacific.

The United States has an undeniable interest in keeping the South China Sea an international waterway, free of any national controls. An estimated $5 trillion (USD) in international trade passes through this waterway annually. It also has many self-serving interests in keeping the resources of this area divided amongst a host of claimants.

As we have seen all too often in recent history, such as in the Middle East, the United States’ foreign policy has focused on the dissolution and fragmentation of power and resources of any potential single benefactor other than itself. In extremely simplified terms, it is a classic divide and conquer strategy. Sowing discord and disagreement in a regional dispute, while inserting an outside international influence of a military nature of magnified proportions, will do nothing but enflame the situation and lead not only to a regional naval arms race, but force all parties to look for a military solution where a combination of diplomacy and proportional military deterrence would have naturally provided a more equitable answer over time.

The simple fact is that the United States realizes that time favors China in this dispute. China has far more resources in diplomatic, economic and military terms to throw at determining this dispute in its favor than all of the other claimants combined. The United States needs to use its military power in a way that nullifies all parties involved and not as a buttress to the claims of those parties that it favors.

Conclusions

The current territorial disputes in the South China Sea have been festering for centuries, but the relatively recent discovery of significant oil and natural gas deposits in the area have added a sense of urgency and veracity that had been historically absent. As the nations in the region scramble for the necessary resources they will need to grow and prosper in the coming decades, they will inevitably be faced with disputes over legal rights to resources and sovereignty, and will be challenged to find a means by which to resolve these disputes. There currently exist both positive and negative influences on both the efforts of de-escalation and conflict resolution.

All parties involved apparently have legitimate claims to certain areas in dispute dependent upon legal grounds and historic precedent. None possess a legitimate claim to all of the areas that they have stipulated should fall under their UNCLOS jurisdiction or sovereignty. China clearly has no legally defensible claim under UNCLOS, or supported by any historical evidence of particular merit to all of the area included in their “Nine Dash Line” claim.

China is relying upon their own ingenuity, industry and force of will to develop these areas and make them their own in very material terms. They are occupying and developing islands that have never been used for human habitation of any significance, by anyone in the course of human history, at a scale that is unprecedented. In such a case, do they not have a claim of sovereignty to these islands, and if they do, to what internationally recognized extent? Does a nation that peacefully develops a previously barren area of the world not have any claim of sovereignty over it, when many nations claim sovereignty over land that has changed hands many times as a result of war and conquest? What legitimizes the claim of the United States to Saipan or Guam, or the claim of Britain to Gibraltar other than the argument of the legitimacy of imperial conquest or the favorable outcome of war in their favor? This is the very status quo foundation of sovereignty that China is challenging.

The United States can use its military might and diplomatic influence to mediate in an impartial manner in the cause of international law and the honorable and indispensable concept of freedom of navigation on the high seas. This would be a welcomed endeavor in the eyes of most nations of the world. The United States can also play a destructive and counterproductive role as the outside agitator and schoolyard bully, as it so often has done in international affairs in recent years. We can only hope that in the U.S., statesmanship and wisdom overcomes imperial hubris, and that in China, pragmatism overcomes ambition.
The original source of this article is South Front
Copyright © Brian Kalman, South Front, 2016
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on July 05, 2016, 06:32:31 PM
Maybe China will start the opening round of WW3 to justify crashing the USD, and starting the gold-backed Yuan to take over reserve currency status, at least in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Oceania and South America.

https://www.rt.com/news/349534-us-china-military-confrontation/ (https://www.rt.com/news/349534-us-china-military-confrontation/)
‘Price to pay for US’: Beijing ready to confront Washington if it intervenes in S.China Sea dispute
5 Jul, 2016

Beijing must prepare to make the US “pay a cost it can’t stand” if it intervenes in the South China Sea dispute by force, a state newspaper editorial has warned, days before a court at The Hague rules on the territorial row between China and the Philippines.

The American military build-up in the South China Sea, including the deployment of two carrier strike groups, comes in defiance of China’s vital interests and represents “a direct threat to national security,” the state-run Global Times said in strongly-worded editorials in its Chinese and English editions on Tuesday.

Beijing should accelerate developing its strategic deterrence capabilities to contain the United States, the newspaper added.

“Even though China cannot keep up with the US militarily in the short-term, it should be able to let the US pay a cost it cannot stand if it intervenes in the South China Sea dispute by force.”

China is a peaceful country that welcomes dialogue on the disputed region, the influential newspaper wrote, “but it must be prepared for any military confrontation.”

The Global Times is believed to have close ties with the government as it operates under the auspices of the Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily.

The Tuesday editorial went online a week ahead of a ruling by the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines. In 2013, the Philippines filed a complaint with the court, asking it to rule on who owns the Spratly Islands, which lie at the heart of economically important shipping routes in the area.

China sees the ruling – which is due to be announced on July 12 – as “posing more threat to the integrity of China's maritime and territorial sovereignty,” the Global Times stated, claiming “the arbitration becomes nothing but a farce.” Beijing has said it will not recognize the ruling.

The Spratly Islands, or Spratlys, comprise more than 750 islets, atolls and reefs, and lie off the coastlines of Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and China, with all the claimants having their own national names for the archipelago.
China runs military drills near Paracel Islands

Prior to The Hague court’s ruling, Beijing announced it will conduct a routine naval exercise covering an area east of China’s Hainan Island all the way up to and including the Paracel Islands (known as Xisha in Chinese), another disputed area. The drill will run from Tuesday to July 11, and will involve two Chinese guided-missile destroyers, the Shenyang and Ningbo, as well as a frigate, the Chaozhou, according to the People’s Daily.

The exercise has sparked fears across the region, but “could be regarded as a countermeasure” to the US efforts “to press China militarily and politically,” the Global Times’ editorial said.

Over the past few years, Beijing has reclaimed several atolls and built up military installations on the group of disputed islands in the South China Sea. Washington has accused China of “aggressive behavior” in the region, sending warships to enforce what it calls freedom of navigation in international waters.

China’s President Xi Jinping says Beijing has no plans to attack anyone, but will continue its policy of active defense.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on July 07, 2016, 12:44:16 AM
After the editorial in People's Daily (above), now a top Chinese diplomat has made China's position crystal clear in a speech at a forum in Washington, and is sending the Navy into the zone.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-06/china-warns-price-pay-south-china-sea (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-06/china-warns-price-pay-south-china-sea)
China Warns Of "Price To Pay" In South China Sea
Tyler Durden
Jul 7, 2016

After all of the posturing that the US and China have been doing in recent months as it relates to the South China Sea, the time is drawing near for The Hague to issue a decision on one of the main sources of the tension, namely a maritime complaint that the Philippines filed against China back in 2013.

As a quick reminder, many countries have claims that overlap each other in the South China Sea, and China in particular has decided that its claim trumps any others. In June, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter went to Singapore and made it known that the US was going to "remain the most powerful military and main underwriter of security in the region for decades to come, and there should be no doubts about that", adding that China was in danger of "erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation" if it continued its actions. Subsequently China threatened to leave the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea if The Hague didn't side with China in its ruling, saying that type of ruling would be the worst outcome of the dispute.

Against that backdrop, The Hague is set to release its ruling on July 12, and Beijing is preparing fully for the decision, as it announced that it will be conducting military drills between July 5 - July 11 in the disputed waters. "The drills are a very symbolic expression of China's resolve. It is definitely also responding to the recent American warships patrolling in the South China Sea." Zhu Feng, dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Nanjing University said.

Not only is Beijing conducting military drills, but The People's Daily, a flagship newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party on Wednesday warned Washington that there would be a "price" to pay if it crosses China's "bottom line" by meddling in disputes over the South China Sea. As Military.com reports, the paper said that the US should recognize that there is a bottom line with every issue, and the US would bear all responsibility for any further escalation of the already high tensions between the two countries.

From Military.com

    The People's Daily editorial comes as Beijing ramps up efforts to assert its stance ahead of a ruling by an international tribunal in a case filed by the Philippines challenging China's claims to most of the South China Sea. China is boycotting the case before The Hague-based court and says it will not accept the verdict.

    The paper said that bilateral ties and regional stability were at stake and that the U.S. should recognize that "there is a bottom line with every issue, and a price will be paid if that line is crossed."

    "If the United States, regardless of the cost, chooses the path of 'brinkmanship' that pressures and intimidates others, there will be only one result, that is, that the U.S. bears all the responsibility for possibly further heightening tensions in the South China Sea," the editorial said.

    "China has a solid-rock position over safeguarding China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It will not want anything that does not belong to it, but it will ensure that every inch of land it owns is safe and sound," the paper wrote.

In perhaps the most direct language yet on the matter, Dai Bingguo, a top Chinese diplomat made it crystal clear in a speech at a forum in Washington that China has had enough of the US and its activity in the region.

To begin with, Dia states that that if a decision comes from the arbitration ruling that goes against China, the ruling will not be accepted to begin with.

    By taking a position of not participating in or accepting the arbitration, China is upholding its own rights and interests under international law and safeguarding the integrity and authority of the UNCLOS. We hope that the US side will take an objective and fair approach regarding the arbitration, rather than criticizing China for upholding the UNCLOS from the position of a non-state party. The final award of the arbitration, which will come out in the next few days, amounts to nothing more than a piece of paper. China suffered enough from hegemonism, power politics and bullying by Western Powers since modern times. The Versailles peace conference at the end of World War I forced a sold-out of Shandong Province. The Lytton Commission, sent by the League of Nations when Japan invaded China's northeast provinces, only served to justify Japan's invasion. Even the US-led negotiations on San Francisco Peace Treaty excluded China. These episodes are still vivid in our memory. That is why China will grip its own future on issues of territorial sovereignty, and will never accept any solution imposed by a third party.

Dai went on to say that the situation in the South China Sea needs to cool down, calling for the Philippines to not react further if China ignores the ruling, and also noting that the US and China actually have no territorial dispute in the region and that relations should not be defined by mishandling of the issue. Said otherwise, the US is meddling where it doesn't belong, as it has no territorial claim in the region.

    The temperature of the South China Sea is now high enough. Some people even clamored for "fight tonight". If such momentum went unchecked, accidents could happen and the South China Sea might sink into chaos and so might the entire Asia. Should that happen, it will be countries around the South China Sea, the Asian countries and even the US itself that will suffer. We must not let this happen, and not allow Asia to become another West Asia and North Africa. Anyone intent on fueling the flames and unleashing disastrous outcomes will be held accountable by history.

    Cooling down temperatures in the South China Sea requires concrete efforts by all countries concerned.

    First, the urgent priority is to stop the arbitration case initiated by the Philippines. If the tribunal insisted on its way and produced an "award", no one and no country should implement the award in any form, much less to force China into implementation. And the Philippines must be dissuaded from making any further provocation. Otherwise, China would not sit idle.

    Second, China and the US have neither disputes over even one inch of territory nor fundamental clash of interests in the South China Sea. The South China Sea issue should not be allowed to define China-US relations. Rather, this issue should be put in perspective against larger bilateral relations and be transformed into an area of cooperation rather than arena for confrontation. We must forestall undue disruptions or damages to the overall China-US relations as a result of differences over this issue. The people of China and the US will not forgive us, if we let the basically sound China-US relations cultivated by both sides over the past forty years be ruined by mis-judgment and mishandling over this issue.

The US's intervention in the region was also discussed, with Dai calling for the US to scale back its "heavy-handed" intervention, and making it clear that China would not be intimidated, even if the US sent "all the ten aircraft carriers to the South China Sea." Dai warned that the risk to the US is being dragged into trouble against its own will, and would "pay an unexpectedly heavy price."

    Third, the US's heavy-handed intervention in the South China Sea issue needs to be scaled back. There is deep concern about the US continued reinforcement of its military alliances in the Asia-Pacific and forward deployment of its military assets. Since last year, the US has intensified its close-in reconnaissance and "Freedom of Navigation" operations targeted at China. The rhetoric of a few people in the US has become blatantly confrontational. How would you feel if you were Chinese and read in the newspapers or watch on TV reports and footages about US aircraft carriers, naval ships and fighter jets flexing muscles right at your doorstep and hear a senior US military official telling the troops to be ready "to fight tonight"? Wouldn't you consider it unhelpful to the US image in the world? This is certainly not the way China and the US should interact with each other.

    Having said that, we in China would not be intimidated by the US actions, not even if the US sent all the ten aircraft carriers to the South China Sea. Furthermore, US intervention on the issue has led some countries to believe that the US is on their side and they stand to gain from the competition between major countries. As a result, we have seen more provocations from these countries, adding uncertainties and escalating tensions in the South China Sea. This, in fact, is not in the interest of the US. The risk for the US is that it may be dragged into trouble against its own will and pay an unexpectedly heavy price. Hopefully, the countries, whose recent course of action has been driven by reckless impulse, will engage in some cool-headed thinking and realize that China has been living alongside them peacefully as a friendly neighbor for several thousand years. Neither had this neighbor invaded anyone nor interfered in any country's internal affairs. Neither is this neighbor pursuing any regime change nor building confrontational political or military blocs. All China's endeavors are focused on protecting its sovereignty, security and development interests and it has no intention to seek dominance or hegemony. Those countries will eventually see that it is the friendly China that will remain their neighbor for generations to come instead of some faraway superpower.

Dai ended the speech by saying that in the end, he believes that China and the US will be able to work together and embrace the future.

    Wang Anshi, a famous Chinese poet who lived in the Northern Song Dynasty wrote, "We should not be afraid of the clouds blocking our view, because we already are at the highest elevation." It means that only by adopting a strategic vision and minimizing distractions can one understand where the trend is moving. In a globalized world full of opportunities and challenges, as the biggest developing and developed countries and the world's two largest economies, China and the US shoulder more common responsibilities and face more common challenges in driving world economic recovery and promoting international peace and security. There is so much potential of cooperation yet to be tapped. What we need is not a microscope to enlarge our differences, but a telescope to look ahead and focus on cooperation. Both Chinese and Americans are great nations with insight and vision. As long as the two sides work for common interests, respect each other, treat each other as equals, have candid dialogue, and expand common ground, China and the US will be able to manage differences and find the key to turning those issues into opportunities of working together. I have no doubt that China-US relations will embrace a great future.

* * *

If that speech (in full here) doesn't let the United States know precisely where China stands and its level of frustration then nothing will. We eagerly await the verdict from The Hague, as at that point there could be far more issues in the world than how to trade Brexit.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Ruralone on July 07, 2016, 03:12:59 AM
After the editorial in People's Daily (above), now a top Chinese diplomat has made China's position crystal clear in a speech at a forum in Washington, and is sending the Navy into the zone.


We have hit Peak BS, and everybody knows it. But, the music is still playing while the chairs are fast disappearing.
Title: Beijing’s claims to South China Sea rejected by international tribunal
Post by: RE on July 12, 2016, 03:50:10 AM
Will the Chinese take this lying down?

RE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/beijing-remains-angry-defiant-and-defensive-as-key-south-china-sea-tribunal-ruling-looms/2016/07/12/11100f48-4771-11e6-8dac-0c6e4accc5b1_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/beijing-remains-angry-defiant-and-defensive-as-key-south-china-sea-tribunal-ruling-looms/2016/07/12/11100f48-4771-11e6-8dac-0c6e4accc5b1_story.html)


Beijing’s claims to South China Sea rejected by international tribunal


(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/07/12/Foreign/Images/AFP_D383M-3495.jpg?uuid=ZRmNJEgJEeasvE1IcKB52g)

Crew members of China's South Sea Fleet taking part in a drill in the Xisha Islands, or the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea in May. (Str/AFP/Getty Images)
By Simon Denyer and Emily Rauhala July 12 at 5:45 AM

BEIJING — An international tribunal has ruled that China does not have historic rights to justify its expansive claims to the South China Sea, in a major blow to Beijing.

China has repeatedly made it clear it will not accept, recognize nor implement Tuesday’s ruling on the South China Sea, the hotly contested waterway that contains some of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

But the verdict, which came in strongly in favor of the Philippines and against China, will nevertheless undermine its claim to sovereignty under the nine-dash line which it draws around most of the South China Sea.

The tribunal ruled that “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources ... within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line’.”

In a statement, the Philippines’ secretary of foreign affairs welcomed the ruling, calling it a “milestone,” but urging “restraint and sobriety” among all concerned.

“The verdict is the best case scenario that few thought possible,” said Richard Javad Heydarian, an assistant professor of political science at Manila’s De La Salle University.

“It is a clean sweep for the Philippines, with the tribunal rejecting China's nine-dashed line and historical rights claim as well as censuring its aggressive activities in the area and, among others, the ecological damage caused by its reclamation activity.”

Hours before the verdict was announced, China repeated its rejection of the tribunal's jurisdiction.

“The so-called arbitration tribunal, from the very beginning, was established on the basis of illegal behaviors and appeals of the Philippines,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a news conference before the ruling came out. “Its existence does not have legitimacy. Any ruling it might make will be illegal and invalid.”

The tribunal was never going to completely resolve the dispute over maritime sovereignty. But the strong ruling could inflame regional tensions, and whether it leads to more friction between China and the United States.
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The Philippines took China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague in January 2013 after the Chinese navy seized control of Scarborough Shoal, a largely submerged chain of reefs and rocks set amid rich fishing grounds off the main Philippine island of Luzon.

The United States has been leading international calls for China to respect the tribunal’s decision, and the issue has become a key test of its ability to maintain its leading role in Asian security in the face of China’s rising power.
Why China is militarizing the South China Sea
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China has laid claim to a number of islands in the South China Sea, building airbases on tiny spits of land while installing powerful radar and missile launchers. Here's why. (Jason Aldag, Julie Vitkovskaya/The Washington Post / Satellite photos courtesy of CSIS)

Beijing has refused to participate in the arbitration process, and instead launched a global propaganda campaign to make its case. Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted as telling his counterpart John Kerry last week the process was a “farce,” while his ministry says you have to be delusional to think China will bow to diplomatic pressure to accept the ruling.

Some $5 trillion in commerce, roughly one third of global trade, flow through the waters of the South China Sea every year, while its fisheries account for 12 percent of the global catch and significant oil and gas reserves are thought to exist under the sea floor. Yet the waters are some of the most fiercely disputed in the world, with claims to various parts staked by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

China’s nine-dash line, a version of which first appeared on its maps in 1947, loops through the vast majority of the South China Sea, and Beijing uses it to claim sovereignty over almost all the islands, reefs and rocks in the South China Sea.

Beijing says its sovereignty claims date back hundreds of years and are “indisputable.” In the past two years it has undertaken a massive land reclamation process in the sea, turning seven reefs and rocks into nascent military outposts, with several airstrips and radar installations under construction.

But the tribunal also backed the Philippines submission that none of those features are islands — as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS).

Only natural (rather than artificially constructed) islands that can sustain human habitation qualify for both 12-nautical miles of territorial waters and 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) under UNCLOS.
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In other words, the ruling drastically undermines China’s claim to the waters surrounding the island bases it is in the process of building.

China says the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to rule on Manila’s various submissions, and says it has abused its powers.

In Washington last week, former senior official Dai Bingguo derided the ruling as “nothing more than a scrap of paper,” a refrain eagerly echoed by state media here. China also argues that the Philippines had previously agreed to resolve the dispute bilaterally.

But its legal case is undermined by a key provision in UNCLOS, which states that the tribunal alone can decide if it has the jurisdiction to rule on issues before it. In October last year, the tribunal decided it indeed had jurisdiction to rule on several key issues brought by Manila. The tribunal’s decision is legally binding, but it lacks any mechanism to enforce its rulings.

In rejecting the decision, Beijing is certainly not alone. No permanent member of the U.N. Security Council has ever complied with a ruling by the PCA on the Law of the Sea, wrote Graham Allison, director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. "In fact, none of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have ever accepted any international court's ruling when (in their view) it infringed on their sovereignty or national security interests, Allison wrote in The Diplomat.

The United States has never ratified UNCLOS, and rejected a 1980 verdict at the International Court of Justice ordering it to pay reparations to Nicaragua for mining its harbors, he noted.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu accused the United States of "using international law when it favors itself while discarding it when it does not."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu accused the United States of "using international law when it favors itself while discarding it when it does not."

Nevertheless, the case is an important indication of China's willingness to submit itself to international law as its clout grows, and a sign of what kind of global power it wants to become.
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Despite its efforts to dismiss and discredit the process, Beijing was certainly far from indifferent about the result, analysts said.

What happens next will depend on how the key players — China, the Philippines and the U.S. — react.

The United States has already conducted several “freedom of navigation” exercises in the South China Sea, sending warships within 12 nautical miles of islands, reefs and rocks controlled by China and other claimants. It is also rebuilding military ties with the Philippines. China cites this as evidence that it is President Obama’s actions — not its island-building – that are responsible for militarizing the region.

Last week, the U.S. Navy said it had also sent destroyers to patrol close to some of the islands and reefs held by China, although those ships stayed just outside the 12-nautical-mile zone. Washington might decide to step up its patrols after the ruling.

China, meanwhile, could attempt to reinforce its de facto control by declaring an Air Defense Identification Zone over the South China Sea, under which any incoming aircraft would supposedly have to first declare their presence to Chinese authorities. Another option might be to build a new military base on Scarborough Shoal.

“If China declares an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, the U.S. is likely to challenge it with military fly-bys,” Yanmie Xie and Tom Johnston of the International Crisis Group wrote before the decision was announced. “If the U.S. conducts more frequent and higher profile freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-held reefs, Beijing may feel compelled to intercept or even evict U.S. vessels. The risk of military clashes is small but cannot be ruled out.”

Yet there are also good reasons for all sides to react cautiously.

China hosts a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in September, and is unlikely to want the meeting to take place amid an intense row over the South China Sea.

It is also likely to want time to gauge the reaction from Manila, where newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has sent mixed signals over the

issue.

Early in his presidential campaign, Duterte, a long-time mayor with limited foreign policy experience, implied he might be willing to soften his stance on China in return for Chinese infrastructure spending. Later, in a play to nationalist sentiment, he promised to ride a Jetski to Scarborough Shoal to plant the Philippine flag.

Since his inauguration, he has struck a more cautious tone. His challenge will be to appear strong at home to satisfy national pride, without needlessly angering Beijing.

Gu Jinglu, Xu Yangjingjing and Xu Jing in Beijing and Michael Goe Delizo in Manila contributed to this report.

Read more

China believes it is the real victim in the South China Sea dispute]

U.S. ‘hypocrisy’ and Chinese cash strengthen Beijing’s hand in South China Sea]

Storm clouds gather over South China Sea ahead of key U.N. ruling]

Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on July 13, 2016, 07:44:07 PM
To add to the irony, not only is the US not a signatory to the UNCLOS convention, but NONE of the permanent Security Council members have ever recognised any ruling of the arbitration court that went against them, and yet the US is roundly condemning China.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/350809-between-rock-sea-south-china/ (https://www.rt.com/op-edge/350809-between-rock-sea-south-china/)
Between a rock and a hard (South China) place
Pepe Escobar
12 Jul, 2016

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, backed by the UN, essentially ruled that there is no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to vast sections of the South China Sea included in the ‘nine-dash line’.

Here it is, in full legalese: “China’s claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction, with respect to the maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant part of the ‘nine-dash line’ are contrary to the Convention and without lawful effect to the extent that they exceed the geographic and substantive limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention.”

Well, nothing is black and white in such an immensely complex case. The Philippines were advised by a powerhouse Anglo-American legal team. China had “no agents or representatives appointed.”

Beijing argues that all the attention over the South China Sea revolves around conflicting sovereign claims over islands/rocks/reefs and related maritime delimitations - over which the court has no jurisdiction. Attributing territorial sovereignty over maritime features in the South China Sea goes beyond the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Beijing does abide by Article 298 of UNCLOS – which excludes compulsory arbitration on maritime boundaries. This, by the head of the Chinese mission to the EU, Yang Yanyi, is a fair summary of the Chinese position. And in fact the court did not allocate any islands/rocks/reefs/outcrops to disputing nations; what it did was to point towards which maritime “features” are capable - under international law - of generating territorial rights over surrounding seas.

What transpired in The Hague certainly won’t solve the riddle, as argued here. Beijing had already made it very clear, even before the ruling, it would fiercely reject all findings.

Yet now the narrative is being calibrated; Beijing is open for talks, as long as Manila sets the ruling aside. Jay Batongbacal, from the University of the Philippines, cuts to the heart of the issue: “Publicly stating that junking the arbitration is a condition for resuming negotiations gives no room for face-saving on either side.”

And face-saving – the Asian way – must now be the name of the game. New Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte - a.k.a. 'The Punisher,' due to his stint as a crime-busting mayor of Davao City – does have an agenda, which is to improve his country’s appalling infrastructure. And guess where crucial investment would have to come from.

So Duterte’s domestic reform agenda points to economic cooperation, not confrontation, with China. He already gave – contradictory – signs he would be willing to visit Beijing and strike a deal. Undoubtedly, however, he would have a hard time convincing Beijing to stop military-related construction in the South China Sea, as well as not imposing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

But he might have a shot at proposing the sharing of natural resources, as in the vast South China Sea wealth of unexplored oil and gas. Yes, because once again the South China Sea is all about energy – much more than the roughly $4.5 trillion of shipping trade that traverses it every year; “freedom of navigation” has always been more than assured for all. For Beijing, the South China Sea is an all-out energy must have, as it would constitute, in the long run, another key factor in the “escape from Malacca” master plan of diversifying energy sources away from a bottleneck that can be easily shut off by the US Navy.

Now, with the US Navy already intruding and over-flying the South China Sea, the stakes cannot but get higher.

The absolute majority of the islands/rocks/rocky islets/reefs/shoals claimed by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan in the South China Sea are uninhabited – with some of them underwater at low tide. They may cover a total of just a few square kilometers – but are spread out over an immense 2 million square kilometers of sea, and included in China’s ‘nine-dash line’, which claims sovereignty over the majority of island chains and nearby waters.

So in this key department regarding the question: 'Who’s the rightful, sovereign owner of certain islands in the South China Sea,' the ruling was a major blow to Beijing. Justification had always relied on historical texts, ranging from the 4th century BC to the Tang and Qin dynasties. During the – short - Republic of China period, 291 islands, reefs and banks were mapped and qualified as part of the ‘nine-dash line’ in 1947.

So ‘Red’ China, in 1949, actually inherited a claim made by the rival Republic of China. Fast forward to 1958, when China under Mao issued a declaration framing its territorial waters within the ‘nine-dash line’ - encompassing the Spratly Islands. Adding to historic irony, North Vietnam’s then prime minister, Pham Van Dong, agreed with then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai.

Now it’s a completely different story. Even though Beijing and Taipei continue to agree, China and Vietnam are on opposite sides. The Hague ruled, “There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.” An extra problem is that Beijing never really explained what the line meant, legally.

The Hague also downgraded what could be seen as islands to the status of a bunch of rocks. Thus they are not territory-generating. Most of the South China Sea in fact is declared as neutral international waters.

So if we’re talking about rocks, their surrounding territorial sea stops at a mere 12 nautical miles. And they obviously don’t qualify for exclusive economic zone (EEZ) status, with a radius of 200 nautical miles.

If no EEZs apply to the Spratlys, what may happen in the near future is that Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam could each draw their own EEZ-style lines from their major islands or coastline into that section of the South China Sea - and claim the respective rights.

The ruling does spell trouble for the Mischief and Subi reefs – the two biggest land “formations” in the South China Sea after massive Chinese reclamation. Now they have been downgraded to “low-tide elevations” – they only emerge above water at low tide. This means these two major Chinese bases in the Spratlys would have no territorial sea, no EEZ, nothing, apart from a 500-metre safety zone surrounding them.

And then there’s the extraordinary case of Taiping - the largest “island” in the Spratlys, with an area of about half a square kilometer. Taiping is occupied by the Republic of China, which as everyone knows is not recognized as a sovereign nation by the UN, by the court in The Hague, or by any other Southeast Asian nation for that matter.

Beijing never questioned Taipei’s claim over Taiping. But as Taiwan is part of China, even without physically occupying Taiping, Beijing could still claim the right to draw an EEZ.

The Philippines, for its part, argued that Taiping has neither civilian habitation nor sustainable economic life, because it is a military garrison. The Hague agreed. So Taiping island was also downgraded to “rock” status. No 200 nautical miles EEZ then, which would reach very close to the Philippines’ Palawan province.

So in a nutshell there seem to be no “islands” left among the more than 100 “rocks” in the Spratlys. Time to call them the Spratly Rocks then?

According to the court, none of the Spratlys were “capable of generating extended maritime zones … [and] having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the tribunal found that it could — without delimiting a boundary — declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China.”

Ouch. As if this was not enough, The Hague also condemned China’s land reclamation projects – all of them - and the construction of artificial islands at seven “rocks” in the Spratlys, stating these had caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species.”

Since 2012, all of the Paracel Islands have been under Chinese control. As for the Spratlys, they are a mixed bag; Vietnam occupies 21 “features”, the Philippines 9, China 7, and Malaysia 5. The song, though, remains the same; sovereignty issues cannot be settled under international law, as they all fall outside of The Hague’s jurisdiction.

So what happens next – apart from endless haggling about the conclusions? Beijing and Manila must talk - in a manner that Beijing saves face; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should step up its game and act as a mediator. That does not mean China will cease to create “facts on the sea” – as in most of the South China Sea. After all, they’ve got the (military) power. With or without a ‘nine-dash line’. And be it over islands, reefs, “low-tide elevations” or a bunch of rocks.
Title: Just Where Exactly Did China Get the South China Sea Nine-Dash Line From?
Post by: RE on July 19, 2016, 01:37:32 AM
This whole stupid dispute echoes the problem with "Land Ownership".  It is ludicrous to say that anyone "owns" the sea.

What people "own" is what they can control, and this is done by force.  China is saying they are powerful enough to control this piece of the Global Oceans, which essentially the FSoA as the Big Swinging Dick Naval Power disputes.  So either somebody backs down on this, or there will be a lot of expensive naval hardware from both sides littering the floor of the South China Sea.

RE

http://time.com/4412191/nine-dash-line-9-south-china-sea/ (http://time.com/4412191/nine-dash-line-9-south-china-sea/)

World China
Just Where Exactly Did China Get the South China Sea Nine-Dash Line From?

    Hannah Beech / Shanghai @hkbeech

2:30 AM ET

(https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/gettyimages-546352628.jpg?quality=75&strip=color&w=1680)
Citizens Visit Nanjing Ocean National Defense Education Museum
VCG/Getty Images A guide stands in front of the 3-D map of South China Sea at Nanjing Ocean National Defense Education Museum on July 12, 2016, in Nanjing, China
China's territorial claims in the South China Sea are made on the basis of a nine-dash line now ruled spurious by an international court. But where did the line originate from and why is Beijing so sensitive about it?

First the dotted line on Chinese maps lost two of its hyphens in 1952, when, in a moment of socialist bonhomie with Vietnam, Chairman Mao Zedong abandoned Chinese claims to the Gulf of Tonkin. Then, on July 12, 2016, an international tribunal ruled that the now nine-dash demarcation could not be used by Beijing to make historic claims to the South China Sea, parts of which are claimed by six governments. The line, first inscribed on a Chinese map in 1947, had “no legal basis” for maritime claims, deemed the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. Beijing reacted with outrage to the judgment, which delegitimized China’s maritime ambitions according to international law.

On July 18, China’s naval chief Wu Shengli told the visiting U.S. chief of naval operations that Beijing would not halt its controversial campaign to turn the contested South China Sea reefs it controls into artificial islands complete with military-ready airstrips. China “will never give up halfway” on its island-building efforts, said Wu, according to Chinese state media. Also on Monday, the Chinese air force announced that it had sent bombers on “normal battle patrols” over Scarborough Shoal, a disputed reef that Beijing effectively seized from Manila in 2012. Analysts worry that China could next build on Scarborough Shoal, placing a militarized Chinese island off the Philippine coast. Far from hewing to the international court’s July 12 judgement on the nine-dash line, and contested features within that boundary, Beijing has made clear it considers the award null and void.

Wang Ying, a Chinese marine geographer, also feels aggrieved by the tribunal’s award. “They didn’t respect history,” she says, of the international court. “I totally agree with the response of our government.” The 81-year-old member of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences is the disciple of Yang Huairen, a Chinese geographer who, in 1947, helped etch the U-shaped, 11-dash line on Chinese maps to demarcate roughly 90% of the contested South China Sea for his homeland. “All the lines have a scientific basis,” says Wang, who still teaches at Nanjing University in eastern China. “I’m a scientist, not someone in politics.”

Although the phrase nine-dash line is used commonly outside of China — to the point where an international arbitration court was asked by the Philippines to adjudicate on its legality — the words rarely appear in official Chinese media. Research by David Bandurski of the China Media Project in Hong Kong found that through July 12, the phrase was only used in six articles in the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. After the tribunal’s judgment was made, state media began a campaign to defend China’s maritime claims, encapsulated by the phrase “not one [dash] less.”

Wang says the line is broken up because it’s a maritime boundary. “It’s not like a fixed borderline on land,” she explains. “As a scientist, I’d say it’s impossible to have a fixed border on the sea … the waves in the ocean move.” Wang also contends that the dotted line is a “very clear” divide between the deep ocean that is China’s domain and a Southeast Asia that doesn’t have much in the way of a continental shelf. (Southeast Asian nations like Vietnam, which has a long continental shelf, would disagree.) “When we made the line, we stressed a humanitarian spirit,” Wang says. “We allow the neighboring countries to pass through it without obstacles.” (In fact, international maritime law allows for such transit.)
DigitalGlobe overview imagery comparing Fiery Cross Reef from May 31, 2014 to June 3, 2016. Fiery Cross is located in the western part of the Spratly Islands group in the South China Sea. Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images.
DigitalGlobe/Getty Images DigitalGlobe overview imagery comparing Fiery Cross Reef from May 31, 2014, to June 3, 2016. Fiery Cross is located in the western part of the Spratly Islands group.

Humanitarian spirit was not shown to Yang, Wang’s mentor. Born in 1917 and educated in Britain, Yang was employed by the Nationalist government of China. As politicians looked to strengthen a nation emerging from war and privation, Yang began cataloguing what the Kuomintang government claimed were China’s maritime treasures. In 1947, he worked on the map introducing the 11-dash line and 286 bits of rock and turf in the South China Sea. Yang helped to officially name each chunk of rock and reef, referring to the territory collectively as the “South China Sea Islands.” But two years later, the Nationalists lost to the communists in China’s civil war. During the Cultural Revolution, Yang was persecuted as an “antirevolutionary academic authority” because of his association with the defeated nationalists. “He never talked about the line he made in the South China Sea again,” says Wang of her academic guide’s latter years. “He was treated badly.” (Yang died in 2009.)

Wang nurtures other historic grievances. Chairman Mao’s decision, through Premier Zhou Enlai, to hand over the Gulf of Tonkin to Vietnam in 1952, thereby removing two of the 11 South China Sea dashes, still rankles. “It was stupid,” she says. “Mao Zedong should not have given it up.” By contrast, she contends, Mao went to war with India over a border tiff. Why the difference? “China was a continental kingdom not a maritime one,” she says. “Historically, we did not pay much attention to the oceans.” Indeed, after a burst of seafaring exploration during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), China’s emperors largely shut their empire off from the seas. As a consequence, Wang says, cartographic proof of China’s claims to the South China Sea is scarce. “We had no good maps during the Qing dynasty,” she says of the imperial age that replaced the Ming and ended in 1911. “The Qing just showed the South China Sea as a small lake.”

Still, like other Chinese scholars, Wang contends that plenty of historical evidence supports Beijing’s claims of ancient sovereignty over the South China Sea — from pottery shards to navigational handbooks used by Chinese fishermen. Of course, other nations that share the waterway, such as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, have their own archeological finds that they say prove their peoples also roamed the South China Sea. Besides, international maritime convention, to which China is party, pays less heed to history when it comes to deciding claims to the sea by nonarchipelagic nations.

For decades, Chinese schoolchildren have been taught that their homeland’s furthest southern reach was the underwater James Shoal (known in Chinese as Zengmu, a transliteration of “James”), which is located around 50 miles off the coast of Malaysia. Waters around the shoal are home to Malaysian oil and gas platforms. This geography lesson notwithstanding, Chinese maps gave scant attention to the South China Sea. That began to change after 2009, when a map with the nine-dash line was attached in a submission to the U.N. during a dispute with Vietnam. Today, Chinese passports are emblazoned with a map with nine dashes through the South China Sea—plus a 10th that ensures Taiwan, to which the Nationalists retreated in 1949, is counted as Chinese territory.

Curiously, though, the dashes on the 2009 map (and on current Chinese passports) are located in slightly different places from those on the original 1947 map. In several cases, the new dashes hug the coasts of other Southeast Asian nations more closely, giving China an even more expansive claim to the waterway “Because the people who made the [newer] map were not strict, they didn’t follow the right image scale,” says geographer Wang. “Some people are not working that rigorously.” And though China also makes territorial claims in the East and Yellow Seas, these specks of land are not marked by dotted boundaries. Dashes, it appears, are reserved for the South China Sea.
CHINA-SOUTH CHINA SEA-MILITARY EXERCISE(CN)
Xinhua News Agency—Xinhua News Agency/Getty ImagesMissile destroyer Guangzhou launches an air-defense missile during a military exercise in the water area near south China’s Hainan Island and Xisha islands on July 8, 2016

Ultimately, it’s not even clear what the nine-dash line means to China. Is it all water within the boundary or all territorial features? For the average Chinese, every drop of sea within the dashes is clearly China’s. “The discontinuous line,” says Wang, “means the national border on the sea.” The geographer clarifies further. “The dash lines mean the ocean, islands and reefs all belong to China and that China has sovereign rights,” she says. “But it’s discontinuous, meaning that other countries can pass through the lines freely.”

Certainly, some of China’s actions seem to support that definition of the line. In 2012, a fleet of Chinese maritime surveillance cutters patrolled the South China Sea in what was dubbed a “regular rights defense patrol.” A Chinese state TV crew was brought along for part of the ride. Andrew Chubb, a Ph.D. student at University of Western Australia who studies Chinese policy on the South China Sea, noted in his research that the route that Chinese ships took, which was documented on state TV, echoed the nine-dash line. Chinese audiences would be left with the natural impression that the dotted demarcation was the extent of Chinese sovereignty. In addition, as recently as 2012, Chinese boats cut seismic cables used for energy exploration by Vietnam. The cable-cutting occurred near the western extent of the nine-dash line, again suggesting that these waters were China’s.

But international maritime law, which was formed after China’s dotted line was created, doesn’t see it that way. Even if China controlled every contested Spratly rock and reef — currently Beijing holds a minority of all Spratly features, which they have built into artificial islands — the law of the sea would not give China rights to all waters within the nine-dash line. Back in 2014, Wu Shichun, the influential head of the Chinese government-funded National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told TIME that the nine-dash line did not represent a blanket claim to all maritime space. “China has never claimed all waters in the U-shaped line,” he said. “From the historical archives from Taiwan and China, it’s clear that the line shows ownership of insular features within the U-shaped line.” A government statement reacting to the July 12 award may hint that official policy agrees that the line denotes all territory within the dotted demarcation, not all waters. Either way, the fact that ambiguity remains at all proves the complicated legacy of the nine-dash line.

Meanwhile, tensions remain in the wake of the July 12 ruling. The Philippines, which lodged the case against China with the international tribunal in 2013, had said it would dispatch a former President to Beijing to negotiate on South China Sea issues. But on Tuesday Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay told local broadcaster ABS-CBN that Beijing’s wish not to discuss the international tribunal’s judgment made bilateral talks tough. A day earlier, Beijing announced another set of military drills in the South China Sea, following live-fire action earlier in the month. China is cordoning off part of the South China Sea for war games from July 19 to 21. Entrance to these waters by foreign ships, China’s Maritime Safety Administration said, will be “prohibited.”

— With reporting by Yang Siqi / Beijing
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on July 29, 2016, 07:12:41 AM
China raises the stakes.

http://zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-28/russia-and-china-will-hold-joint-naval-drills-contested-south-china-sea (http://zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-28/russia-and-china-will-hold-joint-naval-drills-contested-south-china-sea)
Russia And China Will Hold Joint Naval Drills In Contested South China Sea
Tyler Durden
Jul 29, 2016

When on July 12 we described the symbolic, if utterly meaningless ruling by the Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 12, according to which China had no legal claim on most of the South China Sea (obviously, a ruling that China said repeatedly both before and after it would ignore), we said that "Ironically, in attempting to stem China's territorial expansions in the region, the tribunal will likely just provoke Beijing even more."

Just over two weeks later we got the first official confirmation that this is precisely what has happened, when overnight China's Defense Ministry announced that China and Russia would hold "routine" naval exercises in the contested area in the South China Sea this coming September, "adding that the drills were aimed at strengthening their cooperation and were not aimed at any other country."

Translation: the drills are aimed at the US, whose diplomatic relationship with "uber hacker" Russia is the worst it has been since the cold war, and whose ties with China have been deteriorating over the past several years, and culminating with July's ruling which clearly pinpointed the biggest geopolitical tension point - the South China Sea.

As Reuters trivially adds, "the exercises come at a time of heightened tension in the contested waters after an arbitration court in The Hague ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and criticized its environmental destruction there. China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case."

"This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership," China's defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a regular monthly news conference.

"The exercise is not directed against third parties."

Of course, it isn't.

While China and an isolated by the west Russia, have been developing increasingly closer commercial ties over the past several years, including bilateral currency swaps, a major natural gas pipeline, and joint exploration projects, so far the two countries had not had a chance to demontrate the tight nature of their Eurasian geopolitical "axis." Furthermore, China and Russia are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, and have held similar views on many major issues such as the crisis in Syria. This has repeatedly put them at odds with the United States and Western Europe.

Last year, they held joint military drills in the Sea of Japan and the Mediterranean. However, nowhere has the tension been higher than in the South China Sea, which is precisely where China will show the US how is boss. And it will have Russia by its side.

Naturally, White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the significance of the exercises even though he conceded that the South China Sea was "a sensitive diplomatic topic right now".

"I don't know what exercises they are planning, but in the same way the United States and China have a military-to-military relationship, I'm not surprised that Russia and China are seeking to build upon their military-to-military relationship as well," he told a regular briefing.

The question then is whose military-to-military relationship is more important to Beijing.

China has recently taken part in U.S.-led multinational naval drills in the Pacific and a U.S. defense official said he did not expect the China-Russia exercises to affect U.S. military activity or behavior in the South China Sea.

“We're not concerned about the safety of U.S. vessels in the region as long as interactions with the Chinese remain safe and professional, which has been the case in most cases,” the official said. Except for those cases in which it wasn't.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stoking tension in the region through its military patrols, and of taking sides in the dispute. The United States has sought to assert its right to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea with its patrols and denies taking sides in the territorial disputes.

And this is why September's drills are important: Russia has been a strong backer of China's stance on the arbitration case, which was brought by the Philippines. Yang said China and Russia were comprehensive strategic partners and had already held many exercises this year.

"These drills deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation, raise the ability to jointly deal with security threats, and benefit the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability," he said.

And, as time goes by, Russia and China will only become closer strategic partners, to the exclusion of the US and Washington's own Pacific Rim sphere of influence.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on October 23, 2016, 04:00:46 PM
The US's first response to the new friendship between China and Philippines was to sail a destroyer through Xisha/Paracel Islands, claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.  Same old thing - resorting to military muscle-flexing.

Then People's Daily carried this opinion piece, but only in short form on-line at http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/1022/c90000-9131304.html (http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/1022/c90000-9131304.html)
Sister publication Global Times has the English translation of the full piece:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1013206.shtml (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1013206.shtml)
China will never allow US to run amok in South China Sea: People’s Daily
Source:People's Daily Published: 2016/10/23 21:49:27

China will never allow the US to run amok in South China Sea waters, the People's Daily asserted in a commentary on Sunday after a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed through the waters of the Xisha Islands on Friday without the Chinese approval. 

What the US did, driven by its hegemonic mentality, cannot increase its influence in Asia-Pacific region, the article said, adding that such acts to stir up enmity and make troubles will only result in the accelerated decline of its global influence.

The Chinese government resolutely opposes such provocative behavior and takes a series of effective counter-measures, added the commentary under the byline of Zhongsheng.

The following is the translation of the article:

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed through Xisha Island waters, part of the South China Sea as Chinese territorial waters, on Friday without the approval of Chinese authorities. The Chinese government resolutely opposes such provocative behavior and will take a series of effective counter-measures.

In the statement of the Chinese government on the territorial sea baseline issued in May 1996, China clarified the baseline of the Xisha Islands. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and other international laws also stipulates that all foreign warships need to gain approval from the Chinese government before entering Chinese waters.

The illegal entry of US warships into Chinese waters without permission seriously violates China's sovereignty and security interests, breaches both Chinese and international laws as well, and poses threats to peace, security as well as order in the relevant waters.

What the US did aims to encroach upon the sovereignty, security and maritime interests of regional countries in the so-called name of a "freedom-of-navigation operation." But such provocative acts once again expose the negative energy of its "Rebalance to Asia" strategy, and at the same time verify the US' role as a real trouble-maker in the South China Sea.

The so-called patrol launched by the US this time came just as China and the Philippines, a country immediately concerned with the South China Sea issue, were restoring their ties. During Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit to China, the two countries inked a series of cooperation agreements.

This US provocation in Chinese territorial waters, at a time when the improvement of ties between China and relevant countries is pulling the South China Sea issue to a encouraging solution, proves that the US has been destabilizing the South China Sea by playing up tensions.

By launching the so-called patrols, the superpower is telling the world that it can tolerate neither a tranquil South China Sea, nor a peaceful and stable Asia-Pacific. Since it cannot find a puppet troublemaker any longer, the exasperated Washington has to create a disturbance by itself.

President Duterte pointed out in a speech that "the US feels a little anxious over China's sound ties with the Philippines," and his remarks revealed the complicated psychology of the US. Its peremptory provocation, as a matter of fact, can be regarded as a way to release its depression and an inertia to maintain its hegemony.

Washington has to realize that it is rightly this hegemonic mentality that has resulted in its declining global influence and inability to provide public goods with positive energy. It also has to admit that the era when one country can dominate an alliance network by creating tensions with lies will never come back.

No one wants to weaken the US' influence in the Asia-Pacific region, but such influence must be based on a positive dedication to common development of the whole region. Its outdated hegemonic mentality is by no means accepted by regional countries who aspire for peace, cooperation and shared progress.

It is well-known that "freedom-of-navigation," often cited by the US as a pretext, is actually a falsehood to allow the country to pursue "absolute freedom" of its own security. But the US should bear in mind the ultimate consequences of seeking absolute security as the country has paid enough bitter prices for its arrogance and ignorance.

The arbitrary decision will certainly bring the country to deadlock, and such a stubborn country may obtain some hard power, but never soft power and smart power.

If the US really wants to be a world power, it can never resort to guns, firearms, separation or fishing in troubled waters. Efforts to expand interests can be shared by all countries. Highfalutin words but obstinate and aggressive deeds will win no respect and trust from other countries.

Over the past years, in a bid to cement its maritime hegemony, the US has been destabilizing regional peace and stability by meddling in the South China Sea, challenging China and alienating ties between China and the Philippines.

Washington has not realized that those tricks cannot overturn the regional trend of peaceful development. As the Philippines once appealed, "We can't be US' 'little brown brother' forever." Its choice to adjust diplomatic policies and reinforce cooperation with China also proves that an unjust cause committed to by the US finds little support.

What's more, the US should not bear any fantasy in terms of the South China Sea issue as this is not its first head-to-head game with China. China has a rock-solid determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. China will not ask for anything not belonging to itself, but it will fight for every inch of its territory within its sovereignty.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the gathering commemorating the 80th anniversary of the conclusion of the Long March (1934-36), urged the entire military to remain vigilant and be aware of its responsibilities, stressing that the modernization of national defense and armed forces must advance in a bid to safeguard the country's national sovereignty, security and development interests.

The US' consolidation of hegemony with military actions will only highlight China's necessity to strengthen defense, and activate China's resolution to improve its capability to safeguard its own interests.

The Chinese army will definitely safeguard China's national sovereignty and security by stepping up patrols based on demand and optimizing its defensive capabilities. China will never allow the US to run amok in the South China Sea, an issue concerning principles.
Title: Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea
Post by: RE on February 05, 2017, 07:43:04 PM
Sunday, Feb 5, 2017 05:30 PM AST
Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea
Hrvoje Hranjski, Associated Press Skip to Comments

Topics: From the Wires, News
Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

(http://media.salon.com/2017/02/south_china_sea_watch_80195.jpg-620x412.jpg)
FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 file photo, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis answers questions during the joint press conference with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo. On his first trip to Asia as secretary of defense, Mattis ruled out a military response to China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea but promised to continue with freedom of navigation operations to oppose Beijing’s occupation of disputed islands. "At this time, we do not see any need for dramatic military moves at all," Mattis told reporters in Tokyo, emphasizing the need for diplomacy. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)(Credit: AP)

BANGKOK (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves:

___

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, home to several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region.

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MATTIS RULES OUT MILITARY RESPONSE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

On his first trip to Asia as secretary of defense, Jim Mattis ruled out a military response to China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea but promised to continue with freedom of navigation operations to oppose Beijing’s occupation of disputed islands.

“At this time, we do not see any need for dramatic military moves at all,” Mattis told reporters in Tokyo, emphasizing the need for diplomacy.

He said that “freedom of navigation operations and other actions by the U.S. forces in the South China Sea contribute to maintaining maritime order based on the rule of law.”

“Freedom of navigation is absolute, and whether it be commercial shipping or our U.S. Navy, we will practice in international waters and transit international waters as appropriate,” he said.

Over China’s objections, U.S. warships have deliberately sailed close to Chinese-occupied features four times since October 2015 in operations meant to enforce Washington’s position that the waters must remain open to international navigation.

China has repeatedly warned the U.S. to stay away from the South China Sea disputes because it is not a claimant.

Mattis also explicitly stated that the Trump administration will stick to the previous U.S. stance that the U.S.-Japan security treaty applies to defending Japan’s continued administration of the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, which are contested by China and also known as the Diaoyu.

In response, China’s Foreign Ministry reasserted its claim of sovereignty over the tiny, uninhabited islands and called on the U.S. to cease “making wrong remarks” over the issue.

In an editorial, the ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times called Mattis’ statement on the South China Sea a “mind-soothing pill.”

“For, at the very least, it dispersed the clouds of war that many feared were gathering over the South China Sea,” the paper said.

___

PHILIPPINES DOESN’T BELIEVE IN U.S.-CHINA WAR

The Philippine defense secretary doesn’t think the U.S. and China will go to war over the South China Sea despite hardened rhetoric.

“Trump is a businessman and he knows that if war breaks out, businesses will suffer,” Delfin Lorenzana told the Bloomberg news agency.

He also questioned U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s suggestion during his Senate confirmation hearing last month that Washington should deny China access to its man-made islands where Beijing built airstrips, radars and installed weapons in waters which are also claimed by the Philippines and five other governments.
 
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“How can you prevent something that’s already there?” he said. “I’m not going to wage war over those small islands. … Even if we have the military might, we will also think twice before we engage in a shooting war.”

The prospect of a military confrontation between the U.S. and China over the South China Sea was raised by President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon when he hosted the conservative Breitbart News Daily radio show in 2015 and 2016, according to USA Today, which reviewed audio recordings.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we?” Bannon was quoted as saying in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face — and you understand how important face is — and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”

Lorenzana, whose government under President Rodrigo Duterte has distanced itself from its U.S. ally and is mending relations with Beijing, said that the Philippines will continue to speak up against Chinese incursions in its waters. “We are not abandoning our claim in the South China Sea,” he said, adding that Manila’s position is backed by an international arbitration ruling last year that invalidated China’s claims in the South China Sea.

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Duterte expressed concern last week that his country may get entangled in any U.S.-China conflict, and put Washington on notice that he won’t allow any storage of lethal weapons in facilities operated by the U.S. military inside Philippine army camps. U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim denied that any weapons depots are being built.

A 2014 defense agreement, which was criticized by China, allows U.S. forces to preposition troops and equipment in five Philippine army bases close to the South China Sea.

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U.S. PACIFIC COMMANDER TO OPEN MULTINATIONAL DRILLS IN THAILAND

U.S. military commander in the Pacific Adm. Harry Harris will be the highest-ranking American officer to attend the Cobra Gold military exercises in Thailand since a coup there three years ago.

The U.S. had scaled down the 10-day drills since the 2014 coup, and Harris’ scheduled appearance at the Feb. 14 opening ceremony is seen as a sign that the U.S.-Thai military ties are on the mend.

The largest multilateral exercise in Asia, Cobra Gold brings together 29 nations as participants and observers and 3,600 U.S. troops in drills both ashore and afloat.

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Follow Hrvoje Hranjski at www.twitter.com/hatbangkok (http://www.twitter.com/hatbangkok)
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on February 19, 2017, 06:22:47 AM
China says not to aggravate tensions, so what does US do? - sends an aircraft carrier group.  Very subtle.

https://www.rt.com/news/377841-us-carrier-china-sea-patrols/ (https://www.rt.com/news/377841-us-carrier-china-sea-patrols/)
US aircraft carrier group deployed for ‘routine patrols’ in S. China Sea
19 Feb, 2017

Ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing not to aggravate tensions in Southeast Asia, the US Navy has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group for “routine” maritime patrols in the vicinity of the disputed South China Sea waters.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, together with aircraft from the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer started “routine operations in the South China,” the US Navy announced.

The deployment of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 began Saturday, just days after China issued a stern warning to stay away from the area.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday. “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Despite the warning, US patrols got underway in the disputed waters, right after an American flotilla held drills off the islands of Hawaii and Guam to “maintain and improve their readiness and develop cohesion as a strike group.”

“The training completed over the past few weeks has really brought the team together and improved our effectiveness and readiness as a strike group,” said Rear Adm. James Kilby, commander of CSG 1. “We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

As tensions between US and China intensify, the US Navy appears to continue disregard Beijing’s interests in the immediate proximity of the disputed islands, claiming the moves are designed to ensure the principles of freedom of navigation in international waters.

The Spratly Islands, or Spratlys, comprise more than 750 islets, atolls, and reefs, and lie off the coastlines of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and China, with all the claimants having their own national names for the archipelago. Beijing persists in claiming the reefs in defiance of a ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague.

While freedom of navigation and military drills accelerated under President Barack Obama's administration, Trump and his team appear to be heading on a collision course with China.

US-China relations, already frosty over the disputed South China Sea islands, became more strained after Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, which immediately followed the Republican’s victory. The exchange infuriated Beijing, who considered it running against the bilateral protocol of the so-called 'One-China' policy, under which Washington views Taiwan as part of China.

And just over the last two weeks, both Trump and James Mattis, the current US Secretary of Defense, vowed to protect Japan in any territorial disputes it has with China in the East China Sea.

The situation has been further exacerbated by China’s militarization of the South China Sea. Chinese State media Xinhua announced on Friday that China's Navy had completed a week-long exercise there. The “scheduled” maneuvers entailed sudden attack drills and had three Chinese warships participating, including a destroyer.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: g on February 19, 2017, 06:34:30 AM
Quote
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday. “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Palloy, let me first say I agree entirely with your assessment of the issue. Dangerous and warlike actions for sure.

However for the sake of accuracy, the explicit headline of the article does not in fact jibe with the statement from China that I presented from your posting. It's a troubling post and thank you for calling it to our attention.

Not trying to demean your posting in the slightest, but in matters of this nature extreme exacting precision and accuracy are a must.                                                                                                                   Regards, GO
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: JRM on February 19, 2017, 07:40:20 AM
Personally, I see China as a thuggish entity, especially with regard to Taiwan, which should be allowed complete national autonomy.

But I sure as hell would not want the US to go to war with China over these islands!  And especially not with trump at the helm.   trump should be taken aside and told to leave well enough alone here.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: g on February 19, 2017, 07:51:03 AM
Personally, I see China as a thuggish entity, especially with regard to Taiwan, which should be allowed complete national autonomy.

But I sure as hell would not want the US to go to war with China over these islands!  And especially not with trump at the helm.   trump should be taken aside and told to leave well enough alone here.

It is rather difficult to see why such a major fuss. Especially when they say you are  free to travel around and do your commerce. Let's not forget we are dealing with Military strategists, they see things in a much different light than us, especially matters of this nature.

JRM, this matter has been festering long before Trump. Ashton Carter an Obama appointee is a big time hawk on this issue.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: JRM on February 19, 2017, 08:15:12 AM
In my opinion, a deal was made with the devil and China about Taiwan.  The world made that deal, not just the USA.

Those who say "Taiwan has always been a part of China" don't acknowledge that traditional China came to an end with the Chinese Communist Revolution, which resulted in a split, with one faction leaving the mainland and going off to live in Taiwan.  For the mainland (CCP) to insist ever since that Taiwan belongs to them is nothing more than bullying and a continuation of war.  A kind of cold war.

It was the world which failed Taiwan, by kowtowing to the big bully, China (CCP), probably largely in order to sustain happy trade relations (for the rich).
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on February 19, 2017, 07:09:31 PM
Quote
GO: However for the sake of accuracy, the explicit headline of the article does not in fact jibe with the statement from China that I presented from your posting. It's a troubling post and thank you for calling it to our attention.

Not trying to demean your posting in the slightest, but in matters of this nature extreme exacting precision and accuracy are a must.   

I don't understand what you are getting at.
Quote
US aircraft carrier group deployed for ‘routine patrols’ in S. China Sea

... doesn't jibe with ...

Quote
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday. “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.”

?
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: g on February 19, 2017, 07:33:58 PM
Hi Palloy let me try and explain.

The statement from China did not warn of  World War III. My reading of it leads me to believe the headline by RT is an exaggeration of what China actually said.

This is how I read it. What's your bitch US. You can use the area around here to move your ships and do commerce. No one is Fucking with you. Mind your business and don't be telling us what the fuck to do here or fabricate excuses to start trouble.

It's only my opinion but to me that is far short of threatening World war III.

Your deduction that it well could is reasonable and one I concur with.

But in all actuality China did not threaten a World War III, at least not yet.

Where we are talking nuclear powers, it is my feeling we should be as exacting as possible at what is actually said and let inferences be labeled as just that. 

It's becoming a very troublesome issue and the vibes emanating from it are horrible.  :'( :-\                  Regards, GO
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on February 19, 2017, 08:57:43 PM
I think I see now.  Are you confusing the title of the thread, "China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea", with the RT article's title, which doesn't mention WW3 at all?

Looking back at the start of the thread, I don't see any direct quote for China warning of WW3 in so many words.  In fact that wouldn't be their style at all.  They may allow that sort of thing from a private qualified analyst/commenter in People's Daily.

An example of this from 2014, based on the tension over Ukraine:
http://en.people.cn/n/2014/0916/c90000-8782955.html (http://en.people.cn/n/2014/0916/c90000-8782955.html)
As possibility of third world war exists, China needs to be prepared
By Professor Han Xudong (Global Times)   
September 16, 2014

Judging from the contention of the global sea space, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have seen the fiercest rivalry. It's likely that there will be a third world war to fight for sea rights.

In an era when a third world war may take place, an important topic for the Chinese military is how to develop its power to maintain its national interests.
====

I can't find the same thing being mentioned over South China Sea, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.  You can see how that gets translated into Western media, and used as a thread title.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on February 19, 2017, 09:13:11 PM
I think "Global Times" is not on the internet, hence the above article must have been reposted on People's Daily.

This from Telegraph in UK has some direct quotes from a Global Times article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/11630185/US-China-war-inevitable-unless-Washington-drops-demands-over-South-China-Sea.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/11630185/US-China-war-inevitable-unless-Washington-drops-demands-over-South-China-Sea.html)

Global Times, a tabloid newspaper run by the Communist Party, said that China might have to “accept” there would be conflict with the United States.

“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, said the paper, which is often seen as a mouth-piece of hardline nationalists in the government in Beijing.

State media reported on Tuesday that Beijing had begun building two lighthouses on reefs in the Spratly Islands, a smattering of outcrops that are claimed by an array of countries including not only China but also Vietnam and the Philippines.

Last month, satellite imagery revealed the Chinese had almost completed an air strip on another reef - Fiery Cross - while they are turning another rock, Mischief Reef, into a full island through land reclamation.

The Global Times article described the construction of runways, harbour facilities and buildings on the disputed Spratly Islands as the nation’s “most important bottom line”.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry, dismissed international criticism of China’s policies in the South China Sea, claiming the work was the same as building roads and homes on mainland China and that it would benefit “the whole of international society”.

“From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference”, he said, adding that “some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs”.


Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: RE on February 19, 2017, 09:50:15 PM
Both sides are sabre-rattling to show how macho and tough they are.  WWIII may not be expressly mentioned in an official statement, but it's always there lurking in the background sub-text.

It's really all about who controls the sea lanes, because he who controls those controls World Trade.  This is known since the days of the Roman  Empire, which controlled trade aroud the Mediterranean Sea, and the Persians who were a land based Empire.  Both the Brits and the Dutch built their Colonial Empires from small countries by using the power of the Navy to control trade.

The FSoA inherited this from the Brits after WWII, and that's why they run all the big Carrier Groups, to project power around the world and control the shipping lanes.  The Chinese are challenging them not globally, but in their own waters by building the bases on the Spratly "Islands", which are just sand bars really.  The FSoA Navy wants to show it is still the Big Dog (Shark) in the neighborhood, so sends a Carrier Group to motor around the neighborhood intimidating everybody.  ::)

Eventually there will be an "accident" or False Flag when the economic problems become untenable.  It still doesn't look like an immediate threat though.  Both sides have too much to lose by going directly mano-a-mano with each other.  I give it at least 2 years before we are in a direct shooting war with the Chinese.

The bigger more immediate threat is a collapse of one of the TBTF (GSIB) Banks like DeutcheBank or Unicredit.  That is the most likely spark to set off a new round of Fast Collapse inside the next couple of years, IMHO.

RE
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: g on February 20, 2017, 04:12:32 AM
Quote
I think I see now.  Are you confusing the title of the thread, "China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea", with the RT article's title, which doesn't mention WW3 at all?

Exactly Palloy, was treating the entire posting as a unit rather than separate parts.

Thanks for taking the time to explain my error. Whatever the case, it is a worrisome situation and it certainly appears to be worsening.                                                                                                                      Thanks Again and regards, GO
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on April 14, 2017, 05:51:18 PM
Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei are all allowed to have claims in the South China Sea, but China is not, according to the US whose nearest territory (Guam) is 4,000 Km away, with mainland US over 14,000 Km away.  Guam was taken by force from the Spanish in 1898.  It was taken by force by the Japanese in 1941, and retaken by the US in 1944.

Calling the South China Sea a "disputed waterway" doesn't do it justice, being 1,000 Km across at its narrowest point.  The last thing China wants to do is close this ocean to international shipping.

https://www.rt.com/news/384793-stethem-south-china-sea/ (https://www.rt.com/news/384793-stethem-south-china-sea/)
USS Stethem conducting operations in S. China Sea – Navy
14 Apr, 2017

The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is “conducting routine operations” in the South China Sea, according to a Friday press release from the US Navy.

The statement went on to note that the guided-missile destroyer had been refueled at sea by Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Endeavour (A 11).

The refueling allowed the vessel to remain mission ready, according to Command Senior Chief William Palmer IV.

“Conducting these types of operations with our allies builds proficiency and sustains our ability to maintain a persistent presence throughout the 7th Fleet area of operations,” Palmer said.

The release stated that the US vessel has regularly communicated with Chinese naval vessels during its operations, stating that countries use the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) to “communicate navigational intentions to ensure safe maneuvering.”

Fire Controlman Senior Chief Robert Kline, a tactical actions officer, said working with foreign navies increases the responsiveness and effectiveness of his crew.

“As forward deployed naval forces, you are constantly operating around ships from other navies,” Kline said, adding “this provides vital operational experience that increases our proficiency in mission critical areas.”

The Stethem, based in Yokosuka, Japan, has been operating in the Western Pacific since departing its home port earlier this year. In addition to its operations in the South China Sea, it has operated in the waters off the Korean Peninsula alongside the Carl Vinson Strike Group and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy during the 2017 Foal Eagle exercises. It has also conducted routine port visits to South Korea.

The Stethem’s arrival in the South China Sea comes amid ongoing tensions between Washington and China over Beijing’s claims to the disputed waterway.

In February, China warned that it is building a “first-class navy” that will intercept “intruding aircraft” and follow any military vessels operating within its controlled areas.

That announcement came just three weeks after Beijing warned Washington against taking any action challenging China’s “sovereignty and security,” after a US carrier group began patrolling the South China Sea.

The US has long criticized China’s construction of man-made islands in the sea and its build-up of military facilities on them. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated in January that Beijing’s access to those islands should be restricted.

In response, China’s state-sanctioned Global Times newspaper wrote that it would take a “large-scale war” to deny Beijing access to those islands.

China lays claim to almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, despite competing claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on May 19, 2017, 05:48:28 PM
https://www.rt.com/news/389021-duterte-china-war-islands-dispute/ (https://www.rt.com/news/389021-duterte-china-war-islands-dispute/)
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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on May 24, 2017, 08:21:39 PM
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.

https://www.rt.com/news/389642-us-destroyer-china-sea/ (https://www.rt.com/news/389642-us-destroyer-china-sea/)
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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on May 26, 2017, 05:36:47 PM
https://www.rt.com/usa/389865-spy-plane-chinese-jets/ (https://www.rt.com/usa/389865-spy-plane-chinese-jets/)
’Unsafe intercept’: US officials accuse China of buzzing spy plane
Published time: 26 May, 2017
(https://cdn.rt.com/files/2017.05/original/59286375c36188905e8b4615.jpg)
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.”
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy on June 06, 2017, 01:54:15 AM
Just to remind you of how China is threatening Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea:

(http://palloy.net/images/freedom_of_navigation.png)

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?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-01/us-seeks-maritime-hegemony-acting-irresponsibly-south-china-sea-beijing-warns (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-01/us-seeks-maritime-hegemony-acting-irresponsibly-south-china-sea-beijing-warns)
US Seeks "Maritime Hegemony", Is Acting "Irresponsibly" In South China Sea, Beijing Warns
Tyler Durden
2/01/2016

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?
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on July 02, 2017, 02:27:32 PM
https://www.rt.com/news/395005-china-us-warship-disputed-island/ (https://www.rt.com/news/395005-china-us-warship-disputed-island/)
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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on July 25, 2017, 07:09:26 AM
Just another micro-aggression by the US - OK until it isn't.

https://www.rt.com/news/397436-china-us-jets-interception/ (https://www.rt.com/news/397436-china-us-jets-interception/)
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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on July 27, 2017, 07:10:15 AM
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.

https://www.rt.com/usa/397679-us-admiral-nuclear-strike-china/ (https://www.rt.com/usa/397679-us-admiral-nuclear-strike-china/)
I’d launch nukes at China on Trump's orders, says US Pacific Fleet chief
Published time: 27 Jul, 2017

(https://cdn.rt.com/files/2017.07/original/5979bb85dda4c81f218b4567.jpg)
Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile built by Lockheed Martin is being test-fired from the submerged submarine USS Tennessee on February 22, 2012 © lockheedmartin.com

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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on May 07, 2018, 09:15:52 PM
US is trying to put the scares on everyone.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-07/white-house-threatens-beijing-consequences-should-missiles-remain-south-china-sea (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-07/white-house-threatens-beijing-consequences-should-missiles-remain-south-china-sea)
White House Threatens Beijing With "Consequences" Should Missiles Remain In South China Sea
Tyler Durden
05/07/2018

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.

(https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2018.05.06china.JPG?itok=wyjcfjrI)

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.

(https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.05.06chinamap.JPG?itok=Sz9g7SXM)

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.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on May 27, 2018, 06:57:33 PM
The US seems to be doing all the antagonising it can before WW3 starts, so they will have "just cause" to attack when it happens.

https://www.rt.com/news/427958-us-ships-china-sea/ (https://www.rt.com/news/427958-us-ships-china-sea/)
US warships sail near disputed South China Sea islands
27 May, 2018

Two US warships sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Sunday. The maneuvers come days after Washington “disinvited” Beijing to the Pacific Rim 2018 naval exercises.

USS ‘Higgins,’ an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and USS ‘Antietam,’ a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, came within 12 nautical miles of the islands, two US officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The ships reportedly carried out maneuvers near Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody Islands in the Paracels.

China’s Defense Ministry said that its ships and aircraft have warned off the US vessels that entered the country’s territorial waters without permission. The ministry has condemned the arrival of the US warships near the islands, calling it a “provocation” and an infringement upon China’s sovereignty.

Beijing has been building artificial islands and deploying military infrastructure on the Paracels, as well as on the Spratly Islands. This has resulted in protests from other neighboring nations claiming the territory, but also from Washington, which often criticizes China’s “influence in the region” while also trying to expand its own.

The resource-rich South China Sea is the subject of conflicting claims by a number of countries, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The US has been sending its vessels and airplanes to carry out patrol missions in the disputed area, repeatedly causing outcry from Beijing.

This week, the US has also revoked the Chinese navy’s invitation to participate in the RIMPAC 2018 naval drills, citing China’s “continued militarization of the South China Sea.” The US military said that the issue was the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy presence in the Spratly Islands.

Earlier in May, Beijing carried out drills in the South China Sea which involved Xian H-6 strategic bombers, which were developed on the basis of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 aircraft. The drills angered neighboring Philippines, which vowed to protect “every single inch” of its territory in the area.

In March this year, USS ‘Mustin,’ an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, reportedly came within 12 nautical miles the Spratly Islands archipelago. The Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed the reports and said that Chinese Navy vessels ‘Huangshan’ and ‘Zhenjiang’ “took immediate action… to warn off and dispel” the US warship.

In January, USS ‘Hopper,’ a guided missile destroyer, encroached on the Chinese-claimed Huangyan Dao Island in the South China Sea. China accused the US of violating “sovereignty and security interests” as well as posing a “grave threat” to its forces stationed in the area.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on June 02, 2018, 12:48:08 AM
There is 533 Km of open ocean to the west of Subi Reef, so why "must" the US sail its warships there to keep the ocean Trade routes open?

https://www.rt.com/usa/428519-pentagon-mattis-china-pacific/ (https://www.rt.com/usa/428519-pentagon-mattis-china-pacific/)
Pentagon will ‘compete vigorously’ with Beijing in South China Sea – Mattis
2 Jun, 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has claimed that since Beijing’s South China Sea policy contradicts Washington’s strategy of “openness,” the US will have to “compete vigorously” wherever cooperation is impossible.

“The US will continue to pursue a constructive, results-oriented relationship with China, cooperating when possible and competing vigorously where we must...,” Mattis stated, speaking at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

“China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness our strategy promises, it calls into question China's broader goals,” the US Defense Secretary added.

The US has for years agitated China by claiming a “freedom of navigation,” sailing its warships and conducting flights near the disputed areas of the South China Sea. Beijing has repeatedly condemned the maneuvers, calling them a “provocation” and an infringement on China’s sovereignty.

To reinforce its claims, Beijing has been building artificial islands and deploying military infrastructure on the Paracels, as well as on the Spratly Islands. In May, its strategic bombers practiced take-off and landing in the disputed area.

“Despite China's claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purpose of intimidation and coercion,” Mattis claimed.

The South China Sea, through which an estimated $5.3 trillion worth of goods passes each year, is the subject of conflicting claims by a number of countries, some of which, like the Philippines and Singapore, have a special relationship with the US Navy. Countering China’s influence in the region has been one of Washington’s main foreign policy objectives. Over 64 percent of China’s sea trade passed through the waterway in 2016. While Washington maintains pressure on the vital trade artery as the nations are locked in talks to deescalate the risk of a global trade war, on Friday Beijing once again reiterated that it seeks "peace and stability" in the South China Sea.

“We hope the US will play a constructive and responsible role in this regard rather than stir up troubles. The US should uphold rather than undermine regional peace and stability,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.

While US President Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted about his special ‘friendship’ with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, tensions between the nations have been building up. Major friction persists over Taiwan, after Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act (HR 535), which deepens ties between Washington and Taipei by allowing official state visits “at all levels.” China has repeatedly condemned those relations as a violation of the One-China Policy, nominally honored by Washington since 1972.

Beijing has also repeatedly reminded Washington of its “inherent” sovereignty over the group of uninhabited Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, which the US recognizes a part of Japan and has vowed to protect, under the mutual defense agreement with Tokyo.

Another point of friction in Sino-US relations is the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems in South Korea. Beijing believes that US hardware, allegedly placed to counter the North Korean nuclear threat, undermines strategic stability and its national security. The deployment of American Aegis systems, which Tokyo has decided to acquire, could also undermine Beijing’s nuclear deterrent and therefore serves as another point of contention in relations.

In his address, Mattis reassured allies that Washington is “focused on modernising our alliance with both Republic of Korea and Japan,” and will not put US national interests ahead of their security.

“America has expanded its engagement and deepened its connectivity across the region... ," Mattis said. “So, make no mistake, America is in the Indo-Pacific to stay, this is our priority theater, our interests and the region’s are inextricably intertwined.”
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 - James Mattis on South China Sea, North Korea
Post by: g on June 02, 2018, 03:31:56 AM
When Four Star Generals talk, GO listens with the utmost attention.  :-\

James Mattis on South China Sea, North Korea and Taiwan

                           (https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/editorial/2018/06/01/105246430-GettyImages-965639780.530x298.jpg?v=1527903525)




James Mattis on South China Sea, North Korea and Taiwan
Nyshka Chandran

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis delivers a speech during the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 2, 2018.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis delivers a speech during the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 2, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis blasted Beijing on Saturday for the militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea, warning the Asian giant of potential penalties ahead.

"There are consequences that will continue to come home to roost" if China does not find a way to work more collaboratively with nations that have interests in the disputed region, the former four-star Marine Corps general said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security summit in Singapore.

Beijing's series of recent provocations in the international waterway, which include the installation of anti-ship cruise missiles and radar-jamming equipment on several of its outposts, has triggered concern among neighboring countries who also lay claim to the area.

"The placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purpose of intimidation and coercion," Mattis said, adding that, "China's militarization of the Spratlys is also in direct contradiction to President Xi Jinping's 2015 public assurances in the White House Rose Garden that they would not do this."

In response, the world's largest economy recently uninvited Beijing from naval exercises known as Rim of the Pacific, or RimPac, Mattis said. Last week, two U.S. Navy vessels also sailed near China-controlled islands in what Mattis called "an affirmation of the international rules-based order."

But such actions are still relatively small consequences, the defense secretary said. "I believe there are much larger consequences in the future when nations lose the rapport of their neighbors, when they believe that piling mountainous debts on their neighbors and somehow removing the freedom of political action is the way to engage with them."

It's speculated that Mattis may be referring to China's Belt and Road program. Beijing has been accused by critics of using sovereign debt to gain political leverage over developing countries that are part of the infrastructure project.

"If the U.S. will continue to pursue a constructive results-oriented relationship with China, cooperation, whenever possible, will be the name of the game and competing vigorously where we must," Mattis said.

Mattis also highlighted several components of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, pledging to support Asian allies in strengthening the rule of law and protecting maritime borders. "No one nation can and should dominate the Indo-Pacific," he said.

Under President Donald Trump's administration, Washington has made "a free and open Indo-Pacific" — a term replacing the more widely used "Asia Pacific" label to acknowledge a role played by India — the cornerstone of its foreign policy in the continent. And in a symbolic move recognizing the growing importance of the Indian Ocean, the U.S. military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

"Our Indo-Pacific strategy informs our relationship with China," Mattis said. But "China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to to the openness of our strategy," he continued.

The U.S. Department of Defense is also committed to working with Taiwan so the self-ruled island can maintain sufficient self defense, the defense secretary continued. The White House has warmed to Taipei through a series of actions including arms sales and encouraging visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. That's angered Beijing, which claims Taiwan under a policy known as "One China" and opposes other countries pursuing ties with Taipei.

Regarding the ongoing diplomatic efforts with North Korea, Mattis re-stated that Washington's objective "remains the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

The issue of U.S. troops in South Korea will not come up in the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, the American official indicated. Pyongyang has long said it may only agree to relinquish its nuclear weapons if the U.S. withdraws its armed forces from the South.

Discussion about the number of U.S troops in South Korea is subject to bilateral discussions between Washington and Seoul that are separate from the North Korea negotiations, Mattis said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/james-mattis-on-south-china-sea-north-korea-and-taiwan.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/james-mattis-on-south-china-sea-north-korea-and-taiwan.html) :icon_study: :icon_study:
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 - James Mattis on South China Sea, North Korea
Post by: Surly1 on June 02, 2018, 05:09:05 AM
When Four Star Generals talk, GO listens with the utmost attention.  :-\

James Mattis on South China Sea, North Korea and Taiwan

But such actions are still relatively small consequences, the defense secretary said. "I believe there are much larger consequences in the future when nations lose the rapport of their neighbors, when they believe that piling mountainous debts on their neighbors and somehow removing the freedom of political action is the way to engage with them."

It's speculated that Mattis may be referring to China's Belt and Road program. Beijing has been accused by critics of using sovereign debt to gain political leverage over developing countries that are part of the infrastructure project.

Great find, GO. When I read this, the above quote stood out as if in neon.

"using sovereign debt to gain political leverage over developing countries that are part of the infrastructure project."

How dare the Chinese? That's OUR gambit.

The Chinese forward base on the Spratleys is a fait accompli, and the Navy can make as much noise as they want. It will just be a waste of ships and diesel.

It's impossible to read this without reflecting on years of threads here on China, the dollar, the yuan, The New Silk Road, etc. and realizing that it all about defending dollar hegemony.

"China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to to the openness of our strategy"

Yeah, it does.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, China is stepping foursquare into the vacuum left by the collapse of American diplomacy and making targeted investments all over the world. When future historians tell the story of how the "American empire" yielded to the China century, the years will prove to be the beginning of the tale.
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on June 03, 2018, 07:36:15 AM
https://www.rt.com/news/428570-china-slams-irresponsible-mattis/ (https://www.rt.com/news/428570-china-slams-irresponsible-mattis/)
Chinese general warns Mattis against making ‘irresponsible claims & interfering in internal affairs’
3 Jun, 2018

A Chinese general has defended South China Sea deployments and policy, slamming “irresponsible” comments and interference in internal affairs by US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who accused Beijing of intimidating its neighbors.

“Any irresponsible comments from other countries cannot be accepted,” Lieutenant General He Lei said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, after Mattis promised to “vigorously” compete and confront Beijing’s growing influence in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

“We see any other country that tries to make noise about this as interfering in our internal affairs,” General He added.

The US has, for years, agitated China by claiming a “freedom of navigation,” sailing its warships and conducting flights near the disputed areas of the South China Sea. To reinforce its territorial claims, Beijing has been building artificial islands and deploying military infrastructure on the Paracels, as well as on the Spratly Islands.

“China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness our strategy promises, it calls into question China’s broader goals,” the US Defense Secretary claimed on Friday, accusing Beijing of “intimidation and coercion.”

General He, who is deputy president at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science, made it clear that all the islands in question are “part of China’s territories,” noting that China has historical records proving its claim.

“It is undeniable that... there are soldiers that are stationed there and there are weapons that are deployed there. It is a symbol of China’s sovereignty,” the officer said. “The weapons have been deployed for national defense.”

The general also slammed Washington’s abuse of the freedom of navigation principle, noting that it is the “true root of the militarization of the South China Sea.”

“It is those that are shouting about 'the militarization of the South China Sea' who are militarizing the South China Sea,” He added. US military patrols and fly-bys “jeopardize China's security and challenges China's sovereignty,” the general explained.

The Chinese officer also slammed Washington’s pursuit of closer ties with Taiwan, which Beijing views as the violation of the One-China Policy. After Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act (HR 535) to extend ties between Washington and Taipei “at all levels,” Mattis, in his speech in Singapore, noted that the US commitment is to “provide articles and services needed for its self-defense.” Taipei has expressed interest in American M1A2 Abrams tanks, to serve as the island’s last line of defense against a hypothetical intervention by Beijing.

New ‘hottest flashpoint’? Taiwan mulls buying US Abrams tanks to counter China

Beijing will never allow a third country “separate any piece of Chinese territory from China at any time in any form,” General He said. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has the determination, confidence and ability to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, unity and development interest.”

Noting that the country’s armed forces are able and ready to defend all of its territorial claims, disputed or not, including those in the East China Sea, He expressed hope that all of the governments and militaries involved “act in a manner that preserves regional and global peace.”
Title: Re: China Warns Of World War 3 Unless The US Backs Down On South China Sea
Post by: Palloy2 on June 27, 2018, 09:12:35 PM
China "won’t concede an inch of land", and US  "is adamant in its policies."

https://www.rt.com/news/431093-xi-mattis-sovereignty-territory/ (https://www.rt.com/news/431093-xi-mattis-sovereignty-territory/)
‘We’re not colonialists & don’t cause chaos’: Xi tells Mattis China won’t concede an inch of land
28 Jun, 2018

Beijing has no colonial ambitions but will never shy away from defending every inch of its territory, President Xi Jinping told US Defense Secretary James Mattis, amid growing tensions over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

“Regarding the issue of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, our attitude is firm and clear. The territory left behind by our ancestors must not be lost. We do not want to share anything with others,” Xi told Mattis in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Washington’s “patrols” of the strategic chain of reefs and small islands in the South China Sea, under the “freedom of navigation” pretext, have repeatedly made Beijing wary of American intentions in the region. During the meeting, Mattis made clear that Washington is adamant in its policies.

“We have a disagreement and I think the secretary was effective in saying these are long-standing principles,” Randall Shriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and who took part in in the meeting, was quoted as saying by Washington Free Beacon.

While the US seeks opportunities to increasingly project its power and ‘defend’ its allies in the region against what it views as China’s militarization of its periphery, Xi noted that Beijing has no history of causing chaos across the globe.

“We will not take the path of expansionism and colonialism and will not cause chaos to the world,” Xi reassured Mattis. “The broad Pacific Ocean can accommodate China and the United States and other countries. China and the United States should promote the development of bilateral relations on the principle of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”

Symbolically renamed as the US Indo-Pacific Command last month to better reflect American focus in the region, it is the largest of five geographic combatant commands, has about 375,000 civilian and military personnel who are tasked with exerting US military might over roughly 52 percent of the Earth’s surface. In addition to the South China Sea, US presence in the region also undermines Beijing’s interests in Taiwan and East China Sea, which Washington aims to retain in its sphere of influence.

The issue of maintaining the ‘One-China Policy’ is of key importance to Beijing. Yet Washington National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 promotes strengthening “defense and security cooperation with Taiwan,” including weapons sales for the island to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.

Despite disagreements, Xi expressed hope that the Chinese and US militaries could maintain and build mutual trust. “Strengthening the exchanges and mechanisms at all levels of the two armed forces will help eliminate skepticism and prevent misunderstandings and miscalculations and accidents,” he said.

Meanwhile Chinese Defense minister General Wei Fenghe, who also had a meeting with Mattis, warned his American counterpart that in any case Chinese military would “firmly defend national sovereignty, security and developmental interest”.
Title: China’s growing power is bringing military drills center stage in Asia
Post by: Surly1 on August 25, 2018, 06:31:31 AM
China’s growing power is bringing military drills center stage in Asia (https://qz.com/1366425/chinas-growing-power-is-bringing-military-drills-to-the-fore-in-asia/)

China’s growing power is bringing military drills center stage in Asia

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) get ready for the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, July 30, 2017.
CHINA DAILY VIA REUTERS
The People’s Liberation Army: loud and clear.
ESCALATION EXERCISE

China will soon take part in unprecedented joint military exercises in Russia, sending 30 aircraft, 900 tanks, and 3,200 personnel to its neighbor’s far east.

Russia’s drills, held every four years, are the largest since the early 1980s, and the inclusion of Chinese troops, a first, is seen as a major geopolitical shift. Moscow and Beijing each want to send a signal to Washington with military cooperation—though it’s China, not Russia, that the US now considers its main threat.

China’s participation in the drills later this month illustrate how joint military exercises are looming ever larger in its strategy as it expands its power and influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Its growing might is spurring other nations to initiate their own joint drills to counter Beijing. Such exercises are, as a result, becoming ever more prominent in the region.

Last year, China conducted at least 20 bilateral and multilateral exercises with other militaries, according to the US defense department (pdf, p. 31). These included a number of firsts, including a naval drill in the Baltic Sea with Russia and the inclusion of Chinese navy aircraft in drills with Pakistan.

Drilling it into ASEAN talks

Joint military exercises now figure largely in Beijing’s interminable negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over a code of conduct for the South China Sea. This month, China proposed that the two sides commit to not hold joint drills in the waterway with any countries from outside the region sans prior notice or agreement, with the US being the obvious nation in mind.

Beijing has also pushed for China and ASEAN members to hold joint military drills in the South China Sea. The exercises, agreed to this month, will be held in late October in an uncontested part of the waterway off China’s coast. The US, notably, is excluded. Military officers from China and ASEAN countries also held a tabletop exercise in Singapore earlier this month, again at Beijing’s suggestion.

China has also undermined joint drills not to its liking. In May, president Xi Jinping prodded his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un to insist that the US and South Korea suspend their annual military exercises. The following month, Donald Trump, after meeting with Kim in an historic summit, suspended the drills.

Must-see TV in China

Beijing has turned displays of military power into prime-time TV events for domestic viewers, stirring patriotism while putting the rest of Asia on notice. Last year, the People’s Liberation Army held large-scale war games in sand-swept Inner Mongolia, with the dust creating a battlefield atmosphere. State broadcaster CCTV showed footage at the top of every hour. In April, China conducted its biggest-ever show of naval power, with nearly 50 warships sailing through the South Chin Sea. Xi appeared at both events in military fatigues.

China’s displays have prompted other Asian nations to cooperate more closely and initiate joint drills of their own. This week, Japan said it would send a large helicopter carrier and escort ships to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, with the fleet making stops in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and India, and conducting joint military exercises along the way.

In May, the US disinvited China from the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii, despite its participation in previous years (at least in non-fighting components such as submarine safety). Defense officials cited “China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea,” saying it was inconsistent with international norms and the pursuit of free and open seas.

That was clearly a message to Beijing, which is proving adept at sending such signals itself.

Title: 🌏 Asia’s Troubled Waters: The South China Sea Dispute
Post by: RE on September 23, 2018, 12:32:19 AM
https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/asias-troubled-waters-the-south-china-sea-dispute/5628327 (https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/asias-troubled-waters-the-south-china-sea-dispute/5628327)

Asia’s Troubled Waters: The South China Sea Dispute
By Dhiana Puspitawati
Asia-Pacific Research, September 20, 2018
Region: China, South-East Asia
Theme: Defence, Justice

(https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Scarborough_Shoal_Landsat-400x259.jpg)
The never ending disputes over a semi-enclosed sea, the South-China Sea (SCS) was culminated in the consensus between the Philippines and China in bringing the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). While the PCA under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) ruled in favor of the Philippines and declare that China’s nine-dash line claims are illegal, China has asserted that they will not obey the final award of the PCA. This paper seeks to analyze legal implications upon China’s refusal on PCA’s award to Indonesia’s border security over the waters around Natuna Islands. It further proposed what should be done by Indonesia in anticipating both legal as well as political consequences of such assertive reaction taken by China.

Prior to the PCA’s award, Indonesian President, Mr. Joko Widodo, commented on the matter of the SCS disputes saying that while Indonesia is located considerably near to the SCS, yet Indonesia does not have a direct interest in the SCS. However, recent development shows different position. During President Jokowi’s visit to Natuna Islands recently, it was reminded that in 1996 China has recognized Natuna’s waters as Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

This paper argued that while the SCS disputes so far does not have direct impact on Indonesia, yet, some areas of Indonesia’s EEZ in Natuna Islands overlap with the China’s nine-dash line. Since China has declared to refuse the award of PCA, Indonesia should make further legal and policy framework in implementing its sovereign rights over its EEZ in Natuna Islands. In addition to this strong political assertion should also be taken in anticipating china’s movement in the SCS through its nine-dash line claim.

1. Introduction

Coastal State’s claim over the ocean has been accommodated by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC)  though a quid pro quo arrangement, that is something for something. While Coastal States are given certain degree of sovereignty over their surrounding oceans, yet other states interests should also be respected, which include rights of navigation as well as ocean resources usage rights. While such arrangement can be seen as a ‘package-deals’  offered by the LOSC, however, in practice things would never be as easy as it could be. Complication arising from LOSC’s arrangement varies from geographical condition of both the coastal state and the ocean itself, to broader interests of other states, in this case user maritime states. In addition to this, the problem of maritime delimitation between adjacent states poses another problem.

A never-ended problem related to maritime delimitation as well as access to ocean resources, has been the issue of South-China Sea (SCS). The SCS is a semi-enclosed sea which is surrounded by at least eight States; China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. Such geographic location has made SCS surrounded by the land territory of many states and thus the sovereignty as well as sovereign rights of the surrounding states upon the SCS became complicated. In addition to this, the SCS area consists of four islands, which include Pratas, Macclesfield Bank, Paracels and Spratlys.  Upon such geographical complexion, China declared its claim upon the SCS based on its map known as the nine-dashed lines which encircle almost the entire SCS and within which China claims are China’s historical waters over which it has sovereignty. On the other hand, other littoral states are also claiming sovereignty over small islands in the SCS, namely, Vietnam claims the Spartly Island, while the Philippines and Brunei claims the Kalayan Island Group (KIG).

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Spratly_Is_since_NalGeoMaps.png)
Spratly Islands military settlements (Source: Public Domain)

While the overlapping claims remain, in May 2009 China submit a claim before the United Nations, claiming several islands, which include Spartly, Scarborough Soal, Paracel and others to be included within its territory based on the nine-dashed lines map, combined with occasional references to “historic waters.” In April 2012, the Philippines Navy caught eight Chinas’ fishing vessels in Scarborough Soal waters, that is 220 km off-shore Philippines. Is should be bear in mind that the Scarborough Soal is claimed by several states, namely China, the Philippines and Taiwan. In January 2013 the Philippines submit its objection to the China’s nine-dashed lines to the Permanent Court of Arbitration demanding the cancelation of the nine-dashed line map proposed by China. Permanent Court Arbitration (PCA) resulted on the illegitimate China’s claim, China has asserted that they will not participate on the proceeding and neither obeys the final award of the PCA.

This paper seeks to analyze legal implications upon China’s refusal on PCA’s award to Indonesia’s border security over the waters around Natuna Islands. It further proposed what should be done by Indonesia in anticipating both legal as well as political consequences of such assertive reaction taken by China.

2. The Philippines vs. China before the Permanent Court of International Arbitration

While conflict between affected littoral states over the South-China Se remains, in 2013 the Philippines brought the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The disputes concerned was on the legal basis of maritime rights and entitlements in the South-China Sea, the status of certain geographic features in the South-China Sea and the lawfulness of certain actions taken by China in the South-China Sea.[1] In brief, basically there are 4 (four) claim submitted by the Philippines before the PCA.[2]  Firstly, the Philippines seek advice from the PCA to solve existing disputes over the SCS regarding the rights to occupy the SCS. More specifically, asking PCA to declare that the rights to occupy the SCS should be based on the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) rather than based on ‘historic rights’. Secondly, the Philippines seek advice from PCA to solve maritime delimitation disputes over the Scarborough Shoal and certain resources in Spratly Islands, which has been claimed by both Philippines and China. Thirdly, the Philippines asking the PCA to solve matter related to the validity of China’s claim over the SCS. The Philippines required PCA to deliver award that China has conducted wrong doing upon their actions, as follows: 

    Intervening Philippines’ rights in accordance with the LOSC with regard to fishing, navigation and other natural resources exploration and exploitation as well as the establishment of artificial islands;
    Has failed to save ocean environment by giving support to China’s fishermen, who has caught the endangered species as well as the use of non-environmental friendly fishing method which lead to the destruction of coral reef ecosystem in the SCS; and
    Causing the damage on marine environment by the establishment of artificial islands as well as reclamation in the area of seven coral reef areas in Spratly Islands.

Fourth, that China has worsened the dispute by limiting Philippines’ access to Marine Detachment in Second Thomas Shoal.

The SCS case between the Philippines and China, in fact involves various legal aspect. However, crucial aspect that worth to be discussed is the concept of ‘historical rights’ which has been used as legal basis by China in claiming its sovereignty over the SCS. As this turn out, PCA only used the LOSC as valid legal basis in deciding the case. PCA further stated that:

    “This arbitration concerned the role of historic rights and the Sumber of maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, the status of certain maritime features and the maritime entitlements they are capable of generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China that were alleged by the Philippines to violate the Convention. In light of limitations on compulsory dispute settlement under the Convention, the Tribunal has emphasized that it does not rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and does not delimit any boundary between the Parties”[3].

In its decision, PCA was unanimously giving award to the Philippines and declared that “the Tribunal concluded that, to the extent China had historic rights to reSumbers in the waters of the South China Sea, such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention[4]. While the award clearly stated that ‘historical rights’ were incompatible with LOSC, it is interesting to find out the origin of ‘historic claim’ as well as analyzing whether the term ‘historic rights’ and ‘historic waters’ ever exist within both LOSC and other customary international law of the sea.

(https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Screen-Shot-2018-09-17-at-3.31.52-PM.png)
Figure 1: China’s nine-dashed lines covering vast majority of the SCS areas

3. Legal Implication on China’s refusal upon PCA Award

Upon PCA award, Chinese Government insists on the position that it will not obey PCA Award due its absence during the trial. This position was stated clearly by China through diplomatic notes titled “Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of Phillipines”  dated 7th December submitted before the court and Netherlands Government. In sum, the diplomatic notes declared as follows:

“It is the view of China that the Arbitral Tribunal manifestly has no jurisdiction over this arbitration, unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, with regard to disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

Firstly, the essence of the subject-matter of the arbitration is the territorial sovereignty over the relevant maritime features in the South China Sea, which is beyond the scope of the Convention and is consequently not concerned with the interpretation or application of the Convention.

Secondly, there is an agreement between China and the Philippines to settle their disputes in the South China Sea by negotiations, as embodied in bilateral instruments and the DOC. Thus the unilateral initiation of the present arbitration by the Philippines has clearly violated international law.

Thirdly, even assuming that the subject-matter of the arbitration did concern the interpretation or application of the Convention, it has been excluded by the 2006 declaration filed by China under Article 298 of the Convention, due to its being an integral part of the dispute of maritime delimitation between the two States.

Fourthly, China has never accepted any compulsory procedures of the Convention with regard to the Philippines’ claims for arbitration. The Arbitral Tribunal shall fully respect the right of the States Parties to the Convention to choose the means of dispute settlement of their own accord, and exercise its competence to decide on its jurisdiction within the confines of the Convention. The initiation of the present arbitration by the Philippines is an abuse of the compulsory dispute settlement procedures under the Convention. There is a solid basis in international law for China’s rejection of and non-participation in the present arbitration.

Furthermore, China added more statement “[t]his shall by no means be interpreted as China’s participation in the arbitral proceeding in any form.”  Upon such situation, Article 288 of the LOSC and Article 9 of LOSC’s Annex VII provide:

a. Article 288 of the Convention provides that “In the event of a dispute as to whether a court or tribunal has jurisdiction, the matter shall be settled by decision of that court or tribunal.

b. Article 9 of Annex VII to the Convention provides that “If one of the parties to the dispute does not appear before the arbitral tribunal or fails to defend its case, the other party may request the tribunal to continue the proceedings and to make its award. Absence of a party or failure of a party to defend its case shall not constitute a bar to the proceedings. Before making its award, the arbitral tribunal must satisfy itself not only that it has jurisdiction over the dispute but also that the claim is well founded in fact and law.”

It is clearly stated that in the situation whether the arbitral have competence in deciding certain case, the authority to decide is the arbitral itself and not the parties. In addition to this, in the absence of one party in the dispute, another party have the right to ask the arbitral to continue the proceeding. Thus, it is submitted that the absence of one party cannot prevent the proceeding to be continued. On the awards on jurisdiction, PCA considered the application of Article 281 and 282 of the LOSC, which allow a state to apply other dispute resolution method outside the LOSC, if the parties agreed to. Article 281 and 282 of the LOSC read:

    “If the States Parties which are parties to a dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention have agreed to seek settlement of the dispute by a peaceful means of their own choice, the procedures provided for in this Part apply only where no settlement has been reached by recourse to such means and the agreement between the parties does not exclude any further procedure. 

    If the States Parties which are parties to a dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention have agreed, through a general, regional or bilateral agreement or otherwise, that such dispute shall, at the request of any party to the dispute, be submitted to a procedure that entails a binding decision, that procedure shall apply in lieu of the procedures provided for in this Part, unless the parties to the dispute otherwise agree.”

PCA considered the application of Article 281 dan 282 upon the following documents to find out whether both parties have agreed on other dispute resolution method; (a) the 2002 China–ASEAN Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (the “DOC”), (b) a series of joint statements issued by the Philippines and China referring to the resolution of disputes through negotiations, (c) the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and (d) the Convention on Biological Diversity (the “CBD”) .

Nevertheless, PCA refused China’s argument which stated that the Document of Conduct (DOC) agreed between ASEAN and China was a political agreement and did not intended to be a binding agreement which is applicable in disputes resolution method.  Since the DOC is silent on the binding settlement mechanism,  and does not exclude any other dispute resolution method,  it is argued that PCA can decide based on Article 281 and 282 of the LOSC. PCA also finds out the same conclusion relating to Joint Statement mentioned in China Diplomatic Notes.  In relation to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and the CBD, PCA declared that while both agreements bind parties in the disputes resolution chosen by the parties, there is no binding mechanism within the agreement whatsoever.  To conclude, there is nowhere in those agreements prevent the Philippines to bring the case before the PCA. 

As this turn out, PCA reward the Philippines and declared that China’s Claim over the SCS with its nine-dashed lines as illegal and found China to be guilty of conducting illegal maritime activities inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Upon such award, as stated, China refused to apply the award in any cases. Furthermore, instead of moving away from the disputed area, Chinese military and non-military vessels have regularly undertaken activities to strengthen their de facto control of the area. China seems to undertaken the passive assertiveness over the area and avoiding assertive action which could lead to incident, while also expanding its movement in the SCS.  This condition brings several legal implications to the neighboring adjacent states surrounding the SCS, especially to ASEAN’s member states. This includes an increase of China’s maritime power within the South Asia region, which also effect the South-East Region.

In addition to this, it is assumes that China will strengthen its domestic law in claiming several areas in the SCS. This way, a potent disputes may arise between China and other claimant states, in particular ASEAN’s member states.

China aggressive response to the PCA’s award might also bring further legal implication for less affected state like Indonesia. While the SCS dispute does not directly affected Indonesia at the moment, however, it might affected in the near future. As an archipelagic state, Indonesia is entitled to draw archipelagic baselines connecting the outermost point of its outermost islands.  Despite the fact that Indonesia does not claim any of the disputed islands located in the SCS, Indonesia has an outer island group, the Natuna Islands, which are adjacent to the SCS.

These Islands are used as Indonesian basepoints. Due to Indonesia’s sovereignty over the Natuna Islands, consequently Indonesia has the rights over certain areas of waters measures from Natuna’s baselines in accordance with international law. From this baselines Indonesia also entitles various maritime zones established by the LOSC.  This results in the fact that Indonesia has to share such ocean with neighboring states which are also claimant states in the SCS dispute, namely Malaysia and Vietnam.  While agreement has been reached over delineating the continental shelf between states, Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) delimitation remains unsolved. If China strengthen its nine-dashed line claim and keep asserting its military power within the area, it is possible that China and Indonesia involve in a disagreement on maritime delimitation around Natuna Islands. 

4. Conclusion

Prior to the PCA’s award, Indonesian President, Mr. Joko Widodo, commented on the matter of the SCS disputes saying that while Indonesia is located considerably near to the SCS, yet Indonesia does not have a direct interest in the SCS. However, recent development shows different position. During President Jokowi’s visit to Natuna Islands recently, it was reminded that in 1996 China has recognized Natuna’s waters as Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

This paper argued that while the SCS disputes so far does not have direct impact on Indonesia, yet, some areas of Indonesia’s EEZ in Natuna Islands overlap with the China’s nine-dash line. Since China has declared to refuse the award of PCA, Indonesia should make further legal and policy framework in implementing its sovereign rights over its EEZ in Natuna Islands. In addition to this strong political assertion should also be taken in anticipating china’s movement in the SCS through its nine-dash line claim.

*

Notes

1. See further PCA Case Number 2013-19 in the Matter of the South-China Sea Arbitration before the Arbitral Tribunal Constituted Under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea between the Philippines and the People Republic of China, available on-line at https://pca-cpa.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/175/2016/07/PH-CN-20160712-Award.pdf, (https://pca-cpa.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/175/2016/07/PH-CN-20160712-Award.pdf,) accessed on 4 May 2017 at 9:56 am.

2. Read further Kristiyanto, Kristiyanto, Puspitawati, Dhiana dan Ardhiansyah, Agis, Konsep Historical Rights dalam Sengketa Laut Tiongkok Selatan berdasarkan Putusan PCA Case Number 2013-19 in the Matter of the South China Sea Arbitration between the Philippines and China, Final Essay, Law Faculty, Brawijaya University, 2017.

3. Press Release Permanent Court of Arbitration tertanggal 12 July 2016 which giving unanimous award to the Philippines over the SCS disputes.

4. Referes to the LOSC. See further http://thediplomat.com/2016/07/international-court-issues-unanimous-award-in-philippines-v-china-case-on-south-china-sea/, (http://thediplomat.com/2016/07/international-court-issues-unanimous-award-in-philippines-v-china-case-on-south-china-sea/,) accessed on 30 November 2016.
Title: 💣 The US-China Cold War Has Begun
Post by: RE on October 07, 2018, 04:59:28 AM
http://fortune.com/2018/10/06/the-us-china-cold-war-has-begun/ (http://fortune.com/2018/10/06/the-us-china-cold-war-has-begun/)

The US-China Cold War Has Begun
By Clay Chandler and Eamon Barrett October 6, 2018

(http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/080618_uschina_fistflags.jpg)

Vice President Pence’s speech to the Hudson Institute Thursday has been widely portrayed in the global press as an official declaration that the world’s two largest economies are engaged in a “New Cold War.” It’s hard to read it any other way.

The origin of the term “Cold War” is generally credited to George Orwell, who used it in a trenchant 1945 essay pondering the geo-strategic implications of the atomic bomb. The existence of a weapon so destructive, Orwell predicted, would put an end to overt shooting wars between great powers, and replace them instead with endless below-the-brink hostilities: espionage, subterfuge, influence-peddling, propaganda, and proxy wars. Conflict would stop short of direct combat—but drag on across many fronts without resolution; the bomb’s legacy, he warned, would be a “peace that is no peace.”

That proved a prescient description of the rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union from 1945 until the collapse of the Berlin Wall—and, in recent months, has become an apt characterization of the Sino-American relationship.

In his Hudson Institute address, Pence detailed a litany of Chinese offenses: meddling in domestic US elections; doling out unfair subsidies to state-owned companies; forcing US companies to surrender technology as the price of competing in the Chinese market; mounting cyber-attacks on US companies and government agencies; recklessly confronting the US naval forces in the South China Sea; bullying Taiwan; and trampling the rights of its own citizens.

China’s goal, Pence charged, was to thwart a second term for Donald Trump, “push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies.”

Pence’s speech came two days after a Chinese warship sailed within 45 yards of a US destroyer in waters near one of the disputed islets China claims in the Spratly archipelago. On Thursday, as Pence delivered his address, Bloomberg published a blockbuster report alleging that microchips designed and manufactured by the Chinese military were planted in server motherboards at factories supplying San Jose-based Supermicro, and later made their way into data centers controlled by dozens of US companies including Amazon and Apple, a major bank, and US government contractors.

China’s response to Pence’s broadside was predictably apoplectic. The Chinese foreign ministry decried his remarks as “ridiculous,” “malicious slander,” and created out of “thin air.” But China’s leaders have to be taking note of the administration’s strident tone. A few weeks ago, Beijing began pushing the idea that there’s no point in holding trade talks with the US because the Trump administration’s larger goal is to stop China’s rise as a global power. The claim was mostly a pose—but is starting to look a lot more plausible.

More China news below.
   Clay Chandler
   @claychandler
   clay.chandler@timeinc.com
Politics and Policy

All at sea. A U.S. warship and a Chinese destroyer averted a collision in the South China Sea on Sunday, sailing within 45 yards of each other. The destroyer was sent to intercept the U.S.S. Decatur, which was performing a Freedom of Navigation Operation near disputed island territories. The move by the PLA Navy was more aggressive than a normal response to FONOPs and comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries. The U.S. Navy is reportedly planning a major show of force in the South China Sea. South China Morning Post

Talks on, talks off. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to arrive in China on Monday, as tensions over trade, cybersecurity and the South China Sea are on the rise. Earlier this week, a U.S. official claimed China had cancelled security talks due to be held between Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his Chinese counterparts. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying issued a stern rebuke of that claim, asserting that the U.S. had requested to postpone the meeting. “China is extremely dissatisfied with this,” Hua said. The Washington Post

Fan Bingbing fined. Fan Bingbing, China’s highest paid actress, has re-emerged after several months of absence. Fan, who starred in X-men: Days of Future Past, was last seen publicly on July 1, before an accusation of tax evasion pre-empted her sudden disappearance from public life. On Wednesday, Fan’s Weibo account carried a message – her first post in months – expressing her ‘shame and guilt’ for skirting tax laws. Authorities have now fined Fan and other relevant companies $70 million, claiming she will avoid criminal prosecution if she pays on time. Financial Times
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Innovation and Tech

Hardware hack? Chinese spies compromised America’s tech supply chain by hiding tiny chips on computing components sold in the U.S., in a covert operation that reached nearly 30 major companies, Bloomberg reports. The minuscule spy chips – no bigger than a sharpened pencil lead – were hidden on components sold to American motherboard supplier, Supermicro. The chips then found their way into products supplied to government contractors, a major bank, Apple and others. Apple, and implicated other companies, have denied the reports. Bloomberg

Tencent turns to business. Tencent announced its first restructuring in six years as a freeze on gaming approvals pressures the company to seek alternative revenue streams. The shake-up will create a new division to focus on business services, like cloud computing, where Tencent lags behind rival Alibaba. Tencent will also trim its business units to six, down from seven, by consolidating the responsibilities of its content-focused departments. Wall Street Journal

Breaking America. Tencent Music, China’s largest online music platform with over 800 million monthly active users, filed for its hotly awaited IPO in New York. Bankers expect the already profitable music arm of Tencent to raise $2 billion, valuing the unit at $30 billion. The bulk of Tencent Music’s revenue is derived from in-app social features – for example, users can pay to send virtual gifts to their friends. Financial Times

ZTE breaks probation. A U.S. judge has ordered ZTE to accept an additional two years of monitoring after finding the telecoms company in violation of probation. The Chinese manufacturer was originally compelled to accept a compliance monitor until 2020 but will now have to accept oversight until 2022. The probation was implemented in March after ZTE pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. It has been extended because the company was found to have lied about punishing executives involved in the violation. Reuters
In Case You Missed It

Alibaba’s Jack Ma is giving up ownership of Chinese entities SCMP

The Head of Interpol Is Missing After a Trip to China TIME

FT journalist’s visa renewal denied by Hong Kong Financial Times

Pence’s China speech seen as portent of ‘New Cold War’ NYT

US considered ban on student visas for Chinese nationals Financial Times

Pope gives Chinese bishops ‘warm welcome’ Channel NewsAsia

Steve Bannon, two Chinese military officers and the book that made him a China hawk SCMP
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Economy and Trade

USMCA blocks China. A clause inserted in the USMCA – the intended successor to NAFTA – prohibits members from signing trade deals with ‘non-market’ countries. The condition is both an attempt to limit China’s growing relationship with Canada and Mexico and a tool to pressure China into opening its markets. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated the ‘poison pill’ condition may be replicated in future U.S. trade deals with other countries. Reuters

Fuel for winter. Beijing won’t renew pollution-tackling curbs imposed on the coal and steel industry last year. The restrictions forced a number of factories to halve production during the winter months, when airborne pollution is typically worsened by the climate. The decision not to implement the limits this winter comes as China’s economy faces a slowdown due to trade tensions with the U.S. Financial Times

War wages on. J.P. Morgan has downgraded its rating for Chinese equities from overweight to neutral, predicting that a “full-blown trade war” will be the base case scenario for 2019. An emerging markets strategist at the bank warned that China’s GDP growth could decline a percentage point on the basis of the latest round of tariffs. CNBC

Dollar debt. China is planning to sell $3 billion in U.S. dollar bonds this month, its second such sale in a year. The country is apparently planning to become a regular issuer of sovereign debt, this time offering bonds with five, 10 and 30 year maturities. Nikkei Asian Review
Title: 💣 The China-India Border Dispute Just Got Real
Post by: RE on June 17, 2020, 02:47:05 AM
Looks ugly.

RE

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-17/the-china-india-border-dispute-just-got-real (https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-17/the-china-india-border-dispute-just-got-real)

The China-India Border Dispute Just Got Real

With 20 of its troops dead, India may turn to the U.S. as a bulwark against Chinese aggression.

By James Stavridis
June 16, 2020, 5:00 PM AKDT

(https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/ibI4odigzUE4/v1/1000x-1.jpg)
Howdy, Modi.   Photographer: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images
James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates.


Just as it appeared that China and India had reached a détente after weeks of military escalation at their Himalayan border, Chinese troops have reportedly killed at least 20 Indian soldiers, and may have suffered their own casualties. The first deadly border clash since the mid-1970s shows just how fraught relations between the world’s two most populous countries are becoming. And while the geopolitical dangers are obvious and severe, the crisis also presents the U.S. with an opportunity to forge the strong relationship with India it has desired for more than two decades.

The current conflict began several weeks ago when the Chinese moved thousands of troops into the Galwan valley in Ladakh, along what is known as the Line of Actual Control. (I’ve always been struck by that oddly worded term — what is the alternative, the Line of Fake Control?)

The proximate cause was India’s decision to build a road leading to a forward air base. China responded by building up forces, bringing in heavy equipment (excavators, troop carriers and possibly artillery), and building a new tented barracks to support them. In doing so, the Chinese soldiers entered a part of the region that had long been regarded as Indian by both sides.

India responded to the incursion by reinforcing its troops along the 2,000-mile border. Complicating the situation, neighboring Nepal and Pakistan have been strengthening their relationships with China, and the Nepalese are disputing Indian claims along their shared border.
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No matter which side stands down first, the truth is that the Chinese escalation was a decisive move, one reflecting Beijing’s growing strategic objectives not only at the “top of the world,” but globally. Does any of this matter to a distracted U.S.? It should, because the stakes are far higher than just lines on a map demarking barren lands 14,000 feet above sea level.

I discussed the longstanding border controversy with India’s national security adviser several years ago at the Munich Security Conference. He called it a “festering sore.” India believes China occupies nearly 40,000 square kilometers of its territory, seized in a 1962 war which India lost decisively. The sense of humiliation lingers, and such Chinese incursions have shown that India has few real options to force Beijing to withdraw from areas it claims.

China and India had another standoff in 2017, lasting a couple of months, in the nearby Doklam plateau. China won by pressing ahead and building a military base. The two nations have been involved in on-again, off-again talks for years, but the current attitude from Beijing is a new level of aggressiveness.

This all fits with larger Chinese strategic and tactical moves that began in early 2020, as the world’s focus moved to the novel coronavirus. We have seen Chinese maritime activity in the South China Sea become increasingly aggressive — buzzing U.S. naval forces, sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat, damaging a Malaysian oil rig — and diplomatic and rhetorical pressures are increasing against Taiwan.

China is using economic and humanitarian aid incentives to solidify the One Belt, One Road trade initiative across South Asia, particularly in Pakistan. Beijing is also now turning a small island in the Maldives into a base for military air operations, just as it has with artificial islands it created in the South China Sea.

And, most strikingly, China has cracked down hard on protesters in Hong Kong by passing a law which would in effect give a free hand to Beijing’s toughest security forces in the former British colony.

All of this can be read in three ways. First, as an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to increase feelings of nationalism — directed against not only India, but other nations in the region and the U.S.  In part, the party reasons, this will distract its population from the likely economic effects of the global slowdown looming from the coronavirus.

Second, it solidifies President Xi Jinping’s status as a capable and decisive leader, building on the “success” Beijing claims it had in dealing with the virus.

Finally, at a geostrategic level, the moves in the Himalayas are an attempt by China to pressure India to stay at an arm’s distance from the U.S. Yes, there’s a chance that may backfire: India may move toward America in the aftermath of the bloody border incident. But the Chinese generally have confidence in their hard power, and haven’t liked the growing sense of rapprochement between the U.S. and India over the past five years. One Belt, One Road has one big problem: India, which sits athwart the trade lanes China wants to use to dominate in the 21st century. In that sense, the Himalayan dispute is about control of the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. has limited capital to engage in this particular dispute. Although President Donald Trump offered to mediate in a recent tweet, the chances of China accepting such assistance are negligible. A better approach is for the U.S. to continue moving closer to India, making it clear to Beijing that it will not allow New Delhi to be pressured out of greater alignment with Washington.

Most important is to end the dispute over trade tariffs that began with Trump’s mishandled efforts to relieve U.S. trade deficits. On the military side, a good first step would be inviting India, which has ambitious goals at sea, to be a full participant in the biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercises. How about an Indian-led flotilla with U.S., Japanese and Australian warships as a centerpiece to the event?

Stronger ties with India have to be part of a larger strategy for the region. The U.S. should continue to explore ways to get closer to Taiwan, and apply appropriate sanctions to Beijing over actions in Hong Kong. Freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea should continue. Washington needs to build a solid bloc of opposition to China’s military and economic coercion, involving not only India but Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and other partners.

The tensions at the top of the world are important and dangerous, but solving them has to be part of the larger approach the U.S. takes with China.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
James Stavridis at jstavridis@bloomberg.net
Title: 💣 The China-India Border Dispute Just Got Real
Post by: RE on June 17, 2020, 06:24:41 AM
Looks ugly.

RE

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-17/the-china-india-border-dispute-just-got-real (https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-17/the-china-india-border-dispute-just-got-real)

The China-India Border Dispute Just Got Real

With 20 of its troops dead, India may turn to the U.S. as a bulwark against Chinese aggression.

By James Stavridis
June 16, 2020, 5:00 PM AKDT

(https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/ibI4odigzUE4/v1/1000x-1.jpg)
Howdy, Modi.   Photographer: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images
James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates.


Just as it appeared that China and India had reached a détente after weeks of military escalation at their Himalayan border, Chinese troops have reportedly killed at least 20 Indian soldiers, and may have suffered their own casualties. The first deadly border clash since the mid-1970s shows just how fraught relations between the world’s two most populous countries are becoming. And while the geopolitical dangers are obvious and severe, the crisis also presents the U.S. with an opportunity to forge the strong relationship with India it has desired for more than two decades.

The current conflict began several weeks ago when the Chinese moved thousands of troops into the Galwan valley in Ladakh, along what is known as the Line of Actual Control. (I’ve always been struck by that oddly worded term — what is the alternative, the Line of Fake Control?)

The proximate cause was India’s decision to build a road leading to a forward air base. China responded by building up forces, bringing in heavy equipment (excavators, troop carriers and possibly artillery), and building a new tented barracks to support them. In doing so, the Chinese soldiers entered a part of the region that had long been regarded as Indian by both sides.

India responded to the incursion by reinforcing its troops along the 2,000-mile border. Complicating the situation, neighboring Nepal and Pakistan have been strengthening their relationships with China, and the Nepalese are disputing Indian claims along their shared border.
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No matter which side stands down first, the truth is that the Chinese escalation was a decisive move, one reflecting Beijing’s growing strategic objectives not only at the “top of the world,” but globally. Does any of this matter to a distracted U.S.? It should, because the stakes are far higher than just lines on a map demarking barren lands 14,000 feet above sea level.

I discussed the longstanding border controversy with India’s national security adviser several years ago at the Munich Security Conference. He called it a “festering sore.” India believes China occupies nearly 40,000 square kilometers of its territory, seized in a 1962 war which India lost decisively. The sense of humiliation lingers, and such Chinese incursions have shown that India has few real options to force Beijing to withdraw from areas it claims.

China and India had another standoff in 2017, lasting a couple of months, in the nearby Doklam plateau. China won by pressing ahead and building a military base. The two nations have been involved in on-again, off-again talks for years, but the current attitude from Beijing is a new level of aggressiveness.

This all fits with larger Chinese strategic and tactical moves that began in early 2020, as the world’s focus moved to the novel coronavirus. We have seen Chinese maritime activity in the South China Sea become increasingly aggressive — buzzing U.S. naval forces, sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat, damaging a Malaysian oil rig — and diplomatic and rhetorical pressures are increasing against Taiwan.

China is using economic and humanitarian aid incentives to solidify the One Belt, One Road trade initiative across South Asia, particularly in Pakistan. Beijing is also now turning a small island in the Maldives into a base for military air operations, just as it has with artificial islands it created in the South China Sea.

And, most strikingly, China has cracked down hard on protesters in Hong Kong by passing a law which would in effect give a free hand to Beijing’s toughest security forces in the former British colony.

All of this can be read in three ways. First, as an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to increase feelings of nationalism — directed against not only India, but other nations in the region and the U.S.  In part, the party reasons, this will distract its population from the likely economic effects of the global slowdown looming from the coronavirus.

Second, it solidifies President Xi Jinping’s status as a capable and decisive leader, building on the “success” Beijing claims it had in dealing with the virus.

Finally, at a geostrategic level, the moves in the Himalayas are an attempt by China to pressure India to stay at an arm’s distance from the U.S. Yes, there’s a chance that may backfire: India may move toward America in the aftermath of the bloody border incident. But the Chinese generally have confidence in their hard power, and haven’t liked the growing sense of rapprochement between the U.S. and India over the past five years. One Belt, One Road has one big problem: India, which sits athwart the trade lanes China wants to use to dominate in the 21st century. In that sense, the Himalayan dispute is about control of the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. has limited capital to engage in this particular dispute. Although President Donald Trump offered to mediate in a recent tweet, the chances of China accepting such assistance are negligible. A better approach is for the U.S. to continue moving closer to India, making it clear to Beijing that it will not allow New Delhi to be pressured out of greater alignment with Washington.

Most important is to end the dispute over trade tariffs that began with Trump’s mishandled efforts to relieve U.S. trade deficits. On the military side, a good first step would be inviting India, which has ambitious goals at sea, to be a full participant in the biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercises. How about an Indian-led flotilla with U.S., Japanese and Australian warships as a centerpiece to the event?

Stronger ties with India have to be part of a larger strategy for the region. The U.S. should continue to explore ways to get closer to Taiwan, and apply appropriate sanctions to Beijing over actions in Hong Kong. Freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea should continue. Washington needs to build a solid bloc of opposition to China’s military and economic coercion, involving not only India but Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and other partners.

The tensions at the top of the world are important and dangerous, but solving them has to be part of the larger approach the U.S. takes with China.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
James Stavridis at jstavridis@bloomberg.net