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Hypothetical War : Contest For The Spratleys


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#1341 JasonJ

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 1009 AM

Not as fake as the legitimacy of their 9 dash line claim, I'll give you that.


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#1342 Nobu

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 1202 PM

The semi-binding arbitration court decision handed down last year ruled that many of the contested features in the SCS are in fact not entitled to be called islands at all. Referring to them as "fake" islands would be correct in that context.

 

Unfortunately for Brunei, North Vietnam, Taiwan/Nationalist China/Free China/The Whatever of China, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the word "fake" would certainly be applicable to their fake island claims in the area as well.

 

In the case of Taiwanese/Nationalist Chinese claims based on the legitimacy of their shared 9-dash-claim with their brothers from another mother, that would make the largest contested feature in the Spratleys, the Nationalist Chinese-claimed island of Itu Aba, and the Taiwanese island claim itself, classifiable as "fake" as well.


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#1343 Simon Tan

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 1737 PM

About as real as American right to sea passage.
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#1344 JasonJ

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 1927 PM

About as real as American right to sea passage.


China's right to free passage is the same as the US's. 9 dash line is not.
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#1345 JasonJ

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 0034 AM

Post-Brexit UK to set up a base in SCS region.
Spoiler
https://www.taiwanne...en/news/3610186
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#1346 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 0309 AM

Well considering we have never fought anywhere else BUT east of suez since we set the policy up, it perhaps is about high time we rethought it...

 

We have reopened the facility in Belize, ostensibly because of continuing threats to their independence, but its always been one hell of a useful jungle warfare training facility.


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#1347 JasonJ

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 1140 AM

A heads up on some of the rhetoric before setting up base here..

China is betraying a level of strategic anxiety not yet seen as the impact of trade tariffs looms and its return to its historical power role in the Asia seems to have stalled.

On Dec. 20, Chinese Rear Adm. Lou Yuan, while speaking at a military trade conference, announced that what the United States feared most was casualties and that the easiest way to defeat China’s main rival was to sink two American supercarriers, killing over 10,000 sailors in the process. When that has happened, Admiral Lou announced, then “we’ll see how frightened America is.”


Lou’s statements were followed just a few days later by China’s president, Xi Jinping, who threateningly said China “reserves the option of taking all necessary measures” to ensure “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, a democracy that has governed itself apart from China since 1949. Xi added that Beijing was willing to “fight the bloody battle against our enemies,” and menacingly predicted: “Reunification is the historical trend and the right path, Taiwan independence is ... a dead end.”

This is a stark escalation of language. Taken with other examples of bellicose rhetoric that have increasingly issued from Beijing officials, it is clear that Xi Jinping and his supporters have been badly rattled by the recent events.

China’s leaders assumed after the 2008 global financial crisis that the Communist, centrally controlled economic state’s time had come. It would regain its historic role in the region. It could cast off the cloak of a peaceful rise to assume a hegemonic role in the Asia-Pacific region.

But Xi and his followers have watched their diplomatic, economic and military initiatives come up short, engendering increased resistance from other Indo-Pacific nations rather than the realignment China had expected. Now the Trump administration’s trade tariffs threaten to destabilize the Chinese economy, resulting in a cascade failure of Xi Jinping’s broader strategy and threatening to undermine the legitimacy of the Communist Party, hence the stronger and more strident attacks.

China’s desperate attempts to regain the momentum, however, betray an ignorance of the American culture.

China perceived the lack of strategic focus of the George W. Bush administration and the passive “lead from behind” foreign policy of the Obama administration as American decay and decline. In reality, the foundational aspects of the American economy remain surprisingly strong and the American fighting spirit is not dead -- merely sleeping. Those who would believe that the sinking of two aircraft carriers would trigger an impulse toward retreat would do well to make themselves aware of the United States’ history and the impact events such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the collapse of the World Trade Center had on the national psyche. What some have labeled the Jacksonian impulse could be described as a tendency toward great power rage. To be sure, it burns itself out. After all, the U.S. is considering leaving Afghanistan, 17 years later.

But make no mistake: Any attack upon a single U.S. aircraft carrier by long-range aircraft, cruise missiles or ballistic missiles would surely generate a response against the bases from which those weapons were launched, the sensors associated with them and the command-and-control nodes that directed them, and then the United States would turn its attention on the Chinese naval and merchant fleet.

Before China knew what was happening, it would be cut off from the overseas sources of energy and raw materials that fuel its import/export economy. Within weeks it would be without fuel and its factories would be shuttered. The American economy, established in a nation that has most resources domestically available, would be able to ride out the storm, even if China attempted to climb the escalation ladder and attack targets in North America.

For China, it is better to get its more bellicose voices under control and approach the bargaining table with the United States over trade issues in good faith and with an openness to real compromise on the economic issues that divide our two nations, rather than resorting to nationalist saber rattling.

Xi Jinping should try harder to understand his real strategic position while remembering that he who rides the tiger finds it difficult to dismount. There will be no return to global hegemony or Middle Kingdom status. China brought its candle out from under the basket too soon, and its broader, aggressive ambitions have been revealed.

As for the United States, it should follow the lead of President Trump and his new acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who between them have identified that we are in an era of great power competition that will require more effort and that the focus of that competition is China, and China and China.

https://www.foxnews....ttack-americans
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#1348 RETAC21

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 1543 PM

And the US was going to fold up if Pearl was bombed...


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#1349 Nobu

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 2225 PM

it is clear that Xi Jinping and his supporters have been badly rattled by the recent events

 

This remains to be seen, unfortunately, as I find Beijing's response to Washington's stark escalation beyond rhetoric to actual tariffs to have been surprisingly collected and rational in various ways.


Edited by Nobu, 06 January 2019 - 2226 PM.

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#1350 DB

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 0659 AM

Quite why a rational response surprises any suggests how low everyone's opinion of the political classes has fallen.

China has pushed, firmly and continually over the course of decades to establush itself as a global superpower. It would clearly continue to push until opposed and when it found the limit at which a response occurred, it would re-evaluate and push in a possibly revised direction. In theory, a single-party state run by nominally competent people can sustain a coherent campaign for far longer than a western electorate-driven government run by people primarily qualified to win popularity contests who have term limits.

Every time they push and are not resisted, they gain something they will nit easily relinquish.
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#1351 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 0806 AM

And the US was going to fold up if Pearl was bombed...

 

Yes, exactly. :D And there is the more recent example of the US embarking on a war in the sandbox for 15 years, because of 'just' 2000 civilians being killed.

 

Considering how China seems to obsessed with Japan and the Second World War, they dont actually seem to have spent much time learning what happened.


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#1352 JasonJ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 2254 PM

For some new context. An ASEAN survey published a couple of days ago. Not of mainstream population but of business leaders, think tanks, etc., sorts of people. Putting up 13 graphs, but there's more content in the link in the following post.

 

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Edited by JasonJ, 11 January 2019 - 2255 PM.

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#1353 JasonJ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 2256 PM

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https://www.iseas.ed...FINAL_Jan19.pdf


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#1354 JasonJ

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 0421 AM

USN and RN conducted joint training in SCS, which seems to be the first time to do so.

McCampbellArgyll.JPG

SOUTH CHINA SEA - Arleigh-Burke guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll (F231) conducted operations together in the South China Sea Jan. 11-16.

At sea, McCampbell and Argyll conducted communication drills, division tactics, and a personnel exchange designed to address common maritime security priorities, enhance interoperability, and develop relationships that will benefit both navies for many years to come.

"We routinely train with regional allies and partners, but it is a rare opportunity for my team to work with the Royal Navy," said Cmdr. Allison Christy, McCampbell commanding officer. "Professional engagement with our British counterparts allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing strong relationships and learn from each other."

Argyll is currently deployed to the Indo-Pacific in support of regional security and stability. The cooperative deployment follows a trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise between the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Dec. 21-22.

''Following on from our successful time in North East Asia, contributing to promoting regional security and prosperity, we are pleased with the opportunity to train alongside our closest ally," said Cmdr. Toby Shaughnessy, Argyll commanding officer.

The U.S. Navy regularly flies, sails, and operates with allies and partners, both bilaterally and multilaterally to promote security and stability throughout the region. McCampbell is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

https://www.c7f.navy...outh-china-sea/


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#1355 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 1247 PM

I hope the USN doesn't hit and sink the RN ship.  Maybe a really big colored flag?


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#1356 JasonJ

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 2316 PM

Or hope one doesn't ram and sink a Chinese Coast Guard ship? Could be viewed as well deseaved bad Karma for the Chinese Coast Guard ship though :)
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#1357 JasonJ

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 0516 AM

200 China boats come up near one of the Philippine islands.

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told China on Thursday to "lay off" an island occupied by Manila in the disputed South China Sea and said he would deploy his soldiers there if Beijing touches it.

Duterte's remarks, which he said was not a warning but rather a word of advice to a friend, follow a statement made by the foreign affairs ministry calling the presence of more than 200 Chinese fishing boats near Thitu island illegal.

"I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you that lay off the Pagasa because I have soldiers there. If you touch it, that's a different story. I will tell the soldiers 'prepare for suicide mission'," Duterte said in a speech, using the local name for Thitu.

Duterte has repeatedly said he would not go to war with China because it would be suicide.

The Philippines military has described the boats as a "suspected maritime militia".

"Such actions, when not repudiated by the Chinese government, are deemed to have been adopted by it," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a rare rebuke of Beijing.

Duterte, who has pursued warmer ties with China since taking office in 2016 in exchange for billions of dollars of pledged loans and investment, said he would not allow China to occupy Thitu island because it "belongs to us".

The presence of the trawlers near Thitu island raises questions about their intent and role "in support of coercive objectives", the ministry said, days after the Philippines lodged a diplomatic protest with China.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang did not refer directly to Manila's protest, but he said bilateral talks on the South China Sea held in the Philippines on Wednesday were "frank, friendly and constructive".

Both sides reiterated that South China Sea issues should be resolved peacefully by parties directly involved, he said.

The Philippines has monitored the Chinese boats from January to March this year, according to military data.

"These are suspected maritime militia," Captain Jason Ramon, spokesman for the military's Western Command said this week.

"There are times when they are just there without conducting fishing. At times, they are just stationary."

The Philippines, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, a conduit for goods in excess of $3.4 trillion every year.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague invalidated China's claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

"We call on concerned parties to desist from any action and activity that contravenes the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, as these generate tension, mistrust and uncertainty, and threatens regional peace and stability," the Philippines ministry said.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured the Philippines it would come to its defense if it came under attack in the South China Sea.

https://www.google.c...p/idUSKCN1RG0LC
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#1358 JasonJ

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 2053 PM

Philippine fishing boat rammed by Chinese boat and sank at Reed Bank which is off from Palawan island. 22 crew were left in the water, rescued by Vietnamese.

MANILA, Philippines A Chinese vessel hit and sank a Filipino fishing boat anchored in Recto Bank in Palawan last weekend, and sailed away without rescuing the Filipino fishermen floundering in the water. Vietnamese fishermen later arrived to help the Filipinos.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday lashed out at the Chinese for abandoning the distressed Filipino crew of F/B Gimver 1 after what he described as a collision on Sunday in the vicinity of Recto or Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines has been awarded sovereign rights.

We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene and abandoning the 22 crewmen to the mercy of the elements. The F/B Gimver 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel, Lorenzana said. He was in Lanao with President Duterte for the celebration of Independence Day.

Other details of the incident were not immediately available, like the actual size and make of the vessels involved.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also denounced the Chinese for not rescuing the Filipino fishermen.

I TAKE MY CUE FROM DEFENSE SEC LORENZANA. WHAT IS CONTEMPTIBLE AND CONDEMNABLE IS THE ABANDONMENT OF THE CREW TO THE ELEMENTS, Locsin said in a tweet last night.

He added the Vietnamese assistance will be the basis of enhanced Philippines-Vietnam military cooperation.

There have been previous reports of Chinese maritime militia vessels disguised as fishing boats harassing Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana said the Philippine Navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz was called from patrol duty in the West Philippine Sea to assist the Gimver crewmembers.

We thank the captain and crew of the Vietnamese vessel for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew. However, we condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people, the defense chief said.

He called for a formal investigation of the incident and appealed to authorities to take appropriate diplomatic steps.

Locsin, meanwhile, stressed he based his reaction only on Lorenzanas statement, as he had just landed in Geneva.

Ive been airborne. I am awaiting a West PH task force report. My reaction thus far relies exclusively on Def. Sec. Lorenzana. I cant rely on media; itd be irresponsible to rely only on media, Locsin said.

In a ruling in 2016, a UN-backed arbitral court based in The Hague invalidated Chinas massive claim in the South China Sea and reaffirmed the Philippines maritime entitlements. The ruling underscored the Philippines rights over Recto Bank, as it is indisputably well within the countrys EEZ.

COC in 3 years
Meanwhile, Chinese embassy chargé daffaires Tan Qingsheng said Beijing sees the completion of the Consultation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in three years.

Tan said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China are committed to properly managing the South China Sea issue through the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on South China Sea (BCM).

Whats more, we are working together with other ASEAN partners to strive to complete the Consultation on Code of Conduct in South China Sea in three years, with the aim of turning the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and prosperity, Tan said at the dinner celebration for the 121st Independence Day of the Philippines and the 18th China-Philippines Friendship Day at the Philippine International Convention Center on Monday.

China maintained that based on a consensus with ASEAN, the consultation process for the Code of Conduct (COC) should be an internal process and not open to the public.

The Philippines is calling for a full and effective implementation of the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) while negotiations for a COC in the South China Sea are ongoing.

ASEAN and China signed the non-binding DOC on Nov. 24, 2002.

As China continues to project its power in the South China Sea, a US Navy carrier strike group led by USS Ronald Reagan concluded yesterday its joint exercise with three Japanese warships helicopter carrier Izumo, and destroyers Murasame and Akebono.

The Navys forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan participated in a cooperative deployment with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships, the US 7th Fleet said in a statement.

The drill was held in the South China Sea, but the US and Japan did not disclose other details like specific location. The drill began on June 10.

The time we are able to spend at sea training and operating with our partners in the JMSDF is invaluable. Our alliance has never been stronger, and its never been more important to this region than right now, Capt. Pat Hannifin, USS Ronald Reagan commanding officer, said in a statement. With Pia Lee-Brago

https://www.philstar...hina-ship-sinks

Edited by JasonJ, 12 June 2019 - 2057 PM.

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#1359 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 0835 AM

the Phillipine President has been seeking closer ties with China at the expense of ties with America.  How much closer than two ships touching does he want?

 

In some ways China seems to be making unforced errors these days


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#1360 JasonJ

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 2248 PM

the Phillipine President has been seeking closer ties with China at the expense of ties with America.  How much closer than two ships touching does he want?

 

In some ways China seems to be making unforced errors these days

 

The response from the Philippines after several days shows a fairly weak push back. But only so much could be expected from the Philippines. They need a bigger economy to give themselves some more weight to through around.

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted China’s proposal to jointly investigate allegations that a Chinese fishing vessel abandoned 22 Filipinos after it sank their boat in the South China Sea, his spokesman said on Saturday.

But aside from China and the Philippines, Duterte wants a third country to be included in the joint investigating committee that will be created to determine what really transpired in the Reed Bank, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“We are by no means relinquishing any inch of our sovereign rights, nor compromising the rights of our 22 fishermen. We are demanding justice for our countrymen, and we are using all legal means toward that end,” Panelo said in a statement.

Critics have accused Duterte of toeing China’s line rather than taking a stand in defense of his country’s fishermen and its sovereign rights after he described the sinking as a “little maritime accident”.

Duterte’s defense minister, navy chief and spokesman have publicly denounced the Chinese crew. His foreign minister, Teodoro Locsin had lodged a protest with Beijing and in a tweet on Friday rejected the idea of a joint investigation.

The issue could complicate what are determined efforts by Duterte to build a strong relationship with China, despite deep mistrust among his U.S.-allied defense apparatus, which remains wary about China’s maritime militarization and what it sees as bullying and denial of Manila’s access to its own offshore oil and gas reserves.

The sinking took place on June 9 near the Reed Bank, the site of untapped gas deposits that an international arbitration court in 2016 ruled the Philippines had sovereign rights to exploit. Beijing disputes that.

China’s embassy in Manila has said the crew had sought to rescue the Filipino fishermen but fled after being “suddenly besieged by seven or eight Filipino fishing boats”.

“A joint and impartial investigation will not only promote the expedient resolution of the issue, it will also be in accordance with international law ... which places paramount emphasis on the use of peaceful means to resolve international disputes”, Panelo said.

https://www.reuters....n-idUSKCN1TN00G


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