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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #300 on: May 16, 2015, 12:41:15 PM »

U.S. Seeks Calmer Waters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls for reduced tensions over China’s building of artificial islands
Photos by satellite-imagery provider DigitalGlobe shows what is believed to be Chinese vessels dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. ENLARGE
Photos by satellite-imagery provider DigitalGlobe shows what is believed to be Chinese vessels dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By
Jeremy Page
May 16, 2015 8:33 a.m. ET
13 COMMENTS

BEIJING—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing is determined to protect its sovereignty in the South China Sea as his visiting U.S. counterpart John Kerry called for efforts to reduce tensions over China’s stepped-up building of artificial islands.

At a joint news conference Saturday, Mr. Kerry briefly expressed concern about the land reclamation in the South China Sea and urged China to take steps to defuse the situation. He tried to emphasize other positive aspects of bilateral relations, such as cooperation on climate change.

Mr. Kerry didn’t respond to a reporter’s question on whether the U.S. military is planning to send warships or planes within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Mr. Wang took up the question, however, saying the structures fall within the scope of China’s sovereignty.

“The determination of the Chinese side to safeguard our own sovereignty and territorial integrity is as firm as a rock and it is unshakable,” Mr. Wang said. “It is the demand of our people on our government as well as a legitimate right of ours.”


Mr. Wang said China is committed to resolving territorial disputes peacefully and would continue ongoing talks about the artificial islands with the U.S. and other nations.

The two men had met earlier for talks on the first day of Mr. Kerry’s weekend visit to Beijing, which officials say is designed to lay the ground for high-level meetings by senior officials in Washington in June, and a state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September.

Mr. Kerry was due to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday afternoon and Mr. Xi on Sunday before moving on to South Korea.

The visit to Beijing has been overshadowed by differences on the South China Sea, where Beijing’s extensive land reclamation in the past year has raised fresh concerns in Asia and the U.S. that it plans to use force to assert its sweeping territorial claims.

China’s claims cover almost all of the South China Sea—one of the world’s busiest shipping routes—and overlap with those of several neighboring countries, including the Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally.

The U.S. military is now considering sending navy ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands to demonstrate that the U.S. doesn't believe China can claim territorial seas around them, U.S. officials say.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a joint news conference in Beijing on Saturday, May 16, 2015. ENLARGE
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a joint news conference in Beijing on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Photo: Zuma Press

Ahead of Mr. Kerry’s visit, U.S. officials had said that he would take a tough line on the issue in Beijing.

At the news conference, Mr. Kerry said the U.S. had already expressed its concern over the pace and scope of China’s island-building.

“I urged China through Foreign Minister Wang to take actions that will join with everybody in helping to reduce tensions and increase the prospect of a diplomatic solution,” he said. The region, he said, needs “smart diplomacy” to achieve a code of conduct for the South China Sea rather than “outposts and military strips.”

Mr. Kerry also played down other points of recent tension, saying the U.S. welcomed China’s establishment of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Obama administration at first tried to discourage allies from joining, U.S. officials and diplomats from allied countries have said, but switched to a more cooperative position when the bank, which is due to start operating this year, attracted many prospective members.

Mr. Wang said the infrastructure bank and other recent Chinese initiatives weren't aimed at reducing U.S. influence in Asia, noting that 23 of the 57 founding members of the new bank were not Asian nations.

“When we talk about openness and inclusiveness, we’re not simply talking the talk—we’re actually walking the walk,” Mr. Wang said.

Write to Jeremy Page at jeremy.page@wsj.com
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It seems China has won a battle without firing a shot.  US appears to be fully confused and disoriented as "loopholes" in the global order are ruthlessly exploited by many who like to serve and eat salami slices.
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G M
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« Reply #301 on: May 16, 2015, 12:46:10 PM »

Anyone surprised? China will take full advantage of our self induced weakness.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #302 on: May 16, 2015, 12:53:44 PM »

The lack of attention to China seizing control of the open seas wherein 40% of the world's trade transits boggles the mind.
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G M
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« Reply #303 on: May 16, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »

The lack of attention to China seizing control of the open seas wherein 40% of the world's trade transits boggles the mind.

America is busy watching the Kardashians eat salad.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #304 on: May 22, 2015, 03:02:11 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/politics/south-china-sea-navy-flight/index.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SitRep0522
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #305 on: May 23, 2015, 11:18:23 AM »

 May 22, 2015 6:23 p.m. ET
43 COMMENTS

The U.S. Navy flew a P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane this week over the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, where Beijing is building military bases atop reefs and rocks claimed by several of its neighbors. A CNN team invited along for the mission reported that China’s military repeatedly tried to order the U.S. plane away. “This is the Chinese navy,” it radioed in English. “Please go away . . . to avoid misunderstanding.” The U.S. crew responded each time that it was flying through international airspace.
Opinion Journal Video
American Enterprise Institute Scholar Michael Auslin on the Secretary of State’s latest diplomatic efforts. Plus, feminists call for a unified Korea. Photo credit: Associated Press.

By flying over the Spratlys, the U.S. provided its most forceful rejection to date of Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over an area that lies more than 600 miles from China’s coast. It also signaled that Washington would defend the freedom of the seas and the maritime rights of its partners.

And not a moment too soon. In recent years Beijing has expelled Philippine boats from certain fisheries, cut the cables of Vietnamese oil-exploration ships, and intercepted U.S. military vessels. Chinese dredgers have nearly doubled the total landmass of the Spratlys—creating more than 2,000 new acres, or some 1,500 football fields—in an attempt to extend Chinese military reach and its political claims.

For years diplomats got nowhere politely asking Beijing to stop. In 2012 the Obama Administration did not send naval forces to stop Chinese civilian and coast guard ships from banishing Filipinos from Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing area north of the Spratlys and inside the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. The episode was barely noticed in the U.S. but raised alarms throughout Asia.

To its credit, the Administration has since toughened its response. After China declared an air-defense identification zone over Japan’s Senkaku Islands, a pair of B-52 bombers soon overflew the area. But U.S. officials claimed that was a previously scheduled mission unrelated to China’s gambit. This week’s overflight, by contrast, was an explicit response to China’s island-building, with the military releasing once-classified surveillance footage and bringing the media along for the ride.

In March a bipartisan group of Senate leaders demanded briefings on “specific actions the United States can take to slow down or stop China’s reclamation activities,” including possible military measures, changes in U.S.-China relations and expanded cooperation with Asian allies and partners. U.S. officials also say they are considering sending naval patrols past China’s artificial islands to reinforce that the waters around the Spratlys aren’t China’s to control.

That would be the right move. The longer the U.S. fails to contest Beijing’s South China Sea claims, the more aggressive China will become in asserting those claims—and perhaps the more willing it will be to fight for them. The time to resist Beijing’s maritime pretensions is now.
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 ====================

Obama will do nothing for fear of damaging his legacy of non-involvement.  Obama will do nothing about China trying to take over the South China Sea for fear of damaging his legacy of non-involvement.  He will do nothing about the lack of education of poor children largely caused by teachers unions putting their pay and pensions way above the needs of poor children.  He will do nothing about the lack of meaningful actions by Congress.  He will do nothing effective about Putin's actions to increase his power.  He will not stop ISIS.  He will work on his pitching wedge shots.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #306 on: May 26, 2015, 09:01:39 PM »

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/26/chinas-military-blueprint-bigger-navy-bigger-global-role/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Editors%20Picks&utm_campaign=2014_EditorsPicksRS5%2F26

China laid out its military strategy in its first-ever defense white paper, promising not to hit first, but vowing to strike back hard if attacked in a world full of what it sees as potential threats.

The paper, released by China’s State Council, the chief administrative body of the Chinese government, is especially noteworthy at a time of heightened tensions with the United States over China’s aggressive behavior in disputed areas of the South China Sea. On Monday, Chinese state media spoke of war with the United States as “inevitable” if the United States keep pressing Beijing on its illegal activities; in the United States, meanwhile, the consensus over accommodating China’s rise seems to have given way to a more hawkish stance on the need to contain the rising Asian giant.

China’s new white paper provides plenty of points of continuity with past strategies, especially with Mao Zedong’s doctrine of “active defense,” known in the United States as the Billy Martin school of conflict management (“I never threw the first punch; I threw the second four.”)

At the same time, though, the defense blueprint breaks new ground. It codifies the ongoing transformation of China into a true maritime power, and puts more emphasis on high-seas, offensive naval operations. More broadly, it envisions a much bigger, global role for Chinese armed forces than had previously been the case, and in some places echoes the famously hawkish Chinese views of thinkers such as Liu Mingfu, whose bestselling book “The China Dream” paints a vision of nearly inevitable conflict between the two global titans.

Here are some of the main takeaways from the white paper’s English-language version.

Times may be peaceful, but things sure look scary in Beijing

The defense strategy’s starting point is a generally benign global environment: “Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become an irresistible tide of the times,” the paper says. “In the foreseeable future, a world war is unlikely, and the international situation is expected to remain generally peaceful.”

But that doesn’t mean everything’s rosy from the vantage point of Chinese leaders. Traditional security threats have been compounded by new threats, from terrorism to cyber war, to make life potentially perilous. One rival country in particular, with a penchant for hanging on to its leading position and supporting treaty allies in the Asia-Pacific region, merits special attention: “There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism.”

For a 5,000-year old civilization that has survived invasions from Mongols, Japanese, and Western Europeans, this is a sobering conclusion: “In the new circumstances, the national security issues facing China encompass far more subjects, extend over a greater range, and cover a longer time span than at any time in the country’s history.” Later, the paper notes: “Due to its complex geostrategic environment, China faces various threats and challenges in all its strategic directions and security domains.”

That’s especially true when it comes to the South China Sea

The white paper is mostly focused on higher-level issues of how China’s military will support the realization of China’s national “rejuvenation,” but it pays special attention to a potential area of conflict that’s in the headlines these days, China’s land reclamation efforts at a spate of reefs and rocks in the Spratly and Paracel island groups. Those activities on land features whose ownership is disputed have sparked tensions with the United States, Vietnam, the Philippines, and even Japan, which is shedding much of its post-World War II pacifism.

“On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China’s reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China. It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.”

To underscore the point, and perhaps send a message to the U.S. Navy, the paper speaks at length about the need to ensure “preparations for military struggle” in China’s watery backyard: “In line with the evolving form of war and national security situation, the basic point for PMS will be placed on winning informationized local wars, highlighting maritime military struggle and maritime PMS.”

The paper makes clear that what’s at stake in the South China Sea is not the fate of a few atolls or uninhabited islands, but the very nature of Chinese sovereignty. Among the Chinese military missions in this new world will be to “safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and maintain security and stability along China’s periphery.” Such doctrinal stances make it hard to believe China will easily blink first in a showdown over navigation rights in the region.

How do you say Mahan in Chinese?

Building a stronger navy was a priority of former President Hu Jintao, and has only been accelerated under Xi Jinping. But if there were any lingering doubts about China’s aim of transforming itself into a modern, maritime power, the white paper puts them to rest.

For a country whose eyes were locked on the northern and western frontier for millennia, this is noteworthy: “The traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests. It is necessary for China to develop a modern maritime military force structure commensurate with its national security and development interests, safeguard its national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, protect the security of strategic [sea lanes of communication] and overseas interests, and participate in international maritime cooperation, so as to provide strategic support for building itself into a maritime power.”

Importantly, especially in the context of China’s interest in ports and possibly bases across the Indian Ocean, the white paper’s first order of business for military modernization is the ability to operate far from home: improving logistics.

That’s a very active defense you’ve got there

The white paper couches China’s posture in terms of active defense, a mainstay of Chinese defense thinking since Mao’s guerrilla campaigns in the 1930s: “We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.” But the paper itself details just how the Chinese navy and air force are shedding their traditional defensive roles to take up more pro-active positions, including a true blue-water navy: “In line with the strategic requirement of offshore waters defense and open seas protection, the PLA Navy (PLAN) will gradually shift its focus from ‘offshore waters defense’ to the combination of ‘offshore waters defense’ with ‘open seas protection,’ and build a combined, multi-functional and efficient marine combat force structure. The PLAN will enhance its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack, maritime maneuvers, joint operations at sea, comprehensive defense and comprehensive support.”

China is embracing its global role

Finally, the white paper makes explicit what had seemed to be a recent evolution in China’s approach to the world. Traditionally, China focused on economic development and took a hands-off approach to global affairs. But with Chinese interests growing by leaps and bounds in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, China is finding that its defense responsibilities are set to go as global as its economic interests.

“In response to the new requirement coming from the country’s growing strategic interests, the armed forces will actively participate in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China’s overseas interests.”

That may not all be bad news: The West, after all, has been asking China to become a “responsible stakeholder” for a decade. The white paper concludes on just that note:

“With the growth of national strength, China’s armed forces will gradually intensify their participation in such operations as international peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and do their utmost to shoulder more international responsibilities and obligations, provide more public security goods, and contribute more to world peace and common development.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #307 on: Today at 11:29:20 AM »

Analysis
Forecast

    As outlined in China's latest defense white paper, the Chinese military will focus more on the growing internationalization of its role and "active defense."
    China's expanding economic and military activities in developing countries will make it increasingly difficult for Beijing to counter accusations of imperialism and convince other countries that it remains both politically neutral and capable of protecting its interests.
    As China becomes more involved in global defense, it will struggle to maintain its professed policies of noninterference while protecting its expanding national interests and will be forced to choose sides in political and security issues.
    Weaker states or groups within states will attempt to leverage Chinese power for their own interests. 

China's defense white papers are less revelations of new direction than partial reflections of current trends, carefully crafted for foreign and domestic consumption. No secrets are revealed, and little new ground is broken, but a comprehensive view emerges of just how China would like the world to interpret the evolution of its defense capabilities and actions. In China's latest such paper, released May 26, China is sending a message that it is a big power with international interests and will shoulder international responsibilities, but that unlike other major powers before it (alluding in particular to the United States), China has no hegemonic designs.

The centerpiece of China's strategy is "active defense," which Chinese defense officials contrast with the "proactive" defense policies of other nations (a clear nod to the emerging Japanese defense doctrine, as well as to existing U.S. strategy). In short, China wants — and needs — to take a stronger and more active role in international security. But it also wants to prevent any of its actions from being interpreted as aggressive or imperialistic to avoid the political and security consequences of being seen as an interventionist power.

Among the shifts in China's overall defense strategy, as laid out in the white paper but already clearly underway, are modifications of the primary roles of the various branches of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). In Section IV of the white paper, China elucidates these changing roles:

    The PLA Army "will continue to reorient from theater defense to trans-theater mobility."
    The PLA Navy "will gradually shift its focus from 'offshore waters defense' to the combination of 'offshore waters defense' and 'open seas protection.'"
    The PLA Air Force "will endeavor to shift its focus from territorial air defense to both defense and offense."

These evolutions match China's expanding strategic interests and reflect the ongoing refocusing of its defense strategy and capability from internal security and territorial integrity to assuring stability in its near abroad and addressing national interests far from China's borders or shores. This international component is summed up in Section I of the white paper:

    With the growth of China's national interests, its national security is more vulnerable to international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, serious natural disasters and epidemics, and the security of overseas interests concerning energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), as well as institutions, personnel and assets abroad, has become an imminent issue.

The latter half of this quote may highlight the biggest challenge to China's overall foreign policy. Just the assertion of the importance of Chinese interests abroad — shaped by natural resources, transport corridors, personnel and business operations in other countries — places China on a path of likely intervention that follows the United States and other imperial powers (whether intentionally imperial or otherwise) before it. If China is going to protect its physical interests and assets abroad, including its supplies of raw materials and its manufacturing and market bases, it will be forced to choose sides in political and security issues.
The Necessity of Choosing Sides

A shift in internal political alignment, a rising labor movement, the expansion of a militant organization or a change in international relations can all affect the stability and security of Chinese investments, access to raw materials, and the safety and security of Chinese personnel and assets abroad. In recent years, China has experienced these vulnerabilities firsthand, sometimes because of general trends (needing to pull its citizens out of Yemen, for example). At other times, it has been more directly related to Chinese activities (for instance, protests and actions against Chinese business operations in East Africa). China has already begun to face a stream of local accusations of economic imperialism in Africa, for example, and concerns are being raised about China's expanding economic activities in Latin America. Add in a more active military role, and Beijing will find it increasingly hard to convince other countries or populations that it remains both politically neutral and capable of protecting its interests.

An article written by the chief editor of the Sudanese newspaper Al-Ayyam on May 25, timed to nearly coincide with the release of the Chinese defense white paper, highlights this growing challenge for Beijing. Discussing the situation in South Sudan and China's supply of arms to the South Sudanese government, the commentary notes that the situation on the ground is forcing China to take sides and ease away from its noninterference policies, if it truly does want to ensure its own interests. The author then asserts, "China is now speaking the same language as the United States and the West on the South Sudan conflict." This is exactly the image China is trying so hard to deflect, but the reality is that protecting national interests requires choosing sides. And Beijing is finding it increasingly hard to follow its professed noninterference policy — or even its less overt tactic of funding and maintaining political ties with both sides of internal conflicts to ensure it has friends no matter which side wins.

In Africa, Southeast Asia (particularly Myanmar), Central Asia and beyond, Chinese officials face difficult decisions that test the noninterference policies every day. Adhering to noninterference could mean a loss of national interests, of access to strategic commodities, or of ease of passage for goods and services. Violating noninterference presents its own risks, as countries and populations see Chinese actions as more and more selfish and less and less about simply sharing with all in the great rise of the developing nations and the global south. China's clear shift to a more active international defense role shows just how much its thinking and recognition of this change in international relations is a reality. Why develop the ability to intervene to protect Chinese interests abroad if these interests are not threatened and if their status can be resolved through noninterfering political dialogue?

This is not to say that China is about to become the next global policeman, or that Chinese forces will begin deploying around the world on unilateral missions to protect Chinese factories. But the change in defense strategy is tied closely to evolutions in political strategy, and "active defense" to protect "the security of overseas interests" will frequently require choosing a side in internal and regional competitions and conflicts. One of the requirements of a major world power is that it must deal with these sorts of complications and contradictions; it is the cost of an expanded global reach and growing global dependencies.
The Risks of Empire

There is the additional risk that, as China's capabilities increase, countries will attempt to pull China into local or regional conflicts or confrontations to support their own positions. The United States finds itself regularly at the receiving end of requests for military assistance or intervention. And to maintain economic or diplomatic relations, the United States at times finds itself involved in conflicts that are of only tangential interest. For countries with the capability and the need to maintain certain levels of political relations to ensure their economic interests, it can be difficult to avoid being drawn in by third-party interests. Countries and interest groups may seek to exploit China's national interests to compel direct Chinese involvement in issues and cases where Beijing would prefer to remain somewhat distant. The more capability China develops and demonstrates, the more likely it is that weaker states or groups within states will attempt to leverage Chinese power for their own interests. 

The United States, which China is always alluding to when it mentions hegemonic powers, did not seek to become a global empire and did not intend to be an interventionist power. U.S. policy was frequently espoused as noninterventionist, particularly in the 1800s as the United States emerged from a backwater nation in virgin lands to a globally active economic and military power at the end of the century. Yet as U.S. business interests expanded abroad, the U.S. Navy became a default tool of forcing changes in local behavior to ensure American economic access and security. The United States' claims of anti-imperialism during the same period stemmed from both a political will to avoid following the United Kingdom's path and a recognition of the weakness of the U.S. position abroad compared with the existing imperial European powers. Anti-imperialism was a tool to allow the United States to gain economic and security benefits at minimal cost and lower risk. As China continues its emergence from a regional to a global power, it is encountering similar compulsions and constraints and the contradictions that power and expanding global interests bring to professed ideological and anti-imperial non-hegemonic regimes.
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