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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 120106 times)
G M
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« Reply #550 on: July 13, 2017, 02:22:30 PM »


Good analysis.
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ya
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« Reply #551 on: July 15, 2017, 04:24:31 PM »

This is an insightfull video about the Chinese, to those pressed for time 2:18-4:22 makes an important point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOyJZ4UGeD0
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:50:53 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #552 on: July 27, 2017, 01:32:00 PM »

Taking China’s Maritime Threats Seriously
Jul 27, 2017
By Phillip Orchard

For much of the past year, China has taken a somewhat softer approach to the South China Sea dispute in an effort to draw in Southeast Asian states. For example, it has opened lucrative fishing waters to foreign fleets and pledged progress on a code of conduct in the disputed waters. But this tactic was always underpinned by the yawning gap in maritime capabilities between China and its neighbors. Two developments this week merely exposed this reality, underscoring not only why China is likely to get its way on most issues in the South China Sea, but also why the success of its broader strategy remains in doubt.

On July 24, the BBC reported that Vietnam recently pulled the plug on a drilling operation in disputed waters off its southern coast because of Chinese pressure. According to the report, Hanoi told the company carrying out the drilling, a subsidiary of Spanish firm Repsol, that Beijing had threatened to attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands if the operation continued. (A second source has since confirmed the report, though Vietnam has not officially addressed the matter.) Just days earlier, the Repsol subsidiary had reportedly confirmed the existence of a major natural gas play in the block, which is located on the southwest fringe of China’s desired maritime boundary, delineated by the so-called nine-dash line.

The same day, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Philippines and China are in talks to jointly develop oil and natural gas around Reed Bank, a contested area well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone where drilling has been suspended since 2014. (Under international law, the Philippines has sole rights to seabed resources in these waters.) The announcement walks back earlier comments, when officials from the Philippine Department of Energy said the Philippines may reopen bidding to foreign companies by the end of the year to drill in the disputed waters – suggesting that Manila may be willing to sidestep Beijing, as it did prior to 2014. Duterte also reaffirmed an earlier claim that Chinese President Xi Jinping had threatened war when Duterte stated his intention for the Philippines to resume drilling unilaterally. Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed the president’s announcement on joint drilling with China the following day during a press conference with his visiting Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

Joint Development, Under Duress

At this point, how far the Chinese were willing to go militarily in either case is unclear. Chinese threats regarding resource extraction in parts of the South China Sea are nothing new. The Chinese have a long history of small-scale coercive actions in the waters, typically involving harassment from their rapidly expanding coast guard or their fishing militias. We can assume that both the Philippines and Vietnam would have considered such risks acceptable before moving forward. And if both have indeed changed course, it would suggest that they think China is more willing to resort to force to stop the drilling than may have been expected.

Manila and Hanoi are both eager to find a way to access their oil and gas reserves without the Chinese. Both countries need the energy resources, and neither is inclined to delay drilling until the interminable process of resolving their territorial disputes with China fully plays out. Vietnam, for example, is set to become a net importer of crude oil in two years, while its natural gas consumption is expected to increase by some 60 percent over the next decade. In addition to the Repsol project, Vietnam recently launched a joint venture with Exxon Mobil and renewed an oil lease with Indian oil firm ONGC Videsh – both in blocks overlapping China’s nine-dash line. In the Philippines, meanwhile, Reed Bank is needed to replace the primary source currently feeding Luzon’s energy needs, the Matamata field, which is expected to run out of natural gas by the middle of the next decade.

Both countries also face considerable political and economic risks of capitulating to Chinese pressure on oil and gas development. In the case of Vietnam, for example, Repsol had already reportedly poured some $300 million into the project. If the project is indeed stopped, and not merely suspended, the decision could drive away international oil companies in the future over concerns about the above-ground risk in the disputed waters. Moreover, Hanoi is wary of having nationalist political forces push it into an unwanted confrontation with Beijing. Fresh on Hanoi’s mind is the 2014 standoff over a deep-sea oil rig that China moved into Vietnamese waters – sparking violent protests and minor skirmishes at sea and destabilizing the political landscape at senior levels in Hanoi.

 A protester holds a placard during a protest in Manila against China’s presence in disputed waters in the South China Sea on June 12, 2017. TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
In the Philippines, meanwhile, Reed Bank has long been a point of contention with China, which has been pushing for joint exploration since the mid-1980s. In 2003, the Philippines abruptly broke ranks with the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to launch a joint seismic exploration venture with China’s CNOOC, eventually pulling a reluctant Vietnam on board. To the extent that the goal was to put aside the sovereignty dispute and conduct seismic exploration while sharing the cost burden, the initiative was basically successful, and it could provide a template for another try at joint development.

But any attempt at joint development with the Chinese will face legal and political hurdles. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a regular Duterte foil, warned that the Philippine Constitution bars any state-state agreements on drilling in the Philippines’ EEZ. Compliance with the charter will depend on the language of whatever arrangement is reached, but it may be difficult for Manila and Beijing to strike a deal without implicitly ceding ground on the sovereignty question. Much of the Philippine defense establishment already opposes joint development with China on principle. And public support would sour if it comes to be portrayed as the political and business elite selling out Philippine sovereignty to the neighborhood bully for personal gain. The 2003 deal, for example, fell apart by 2008 amid widespread corruption allegations, including some related to Chinese investments in the country, that had been plaguing Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for years.

It’s Not About the Oil

China is acting with much broader geopolitical imperatives in mind. For China, it’s not about the oil, or any of the known seabed resources in the waters, for that matter. (Securing access to rich fishing grounds is an imperative for China, but it is only a secondary concern.) Rather, for China, it’s primarily about pushing outward to create a buffer that shields its internal vulnerabilities and secures access to its vital seaborne trade routes south to the Indian Ocean basin and west toward North America.

China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, encompassing some 1.4 million square miles (3.6 million square kilometers), are intentionally vague on the fringes, ostensibly leaving Beijing room to push and prod where it sees fit. But attempts at resource extraction tend to bring China’s claims into starker relief. Allowing Vietnam or the Philippines to extract mineral resources even on the very fringes of the nine-dash line, several hundred miles from the Chinese mainland, would amount to effective recognition of their sovereignty over the waters. If the Philippines and Vietnam are going to drill, from China’s perspective, they can do so only in a way that does not invalidate China’s territorial claims. Better still would be for these countries to undertake joint ventures, framing China as a source of prosperity and progress for the region while giving Beijing yet another point of leverage for use in service of its broader aims.

This strategy helps cement China’s dominance in its backyard and prevent regional states from disrupting efforts at bolstering its defenses in its near abroad, such as its militarized man-made islands in contested waters with the Philippines and Vietnam. It also underscores the limits of U.S. naval superiority, as the U.S. is reluctant to wade into minor disputes. And if Beijing succeeds in forging a joint development agreement with Manila, it would mark a breakthrough, if a mostly symbolic one, in Beijing’s ability to navigate nationalist impulses in the region (while keeping its own in check) enough to get adversaries to engage on its terms.

The Bigger Picture

But it doesn’t automatically address China’s broader geopolitical imperatives. China’s only viable strategy to ensure access to the Pacific is to reach a political accommodation with one of the nation-states that make up what’s known as the first island chain, the archipelago stretching from Indonesia to Japan. China would need to be certain that this state wouldn’t side with an outside naval power in a major conflict. Beijing’s best bet is the Philippines.

If a lasting political accommodation is the goal, then China’s apparent willingness to resort to military force on issues its neighbors hold dear like drilling may seem counterintuitive. But hard power is working for Beijing, particularly in the small doses that assert its local superiority without dragging the U.S. into the fray. After all, despite the international backlash against China’s militarization of the Spratlys, and despite last year’s international arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s sweeping territorial claims in the region, China’s position in its near abroad has only strengthened. It has received no meaningful pushback to the island building, and littoral states are increasingly divided and negotiating on Beijing’s terms.

Beijing is betting that its overwhelming superiority compared to weaker Southeast Asian states will diminish the appetite for confrontation among its southern neighbors and turn their attention toward the tangible benefits of cooperation. A lot of people are getting rich off Chinese investments in the Philippines and Vietnam, and a lot of them have considerable influence in their capitals. In other words, China is using force to declare the rules of the game, and using economic tools to make its neighbors more willing to play.

The drawback, of course, is that there is a cost to perpetual coercion, particularly when the other states have the option of partnering with stronger outside powers. And Chinese pressure will inevitably compel Southeast Asian states to keep the United States and allies like Japan no further than an arm’s length away. The 2015 agreement allowing the U.S. rotational access to Philippine military bases is a case in point. Duterte’s framing of his concession on joint development with Beijing as being done under threat of war may reduce the possibility of a nationalist backlash against him in the Philippines, but it also makes the Philippine public more distrustful of the Chinese and more likely to support a stronger alliance with the West. It hardly fits Wang Yi’s June 25 depiction of China as the Philippines’ “good brother.”

Thus, routinely flexing its muscles in its near abroad is in many ways Beijing’s only choice. Any political accommodation with Manila would be fluid and subject to shifts in Philippine political moods, and expelling the United States from the region is a long-term project, at best. China cannot outsource the task of securing its backyard to its neighbors, nor trust that they will reject all other suitors. So China is building out its buffer bit by bit, in part by demonstrating a willingness to go to the mat over issues large or small.

The post Taking China’s Maritime Threats Seriously appeared first on Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #553 on: July 27, 2017, 03:49:52 PM »

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British Defense Minister Michael Fallon announced that the United Kingdom is planning to send warships to the South China Sea for freedom of navigation exercises. Though the ministry has not finalized exactly where the deployment will occur, Fallon made it clear that the United Kingdom would not let China constrain it from sailing through the sea. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson echoed the statements on a visit to Sydney. Following his discussion with Australian foreign and defense ministers, Johnson elaborated that two brand new aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be dispatched as part of the exercises. Given their scheduled service, however, the deployment will not likely take place before 2020.

The United Kingdom will assume its naval role in defending the freedom of the seas, as it continues to carefully maintain a balanced relationship with Beijing and to court Chinese investment. France has also made similar proposals to support freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, specifically by working more closely with Vietnam, Japan and the United States. France hopes for regular patrols in the region. Increased maritime presence enables both France and the United Kingdom to project strength and build alignment in the region.

However, increased involvement by foreign powers in the South China Sea only complicates China's strategy to define its maritime sphere of influence and its interests beyond. Particularly prominent projects that could be complicated by developments in the South China Sea include Chinese efforts to strengthen relations with the United Kingdom, efforts to accelerate its strategic Belt and Road Initiative in Europe and attempts to further internationalize the Yuan.
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ya
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« Reply #554 on: July 30, 2017, 10:33:15 AM »

Looks like the West and the Brits may finally be developing some spine. Barak O should never have allowed the Chinese to build those islands, it gave Chinese a swollen head. They have continued to support NK and now they threaten us. Sending B1 planes to the region does not do much unless they fly directly over NK . At some point little Kim will need to go. I think Trump might do the needful. All these interceptor tests are meaningful.
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G M
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« Reply #555 on: July 30, 2017, 12:50:44 PM »

http://taskandpurpose.com/trump-just-approved-a-plan-for-the-us-navy-to-check-beijing-in-the-south-china-sea/

Trump Just Approved A Plan For The US Navy To Check Beijing In The South China Sea
By ALEX LOCKIE, BUSINESS INSIDER  on July 23, 2017 T&P ON FACEBOOK   

President Donald Trump approved a plan to check Beijing over its continued militarization of and actions in the South China Sea, Breitbart News Kristina Wong reports.

Over the last few years, China has ambitiously built up islands on reefs and atolls in the South China Sea and militarized them with radar outposts, military-grade runways, and shelters for missile defenses.

Military analysts believe China hopes to expand its air defense and identification zone into the western Pacific and build a blue-water navy to rival the US’s, but six other countries also lay claim to parts of the region.

In 2016, an international court at The Hague deemed China’s maritime claims unlawful and excessive, but China rejected the ruling outright and has continued to build military installations and unilaterally declare no-fly and no-sail zones.

When a country makes an excessive naval claim, the US Navy challenges it by sailing its ships, usually destroyers, close to the disputed territory or through the disputed waters as a way of ensuring freedom of navigation for all. In 2016, the US challenged the excessive claims of 22 nations — China’s claims in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping passes, were the most prominent.


China has responded forcefully to US incursions into the region, telling the US the moves were provocative and that they must ask permission, which doesn’t align with international law or UN conventions.

“China’s military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and regional peace and stability,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in response to US bombers flying in the region.

Under former US President Barack Obama, the US suspended freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, the US made just three such challenges. So far, under Trump, the US has made three challenges already.


“You have a definite return to normal,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White told Breitbart News.

“This administration has definitely given the authority back to the people who are in the best position to execute those authorities, so it’s a return to normal,” she said.

Freedom of navigation operations work best when they’re routine in nature and don’t make news.

They serve to help the US establish the facts in the water, but in the South China Sea, those facts all indicate Chinese control.

When Chinese military jets fly armed over head, when Chinese navy ships patrol the waters, and when Chinese construction crews lay down the framework for a network of military bases in the South China Sea, the US’s allies in the region notice.

An increased US Navy presence in the area won’t turn back time and unpave runways, but it could send a message to allies that the US has their back and won’t back away from checking Beijing.
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G M
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« Reply #556 on: July 30, 2017, 03:44:51 PM »

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-07-25/bomb-shelter-sales-are-booming-after-north-korea-s-icbm-launch?cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_content=business&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social
Business has never been better at Atlas Survival Shelters, which ships bunkers to customers around the world from its U.S. factories. Among the best sellers: the BombNado, with a starting price of $18,999.

The popularity of the company’s doomsday fortifications is no surprise, considering the state of the world in general and, specifically, Kim Jong-Un’s pursuit of a missile that can hit the continental U.S. Curiously, though, the most furious surge of interest isn’t in America but Japan, a country that’s long been within North Korea’s striking distance.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #557 on: August 01, 2017, 12:14:06 PM »

VERY glad to see President Trump defending freedom of navigation in SCS!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #558 on: August 03, 2017, 12:42:06 AM »

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and China are expected to endorse the framework for a code of conduct governing the South China Sea at a ministerial meeting later this week, ABS-CBN News reported July 31. Approval of the framework is the next step toward a final, more detailed code of conduct, intended to be an agreement setting forth norms to guide the conduct of parties and promote maritime cooperation in the strategically critical waters.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #559 on: August 03, 2017, 06:23:37 PM »

China apparently responded to news of plans to complete the placement of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea with a large live-fire exercise on July 31. On the day before China's military parade on Aug. 1, the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force launched 20 ballistic and cruise missiles at targets simulating a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile site, along with mock-up airstrips and bases, reports indicate. The drill used Chinese DF-26C and DF-16A ballistic missiles as well as CJ-10 cruise missiles.
 
Ballistic and cruise missiles are central to China's military strategy, especially in the Western Pacific, where Beijing faces powerful militaries, such as those of the United States and Japan. Continued exercises employing components of the country's missile arsenal are necessary for China to become adept at using its extended-range weapons.
 
Two observations make the July 31 exercise particularly noteworthy. First, the size of the missile launch is important. It is exceedingly rare for China to test this many missiles in live-fire games during a single exercise. These weapons are costly and China only has a limited number, meaning that Beijing won't expend them needlessly.
 
Second, the exercise comes amid considerable friction with the United States over trade, the South China Sea and especially North Korea. Indeed, the partial deployment by the United States of a THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea prompted vehement protests from Beijing. Therefore, it is likely that the Chinese were trying to send a message of resolve, especially when the scope and size of the exercise are taken into account.
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ya
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« Reply #560 on: August 05, 2017, 09:28:48 AM »

This missile test has the dual purpose of serving as a warning to India too. There seems to be some Indo-US co-ordination going on with simultaneous US moves in the Indo-China sea. With the stand off in Bhutan, it puts pressure on China that a war with India might leave their eastern flank unprotected. In such an instance US could easily knock of NK.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #561 on: August 05, 2017, 11:11:11 AM »

Interesting notion , , ,
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« Reply #562 on: August 05, 2017, 11:18:05 AM »

China May Finally Be Ready to Work With the United States on North Korea
On July 28, however, North Korea tested its second ICBM, ratcheting up pressure on China to act.
(JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)


The United States and China appear to have reached accord over a draft U.N. resolution on fresh sanctions against North Korea. Anonymous diplomatic sources say that the United States aims to hold a vote Aug. 5. This has been the U.S. and Chinese approach for some time — to first engage in bilateral dialogue before formally proposing sanctions measures to the broader U.N. Security Council.

Washington handed over a new draft sanctions resolution to China shortly after an emergency July 5 U.N. Security Council meeting in reaction to North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. The United States insisted that it wanted to avoid the watered-down sanctions leveled in the past, a specific allusion to China's pattern of playing defense in the United Nations to ensure that sanctions do not go too far in destabilizing North Korea.

Shortly after the July 5 meeting, China's U.N. Ambassador Liu Jiey cautioned against rushing the measures and said an improvement of the situation might reduce the urgency, specifically noting his desire for further North Korean tests to be prevented by diplomatic means. On July 28, however, North Korea tested its second ICBM, ratcheting up pressure on China to act. The following week, the U.S. announced it would launch new investigations into Chinese trade practices — a sign that it will no longer allow hoped-for cooperation to limit it from firm action. The investigation could allow the U.S. administration to eventually unleash a slate of retaliatory trade measures against China — a prospect very much on Beijing's mind as it decides how to proceed regarding North Korea.

According to anonymous U.N. diplomats, the U.S.-proposed sanctions would stop countries from increasing the number of North Korean workers they accept and from engaging in new joint ventures with the country. They would also ban coal, iron, seafood and lead exports with the goal of reducing North Korea's export income by a third. In the bilateral talks ahead of the most recent June 2 U.N. sanctions on North Korea, China balked at broader proposals and instead agreed only to limited measures on individual entities. In early 2017, however, Beijing took some limited steps in terms of banning coal and cutting some humanitarian programs as well as a moderate curb of oil exports.

To come into force, the resolution would need the approval of nine U.N. Security Council member states. It would also have to avoid a veto from permanent members. The veto is the biggest worry for the United States, given that Russia has the power to block the resolution. Moscow shows every sign that it is willing to act as a spoiler in the U.S. strategy to contain the North Korean threat, questioning the assessment that North Korea test-fired ICBMs and stepping in with fuel exports to North Korea. The question now becomes whether Russia will pull the trigger on a veto, or whether it will allow the U.N. measures to proceed with the intention of undercutting them in practice — as it has done before. Moscow's incentive to act as a spoiler has only become greater since new U.S. sanctions on Russia were signed into law Aug. 2. The raft of measures also included enhanced sanctions on North Korea, with provisions specifically aimed at targeting Russian energy shipments to the North — something Russia is increasingly doing under the radar in case further sanctions are implemented. Russia's new ambassador to the U.N. met with his Chinese counterpart Aug. 3 and cautioned that a bilateral agreement between the United States and China was by no means universal.

Russian pushback on sanctions could, however, work to China's advantage by giving the country what it wants but can't actually work toward. With the United States showing every sign of stepping up trade pressure and sanctions targeting Chinese entities doing business with North Korea, Beijing has every reason to cooperate on U.N. sanctions. During the closed-door talks between China and the United States, China worked closely with Moscow as well, and the ball is now in Russia's court.
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ccp
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« Reply #563 on: August 05, 2017, 12:52:48 PM »

"China May Finally Be Ready to Work With the United States on North Korea"

This is all silly.
We have had this dance for decades and where are we now.  Only thing that will work is force.

Otherwise we accept NK a nuclear power - just as Krauthammer pointed out.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #564 on: August 05, 2017, 06:41:00 PM »

"China May Finally Be Ready to Work With the United States on North Korea"

This is all silly.
We have had this dance for decades and where are we now.  Only thing that will work is force.

Otherwise we accept NK a nuclear power - just as Krauthammer pointed out.

I am an optimist on this.  There are a lot of levers available other than force - and we have force too.  I wrote this before but wouldn't it be great if the art of the deal guy with all the levers of the leader of the free world, with logic, power, safety and ?everything else on his side, could get China to cooperate on this?

If they don't and if we don't take out the threat...  Japan, South Korea, Taiwan will go nuclear too, and others.  When the world's lowest tech country can go nuclear, they all will.  A nuclear Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines?  How is THAT in China's best strategic, control of their own backyard, interest?
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G M
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« Reply #565 on: August 05, 2017, 09:36:49 PM »

"China May Finally Be Ready to Work With the United States on North Korea"

This is all silly.
We have had this dance for decades and where are we now.  Only thing that will work is force.

Otherwise we accept NK a nuclear power - just as Krauthammer pointed out.

I am an optimist on this.  There are a lot of levers available other than force - and we have force too.  I wrote this before but wouldn't it be great if the art of the deal guy with all the levers of the leader of the free world, with logic, power, safety and ?everything else on his side, could get China to cooperate on this?

If they don't and if we don't take out the threat...  Japan, South Korea, Taiwan will go nuclear too, and others.  When the world's lowest tech country can go nuclear, they all will.  A nuclear Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines?  How is THAT in China's best strategic, control of their own backyard, interest?

It isn't. These are all pressure points that can be used.
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ya
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« Reply #566 on: August 11, 2017, 12:48:09 AM »

More bluster from Chinese....at some point they have to do something!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/11/south-china-sea-chinese-military-tells-us-ship-to-turn-around-10-times

South China Sea: Chinese military tells US ship to turn around 10 times

Thursday 10 August 2017 20.18 EDT
A US warship has sailed close to an artificial island created by China in the South China Sea as part of a “freedom of navigation” operation.

The USS John S McCain destroyer sailed within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef, part of the disputed Spratly Islands south of the Paracel Islands.
A US official said a Chinese frigate sent radio warnings at least 10 times to the USS McCain.

“They called and said ‘Please turn around, you are in our waters,’” the official said.

“We told them we are a US [ship] conducting routine operations in international waters.”

The official said the interactions were all “safe and professional”, with the operation lasting about six hours from start to finish.

China’s foreign ministry said: “The US destroyer’s actions have violated Chinese and international laws, as well as severely harmed China’s sovereignty and security.

“China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the US side.”

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The freedom of navigation operation – known in the military as a “Fonop” – was bound to annoy Beijing and was the third of its kind carried out by the United States since President Donald Trump took office.

It comes amid soaring tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Kim Jong-un’s missile programme, and as the United States seeks to push China into more assertively restraining North Korea.

Trump this week warned North Korea it faced “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten America.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan declined to comment on whether there had been a freedom of navigation sailing, but said: “We are continuing regular Fonops, as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future.

“All operations are conducted in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”
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G M
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« Reply #567 on: August 21, 2017, 09:39:20 AM »

http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/08/21/did_china_hack_the_seventh_fleet_112102.html

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ya
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« Reply #568 on: August 21, 2017, 08:56:00 PM »

Certainly seems so...to much of a coincidence. If true, the Chinese are quite advanced in their capabilities. I also found the NK missiles going haywire several months ago, quite odd, almost seemed as if the US was testing their own cyber capabilities. The problem is the US will not admit they were hacked....now if a couple of Chinese missiles or ships crash that might be a sign.
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G M
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« Reply #569 on: August 21, 2017, 09:41:04 PM »

Certainly seems so...to much of a coincidence. If true, the Chinese are quite advanced in their capabilities. I also found the NK missiles going haywire several months ago, quite odd, almost seemed as if the US was testing their own cyber capabilities. The problem is the US will not admit they were hacked....now if a couple of Chinese missiles or ships crash that might be a sign.

We do know that China has invested a lot of time and energy in developing it's cyberwar capabilities.
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G M
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« Reply #570 on: August 23, 2017, 12:53:39 AM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cno-does-not-rule-out-intentional-act-latest-warship-collision/

Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision
China calls Navy 'hazard' in Asian waters

Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain moored pier side at Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC / Getty Images
     
BY: Bill Gertz    
August 22, 2017 5:00 am

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday.

"That's is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that's the case—yet," Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.

"But we're looking at every possibility, so we're not leaving anything to chance," he said.


Asked if that includes the possibility the electronic defenses on the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were hacked in a cyber attack, Richardson said investigators will look into all possible causes.

"We'll take a look at all of that, as we did with the Fitzgerald," the four-star admiral said, referring to another Navy warship collision with a merchant ship in June near Japan.

USS McCainUSS McCain
The McCain collided with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore late Sunday, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 sailors missing.

The ship was on its way to Singapore where it docked after the collision. Photos show a deep gash in the ship's hull.

It was the second deadly collision at sea of its kind for the Navy in two months, and the fourth Navy ship incident in the Pacific region this year.

The McCain took part in a freedom of navigation operation by sailing within 12 miles of the disputed Mischief Reef in the South China Sea earlier this month.

A Chinese navy frigate shadowed the McCain during the passage and ordered it to leave what it claimed were Chinese waters.

Beijing also issued a formal diplomatic protest note as a violation of its maritime sovereignty.

On June 21, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the merchant ship MV ACX Crystal about 90 miles southwest of Tokyo. The incident killed seven sailors in their sleeping quarters below deck and severely damaged the warship's hull.

The Crystal was likely operating on autopilot at the time of the collision, raising the possibility that hackers may have broken into the ship's control network and directed the ship to hit the Fitzgerald.

The two destroyer collisions are unusual because warships are equipped with multiple radars capable of detecting ships as far as 20 miles out. Watch officers on the bridge also are in charge of checking for nearby vessels.

In the case of a ship on a collision course, Navy radar operators will signal the bridge that a "constant bearing, decreasing range" contact is detected once radar detects a vessel on a collision course.

USS McCainUSS McCain
Watch officers on the bridge normally would notify the captain and recommend that the ship change course to avoid the collision.

Navy experts say collisions between slow moving freighters and fast Navy ships that occur are normally the result of two mistakes by the warship operators: Allowing the warship to get close to an approaching vessel in the first place, and then having to maneuver at close quarters to avoid it.

"This is obviously an extremely serious incident," Richardson said. "And is the second such incident in a very short period of time. And very similar as well."

Richardson said he has ordered Navy ships to conduct an operational standdown for one or two days so that procedures of all surface fleets can be reviewed. The operational pause means most Navy operational activities will halt during that period.

"The emphasis of that is really to look at the fundamentals at the unit and team levels to make sure that we're not overlooking anything in what I would call the blocking and tackling of the basic seamanship, airmanship, those sorts of things, team work, how we do business on the bridge," Richardson said.

The results of that review over the next week will be used to produce a "lessons learned" from recent incidents.

The problems also appear to be part of the Pacific Fleet, Richardson said. Both the McCain and the Fitzgerald are part of Destroyer Squadron 15 and the Seventh Fleet.

In addition to the McCain and Fitzgerald collisions, in May the USS Lake Champlain, a guided missile cruiser, collided with a South Korean fishing boat in waters near South Korea. No injuries resulted from that incident.

In January, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, damaging the ship's propellers and spilling oil into the water. That incident also resulted in no injuries to the ship's crew.

The need to repair the damaged hulls of both the McCain and Fitzgerald mean the ships will be unable to take part in the Navy's Aegis missile defense systems at a time when threats posed by North Korean missile attacks in the region are increasing.

Pyongyang recently threatened to fire test missiles near Guam but appeared to back down from firing missiles toward the U.S. island under pressure from the Pentagon.

A Navy official said the loss of two missile defense warships will not have an immediate impact on Navy regional missile defenses for forward deployed forces in the Pacific. However, "the long term effects remain to be seen," the official said.

In addition to the two-day halt in Navy surface warship activities, Richardson said the Navy also is conducting a longer-term review to see whether the problem is related to Navy forces in Japan.

That review will be headed by Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

"This will be a broader effort looking at a number of things," Richardson said, noting the situation of Navy forces in Japan.

The longer-term review will examine training and readiness, trends in operational tempo, maintenance and equipment, and personnel.

A Navy official said budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 limiting defense funds may be to blame.

"As a result of decades of not having a competitor to drive fleet focus, high tempo and fiscal uncertainty and under funding, we are seeing fraying in surface and aviation," the official said. "By this review, the CNO wants to see how bad it is and then quickly address it."

That review also will delve into the process the Navy used to develop surface warship drivers.

In addition to Navy experts, the review will include experts from other military services as well as outside experts.

China, meanwhile, has been covertly attempting to take control of the strategic waterway in a political battle over freedom of navigation. Beijing reacted to the latest collision by calling the Navy a hazard to shipping in the South China Sea.

The Global Times newspaper, an official publication of the Communist Party of China that often reflects official military views, reported that the Navy in Asia poses a "growing risk to commercial shipping."

"While the U.S. Navy is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters, China has been making joint efforts with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to draw up a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and it has boosted navigational safety by constructing five lighthouses on its islands," the newspaper said.

"Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation."

Chinese propaganda outlets did not report widely how a People's Liberation Army Navy frigate ran aground in the South China Sea in July 2012 and was stranded for 10 days near the disputed Spratlys islands near the Philippines. Press reports in the region at the time called the incident "the bully that ran aground."

The Navy official called the Global Times report "an opportunistic and uninformed view on how these recent mishaps play into the broader context of the region."

"It's sad to see the Chinese use this loss of life as a way to advance their area interests," the official said.

On the possibility that China may have triggered the collision, naval analysts say Chinese military writings routinely discuss combined electronic and cyber warfare in high-technology conflict.

The Chinese military intends to use its integrated network and electronic warfare to extend the reach of cyber attacks to isolated battlefield networks in space and on the seas as a component of future warfighting plans.


The Navy traditionally adopts a strict policy of accountability for all ship mishaps.

On Friday, the two senior officers on the Fitzgerald were relieved of duty, and about a dozen other sailors who were on watch the night of the collision were punished.

A preliminary report on the Fitzgerald collision provided no details on the cause of the incident.

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ccp
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« Reply #571 on: September 06, 2017, 07:51:10 AM »

http://www.atimes.com/ship-collisions-raise-specter-chinese-electronic-warfare/
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G M
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« Reply #572 on: October 12, 2017, 10:34:22 AM »

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/10/11/politico-china-abducted-american-impunity/
Politico: China Abducted American With Impunity
SEAN KEELEY
Politico today offers a disturbing peek into Chinese spy games during the Obama Administration, including a previously hushed-up account of the abduction of an American official in Chengdu:

It was January 2016. The U.S. official had been working out of the American consulate in the central Chinese metropolis of more than 10 million. He may not have seen the plainclothes Chinese security services coming before they jumped him. In seconds he was grabbed off the Chengdu street and thrown into a waiting van.

The Chinese officials drove their captive — whom they believed to be a CIA officer — to a security facility where he was interrogated for hours, and, according to one U.S. official, filmed confessing to unspecified acts of treachery on behalf of the U.S. government.

It wasn’t until the early morning hours of the following day that other U.S. officials — who were not immediately informed by their Chinese counterparts of the consular official’s capture — arrived to rescue him. He was eventually released back to their custody and soon evacuated from the country.

The circumstances surrounding this incident eerily parallel a similar one in Moscow that also occurred on President Obama’s watch. In that case, it was Russia’s FSB that roughed up an American official suspected of espionage on U.S. diplomatic grounds. In both cases, Obama officials took pains to hide the incident from public view while protesting through official channels—though that didn’t stop Moscow from publicly releasing footage of the brawl to humiliate Washington and score propaganda points at home.

Indeed, the Politico story fits into a disturbing pattern of brazen provocations by rival spy services during the Obama years—provocations that were protested in private but never publicly exposed or avenged. As Damir Marusic wrote about the Russian incident at the time, President Obama preferred to compartmentalize such events so as not to endanger cooperation elsewhere:

President Obama seems determined to not be baited by this kind of stuff, even if it is causing lasting frustration and outrage among the men and women serving in the diplomatic and intelligence corps. Indeed, one could easily imagine the President making the case that there is little to be gained from descending to the Russians’ level in such matters.

That thinking seems to have prevailed in the Chinese case as well. And keep in mind that previous to this incident, China had already hacked the Office of Personnel Management and systematically dismantled the CIA’s spy network beginning in 2010.

One can interpret that decision charitably (as a calculation that such things are best resolved through quiet diplomacy) or cynically (as a political decision to avoid a potential scandal during an election year). Regardless, the effect was the same: Obama’s timidity became its own form of recklessness, emboldening rivals who calculated that they could act against Americans with impunity.

And indeed, Beijing’s spooks got the message, and appear to have upped their game. Politico cites several examples: a broadening of recruitment efforts beyond the usual Chinese-American targets, sophisticated cyber attacks that led to “staggering” breaches, omnipresent surveillance of American officials, and frequent searches of their rooms and belongings. Some of these tactics mirror the heavy-handed harassment of American officials that has long been standard practice in Moscow.

And China’s espionage efforts are arguably more sophisticated than Russia’s, and its efforts are expanding. This year alone, two federal government employees have been charged with passing state secrets to Beijing, and allies like Australia and New Zealand are currently mired in domestic dramas about Chinese influence in their university system and Parliament, respectively. The need for vigilance about Chinese espionage has never been greater.

This is a case where President Trump’s Jacksonian instincts and penchant for showmanship may actually serve him well. Rather than burying the danger of Chinese spy games, the Trump Administration should respond publicly to any such provocations, making it abundantly clear that any such behavior will not go unanswered. One of the more interesting details in the Politico story is that the Obama Administration “issued a veiled threat to kick out suspected Chinese agents within the U.S.” during the diplomatic talks around the Chengdu incident. It’s not clear that that threat was ever carried out—but if the FBI is sitting on a Chinese spy ring, now might be a good time to publicly break it up as loudly as possible, and send a message to Beijing.


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ccp
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« Reply #573 on: October 25, 2017, 06:49:30 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/10/24/xi-jinping-thought-will-go-textbooks-classes-brains-chinese-students/
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ccp
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« Reply #574 on: October 26, 2017, 09:48:33 AM »

China has long range plan laid out by Xi.  We have none really except for some blurbs like carbon energy independence,

or from private sector such as from astronomers, like Bezos ,  Musk , and the Virgin guy what is his name?

or FB guy who sees the work using his network for every human to human interaction from birth to after death and the like.

But no real long term plan for our nation. 

   
5 take aways from China's 30 yr plan
« Reply #616 on: Today at 09:47:16 AM »
Reply with quote  Modify message  Remove message
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/18/xi-jinping-speech-five-things-you-need-to-know

By contrast what are our 30 yr goals? 

I don't know of any unified vision for this?

I don't recall any from any politician.  We think in 2, 4 yr  cycles.

You carbon energy free by 2050 etc yada yada .......

By then the debt could be 30 trillion and we have 65% not working .

We could have a goal of turning us into a Spanish speaking country by 2050.

Atheism by 2050 the majority?

More females in the military then in law school?

The nation according to big tech far more then even now?

We are like a huge ship just drifting at sea................
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:52:00 AM by ccp » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #575 on: October 26, 2017, 08:06:53 PM »

I think it's good we don't have a 5 year plan:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-year_plans_for_the_national_economy_of_the_Soviet_Union

Our plan should be to have no centrally planned economy whatsoever.

Our plan should be to remove the shackles and allow unplanned innovation from unexpected sources to disrupt the markets for all the entrenched players that pay to have all the central plans written in their favor.  Not do what Zuckerberg and Musk want; do what will set loose thousands of the next Zuckerbergs and Musks.  MHO.
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ccp
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« Reply #576 on: October 27, 2017, 10:14:52 PM »

 We can have some goals maybe:

reduce the debt
keep taxes low
protect our sovereignty
stay #1
more freedom from the central planners

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DougMacG
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« Reply #577 on: October 28, 2017, 09:23:33 AM »

We can have some goals maybe:
reduce the debt
keep taxes low
protect our sovereignty
stay #1
more freedom from the central planners

That is exactly how we answer the China threat.  Trump feels like he says this everyday in every sentence but still fails to get across the clarity, URGENCY and context of what make America great again means - and truly win the argument against anti-freedom and sovereignty leftists.

If we accept leftist stagnation, moral relativism, disarmament, etc. as the new normal, China grows right past us, not just economically, but militarily.

What's at stake?  The South China Sea should be renamed by the President of name calling the Singapore to Taiwan Sea.  Has any leftist thought through WHY China wants to dominate and control the world's greatest shipping lane?

Speaking of liberals thinking Trump is a dork, does anyone remember a recent President talk about a 'pivot to Asia' and then hand China our lunch in a way no enemy spy could have dreamed possible.

ccp bullet points: 1) reduce the debt:  Through growth and gasp, real spending cuts.  We don't need foreigners to buy our debt.  That is an economic policy choice, and a bad one at that.
2) keep taxes low:  Corporate taxes in Calif, MN etc are almost three times higher than 'preferred' enterprises in 'communist' China.  How about we compete on a near-level playing field if we want to compete at all?  It's not rocket science, and if it was, we still need to figure it out.  Trump has made this point but no one has articulated the sense of urgency, that our survival of being America, the greatest country in the world, and not just another Venezuela-like ash heap of history depends on it.
3) protect our sovereignty: It's not an empty slogan.  Someone articulate this better, especially to young people, WHY THIS MATTERS!  Whether 'Law of the Sea', Paris accords or PTT, we can do it better without being governed by someone else.  We fought a war of independence over this...
4) stay #1:  Yes, and articulate - How?  and Why?  What would living in a world dominated by China, Russia and rogue regimes look like?  A nuclear North Korea with long range missiles targeted at the US is just the most recent illustration of it.  Honduras  and Sweden aren't going to disarm NK; only the US can do it.  Or can we?
5) more freedom from the central planners:  Exactly!  Here is an example of how that plays out, the electric cars (or whatever) of the future.  Our decentralized business innovation intelligence will run past China's system of government favored funding and enterprises - only if we choose decentralization and economic freedom over the system of centrally planned spoils that plague our competitors.
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2017/10/19/mercantilists_neednt_worry_china_wont_dominate_electric_cars_102924.html

In the 1980s we thought Japan Inc., they called it, with a better central focus, would run all over our decentralized Silicon Valley in the emerging computer industry, and they didn't.

Recently posted, the number of STEM grads in US per year versus China.  They beat us in numbers by what, 100 to 1?  And we will win an economic competition by running our economy like they run theirs?  Not a chance.  Not Venezuela, Haiti, Congo, nor Belgium are sending carriers to the military crisis in Asia and China isn't considering a policy change on NK based on their (non) threats.  Build economic strength and military strength of deterrence in a free country or look and see who fills that void.  It won't be friendly fire or freedom...

There is an urgency to this!  In 8 years of stagnation here, the Chinese economy  caught up with us and has 4 times the population.  One more period of status quo, which seems to be what Democrats and establishment Republicans favor, and we are number two at best and falling.  Has anyone thought through ALL the geopolitical consequences of that?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #578 on: November 02, 2017, 12:31:14 PM »

Containing China on the Open Seas
Nov 2, 2017

 
By Phillip Orchard

China’s maritime presence is slowly spreading, and as it does, the outlines of a loose coalition to stop that spread are gradually taking shape. Last week, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tokyo would propose a revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a 2007 defense cooperation initiative also involving India, Australia and the United States, during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan on Nov. 5-7. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly urged India to take part during his recent trip to New Delhi. On Oct. 29, India and Japan began anti-submarine warfare exercises. And on Oct. 31, Indian media reported that four-way talks would take place this month on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Given their overlapping interests in ensuring stability in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean basin — as well as their growing naval capabilities with which to do so — the four countries form a natural grouping. Yet, we’ve been at this stage before: The 2007 dialogue fell apart after only a year amid Chinese opposition, and the idea of a robust naval alliance remains far-fetched. Still, momentum for four-party defense cooperation appears to have returned, a reflection of the fact that the strategic interests of the countries in the region never stopped converging.

Slow to Develop

It didn’t take much pushback from the Chinese for the original version of the quad to fall apart in 2008. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the George W. Bush administration pitched the idea in 2007 to coincide with joint naval drills in the Bay of Bengal involving all four countries (and Singapore). Beijing balked at the framework, filing diplomatic protests with each of the four countries before even the first round of talks was held. A diplomatic protest isn’t typically something that can detonate a defense framework – or at least a coalition underpinned by geopolitical realities – on its own. But Chinese opposition was enough to unravel the nascent coalition for two primary reasons.

The first is that the quad was not intended to grow into a robust defense alliance. None of the participants were keen to establish an “Asian NATO.” Japan, India and Australia have ample overlapping interests and little reason to be suspicious of each other’s long-term intentions. But they’re separated by several thousand miles, and their respective naval build-ups have been focusing on developing the capabilities to address threats in largely discrete spheres. Japan, the country spearheading the effort, also faced major legal limitations on its ability to come to the aid of allies. Thus, none were capable of doing much for each other in the defense realm. Ultimately, all three parties would lean heavily on the U.S., not each other, to respond in a crisis, limiting the value of a multilateral coalition. For its part, the U.S. was bogged down in the Middle East and was only beginning to turn its attention to emerging maritime threats in the Asia-Pacific.
 
U.S. and Japanese (R) navy ships are pictured docked at a harbor during the inauguration of joint naval exercises with India in Chennai on July 10, 2017. Photo by Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

This reality underpins the second reason: Given these flaws, a formal four-party coalition with the expressed intent of containing China was seen as needlessly provocative and detrimental to efforts to keep Beijing focused on the mutual benefits of the existing regional order. In particular, Australia was striving to cultivate deeper trade ties with China, a core market for Australian commodity exports that became critical to the Australian economy following the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. Thus, following a change in government in Canberra in 2008, new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled out of the quad.

India, itself facing domestic pressure over the issue and historically wary of alliances, was quietly relieved that Australia made the first move. It’s not that India’s domestic headaches or Australia’s commercial interests with China outweighed their long-term alarm about growing Chinese maritime assertiveness along critical trade routes. Rather, the quad framework itself was simply too insignificant to take priority over more immediate concerns – particularly if many of the benefits of cooperation could be reaped through other bilateral and trilateral settings that had not drawn Chinese ire.

Nonetheless, the doomed fate of the initial quad framework belies the fact that strategic interests in the region have been converging for some time, triggered by China’s rise. Indeed, all four parties have very gradually been building up military cooperation anyway ever since the initial version of the quad collapsed. Within two years, for example, Australia began hosting rotations of U.S. Marines at a base in Darwin. Japan and Australia signed a defense pact last year, while India and the United States began implementing their own landmark deal last month. The India-led Malabar joint naval exercises have expanded every year and are expected to include all four countries in the near future.

Quad 2.0

So would a resurrected Quadrilateral Security Dialogue be any more substantive than its doomed predecessor?

To be clear, an Asian NATO is still not in the cards. Familiar constraints would hinder its development even if it was the goal: Though Japan, India and Australia have each been investing heavily in naval modernization, none would be in a position to rush to each other’s defense if a major conflict broke out in Northeast Asia or in the Indian Ocean basin. Nor are any of the parties interested in getting dragged into a conflict not of their choosing. Once again, any robust naval alliance would rely heavily on the U.S. — still the world’s only naval superpower — to fill in the gaps and do most of the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, all three remain wary of provoking economic or domestic blowback or being left exposed by a fragile coalition. At this stage, the talks are likely to focus on low-level areas of cooperation such as coordinating the growing amounts of infrastructure and security assistance each of the four countries has been giving to weaker states in the region.

But two notable things have changed since 2007 that have altered the cost-benefit calculations. First, China has continued to push south through the South China Sea toward the Strait of Malacca, a critical chokepoint for global maritime trade and the place where all four countries’ security interests overlap the most.

Japan’s dependence on energy imports through the strait is a major driver of its gradual push to shed its constitutional constraints on offensive military capabilities, its growing security assistance to Southeast Asian states, and the more regular presence of Japanese warships in Southeast Asian ports. India, likewise, relies on the free flow of commerce through the waters, and it is eager to find ways to counter China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean basin. Australia is less reliant than the others on the South China Sea and the Malacca for trade, but as a remote island nation whose economy is heavily dependent on seaborne trade, it is fully dependent on the U.S. to guarantee that trade. Thus, it has historically tried to prove its value to its alliance with the U.S. by eagerly participating in U.S.-led security initiatives, no matter how distant. In Southeast Asian waters, it would be relatively well-placed to support potential operations from the south.

Second, the deteriorating security environment in Northeast Asia underscores the sense among India, Japan and Australia that they cannot fully rely on the U.S. to secure the waters should a major conflict break out in the Western Pacific. This isn’t to say trilateral cooperation can fully replace what the U.S. brings to the table, or that the U.S. presence in the region is about to diminish significantly. But the four countries are preparing for worst-case scenarios, however unlikely they may be.

If the U.S. gets tied down in an unpredictable conflict and becomes too overstretched to dominate the waters farther south, then Japan, India and Australia would need to try to fill the void. The purpose of joint drills and military cooperation agreements is to have communications, intelligence-sharing and joint operational mechanisms in place before such an event takes place. And their respective naval modernization efforts will certainly improve their capacity to do so.

China is a long way from developing a blue-water navy that can dominate waters that far from home, and it faces substantial economic obstacles to its ability to do so. But the pace of its naval development is nonetheless forcing states to consider the possibility that the Chinese break out of their internal constraints. Thus, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is being resurrected, this time on firmer grounds. To the extent that the Malacca Strait becomes the locus of cooperation, look for Singapore — which has quietly become one of the United States’ most important defense partners in the region — to become more involved as well.

The four-party framework may not amount to much more than dialogue. But with cooperation already deepening across the proposed coalition, whether the talks themselves take place isn’t really the point. What matters is the underlying forces compelling Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. to prepare for the potential of a darker day.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #579 on: November 14, 2017, 12:04:37 PM »

Yes, yes, it is Susan Rice, but , , , ,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/susan-rice-trump-china-trip.html?emc=edit_th_20171114&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0

THIS I agree with:

"The Chinese leadership played President Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance.

"China always prefers to couch state visits in ceremony rather than compromise on policy. This approach seemed to suit President Trump just fine, as he welcomed a rote recitation of China’s longstanding rejection of a nuclear North Korea and failed to extract new concessions or promises. He also settled for the announcement of $250 billion in trade and investment agreements, many of which are nonbinding and, in the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “pretty small.” Missing were firm deals to improve market access or reduce technology-sharing requirements for American companies seeking to do business in China."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #580 on: November 14, 2017, 12:43:02 PM »

Yes, yes, it is Susan Rice, but , , , ,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/susan-rice-trump-china-trip.html?emc=edit_th_20171114&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0

THIS I agree with:

"The Chinese leadership played President Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance.

"China always prefers to couch state visits in ceremony rather than compromise on policy. This approach seemed to suit President Trump just fine, as he welcomed a rote recitation of China’s longstanding rejection of a nuclear North Korea and failed to extract new concessions or promises. He also settled for the announcement of $250 billion in trade and investment agreements, many of which are nonbinding and, in the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “pretty small.” Missing were firm deals to improve market access or reduce technology-sharing requirements for American companies seeking to do business in China."

I don't think 'firm deals' that solve a massive problems were expected in the first meeting.  It looks to me like China recognizes Trump as a serious leader of the free world, unlike the apologist predecessor.
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G M
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« Reply #581 on: November 14, 2017, 12:49:57 PM »

Yes, yes, it is Susan Rice, but , , , ,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/susan-rice-trump-china-trip.html?emc=edit_th_20171114&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0

THIS I agree with:

"The Chinese leadership played President Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance.

"China always prefers to couch state visits in ceremony rather than compromise on policy. This approach seemed to suit President Trump just fine, as he welcomed a rote recitation of China’s longstanding rejection of a nuclear North Korea and failed to extract new concessions or promises. He also settled for the announcement of $250 billion in trade and investment agreements, many of which are nonbinding and, in the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “pretty small.” Missing were firm deals to improve market access or reduce technology-sharing requirements for American companies seeking to do business in China."

I don't think 'firm deals' that solve a massive problems were expected in the first meeting.  It looks to me like China recognizes Trump as a serious leader of the free world, unlike the apologist predecessor.

Thus far, I see no indication of the blatant disrespect and contempt shown to Obama repeated with Trump.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #582 on: November 15, 2017, 10:14:48 AM »

"Thus far, I see no indication of the blatant disrespect and contempt shown to Obama repeated with Trump."

Of course they are stroking his ego with the state dinner and all, but they also are elevating him beyond what his opponents and media at home see as not really the President.  For the public stroking they likely get in return a little restraint on Trump from saying something publicly while he is there about a number of things, treatment of dissidents, censoring of the internet, recognition of Taiwan, etc.  There is going to be carrot and stick both ways in bilateral relationships among powers like US, China, Russia.  It will be hard to judge success until we see some.  Reagan didn't go to the wall on his first day, say tear down this wall and then watch it come down.  He did it with timing,set the table first.  Rebuild the US first, the US arsenal and the US defense systems, watched for Soviet weakness and challenged Gorbachev to really do what he was already saying.  Wait for Xi to call brag about restructuring and openness (perestroika and glasnost), or bully-free shipping lanes,  then call him out to make good on it.

Following up on Susan Rice in the NYT:
[In the first place, I doubt she wrote her article.  She didn't write the Benghazi talking points.  She just agrees to go forward when asked and is amply rewarded for it.]

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268426/susan-rice-still-denial-over-failed-tenure-joseph-klein

SUSAN RICE STILL IN DENIAL OVER FAILED TENURE
Latest attack on Trump highlights the disaster of Obama era foreign policy.
November 15, 2017  Joseph Klein  8
Share to Facebook33Share to TwitterShare to More42Share to Print

Susan Rice, former national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, is at it again. Following up on her op-ed column in the New York Times last August in which she advised that we learn to “tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Ms. Rice has written another op-ed column for the New York Times on November 14th entitled “Making China Great Again.”  Her thesis is that “Chinese leaders played Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance.” She argues that President Trump “welcomed a rote recitation of China’s longstanding rejection of a nuclear North Korea and failed to extract new concessions or promises.”

Ms. Rice speaks as if she were in the room during the private conversations between President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping or had the kind of access to intercepted confidential communications she was used to having during her tenure as national security adviser. Alternatively, Ms. Rice may simply be projecting onto President Trump the failures of her own boss Barack Obama in his dealings with China. In any case, as she displayed in her previous column, Ms. Rice simply does not know what she is talking about.

For example, Ms. Rice complains that President Trump failed to mention publicly any concern about the disputed South China Sea issue. Contradicting herself, she then criticizes President Trump further on in the same column for his “hubristic offer late in his trip to mediate China’s disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea.” Offering to mediate a dispute would appear to show some concern that it be resolved peacefully.

In any event, had Ms. Rice bothered to take a look at the White House’s detailed public read-out of the meetings between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, she would have found that the South China Sea issue was indeed discussed at some length: “President Trump underscored the critical importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes, unimpeded lawful commerce, and respect for international law in the East and South China Sea, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea, and raised concerns about militarization of outposts in the South China Sea.”

Evidently, Ms. Rice does not realize that it is unwise to engage in public shaming of the visiting president’s host on what the host considers to be a sensitive matter of inviolate national sovereignty that can be more candidly discussed in private. This is especially true when the visiting president is trying to secure the host's cooperation on issues of more direct mutual concern such as North Korea.

Ms. Rice argues that there was not enough diplomatic preparation for the summit meeting between the two heads of state to yield anything worthwhile in substance. Again, she did not do her homework. Here for her edification is a relevant excerpt from the White House read-out that describes how China and the United States have structured their interactions since President Xi’s meeting last April with President Trump in Florida: “During their April meeting, the two presidents set up the United States-China Comprehensive Dialogue with four pillars: the Diplomatic and Security Dialogue; the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue; the Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue; and the Social and Cultural Dialogue. Each of these dialogues have met since April, to prepare for President Trump’s state visit and produce meaningful results.”

Ms. Rice complains that “Mr. Trump showered President Xi Jinping of China with embarrassing accolades” and that “scenes of an American president kowtowing in China to a Chinese president sent chills down the spines of Asia experts and United States allies who have relied on America to balance and sometimes counter an increasingly assertive China.” That unsubstantiated assertion does not square with the warm reception and praise that President Trump received from the leaders of such allies as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia during his trip. It is also curious that Ms. Rice would criticize pomp and ceremony surrounding a state visit involving a U.S. president and President Xi. After all, Barack Obama lavished President Xi with a star-studded formal White House state dinner and a 21-gun salute during the Chinese president’s visit to Washington in 2015. Also, when Ms. Rice laments that President Trump “hailed Mr. Xi’s consolidation of authoritarian power,” did she somehow forget Obama’s similar praise of President Xi in 2014?  “He has consolidated power faster and more comprehensively than probably anybody since Deng Xiaoping,” Obama said back then, referring to China’s leader from 1978 to 1992. “And everybody’s been impressed by his ... clout inside of China after only a year and a half or two years.”

Then there is the North Korean crisis, upon which Susan Rice opines that President Trump failed to make any progress with President Xi. Ms. Rice had contributed to the worsening of the North Korea problem in the first place by helping to formulate and sell the flawed approach known as “strategic patience” that guided Obama’s feckless foreign policy in North Korea. In doing so, the Obama administration allowed China to continue doing business as usual with North Korea. That stopped under President Trump. Even before President Trump arrived in Beijing, he had managed to wrest more concessions from China regarding its dealings with North Korea than Obama had managed to do in eight years. President Trump’s “strategic impatience” has already paid off with new UN sanctions that even Ms. Rice had to concede in her August op-ed column were “especially potent, closing loopholes and cutting off important funding for the North.”

Since August, with the help of the able diplomacy of the current U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, the UN Security Council has unanimously imposed even tighter restrictions on exports to and imports from North Korea, as well as on North Korean workers continuing to live and work in other countries and earn foreign currency for use by the cash-starved North Korean regime. President Trump reportedly asked for even more stringent measures during his private talks in Beijing with President Xi that would increase China’s economic pressure on North Korea. Also, they discussed the full and strict implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea passed to date, with which China has shown evidence of compliance.

By contrast, the Obama administration indulged itself with the fantasy that UN resolutions and multilateral or bilateral agreements on paper are an end unto themselves. Susan Rice boasts in her November 14th column, for instance, of what she called the “historic United States-China deal on climate change, which led to the Paris Agreement.” In reality, this 2015 deal was an example of how Chinese leaders played Obama like a fiddle.

China, the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases, promised only that its total carbon dioxide emissions would peak by 2030. Obama committed the United States to significant emissions cuts of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, during the same period that China’s emissions would still be rising. Obama also committed to transfer many billions of dollars more of American taxpayers’ money to developing countries who have made meaningless, non-binding pledges that would do nothing to change the trajectory they were on anyway. The Paris Agreement that Susan Rice is so proud of drastically tied down only the developed countries’ fossil fuel use in the immediate future while picking their taxpayers’ pockets at the same time. President Trump wisely pulled the plug on the U.S.’s involvement in a massive give-away to bribe the so-called developing nations to play along with a feel-good “universal” agreement.

Susan Rice is using the platform provided her by the New York Times to criticize President Trump for one main reason. She sees President Trump’s attempt to confront the issues head-on that his predecessor repeatedly glossed over as an attack on the Obama administration’s ‘legacy.’ What she is defending, however, is a failed foreign policy and misnamed “National Security Strategy” her office issued in 2015. In her November 14th op-ed column, she provides a checklist of all the problems she says President Trump should have addressed with China’s president, many of which he did. However, there is no self-assessment of all the missed opportunities during the Obama administration to move the ball forward on any of these problems, particularly North Korea.

President Trump is willing to make hard choices if he is convinced that in the end they will advance America’s vital national interests and the welfare of the American people, which he values above all else. This is very refreshing after experiencing eight years of Obama’s and Rice’s ‘leading from behind,’ ‘strategic patience,’ apologies for past U.S actions, and muddled thinking.

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ccp
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« Reply #583 on: November 15, 2017, 10:38:24 AM »

Doug posted:

"Thus far, I see no indication of the blatant disrespect and contempt shown to Obama repeated with Trump."

WHAAAAAAAT?!

Doug, did Susan Rice ACTUALLY SAY THIS?    angry
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« Reply #584 on: November 15, 2017, 10:48:40 AM »

That was G M's observation I was quoting.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #585 on: November 15, 2017, 11:14:39 AM »

U.S. President Donald Trump's prominent tour of the Asia-Pacific ended with limited concrete success, but it has produced an important conceptual change to U.S. strategy in the region. On Nov. 12, leaders from the United States, India, Japan and Australia met in Manila to revive the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) and to urge cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The term Indo-Pacific, and the policy implications that come with it, is an important indicator of how the United States and its allies are working to shape geopolitics, or at least how it's conceived. And the fact that Trump repeatedly referred to the Asia-Pacific region as the Indo-Pacific points to just how central the idea is to his administration's foreign policy.

Geopolitics on the Asian continent is organized around the numerous seas, bays and lagoons that fringe its expansive oceans. The Indo-Pacific idea simply expands the conceptual region of Asia-Pacific to include India and the Indian Ocean. The QSD translates this geopolitical understanding into strategy, envisaging the two oceans as a single security space, which includes India and Japan, is bridged by Australia, and is undergirded by U.S. maritime dominance. The impetus for such a reconceptualization is simple: Japan and India, isolated as they are in their own oceans, want to balance against the Western Pacific's rising power, China, by uniting under a single geopolitical sphere.

The Indo-Pacific is not a new concept. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first proposed the QSD in 2007 during his ill-fated first term, but it quickly fell apart after Australia's Labor Party-led government, which opposed the organization, assumed power. The idea of an Indo-Pacific region, however, endured. The notion has resurfaced time and again, brought up by numerous leaders in former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration during its Pivot to Asia. Most recently, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster began using the term instead of Asia-Pacific.

For a buzzword, Indo-Pacific has been remarkably durable. In the decade since Abe proposed the QSD, China's regional clout has only grown, making the QSD more relevant than ever. China has cemented its dominant position in the South China Sea, expanded in the disputed East China Sea, established footholds in the Indian Ocean, and pushed roads and military infrastructure to the Indian border. During the past year, China held a landmark summit of its 64-nation Belt and Road Initiative, made progress toward a South China Sea Code of Conduct, faced off with India on the Doklam Plateau, and opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti. Meanwhile, a de facto alliance between China and Russia based on their shared interest in challenging the United States has begun to take shape.

As positive as all of these developments are for China, the country's rise and its attempts to gain more regional influence impinge on the imperatives of a growing number of other countries. This makes China uniquely vulnerable to the sort of alignment the QSD offers: Smaller nations in Asia feel less threatened by U.S. power because of the country's geographic distance from them. Separately, China's rivals have already been working to offset China's strength. In July, Japan participated in military exercises in India's Malabar region, which it also did in 2007, 2009 and 2014. Japan and India have also announced the launch of a program, the Freedom Corridor, to compete with China's Belt and Road program. The relaunch of the QSD builds on this cooperation and on the increasing military ties between all members of the QSD. Apart from countering China, the unique format addresses key interests from all of its members: Japan's need to protect energy flows from the Middle East, the United States' desire to devolve responsibilities to regional allies, as well as Australia's and India's bid to become maritime powers.

The success or failure of the QSD will be determined by not only cementing the initial grouping but by expanding the "Indo-Pacific" concept to include the numerous smaller powers bordering the two oceans. Countries occupying key geopolitical positions — namely Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Sri Lanka — could be enlisted as part of the effort to balance against China. But this is where the concept would run into serious trouble. Even at the height of the Cold War, when the competing Western and communist spheres of influence offered stark choices, the United States never succeeded in forging the same strategic unity in Asia it achieved on the other side of the Eurasian landmass through NATO. Without the imminent threat of the Cold War, the prospect of unity is even more limited today, particularly given increased interconnectedness of trade since the 1990s. Many small countries enjoy the economic benefits of strong relations with China and the security benefits of relations with the United States. They would be hard-pressed to align against either.

Even in its current form, the QSD's viability and effectiveness are questionable. India's military capacity is still limited, particularly in terms of its force projection capabilities, hindering its ability to advance its land-based goals, much less its maritime ones. India also has close connections to Russia, especially in the realm of defense procurement, and will be hosting the Russia-India-China trilateral meeting in December. In addition, the country has a long history of preserving autonomy, dating back to the Cold War, and is wary of subservience to any foreign power. Any balancing against China will have to factor in these three limitations. Even the stalwart U.S. allies Japan and Australia have their limits. Japan is engaged in the slow process of empowering its military for a role in foreign policy and will need to balance the expense of that shift against social spending. Australia, which nixed the original QSD, is torn between its strong economic relationship with China and its loyalty to its strategic allies. It's leaning toward its strategic allies now, but time and economic considerations could always change that.

Considering the shifting dynamics in the Asia-Pacific, the Indo-Pacific concept and its strategic implications have no guarantee of success. If the nascent alignment of the QSD does advance, its progress will be slow. But as China's regional ambitions grow, so will efforts to provide a coherent geopolitical response to that rise, including through the QSD.
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« Reply #586 on: November 21, 2017, 10:35:08 PM »

China’s One Belt, One Road Faces Pushback


Countries want China’s funding but not at any cost.

China’s One Belt, One Road, a much-touted initiative to connect the country with Europe, the Middle East, Africa and other parts of Asia, is facing resistance from states whose cooperation Beijing needs to build its highly ambitious infrastructure projects. Last week, Pakistan and Nepal both pulled out of deals to build dams with China because of disagreements over the terms of the deals. Countries that have partnered with China on projects such as these need Chinese finance and expertise to help develop their economies and infrastructure. But these two cases show that some countries are unwilling to just accept China’s terms in exchange for access to its cash. There are limits to China’s economic clout, and Beijing can expect similar pushback from other countries.

On Nov. 15, Pakistan announced that it had withdrawn from the $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, over its objections to certain terms and conditions set by Beijing. According to the head of Islamabad’s Water and Power Development Authority, China demanded ownership of the project and its operations and wanted its own forces to provide security. Pakistan will use its own financing to go ahead with the dam, which is expected to provide 4,500 megawatts of power – roughly equivalent to the country’s energy shortfall.

Before the dam was included in the $62 billion CPEC project, the Pakistanis had sought financing from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Both institutions refused to fund the project because of its location in the Pakistani-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region. The project, which has been in the works for 15 years, has already faced numerous delays and could face even more if Pakistan is unable to supply the money needed to complete the dam.

The CPEC will continue to fund other projects, including roadways, energy facilities, transportation systems and the port of Gwadar. At a time when relations with the United States have deteriorated, Pakistan is all the more reliant on China for development assistance, making the decision to reject Chinese funding for the dam even more significant. Pakistan didn’t make this decision lightly, but it couldn’t accept the terms China was seeking; Chinese ownership of a major infrastructure facility guarded by Chinese security forces was just a step too far.


 

Leaders attend a roundtable meeting during the Belt and Road Forum at the International Conference Center in Yanqi Lake, north of Beijing, on May 15, 2017. LINTAO ZHANG/AFP/Getty Images

Also last week, Nepal announced that it would scrap a $2.5 billion deal with Chinese state firm China Gezhouba Group to develop the Budhi Gandaki hydroelectric project. The hydroelectric plant would have generated 1,200 megawatts of electricity. The deal was signed last June – less than a month after Nepal agreed to participate in OBOR – by the pro-Beijing Maoist-dominated government in charge at the time.

That government has since been replaced by an interim government, which has said that a key part of its decision to pull out of the deal was that the agreement was reached without a competitive bidding process. There is much speculation that factions that support India within the interim government were behind the decision. Nepal has long been part of a struggle for influence between the world’s two most populous nations. With elections due on Nov. 26, the future balance between pro-China and pro-India factions in Nepal remains unclear, but the struggle between these two camps is just one part of why Nepal pulled out of the deal and why China has had trouble ensuring the cooperation of its partners.

In an article published this week, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post highlighted the larger implications of the cancellation of these two deals. That a Chinese paper has been openly critical of how China has handled this issue is noteworthy. Chinese publications don’t often acknowledge problems associated with a signature project of President Xi Jinping. But people are beginning to take notice of the many problems with OBOR. The failure of these deals is related to the fact that OBOR is an overly ambitious initiative that lacks a coherent strategy.

The most developed of OBOR’s six overland economic corridors runs from Xinjiang province in western China through the entire length of Pakistan to the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Pakistan views the project as a major part of its close relationship with China and its efforts to address its chronically weak infrastructure. But Pakistan understands that China’s main interest in the project is to ensure that Chinese firms can profit from it, to find new markets for its goods and to establish a new trade route that isn’t dependent on maritime shipping lanes.

It is unlikely that Pakistan and Nepal will be the only countries critical of China’s approach to these infrastructure projects. Countries in Central Asia, where the Chinese are aiming to develop another critical corridor as part of OBOR, could also raise objections to Chinese demands, which are proving to be unduly onerous on China’s partners. These countries want China’s funding, but not at any cost.




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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #587 on: November 25, 2017, 09:55:31 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454003/china-dominance-east-asia-echoes-japan-world-war-ii&hl=en&geo=US?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202017-11-23&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
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« Reply #588 on: December 06, 2017, 08:50:50 AM »



The Coming Conflict Between China and Japan

Dec. 6, 2017 As the U.S. nears the limits of its power, regional powers will be more unencumbered than ever before.

By Jacob L. Shapiro

It is easy to forget that as recently as the 19th century, China and Japan were provincial backwaters. So self-absorbed and technologically primitive were East Asia’s great powers that German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, “The extensive tract of eastern Asia is severed from the process of general historical development.” His description seems laughable today. China and Japan are now the second- and third-largest economies in the world. Japan’s failed quest for regional domination during World War II and its subsequent economic reconstruction profoundly affected the world. China’s unification under communism and its pursuit of regional power in the past decade have been no less significant.

And yet, for all the strength and wealth Beijing and Tokyo accumulated, since 1800 neither has been powerful enough to claim dominance of the region. Since European and American steamships discovered their technological superiority relative to the local ships in the first half of the 19th century, Chinese and Japanese development has proceeded at the mercy of outside powers. Japan tried to break out, and came close to breaking out during World War II, but was ultimately thwarted by the United States. China, already anointed by many as the world’s great superpower, remains a country divided. The lavish wealth found in its coastal regions is noticeably, if not entirely, absent from the interior.

This state of affairs is beginning to change – and the U.S.-North Korea stand-off over Pyongyang’s pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons shows just how much. The United States does not want North Korea – a poor, totalitarian state of roughly 25 million malnourished and isolated people – to acquire nuclear weapons capable of striking the U.S. mainland. The U.S. has threatened North Korea with all manner of retribution if Pyongyang continues its pursuit of these weapons, and yet North Korea remains undaunted. It is doing this not because Kim Jong Un is crazy. It is doing this because it figures it will be left standing, come what may.

It may not be such a bad wager. From Kim’s point of view, there are only two ways to get North Korea to halt its development of nuclear missiles: The U.S. either destroys the regime or convinces it that continued tests would call into question its very survival. (For that to work, the regime would have to believe it could be destroyed.)

The U.S. can rail all it wants in the U.N.; it will fall on deaf ears. The U.S. can try to assassinate Kim Jong Un; someone else will take his place. The U.S. can forbid China from fueling North Korea; the North Koreans don’t use that much fuel anyway, and they have already demonstrated they will sacrifice much to defend their country.

One Step Closer

But can the U.S. take out the Kim regime, or at least make Pyongyang think it can? It’s hard to say. There are only two ways to take out the regime. The first – using the United States’ own vast nuclear arsenal – would set a precedent on the use of weapons of mass destruction that Washington would rather not. The second – a full-scale invasion and occupation of North Korea – would strain even U.S. capabilities and wouldn’t have the desired outcome. The U.S. might be able to defeat the North Koreans in the field, but as Vietnam and the Iraq War showed, defeating the enemy in battle is not the same thing as achieving victory. And there is, of course, the question of China, which came to Pyongyang’s aid in 1950, the last time the U.S. fought on the Korean Peninsula, and might well again if the U.S. struck North Korea pre-emptively with massive force.

(click to enlarge)

Limited military strikes are another possibility. Politically attractive though they may be, they can only delay, not destroy, North Korea’s nuclear program. And they would surely enhance Pyongyang’s credibility. Every U.S. attack that doesn’t succeed in knocking out the political leadership would be used as propaganda, spun in the North Korean countryside as a victory against the “gangster-like U.S. imperialists.”

Thus is the extent, and limit, of American power. Around the world, the U.S. has been struggling to execute a foreign policy that does not rely on direct U.S. intervention. This is easier said than done, especially when the issue at stake is nuclear war. Analysts like me can scream until we are blue in the face that North Korea would never use its nuclear weapons because doing so would invite its own demise. But we are not the ones making the decision. We don’t bear the burden of being wrong.

That is the brilliance behind North Korea’s strategy. The goal is to prod the U.S. to react to its behavior – and then to use its reactions to shore up support. And the strategy is working. The U.S. has said time and again that it will not allow North Korea to have a nuclear weapon. If North Korea gets a nuclear weapon, then what good is a U.S. security guarantee? If the U.S. attacks North Korea without destroying the Kim regime – and I believe it can’t – then North Korea can say it defeated the imperialists as it continues to pursue its current strategy. If the U.S. agrees to remove its forces from South Korea in exchange for North Korea’s halting its testing, then North Korea is one step closer to its ultimate goal: unifying the Korean Peninsula under Pyongyang’s rule.

Doing, Not Saying

In every scenario, the conclusion is the same: The United States alone cannot dictate terms in East Asia. It cannot bring North Korea to heel. It cannot make China do what China does not want to do. It cannot even persuade its ally, South Korea, to pretend that a pre-emptive military option is on the table. Japan looks at all the things the U.S. cannot do, and for the first time since 1945 it must ask itself a question that leads to a dark place: What does Japanese policy look like if Tokyo cannot rely on U.S. security guarantees?

The North Korea crisis may not have created Washington’s predicament, but it exposed it in ways previously unseen, to China’s benefit. The U.S. has shed blood and spent untold sums of money forging an alliance network in East Asia to prevent any country there from challenging its power. And so it is the region’s great power, China, not North Korea, that is putting U.S. strategy to the test. Already an economic behemoth, China is rapidly developing its military capabilities. Its newly declared dictator-president, Xi Jinping, intends to preside over a massive transformation of the Chinese economy that, if successful, would make China more self-reliant and politically stable than at any point in the past four centuries. China still has a long way to go – too long before it first loses its political stability, in our estimation – but in the short term, China’s power is growing. Chinese adventurism in the South and East China seas, its strategic investments around Asia, and the continued development of its navy all validate its growing power.

china-japan-exclusive-economic-zones

(click to enlarge)

Its ascendance will inevitably bring China into conflict with Japan. Such conflict is nothing new – these civilizations have fought their fair share of wars. The brutality of the Japanese invasion of China in the 20th century – an invasion for which Korea was a staging ground – still lingers fresh in the memories of the Chinese and Korean people. But the conditions for conflict are different this time. For one thing, China and Japan are both powerful. In the early 20th century, Japan discovered the difficulties that many of China’s would-be conquerors did when it attempted to take over the Middle Kingdom, but Japan was still by far the superior power. It’s hard to say which is stronger today. China has a greater population, but Japan is more stable and boasts better military and technical capabilities. This has the makings of a balanced rivalry.

China and Japan, moreover, are no longer worried about being subjugated. This may seem an obvious observation, but in fact it is the first time since the Industrial Revolution that both countries have been able to call their own shots. They came close a few times, of course. Japan nearly came to dominate the Pacific but was eventually subdued by the United States. China wanted to conquer Taiwan in a bid for complete unification, but the arrival of the U.S. 7th Fleet to the Taiwan Strait dashed the government’s hopes.

(click to enlarge)


(click to enlarge)

Now, the first signs of the coming Sino-Japanese competition for Asia are reaching the surface. Ignore the things Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping have said to each other recently – their statements seek to obscure reality, not uncover it. Look instead at what they are doing. China is investing significant financial and political capital in the Philippines in an attempt to lure Manila away from the U.S. Japan is there with military aid and support, as well as economic incentives of its own. China sees strategic potential in cultivating a relationship with Myanmar, and Japan is there too, with promises of aid and investment without the kinds of strings China often attaches. Much has been made in the mainstream media about China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, a testament to Beijing’s excellent PR skills. Less time has been spent examining Japan’s counters – resuscitating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, pledging to invest more than $200 billion in African and Asian countries, and announcing various initiatives involving the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Infrastructure Initiative. China has bullied other powers out of the South China Sea, but Japan won’t be bullied out of the East China Sea. Meanwhile, Japan advocates the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – a grouping of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia – to keep China’s power confined to its traditional terrestrial domain.

The conflict will develop slowly. Its contours are just now taking shape. The United States won’t simply disappear from Asia entirely – Washington still has an important role to play, and how it manages the North Korea crisis will go a long way in defining the long-term regional balance of power. But over the next few years, the U.S. will begin to reach the limits of its powers, and as it does, it will pursue a new strategy that employs skillful manipulation of relationships instead of brute force. It will find that China and Japan are no longer severed from world history but shaping history on their own terms.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #589 on: December 06, 2017, 12:00:58 PM »

This piece seems to me to be well worth considering.

What Is China’s Angle in North Korea?
Trump can’t rely on Xi’s cooperation. Beijing seems to be using Pyongyang to weaken U.S. influence.
By Daniel Nidess
Dec. 5, 2017 7:24 p.m. ET
116 COMMENTS

‘Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea,” President Trump tweeted last week, referring to Pyongyang’s launch of a missile that may be capable of striking anywhere in the U.S. “The situation will be handled!”

That Mr. Xi will help resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula has been Mr. Trump’s expectation since their first meeting at Mar-a-Lago. With America’s Korea policy now seemingly dependent on China’s cooperation, it is time to put the relationship between Pyongyang and Beijing into perspective.

Two competing narratives have come to dominate the discussion. In the first, China has no fondness for Kim Jong Un’s regime and is aligned with the rest of the world in viewing it as a threat to peace and stability. But Beijing is constrained. It has less influence with Pyongyang than the world imagines and fears creating a humanitarian catastrophe on the Chinese border. In short, the Chinese share the world’s concerns and would love to do more, but their hands are tied.

In the competing narrative, China has no real interest in pressuring North Korea too forcefully, since it serves as a useful buffer between the Chinese border and U.S. troops in South Korea. Realpolitik dictates that, despite real concern over Pyongyang’s instability and unpredictability, a somewhat erratic ally is immeasurably better than staring at your enemies across the Yalu River.

Most of the commentary on China’s efforts falls somewhere on the spectrum between these two narratives. But there’s a third possibility—that China has been deliberately allowing tensions on the Korean Peninsula to escalate, if not outright stoking them. More than two decades of U.S.-led diplomacy, sanctions and threats have all failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and resulted in only one real casualty: American credibility. The inability of the world’s only superpower to entice, coerce or force a small, impoverished nation to fall into line has undoubtedly been observed by Asian countries weighing whether to align with American or Chinese spheres of influence.

Using North Korea to highlight the limits of American power and influence would fit into a larger Chinese strategy of discrediting U.S. relevance in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite consistent protests from the U.S. and its allies, China has continued to expand and arm its chain of artificial islands in the East China and South China seas. Beijing’s ability to flout a legally binding decision by an international tribunal on a territorial dispute with the Philippines further reinforces the message that the U.S.-led international system is ineffective and irrelevant.

This is not to say that China is actively pulling Pyongyang’s strings. It doesn’t need to. By simply tolerating North Korea’s pursuit of its nuclear agenda, educating its scientists, and providing just enough diplomatic and economic cover to keep the regime afloat, China allows the crisis to fester. As the crisis goads successive American administrations into ever greater displays of impotence, America’s prestige continues to decline.

Skeptics of this theory may point to the “muscular” responses when tensions escalate—the inevitable flyby of U.S. bombers. But American planes come and go, and North Korea’s weapons programs continue their increasingly rapid progress. Much like the “freedom of navigation” operations, in which U.S. Navy ships sail past China’s artificial islands, they are less significant as shows of force than as demonstrations that the U.S. presence is passing, while the Chinese one is permanent.

Mr. Trump’s approach of appealing to China to mediate not only reinforces this message but provides Beijing an opportunity to move beyond influencing perceptions to attempting to roll back America’s actual presence in the region. China has put forward the so-called Dual Freeze proposal, which would halt joint U.S.-South Korean training exercises along with North Korean nuclear development. That would remove a significant pillar of Washington’s military alliance with Seoul, diminishing the decadeslong U.S. commitment in Asia. All while leaving Pyongyang’s current nuclear capabilities intact.

The U.S. response must be to strengthen its alliances, not weaken them. China’s aggressive territorial expansion and the growing North Korean threat have prompted American allies to begin taking independent steps to expand their military capabilities, including arming their own islands. The U.S. should take the lead in coordinating and accelerating these efforts, tying them into a cohesive, multinational effort that rings China and North Korea from Japan in the east to Vietnam and Thailand in the south.

Although presented explicitly as a response to the threat from North Korean missiles, such an approach would also clearly challenge China’s own ambitions with the outcome that most concerns officials in Beijing—encirclement. It also incorporates an implied economic risk, threatening the shipping lanes from West Asia on which China depends. And unlike ships briefly passing by, this presence would be much more permanent. The message to Beijing would be clear: Curb North Korea’s antagonism, or feel the noose tighten.

North Korea is a nuclear power, and that is not about to change. What must shift is America’s perception of the problem. China enables North Korea’s belligerence as part of a strategy to diminish and ultimately eliminate U.S. influence in Asia and dominate the region. To address it as such, Washington must avoid rewarding Beijing for stoking instability and invert China’s incentives, making it abundantly clear that failure to rein in Pyongyang will increase America’s role in Asia, not decrease it.

Mr. Nidess, a former Marine, is a writer in San Francisco.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #590 on: December 08, 2017, 12:50:04 PM »

From the article:  [China v. Japan]  "It’s hard to say which is stronger today. China has a greater population, but Japan is more stable and boasts better military and technical capabilities. This has the makings of a balanced rivalry."

Walter Russel Mead previously on the 8 great powers of the world listed China ahead of Japan and called it a tie.  While I don't agree, it draws attention to the balance BEFORE Japan starts re-militarizing.

China and Japan are the world's second and third largest economies, an indicator of the ability to develop, acquire and deploy ships, submarines, missiles, anti-missile technology etc.  But that is before considering the possibility of Japan allying with the US, S.Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, India, etc.  How does Japan's economy compare with China when considered in alliance with just the US?

China is the big bully in the region right now wanting to take control of the Taiwan to Singapore (South China) Sea.  And they will succeed - assuming no one steps up to counter them.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 12:53:45 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #591 on: December 15, 2017, 07:04:25 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454691/us-navy-visits-taiwan-dont-let-beijing-bully-us?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202017-12-15&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
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« Reply #592 on: December 16, 2017, 06:14:00 PM »

China: A leaked document from a Chinese telecom firm says that Beijing is setting up refugee camps across the North Korean border. A Chinese spokesman did not deny the report. This comes amid a handful of other feint signs that China is preparing for a crisis on its borders. What else would we expect to see from Beijing if it thought war was imminent – and is there any evidence that they’re taking action?

Taiwan: China is ramping up military patrols in Taiwanese airspace. Over the past weekend, a Chinese diplomat said China would invade Taiwan if a U.S. warship visited the island – as authorized for the first time in 40 years by the 2018 U.S. National Defense Authorization Act. We need to better understand whether this is indeed a red line for Beijing and whether China is prepared to defend it. This starts with an assessment of whether China currently has capabilities to retake Taiwan, assuming the U.S. lives up to its security commitments to Taipei. If not, it raises the question: If the U.S. gets tied down with a war on the Korean Peninsula, does Beijing’s calculation change?

Russia: Russia is pressuring India to join China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Meanwhile, China is touting OBOR integration with the Eurasian Economic Union. We know Russia will reap some tangible benefits from OBOR projects, but this likely stems more from Russia’s fears of a strong alliance forming between Japan, India and the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific. Is there any reason to think Russia can peel India away from the Indo-Pacific coalition?
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