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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 23429 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: November 19, 2013, 10:57:23 AM »

China gave a mere $100K to the Philippines to help with the aftermath of the huge typhoon.  Colbert put out a call to his audience to top that.  Score so far:

China:  $100k
Colbert Nation $245k
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: November 25, 2013, 08:57:10 AM »

As the US military continues its contraction, China militarily increases its assertion of dominance:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/23/national/china-sets-up-air-defense-id-zone-above-senkakus/#.UpL0CuK8Ctv
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G M
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« Reply #202 on: November 25, 2013, 09:16:53 AM »

As the US military continues its contraction, China militarily increases its assertion of dominance:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/23/national/china-sets-up-air-defense-id-zone-above-senkakus/#.UpL0CuK8Ctv

Time for the Japanese to dig those rising sun headbands out of the attic.
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G M
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« Reply #203 on: November 25, 2013, 09:22:14 AM »

Having seen the negotiations with Iran, can you imagine how excited the Chinese are to meet with Lurch.

We'll be lucky if we still have Hawaii when he's done.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #204 on: November 25, 2013, 09:57:41 AM »

http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2013/11/25/america_has_no_military_strategy_for_china_106978.html

November 25, 2013
America Has No Military Strategy for China
By Seth Cropsey

Given the intense media focus on the woes of Obamacare’s rollout, it’s not surprising that no one paid much attention when Japan scrambled its fighters three days in a row beginning on October 24th in response to Chinese military aircraft’s incursions into Japan’s airspace as the so far bloodless maneuvering over claims to Japan’s Senkaku islands sharpens.

A miscalculation that drew fire has the potential to enmesh us in a dispute that serves no one’s interest.  An escalation of such a dispute would be disastrous.  Yet the U.S. has no strategy for a conflict with China.  The sole U.S. preparation for such an outcome is a set of ideas known as the AirSea Battle, (ASB). 

The ASB is a concept that has taken root in the U.S. Defense Department as the Obama administration talks about rebalancing forces from the Middle East to Asia, and as the American high command gradually accepts the possibility that China may be a strategic competitor to the U.S.  The idea of ASB—a new approach to coordinating military services’ roles in combat, and not a strategy—comes in two parts: to preserve large American forces’ ability to bring power to bear by destroying an enemy’s command and control infrastructure;  and to defeat the defenses that allow the launch of low-cost, proliferating, and increasingly accurate missiles. ASB means to accomplish this by new, almost revolutionary, cross-Service combinations of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, that are reflected in equally coordinated operations.

On October 10th the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, chaired by Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) held a public hearing on the Air-Sea Battle concept at which senior admirals and generals from all the military services testified.  The discussion between the knowledgeable elected representative and high-level officers was congenial, informed, and—in unanswered questions—alarming.  Representative Forbes asked the officers to explain the strategy on which the AirSea Battle concept is based.  They couldn’t.  Forbes noted the challenges to East Asia’s stability and America’s historic position as a defender of this stability raised by China’s growing military power.  He observed that these challenges deserve a strategy worthy of the name, and warned against one that is determined by today’s weapons or the reduced force that will exist in the future.

Forbes’ point is solid.  Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz famously remarked that because “the enemy (at war games played at the Naval War College) was always Japan, and the courses were so thorough…nothing that happened in the Pacific was strange or unexpected” in the war that followed.  Nimitz was on target: surprise is part of warfare, and Japan certainly surprised us at the war’s beginning.

However, our surprise was strategic readiness. The island-hopping campaign, amphibious warfare, the role of aircraft carriers—all had been anticipated and rehearsed as elements of the strategy to defeat Japan.  Even unrestricted submarine warfare, illegal on the day the war started, had been contemplated and quickly became part of an effective interdiction, rollback, and suppression strategy.  The strategy and the organizational tools and the force structure and levels necessary to make it work had been envisioned and were under construction when the war began—largely thanks to Congressman Forbes’s predecessor Carl Vinson, the “Father of the Two-Ocean Navy."

China is not an enemy of the U.S. However, its ambition for regional hegemony, increasing armed strength, active effort to deny U.S. forces’ access to the Western Pacific, and increasingly troublesome disputes with its neighbors—in several cases, our allies—over territorial claims in the South China Sea all point to substantial difficulties ahead in relations between Washington and Beijing.  China’s challenges to the rule of law, the global commons, liberal capitalism, and human rights are worth defending, and we need a strategy to do so.  Miscalculation, the escalation of what began as a minor incident, and rising Chinese nationalism press the question of potential conflict.  Preventing conflict is key: strategy, operational posture, readiness, resilience, and sustainability are its essential elements.  We should be prepared, and we are not.

Warfare, like life itself, changes constantly.  Success requires adaptation.  Where adaptation falters consequences follow.  In our own Civil War, the industrialized manufacture of repeating weapons, breech-loading naval guns, steam-propulsion, and armor-plating transformed the technology of warfare globally, but not its strategies, operations, or tactics.  But not soon enough.  Indeed, until virtually the end of World War I, commanders “came on in the same old way,” as Wellington commented on Napoleon’s conduct of Waterloo.  The machine gunfire of World War I pushed men into defensive trenches from which they emerged to be cut down by the millions.  The tank, which protected its operators from enemy fire while simultaneously attacking an enemy, did not appear on the battlefield until late 1916, and not in numbers nor accompanied by tactics to end the carnage.

Today, the expanding accessibility of relatively low-cost and increasingly accurate missiles questions a long-standing assumption of American strategy, that we could bring to bear land and naval power at a great distance from the U.S. in forward and en route sanctuaries, thus exploiting the strategic depth of two great oceans.  If a million dollar missile can incapacitate or sink an aircraft carrier or a large amphibious ship that costs many billions—or destroy a U.S./allied base within missile range—we must either respond or accept the possibility that large parts of our military will become vulnerable or irrelevant, and in the loss of their regional punch grow weak in their usefulness to the nation’s position as a global power.

This is where the AirSea Battle comes in.  With is anti-access and area denial strategy, China is challenging our strengths on her maritime approaches.  ASB’s notion of integrating forces especially naval and air capabilities to destroy or otherwise reduce an enemy’s ability to keep us out of the area we require for applying power has great merit.  But the ASB office devotes itself more to large changes in technical jointness than to crafting a strategy based on what integrated U.S. and allied forces can achieve.

An analogy is useful here.  While coordination between an operating surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and post-operative care are essential to surgery, perfecting such coordination offers no guidance about how to perform a difficult surgical procedure, much less what strategy a patient should use to preserve or improve health.

The ideas offered by the ASB, while necessary, are neither based upon, nor do they serve as the basis of, strategy for any region of the world where countries, most notably China, are actively building the command and control, intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, and offensive capability to deny the U.S. and its allies access to the seas far off its coast.  The ASB office public document does not include the word “China.”  So, although the U.S. Defense Department acknowledges the challenge of China’s anti-access efforts, we have no strategy to defeat it nor does there appear to be a plan to construct one.

The U.S. military faces a growing problem in securing the access that would be needed to project power as China’s expanding reach threatens our bases or treaty allies in the Western Pacific.  The House Armed Services Committee’s expressions of concern were bipartisan and serious. The ASB is one of several approaches to managing risk, but by its authors’ own admission, it is a concept, not a plan.

We have no strategy on which to base the design of weapons or tactics to meet this challenge.  We should.  A sensible one would be based upon forward defense in a long war; command of the air and seas; close integration of ground forces to dominate the littorals, islands, archipelagoes, and straits; and building and deploying the forces required to assure a potential adversary that taking on the U.S. is a fool’s errand. 
-----------------
Seth Cropsey is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute.  He served as a naval officer from 1985 to 2004 and as undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.  He is most recently author of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #205 on: November 26, 2013, 03:02:58 PM »

U.S. Flies B-52s Through China’s Expanded Air Defense Zone

Two long-range American bombers have conducted what Pentagon officials described Tuesday as a routine training mission through international air space recently claimed by China as its “air defense identification zone.”

The Chinese government said Saturday that it has the right to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against aircraft that enter the area, which includes sea and islands also claimed by Japan. The claim threatens to escalate an already tense dispute over some of the maritime territory.

American officials said the pair of B-52s carried out a mission that had been planned long in advance of the Chinese announcement this past weekend, and that the United States military would continue to assert its right to fly through what it regards as international air space.

READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/world/asia/us-flies-b-52s-into-chinas-expanded-air-defense-zone.html?emc=edit_na_20131126

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G M
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« Reply #206 on: November 26, 2013, 03:36:22 PM »

Milagro! This is the correct response.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: November 27, 2013, 12:30:57 PM »


BEIJING—The U.S.'s flying of B-52 bombers uncontested through China's new air-defense zone is challenging Chinese efforts to assert its power, prompting Beijing to qualify a threat of action against any planes that didn't comply.


China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday it had monitored and identified the U.S. aircraft inside the zone over the East China Sea during the over-flights Tuesday, and the Foreign Ministry said that enforcement of the zone's rules would vary according to circumstances. "We will in accordance with different situations take corresponding reactions," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

The muted response suggested to some analysts that China wouldn't attempt, in the short term, to repel U.S. and Japanese military planes entering the zone without obeying its rules. It stood in contrast to the announcement Saturday that Beijing had declared the Air Defense Identification Zone over an area that includes islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo. The Defense Ministry said the armed forces would take unspecified "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that didn't identify themselves and obey instructions from Chinese authorities.

By sending the B-52s into the zone—even at the farthest edge from China according to the Chinese military—the U.S. sent a clear message that Washington would stand by its ally Japan—including over threats to the disputed islands it controls but which Beijing contests.

"The U.S. military is flying where they've been flying before, flying as usual. There's been no change," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters in Tokyo. "The Chinese action is a unilateral one, and the U.S. shares this view," he said.

The U.S. military countered China's latest move to lay claim to disputed islands with the establishment of an air defense zone in the East China Sea by flying B-52 bombers over the area. Paul Burton, Asia-Pacific director at IHS, tells Deborah Kan why this move has escalated tensions in the region.

Though Beijing didn't interfere with the U.S. sortie, the prospect of Chinese intercepts of U.S. and Japanese air forces is raising the risks for all sides, by increasing the likelihood of a collision or a miscalculation that could quickly escalate into a broader military crisis. The rising tensions come just ahead of a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to China, Japan and South Korea next week.

"The vice president will make clear the US has a rock solid commitment to our allies" in his conversation with China's leaders, said a senior administration official. "The United States also believes the lowering of tension in this region is profoundly and deeply in the American interest." Mr. Biden is scheduled to mxieet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

A second official said that Mr. Biden would also try to clarify China's intentions in setting up the air-defense zone and try to make the case that the action isn't in China's interests. Rather it has become part of "an emerging pattern of behavior that is unsettling" to China's neighbors. The official said talks among all the parties could help to "cool down tensions."

The U.S. moved to try to counter China's bid for influence over increasingly jittery Asian neighbors by sending a pair of B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea. There has been a muted response from China, Jeremy Page reports. Photo: Getty Images.

Experts said Beijing is unlikely to back down and will scramble its jet fighters more often than in the past to escort U.S. and Japanese planes in the area, without trying to force them to land or leave.

"If the U.S. continues to sends its aircraft without following the rules, we'll send our military planes to escort them, not to repel," said Shen Dingli, an expert on international relations and Chinese foreign and defense policy at Fudan University in Shanghai.

"China does not under any circumstances have the right to expel any aircraft outside its own airspace," he said. "But we'll escort them to show there is a cost. If the U.S. sends one, we'll send two, and we have 1,000 waiting."

He and other analysts said China had probably not intercepted the B-52s to avoid a direct confrontation with a more powerful military force and to show its willingness to resolve difference over the zone in talks with U.S. officials.

Beijing's announcement of the air-defense zone raised tensions with Japan and also unnerved several Southeast Asian nations locked in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. Beijing's image was already battered by its initially small offer of aid to one of those nations, the typhoon-damaged Philippines. Compounding the tensions, China on Tuesday sent its sole aircraft carrier to the South China Sea for training exercises under escort of four warships.

"Its deployment does not contribute to collective efforts to strengthen regional stability and instead serves to threaten the status quo," said Raul Hernandez, a spokesman for the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs.

In Beijing's contest with Tokyo over the islands, which Japan calls the Senkaku and China the Diaoyu, military experts have said China lacks the air power and sufficiently experienced pilots to mount a daily challenge to the better trained, technologically advanced U.S. and Japanese air forces.

Accidents have strained relations before. A Chinese jet fighter collided with a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance plane off Hainan Island in southern China in 2001, and after the U.S. plane made an emergency landing on Hainan, Chinese authorities detained the aircraft and its crew until the U.S. apologized.

Adding to the current risks, both China and Japan regard the airspace immediately surrounding the disputed islands as their national airspace and reserve the right to shoot down any unidentified aircraft that enters.

The standoff over the islands reflects the changing geopolitical dynamics of Asia, as China seeks to displace the U.S. as the dominant military power in the region, and Washington tries to shore up defense ties with allies concerned about China's rise.

The U.S. has taken China's announcement of the air-defense zone as an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to Asia and still unrivalled military capabilities after U.S. influence in the region has recently appeared to be on the wane, analysts said.

Japan's hawkish Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has made a point of taking a stand against China's recent assertiveness in the region, and has called repeatedly for broader interpretation of Japan's pacifist constitution that would allow it to help an ally under attack.

Chinese President Xi, meanwhile, has cast himself as a charismatic strongman intent on reclaiming China's prominence in the world. As part of that, he has taken a more confrontational approach to territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, analysts and diplomats said.

The Chinese strategy, analysts said, is to challenge Japan's control of the islands without provoking an actual military conflict and to raise the costs to Washington to get it to push Tokyo to acknowledge the dispute and start negotiations.

China's move to announce the new air-defense zone "is a deliberate calculated act to break the present Sino-Japanese stalemate over the Senkaku Islands," said Carlyle A. Thayer, an expert on Asian maritime security at the Australian Defence Force Academy. "China's actions are carefully calibrated. They are designed to push the envelope of China's claims while appearing defensive."

On the domestic front, a risk for Mr. Xi is that his rising personal power has raised expectations with a highly nationalistic domestic audience, leaving him vulnerable should China come out worse off in the dispute.

In China's relatively open online forums, some Chinese citizens criticized the military's failure to stand up to the U.S. on the B-52s while others questioned the decision to establish the air-defense zone in the first place.

"The immediate reaction [from U.S.] with both words and action shows the adventurism in China's decision over the air-defense zone, and the passive and embarrassing consequence resulting from that," Pan Jiazhu, a well-known columnist on military issues who goes by the pen name Zhao Chu, wrote on his verified account on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service.

Internationally, meanwhile, China needs to show it has sufficient military muscle to enforce the zone while also reassuring neighbors, especially in Southeast Asia, where China is also involved in territorial disputes, that the zone doesn't threaten their interests.

"It will be very important for China to establish [the zone's] credibility," said Wang Dong, a Northeast Asia security specialist at Peking University. At the same time, "China needs to make a good case why it's defensive and limited and why it should not be seen as aggressive."

—Josephine Cuneta and Celine Fernandez in Manila, George Nishiyama in Tokyo, and Vu Trong-Khanh in Hanoi, Vietnam, contributed to this article.

====================================
pdated Nov. 25, 2013 8:03 p.m. ET

The Obama Administration isn't known for its displays of American resolve, but on Tuesday it did U.S. allies in Asia and the cause of global security a service by sending a pair of B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The planes, which took off from a U.S. base in Guam, deliberately entered a new Chinese Ministry of Defense Zone without informing Beijing. On Saturday China announced the new defense zone that includes the Senkaku Islands that belong to Japan but are claimed by Beijing. The announcement was a clear attempt to intimidate Japan while sending a message to the world, and it fits the pattern of China's increasingly aggressive military actions in both the East and South China Seas that risk an armed clash.

The U.S., Japan and other nations also have air defense identification zones in which planes entering their airspace must declare themselves, but there is a key difference here. China declared its intention to challenge planes and demand that they follow instructions in the new zone regardless of whether they intend to enter Chinese airspace or are merely transiting through the area.

This is an attempt to interfere with the normal rules of global navigation and assert de facto Chinese control over a huge chunk of the Western Pacific. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel immediately condemned the move as an attempt to change by force the status quo over the Senkakus. Mr. Kerry also noted the threat to freedom of navigation. China responded by telling the U.S. to butt out, so sending the B-52s was necessary to underscore that the U.S. will not let China's declaration stand.

Beijing's brinksmanship is reminiscent of its frequent harassment of U.S. naval vessels in international waters and the buzzing by Chinese fighters of U.S. EP-3 surveillance planes that caused a collision in 2001. Beijing is trying to make its exclusive economic zone into a no-go area for foreign military ships and aircraft. This is a serious violation of international law that must be resisted if U.S. security guarantees and President Obama's "pivot" to Asia are going to have any credibility.

China could now decide to escalate, but it is less likely to do so if the U.S. shows it is willing to defend its allies and global norms. Beijing engaged in a similar display of intimidation toward Taiwan in 1996 by staging missile tests as the Clinton Administration initially wrung its hands. Only after Bill Clinton dispatched two U.S. carrier battle groups to the area did the crisis ease.

Beijing is a master of bully-and-bluff tactics, pushing adversaries into a position where they must choose between capitulation or conflict. But it may have overreached this time, since the new zone all but obliged the U.S. and Japan to respond. The U.S. is obligated by treaty to defend Japan if it is attacked, and the best way to avoid having to do so is to make clear to Beijing that the U.S. takes the treaty seriously.

By trying to use force to seize control over the Senkakus' region, Beijing is edging closer to naked aggression. It has to be shown that such bullying won't succeed.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 12:45:35 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #208 on: November 27, 2013, 02:22:45 PM »

The key question is how far are both sides willing to go? The Chinese military has stated openly that they'd trade the lives of a million troops to take out 15,000 Americans. They doubt the American public is willing to suffer that loss of life.

They've open mocked Obama to his face. If the PLAAF does shoot down an American or Japanese plane, what next?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: November 27, 2013, 02:55:10 PM »

"China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday it had monitored and identified the U.S. aircraft inside the zone over the East China Sea during the over-flights Tuesday, and the Foreign Ministry said that enforcement of the zone's rules would vary according to circumstances. "We will in accordance with different situations take corresponding reactions," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang."

Translation:  When we think we are strong enough and you are weak enough, we will bitch slap you.
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G M
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« Reply #210 on: November 27, 2013, 02:59:52 PM »

"China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday it had monitored and identified the U.S. aircraft inside the zone over the East China Sea during the over-flights Tuesday, and the Foreign Ministry said that enforcement of the zone's rules would vary according to circumstances. "We will in accordance with different situations take corresponding reactions," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang."

Translation:  When we think we are strong enough and you are weak enough, we will bitch slap you.

Yup. See the bump phase of a shark attack.
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G M
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« Reply #211 on: November 27, 2013, 03:03:16 PM »

Anyone think Obama was calling the shots when the BUFFs were sent to fly through the "zone"?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #212 on: November 27, 2013, 06:57:42 PM »

From a Canadian friend in the firearms industry:

"I heard some interesting news today out of China.  Our distributor here in Canada who did just under 100million in sales this year has been told by the Chinese government that they will not be exporting ammunition out of China for the foreseeable future as they feel their reserves are too low.   Rifle and pistol sales can continue but no ammo." 
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bigdog
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« Reply #213 on: November 29, 2013, 06:01:09 AM »

GM: This is China/Japan/US issues, but this is the type of thing I mention in the Iran thread. Numbers 2 and 4, at least, have a rational choice element that could be researched more.

http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2013/11/4-hypotheses-on-why-china-suddenly-declared-this-new-air-defense-zone.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #214 on: November 29, 2013, 09:20:12 PM »

The bump of the Chinese shark causes President Kitty to flinch:

U.S. Advises American Commercial Airlines to Obey China’s Flight Rules
After an internal debate, the Obama administration has decided to tell American commercial airlines to comply with China’s demands to be notified of any flights through a broad swath of international airspace that it has claimed as an air defense zone, officials said Friday.
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ccp
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« Reply #215 on: November 30, 2013, 03:51:15 AM »

Crossing a line in the sky

What China’s new air-defence zone over disputed islands says about its foreign policy
 Nov 30th 2013  | From the print edition

ACUTELY conscious that the emergence of new powers on the world stage has more often than not led to war, China’s leaders make much of their plans for a “peaceful rise”. But they often have an odd way of showing it. Take China’s declaration on November 23rd of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) above a stretch of the East China Sea that includes the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, which it disputes with Japan. This was bound to create alarm in China’s own neighbourhood and tension in its relations with the incumbent superpower. So it calls into question the priority China really places on maintaining peace; or, perhaps, its skill in managing its rise without sparking conflict.

The declaration seemed contrary to at least three stated foreign-policy aims. First, China claims to aspire to a “new type of great-power relationship” with America. But the invocation of an ADIZ—elsewhere in the world a relic of the cold war—was almost bound to prompt some old-fashioned muscle-flexing in response. America quickly reaffirmed that, although it takes no position on who owns the islands, they are covered by its mutual-defence treaty with Japan. Nor did it take America long to test the threat contained in the ADIZ declaration of unspecified measures against aircraft entering the zone without following its procedures. On November 26th two American B-52 bombers based in Guam crossed the new zone without informing China. An American aircraft-carrier group was already in the area, ready for a joint exercise with Japan, simulating a defence of the country from attack.



All this came just ahead of a planned visit to China, Japan and South Korea in early December by America’s vice-president, Joe Biden, intended to reassure both China and America’s allies about America’s strategic “pivot” to Asia. Mr Biden is said to have a good rapport with Xi Jinping, China’s leader. Just as well.

Second, the ADIZ has done great damage to China’s fairly successful recent efforts to reassure its neighbours of the benevolence of its intentions. China and South Korea, for example, have been getting on well lately—helped in part by shared resentment of what they see as Japan’s refusal to confront the evils of its wartime past, and its intractability over territorial disputes. Yet the ADIZ, which also encroaches on areas claimed by South Korea, prompted the government in Seoul to express regret too. And it created a bone of contention with Taiwan, with which relations have steadily improved in recent years.





Both Mr Xi and Li Keqiang, the prime minister, made well-received tours in South-East Asia in October, drawing attention to their reliable presence at a time when Barack Obama had cancelled a trip. China’s importance as an economic partner overshadowed the disputes it has with four regional countries over the South China Sea. But the ADIZ to the north suggests it is only a matter of time before China feels able to enforce one there as well. That China’s new aircraft-carrier and other warships were this week headed for exercises in the South China Sea was a reminder that China claims almost the entire sea and is ready to bully rivals—notably, of late, the Philippines—that stand up to it.

Third, and most broadly, the assertiveness over the specks in the East China Sea makes a mockery of the 35-year-old policy adopted by Deng Xiaoping of “strategic patience” or “hiding one’s brilliance”—which implied concentrating on developing the economy before throwing China’s weight around. Yet more than ever, China needs a stable global environment. A Communist Party central-committee meeting earlier in November promised a series of ambitious but high-risk economic reforms.

So it is possible that the announcement of the ADIZ was a blunder, an ill-considered overreaction to Japan’s threat to shoot down unmanned aircraft entering its airspace. Chinese foreign policy has sometimes seemed unco-ordinated and oddly insensitive to the consequences of assertive nationalism. But in this case all the relevant arms of party and government were surely on board. And at the party meeting, Mr Xi seemed to have consolidated his own power over decision-making with the announcement of a new national-security council to take charge of the management of internal and external threats. Even so, China may have miscalculated in some ways: in including South Korean-claimed airspace, for example, or in including aircraft not just approaching China, but merely crossing its ADIZ; or perhaps in thinking that such a zone was enforceable at all.

Yet the ADIZ dovetails with China’s long-term strategy for the islands. Since Japan’s government “nationalised” three of them (buying them from a private owner) in September 2012, China has stepped up incursions in the sea and air around them. Having contested Japanese sovereignty over the islands for decades, it has set out to undermine Japan’s claim to exercise administrative control. The ADIZ is a natural extension of this.

On the way up

The aim is to cow Japan, knowing that its government is under pressure from business to improve ties with the country’s biggest market, and believing that, as China rises inexorably, Japan is in long-term decline. China also hopes, some Chinese scholars suggest, to raise the diplomatic and military cost to America of its alliance with Japan, partly by provoking Japan into belligerence of its own. Then America might exert pressure on its ally to meet China’s demand, which is deceptively reasonable: for Japan to concede that the status of the islands is disputed.

An even more fundamental explanation of China’s apparently reckless behaviour is that nothing in its commitment to a peaceful rise is meant to trump the safeguarding of its national sovereignty. Mr Xi emerged from the party’s meeting appearing all-powerful. But no Chinese leader can afford to look weak on an issue, such as the disputed islands, that China has framed as one of its own sovereignty. He will find it hard to back down.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 05:23:44 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #216 on: November 30, 2013, 04:34:36 PM »

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/11/26-whats-happening-east-china-seas-kalb

From the article:

Last weekend, the Chinese astonished the U.S. and Japan, very close allies with similar views about Senkaku sovereignty, by declaring that all planes flying in this zone must get China’s permission. They must submit flight plans to Beijing. “If an aircraft doesn’t supply its flight plans,” the Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced, “China’s armed forces will adopt emergency defensive measures in response.”

Wait a minute!, was the immediate reaction in Tokyo and Washington. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denounced the Chinese announcement as a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region,”…increasing “the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations.” Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida echoed Hagel’s statement, describing the Chinese action as “one-sided” with the potential to “trigger unpredictable events” and “cannot be allowed.”
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bigdog
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« Reply #217 on: December 02, 2013, 12:28:04 PM »

http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/11/27-gang-two-russia-japan-make-play-pacific-hill

From the article:

New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Since the 1950s, U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea have dominated regional security. Russia and China thawed their frosty relationship in the 1990s and signed a friendship treaty in 2001, but China’s rise has increased tensions in every regional relationship.
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« Reply #218 on: December 02, 2013, 01:12:23 PM »

BD's post of a Russia-Japan alliance is quite interesting.  I'm sure it is too provocative for the US administration to talk publicly about a military conflict with China, but I would hope we have a plan in place.  This seems like a thoughtful piece on the subject.

A Military Strategy to Deter China    By T.X. Hammes
http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2013/12/01/a_military_strategy_to_deter_china_106987.html

China’s announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone last weekend made Seth Cropsey’s commentary “America Has No Military Strategy for China” extremely timely.  He is absolutely correct on two key statements.  First, an escalation between China and Japan would be disastrous and, even more importantly, the United States has no strategy for a conflict with China.  Secretary Cropsey notes that the AirSea Battle concept is the “sole U.S. preparation” but that it is not a strategy.

While no set of actions can guarantee continued peace between China and the United States, carefully considered national and military strategies will reduce the probability of a conflict.  The United States National Strategy makes that an explicit goal.  In his November 2011 address to the Australian Parliament, President Barack Obama stated U.S. National Strategy would:

“continue our effort to build a cooperative relationship with China.  … all of our nations have a profound interest in the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China.”

This year, Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, clarified and reinforced the Administration’s determination to continue its rebalance to Asia.

“To pursue this vision, the United States is implementing a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy: strengthening alliances; deepening partnerships with emerging powers; building a stable, productive, and constructive relationship with China; empowering regional institutions; and helping to build a regional economic architecture that can sustain shared prosperity.”

Thus, the United States has a clearly articulated national strategy to encourage peaceful growth in the region. Unfortunately, as Cropsey noted, the United States has failed to express a coherent military strategy to support its national strategy.

Deepening the confusion concerning U.S. military strategy is the tendency of many observers to assume that CSBA’s paper, AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept, expressed the U.S. military strategy for a conflict with China.  The paper postulated that in the “unthinkable” case of a war with China, U.S. efforts would include a “executing a blinding campaign against PLA battle networks, executing a suppression campaign against PLA long-range, principally strike systems, seizing and sustaining the initiative in air, sea, space and cyber domains.” This paper stated it was not proposing a strategy but only a concept for overcoming China’s area denial/anti-access capabilities.

Perhaps the biggest weakness of the ASB concept is that it scares our allies without deterring China.  Since most ASB technology is top secret, U.S. officials are unable to discuss it with our allies.  As a result, many allies assume the United States will follow the plan described in CSBA’s paper and initiate immediate, extensive attacks on Chinese territory. Our allies are obviously concerned that China will see such attacks as emanating from allied territory and respond in kind.  In short, U.S. allies are being asked to offer bases without any knowledge of what actions the U.S. intends to take from those bases.  Not a great way to reassure allies. Unfortunately because this operational approach relies heavily on cyber and space capabilities, it creates the unintended consequence of raising the value of a first strike.  Thus it is escalatory.  In a crisis, both militaries will know that the one that strikes first will achieve significant tactical and operational advantages.

ASB also fails to deter China.  Because it is apparently dependent upon space and cyber systems, China may well feel it can degrade those systems enough to defeat the operational approach.  Further, China may well believe the United States cannot afford ASB or at very least will not field the capabilities for a decade or more.  A military strategy that offers a relative inexpensive defeat mechanism or a window of vulnerability has little deterrent value.

To eliminate the confusion and reassure other nations, the United States needs to go beyond simply declaring that ASB is not a strategy.  It must clearly state U.S. military strategy for a possible conflict with China.

What Should a Military Strategy Do?

The first and most important function of a military strategy is to support the national strategy.  Therefore, any military strategy must encourage or, at very least, not discourage the continued growth and integration of China’s economy with that of the global economy.  A U.S. military strategy for Asia must achieve five objectives:

1. Deter China from military action to resolve disputes while encouraging its continued economic growth;

2. Assure Asian nations that the United States is both willing to and capable of remaining engaged in Asia;

3. Ensure access for U.S. forces and allied commercial interests to the global commons;

4. Achieve victory with minimal risk of nuclear escalation in the event of conflict; and

5. Be visibly credible today.

Ideally, a military strategy would also provide guidance for matching limited defense resources to appropriate force structures and equipment buys. Given the fact that China has a thermonuclear arsenal, a military strategy must emphasize deterrence and, if that fails, should escalate in a deliberate, transparent way.

Outline for a Strategy

Professor Eliot Cohen proposes that a strategy should include critical assumptions, ends-ways-means coherence, priorities, sequencing, and a theory of victory. Without listing, examining and challenging assumptions, it is not possible to understand a strategy. With assumptions identified, coherence in ends-ways-means becomes possible. These elements should not be treated separately.  If goals are selected that exceed available means, one does not have a strategy.  Priorities are required because a nation will not have the resources to do everything at once.  Sequencing flows from priorities.  Finally, a strategy must have a theory of victory – an answer to the question “how does this end?” It must express how the strategy achieves war termination on favorable terms.

A Proposed Military Strategy

I propose a military strategy I am calling Offshore Control: Defense of the First Island Chain that takes advantage of geography to block China’s exports and thus severely weaken its economy. 

Assumptions

I have listed five key assumptions below.

1. China starts the conflict.  Assuming China initiates the conflict presents the most difficult military situation for the United States.

2. There is a high probability that a conflict with China will be a long war.  For the last 200 years, wars between major powers have generally run for years rather than months.  Further, the United States would find a protracted conflict most challenging.

3. Any major conflict between the United States and China will result in massive damage to the global economy.  The integrated global economy means that, like WWI, the opening of the conflict will cause major economic contraction.

4. The United States does not understand China’s nuclear decision process.  Therefore, it is critically important that the U.S. strategic approach minimize escalation.  If escalation is required, deliberate and transparent escalation is better than a sudden surprise that could be misinterpreted.  This approach certainly violates the generally accepted precept that escalation in war be violent and sudden to achieve maximum effect.  However, that maxim was developed before the advent of offsetting nuclear arsenals.

5. In space or cyber domains, a first strike provides major advantages.  Thus any operational approach that requires the robust use of space and cyber capabilities is inherently destabilizing in a crisis.

Ends, Ways, and Means Coherence

The combination of decreasing defense budgets and rapid increases in procurement costs for new weapons suggests a strategy for conflict with China should assume limited means, at least to start.  In addition to limited means, the United States must accept that China’s nuclear arsenal imposes restrictions on the way American forces may attack Chinese assets.  The United States must select ways that minimize the probability of escalation to nuclear conflict simply because no one can win in a major nuclear exchange. With limited means and restricted ways, the ends selected therefore also should be modest.   They must attain U.S. strategic goals but not risk a major nuclear exchange.

This logic leads to the concept of Offshore Control.  Operationally, Offshore Control uses currently available but limited means and restricted ways to enforce a distant blockade on China.  It establishes a set of concentric rings that denies China the use of the sea inside the first island chain, defends the sea and air space of the first island chain, and dominates the air and maritime space outside the island chain.  No operations will penetrate Chinese airspace.  Prohibiting penetration is intended to reduce the possibility of nuclear escalation and make war termination easier.

The denial element of the campaign plays to U.S. strengths by employing primarily attack submarines, mines, and a limited number of air assets inside the first island chain.  This area will be declared a maritime exclusion zone with the warning that ships in the zone will be sunk.  While the United States cannot initially stop all sea traffic in this zone, it can prevent the passage of large cargo ships and tankers.  In doing so, it cripples China’s export trade, which is central to China’s economy.



The defensive component will bring the full range of U.S. assets to defend allied soil and encourage allies to contribute to that defense.  It takes advantage of geography to force China to fight at longer ranges while allowing U.S. and allied forces to fight as part of an integrated air-sea defense over their own territories. In short, it flips A2/AD to favor allies rather than China.  Numerous small islands from Japan to Taiwan and on to Luzon provide dispersed land basing options for air and sea defense of the apparent gaps in the first island chain. Since Offshore Control will rely heavily on land-based air defense and short-range sea defense to include mine and counter-mine capability, we can encourage potential partners to invest in these capabilities and exercise together regularly in peacetime. 

In keeping with the concept that the strategy must be feasible in peacetime, the United States will not request any nation to allow the use of their bases to attack China.   The strategy will only ask a nation to allow the presence of U.S. defensive systems to defend that nation’s air, sea, and land space.   The U.S. commitment will include assisting with convoy operations to maintain the flow of essential imports and exports in the face of Chinese interdiction attempts.

The dominate phase of the campaign will be fought outside the range of most Chinese assets and will use a combination of air, naval, ground and rented commercial platforms to intercept and divert the super tankers and post-Panamax container ships essential to China’s economy.   Eighty percent of China’s imported oil transits the Straits of Malacca.  If Malacca, Lombok, Sunda and the routes north and south of Australia are controlled, these shipments can be cut off.  This reduction in energy supply will have a negative effect on China’s economy.

However, the United States must recognize that the dramatic reduction in China’s trade will significantly reduce its energy demands.  Thus, energy interdiction is not a winning strategy.  Exports are of much greater importance to the Chinese economy.  Those exports rely on large container ships for competitive cost advantage.  These ships also are the easiest to track and divert. Naturally, China will respond by rerouting, but the only possibilities are the Panama Canal and the Straits of Magellan – or, if polar ice melt continues, the northern route.  U.S. assets can control all these routes. While such a concentric campaign will require a layered effort from the straits to China’s coast, it will mostly be fought at a great distance from China—effectively out of range of most of China’s military power.

Ends

That leads us to modest ends.  Offshore Control is predicated on the idea that the presence of nuclear weapons makes seeking the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party or its surrender too dangerous to contemplate.  The United States does not understand the Communist Party decision process for the employment of nuclear weapons but it does know the Party is adamant it must remain in control of China.  Thus, rather than seeking a decisive victory against the Chinese Communist Party, Offshore Control seeks to use a war of economic attrition to bring about a stalemate and cessation of conflict with a return to a modified version of the status quo.

Theory of Victory

Offshore Control seeks termination of the conflict on U.S. terms through China’s economic exhaustion without damage to mainland China’s infrastructure or the rapid escalation of the conflict.  It seeks to allow the Chinese Communist Party to end the conflict in the same way China ended its conflicts with India, the United Nations in Korea, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam.  It allows China to declare it “taught the enemy a lesson” and thus end the conflict. Offshore Control does not seek decisive victory in the traditional military sense but secures U.S. objectives effectively.  It recognizes the fact that the concept of decisive victory against a nation with a major nuclear arsenal is fraught with risks if not entirely obsolete.

Conclusion

President Obama has presented a U.S. national strategy that sets goals and the diplomatic, economic and political paths necessary to achieve them.  While one can argue about how effectively they are being executed, the diplomatic, economic, and political paths have been defined.  However, the United States has failed to articulate a coherent military strategy to support its national strategy.  It is time to correct that deficiency.  Offshore Control: Defense of the First Island Chain is a starting point for a discussion with our allies and friends in the region.  It seeks to provide the military component of the U.S. national strategy in Asia.

The major goal of Offshore Control is to deter China by presenting it with a military strategy that cannot be defeated. This directly addresses one of the most worrying aspects of the current situation in Asia.  Like the Germans before WWI, the Chinese may believe they can win a short war.  In particular, they may believe their growing capabilities in space and cyber might neutralize U.S. power in the region.  By showing that Offshore Control can be executed with today’s force even with dramatically reduced access to space and cyber, the United States and its allies can dispel the notion of a short war.  The only way China can defeat such a strategy is to invest hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade or more to create a global sea control navy.  And even that will not be a guarantee it wins such a conflict.

T. X. Hammes served 30 years in the Marine Corps and is now a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #219 on: December 02, 2013, 04:15:50 PM »

Excellent discussion!


Surprisingly, here is a piece of good news.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/2/us-sends-submarine-hunting-jets-e-china-sea-post/
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bigdog
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« Reply #220 on: December 02, 2013, 07:34:35 PM »

http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/12/02/if_china_s_airspace_grab_turns_violent

From the article:

With tensions mounting, I decided to see what might happen if the maneuvers escalated into actual combat. In my scenario, played out in the ultra-realistic computer game Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (C:MANO), Beijing decides to teach Tokyo a lesson -- and opens fire on the Japanese planes. When three of the world's most high-tech air arms meet in simulated battle, the results might surprise you.
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« Reply #221 on: December 14, 2013, 12:26:51 AM »



http://freebeacon.com/chinese-naval-vessel-tries-to-force-u-s-warship-to-stop-in-international-waters/
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« Reply #222 on: January 12, 2014, 06:25:32 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367886/changes-pacific-return-1930s-victor-davis-hanson
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« Reply #223 on: January 13, 2014, 11:13:27 AM »



http://chinadailymail.com/2014/01/13/the-reasons-why-a-battle-for-zhongye-pag-asa-island-seems-unavoidable/
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G M
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« Reply #224 on: January 13, 2014, 11:40:49 AM »

No worries  they'll send Biden or Lurch to sort it all out.
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« Reply #225 on: January 13, 2014, 12:57:54 PM »

"Lurch"?    cheesy cheesy cheesy

More seriously now, this is serious  cry angry
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« Reply #226 on: January 13, 2014, 01:03:15 PM »

"Lurch"?    cheesy cheesy cheesy

More seriously now, this is serious  cry angry

China knows that Buraq isn't going to stand up to them. What's stopping them?
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« Reply #227 on: January 18, 2014, 09:27:31 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/16/us-military-dominance-pacific-decline-says-top-adm/?page=all#pagebreak
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« Reply #228 on: February 04, 2014, 06:49:57 AM »

The Great Chinese Internet Crash
Web freedom is the best answer to Beijing's foreign media crackdown.
Updated Feb. 3, 2014 7:40 p.m. ET

The Internet suffered perhaps its largest crash of all time on Jan. 21, when most of China's 500 million Web users were unable to get online for up to eight hours. Nine days later New York Times NYT -2.19% reporter Austin Ramzy was forced to leave China, the latest in a string of foreign journalists denied work visas by the Beijing government.

The link in these two stories is the Communist Party's obsessive control over information. Mr. Ramzy's case is all too familiar, since China has long squeezed foreign journalists to punish and deter reporting on sensitive matters such as the family fortunes of China's top leaders. The case of the Internet crash is more unusual.


The blackout seems to have been caused not by hackers or equipment failure but by the Chinese government's own Internet censors—the operators of the "Great Firewall." Instead of denying access to proscribed sites, they accidentally re-routed almost all Chinese Web traffic to a set of foreign sites that are usually blocked. Those servers promptly crashed, and the Chinese Internet ground to a halt.

The foreign sites are among Beijing's most hated, as they belong to U.S.-based companies that specialize in helping Web users evade firewalls. Through tools such as "UltraSurf" and "FreeGate," these companies allow millions of regular Chinese (or Iranians, or Cubans) to mask their online identities, bypass state censors, and read news or history as if they were online in New York or Paris.

There's a lesson here for U.S. policy makers considering how to respond to China's foreign-media crackdown, which includes years-long visa delays, restrictions on travel within China and occasionally physical violence. Some American lawmakers and commentators propose that Washington adopt reciprocal measures—denying U.S. visas to Chinese journalists, for example, or to more senior Chinese media executives, such as those running the Xinhua news agency's North American headquarters in Times Square.

Here's another idea: Increase U.S. government support for firewall-circumvention tools like those that Beijing was trying to stifle on Jan. 21 when it accidentally crashed the Internet. No tit-for-tat visa war, no limits on reporting, but a firmer U.S. policy to expand the free flow of information world-wide.

Hillary Clinton championed this agenda as secretary of state, at least rhetorically. "Nations that censor the Internet should understand that our government is proud to help promote Internet freedom," she said in 2010. Yet that year a bipartisan group of Senators criticized her department for wasting some $20 million that Congress had appropriated to support "field-tested" Web access tools for "large numbers of users simultaneously in a hostile Internet environment." State spent most of the money on training programs for local journalists overseas.

In later years the Clinton State Department distributed additional Internet freedom funds to a range of grantees. But today Washington's most promising source of funding for firewall-circumvention tools appears to be the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees Voice of America. The 2014 appropriations bill passed last month directs the BBG to spend "not less than" $25.5 million specifically on "the development and use of circumvention and secure communication technologies."

A U.S.-based engineer behind one of the leading firewall-busting technologies tells us that his server capacity is about 1.5 billion hits a day from 1.2 million users world-wide (with one-third coming from China). The engineer, who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons, says an additional $20 million would allow him to host nearly 20 times as many users per day.

Beijing has devoted enormous resources to Internet censorship but it still struggles to control the flow of information. A modest Western investment could poke holes in the Great Firewall or even bring it tumbling down.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 06:32:54 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #229 on: February 04, 2014, 03:36:57 PM »

Published on The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org)

Source URL (retrieved on Feb 4, 2014): http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/asias-1937-syndrome-9817



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Asia's 1937 Syndrome


 


Share on emailShare on twitterShare on facebookShare on digg|More Sharing ServicesMore [1]





Gordon G. Chang [2]
 |
February 4, 2014



Gordon G. Chang [2]
 
In first days of July 1937, Chinese and Japanese soldiers skirmished in Wanping, a few miles southwest of what is now the Chinese capital. China’s Chiang Kai-shek then knew his army was no match for Japan’s, and he had many opportunities to avoid battle with a vastly superior foe. Yet he ultimately chose war.
 
So why did Chiang decide to fight? And how did a minor—and probably accidental—clash turn into years of disastrous conflict? Now, analysts think today’s Asia feels like 1914 Europe [3], and last month in Davos Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe likened today’s situation involving his country and China to that of England and Germany a hundred years ago [4]. The better comparison, however, is 1937. The parallels between then and now, unfortunately, are striking.
 
The “China Incident,” as the Japanese then called the war, began on the banks of the Yongding River in Wanping during the night of July 7, 1937. Imperial troops, shooting blanks in an evening exercise, found themselves under fire, presumably from elements of the Chinese 29th Army. After the minor exchange near Lugouqiao, commonly known as the Marco Polo Bridge, Japanese officers were alarmed when one of their soldiers failed to turn up for a roll call. They then demanded that Chinese guards let them search nearby Wanping, where the Japanese had no general permission to enter.
 
A refusal triggered days of skirmishes. Once the fighting started, it did not matter that the stray Japanese private, who is thought to have wandered off to urinate, eventually turned up unhurt. Soon, Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China was at war. The Japanese in short order would take the Marco Polo Bridge, cut off Beijing from the rest of the country, and seize that city. They would then drive Chiang’s forces from the metropolis of Shanghai, the capital of Nanjing, and most of the rest of eastern China.
 
Chiang could have avoided the descent into a war in July 1937. In fact, both sides had agreed to a truce after the initial fighting around the Marco Polo Bridge. Yet the agreement did not hold. Oxford professor Rana Mitter compares the events [5] then to those surrounding the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in 1914. War, in both cases, was coming.
 
It is not hard to see why conflict between China and Japan was inevitable in the late 1930s. Japan was obviously determined to control portions of continental Asia. Its troops were stationed near Wanping pursuant to a 1901 treaty signed after foreign powers, including Japan, had put down the Boxer Rebellion. Japan had previously humiliated the Qing dynasty in a quick war ending in 1895, wresting control of Korea and Taiwan. Japan had also grabbed a portion of northeastern China from the Russians in the first decade of the twentieth century and invaded Manchuria in 1931, establishing puppet state of Manchukuo there. The Japanese massacred Chinese under their control.
 
In the late 1930s there were many incidents involving China’s troops and those of Japan. Most of these were settled quickly because Chinese commanders on the ground would give into Japanese demands or make concessions of some sort. In July 1937, officers guarding Wanping refused Japanese demands and Chiang realized he would have to make a stand. “The dwarf bandits have attacked at Lugouqiao,” he wrote in his diary, using one of his favorite terms for his enemy. “This is the time for the determination to fight.”
 
Chiang, in other circumstances, might have been willing to give up Beijing, but he had been roundly criticized for letting the Japanese have their way in northeastern China and in any event realized they would not be satisfied with taking only the old imperial capital. As he noted on July 10, “This is the turning point for existence or obliteration.” The decision Chiang made at the Marco Polo Bridge proved to be catastrophic, but at the time the decision to fight was about the only one he could make.
 
Why is 1937 relevant to us? Today, China, no longer the victim, is aggressive, continually pressing its weaker neighbors to its south and east. For decades, the People’s Republic has been seizing specks in the South China Sea from Vietnam and the Philippines.
 
Most recently, Chinese vessels took Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines [6] in the middle of 2012. Washington, not wanting to antagonize Beijing and hoping to avoid a confrontation, did nothing to stop Beijing gobbling up the shoal despite America’s mutual defense treaty with Manila. The Chinese were not satisfied with their seizure, however. Now they are pressuring Second Thomas Shoal and other Philippine territory, also in the South China Sea. Beijing claims about 80 percent of that critical body of international water [7] as an internal Chinese lake.
 
And as soon as the Chinese took Scarborough, they began to increase pressure on the Senkakus in the East China Sea, regularly sending their ships into territorial waters surrounding the islands and sometimes flying planes into airspace there. The barren outcroppings are claimed and in fact administered by Japan, but Beijing, which calls them the Diaoyus, wants them.
 
Why should the Japanese care about rocks in the East China Sea? The reason is that the Chinese are acting like classic aggressors. They were not satisfied with Scarborough, so they pressured the Senkakus. Chinese analysts, egged on by state media, are now arguing that Beijing should claim Japan’s Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu chain [8].
 
Chinese leaders, it is true, have not launched a large-scale invasion since 1979. Instead, they now employ “salami-slicing” tactics so as not to invite retaliation. For instance, the Chinese have denied access to Scarborough Shoal with a ring of fishing and patrol vessels so as to effectively control the area. They issued fishing regulations [9], effective the first of this year, purporting to exercise sovereignty over a large portion of the South China Sea, thereby infringing on freedom of navigation. Moreover, there are indications that Beijing will declare an air-defense identification zone over that sea [10], just as it did over the East China Sea last November.
 
The Chinese were not the first to use the salami-slicing stratagem. They were, in fact, victims of these same tactics. As noted, the hardline Japanese military in the 1930s kept advancing in northeastern China, and the Chinese then were continually pushed back and humiliated. By 1937, there was a feeling in Chinese circles that Chiang Kai-shek had no choice but to fight back.
 
This is, of course, a lesson for Washington today because the parallels between then and now are striking. First, the Japanese military then, like the Chinese one today, was emboldened by success and was ultra-nationalist. The views now expressed by China’s senior officers are deeply troubling. For instance, General Liu Yazhou, the political commissar at the People’s Liberation Army National Defense University, recently urged armed conflict to seize territory [11]. “Those borders where our army has won victories are more peaceful and stable, but those where we were too timid have more disputes,” he said in a recent magazine interview. “An army that fails to achieve victory is nothing.”
 
Second, the media in the 1930s publicized the idea that Japan was being surrounded by hostile powers that wished to prevent its rise. That’s exactly what the Communist Party says today about China.
 
Third, then, like now, civilians controlled Asia’s biggest army only loosely. Although many believe that new Chinese ruler Xi Jinping is firmly in command, he appears to be allowing the military to engage in provocative behavior to obtain its support. In the complex bargaining process inside Beijing, Xi may be letting flag officers, head of the most powerful faction in the Party, tell him what policies he will adopt. If the PLA is now Xi Jinping’s faction—as many now believe—it is unlikely that he is in a position to tell the top brass what to do.
 
Yet whether Xi is an aggressor in his own right—a logical conclusion of the majority view that he is in control of the military—or is being led by the nose by flag officers, China is lashing out, taking on many nations at once. That is the same thing Japan did beginning in the 1930s.
 
Instead of ignoring Beijing’s provocative behavior, as Washington does, American policymakers should be concerned that countries on China’s periphery, pushed to the limit by Beijing’s unrelenting belligerence, could very well be forced into the same decision that Chiang Kai-shek made in 1937, to resist aggression with force of arms.
 
World War II, as we now know, started not on the plains of Europe in 1939, but near Beijing two years before, at a village named Wanping.
 
Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China. Follow him on Twitter: @GordonGChang [12].
More by

Gordon G. Chang [2]
 

Topics:Defense [13]
 Grand Strategy [14]
 Great Powers [15]
 Rising Powers [16]
 Security [17]
 
Regions:China [18]
 Northeast Asia [19]
 Japan [20]
 Asia [21]
 

.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source URL (retrieved on Feb 4, 2014): http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/asias-1937-syndrome-9817


Links:
[1] http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250&username=nationalinterest
 [2] http://nationalinterest.org/profile/gordon-g-chang
 [3] http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/2014-good-year-great-war-9652
 [4] http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2014/01/davos-leaders-shinzo-abe-on-war-economics-and-women-at-work/
 [5] http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Ally-China%C2%92s-World-1937-1945/dp/061889425X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391226014&sr=8-1&keywords=forgotten+ally
 [6] http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/learning-the-lessons-scarborough-reef-9442
 [7] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/world/asia/beijing-reasserts-its-claims-in-south-china-sea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 [8] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/asia/sentiment-builds-in-china-to-press-claim-for-okinawa.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 [9] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/09/us-usa-china-fishing-idUSBREA0817720140109
 [10] http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/china/AJ201401310211
 [11] http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1406458/fighting-east-south-china-seas-would-test-pla-prowess-general-says
 [12] http://twitter.com/GordonGChang
 [13] http://nationalinterest.org/topic/security/defense
 [14] http://nationalinterest.org/topic/security/grand-strategy
 [15] http://nationalinterest.org/topic/security/great-powers
 [16] http://nationalinterest.org/topic/security/rising-powers
 [17] http://nationalinterest.org/topic/security
 [18] http://nationalinterest.org/region/asia/northeast-asia/china
 [19] http://nationalinterest.org/region/asia/northeast-asia
 [20] http://nationalinterest.org/region/asia/northeast-asia/japan
 [21] http://nationalinterest.org/region/asia
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« Reply #230 on: February 05, 2014, 11:13:00 AM »

This from today’s Pravda on the Hudson:

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III called on Tuesday for nations around the world to do more to support the Philippines in resisting China’s assertive claims to the seas near his country, drawing a comparison to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demands for Czech land in 1938.
Like Czechoslovakia, the Philippines faces demands to surrender territory piecemeal to a much stronger foreign power and needs more robust foreign support for the rule of international law if it is to resist, President Aquino said in a 90-minute interview in the wood-paneled music room of the presidential palace.
“If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?” he said. He later added, “At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.”
   
 
graphic
Graphic: Overlapping Airspace Claims in the East China SeaNOV. 27, 2013

Mr. Aquino’s remarks are among the strongest indications yet of alarm among Asian heads of state about China’s military buildup and territorial ambitions, and the second time in recent weeks that an Asian leader has volunteered a comparison to the prelude to world wars.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan caused a stir in Davos, Switzerland, when he noted last month that Britain and Germany went to war in 1914 even though they had close economic ties — much as China and Japan have now.
Japan has been locked in an increasingly tense standoff with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, and even South Korea, which has been quieter about Chinese claims, expressed alarm last year when Beijing announced that it had the right to police the skies above a vast area of ocean, including areas claimed by Japan and South Korea.
While China’s efforts to claim rocks, shoals and fishing grounds off the coast of the Philippines in the South China Sea have been less high-profile, the Chinese have moved faster there.
The Philippines already appears to have lost effective control of one of the best-known places of contention, a reef called Scarborough Shoal, after Philippine forces withdrew during a standoff with China in 2012. The Philippine forces left as part of an American-mediated deal in which both sides were to pull back while the dispute was negotiated. Chinese forces remained, however, and gained control.
In his nearly four years as president, Mr. Aquino, 53, has exceeded expectations in his country and the region for what he would be able to accomplish in a nation once known as the “sick man of Asia.” He was a fairly low-key senator when he was propelled into the presidency in 2010 by a wave of national sympathy after his mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, died the year before.
Political analysts say that his administration has fought and reduced the corruption that played a role in holding the Philippines back. In one practical measure of that change, the country has been able to pave more roads per 100 million pesos in spending (about $2.2 million) than before — when funds were lost to corrupt officials and incompetence — finally addressing an impediment to commerce.
All of the major credit rating agencies now give the Philippines an investment grade rating, though the recent downturn in share prices and currencies here and in other emerging markets, on fears of further slowing of the Chinese economy, poses an immediate challenge.
In another accomplishment, Mr. Aquino’s negotiators concluded a major peace agreement last month with the main resistance group on Mindanao, the heavily Muslim southern island. Still, the deal remains something of a gamble; it is based in good part on the Muslim group’s ability to hold in check smaller resistance groups, which criticized the pact almost immediately.
Despite those successes, Mr. Aquino was criticized for the country’s slow initial response to last year’s devastating typhoon. He said the storm was so powerful that it overwhelmed the Philippines’ many preparations.
He has also been less aggressive on land reform — the Aquinos are among the country’s biggest landowning families — and he has preferred to shift more of the government’s social spending to poor villages instead. Walden Bello, although a congressman in the president’s governing coalition, said he was one of many who believe that “the lack of real progress on land reform is a real reason why poverty rates have remained” at high levels.
Analysts say the almost feudal power of some entrenched families, including some with militias, is a further obstacle to growth. But Mr. Aquino said he was trying to convince the families that becoming less insular would foster greater prosperity.
Mr. Aquino is prevented by law from seeking re-election when his six-year term expires in 2016, raising uncertainty about whether his changes will continue.
In the wide-ranging interview on Tuesday, Mr. Aquino said he thought the Philippines and the United States were close to a long-delayed deal that would allow more American troops to rotate through the Philippines, enhancing his country’s security. But the subject remains controversial among the political elite in the Philippines, with memories of the country’s past as an American possession making them wary of closer military ties.
The United States is pushing for the deal to aid in its rebalance to Asia, where it hopes to retain a strong influence despite China’s rise.
Speaking of the Philippines’ own tensions with the Chinese, Mr. Aquino said his country would not renounce any of its possessions in the sea between it and China.
China contends that centuries-old maps show that it had an early claim to the South China Sea almost to Borneo. It is trying to use its large and growing fleet to exercise effective control over reefs and islands in the sea, a strategy that could strengthen its legal position.
At the same time, China has strongly resisted applying the procedures and numerical formulas of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to the many reefs and islands that lie much closer to countries like the Philippines than to China. Officials in Beijing also oppose multilateral discussions, preferring bilateral talks with individual countries in Southeast Asia, an approach that allows Chinese leaders to apply greater pressure.
While China has been improving its military, Mr. Aquino noted that the last flight by a Philippine fighter jet was in 2005 and that the plane dated from before the Vietnam War. Most of the country’s tiny naval and coast guard fleet dates from World War II.
The difficulties with China extend beyond the arguments over the South China Sea. The Hong Kong government, with enthusiastic backing from the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, plans to stop allowing 14-day visa-free visits by Filipino diplomats and officials starting Wednesday. The sanctions are part of a long-running demand by Hong Kong that the national government of the Philippines apologize over a violent episode in 2010 in which a hostage rescue attempt in Manila failed, leaving eight Hong Kong citizens dead.
In his first public response to the sanctions, Mr. Aquino said he had no plans to apologize, saying that doing so could create a legal liability and noting that China had not paid compensation to the families of Filipinos who have died in episodes there.
Mr. Aquino, who is not married, lives in a small cottage behind the presidential palace instead of in the luxurious palace itself. He said he tries to relax before going to sleep each night either by listening to music — often jazz — or pursuing his passion as an amateur historian, reading military journals, some about World War II.
While recently reading about the predicament of Czechoslovakia’s leaders in the late 1930s, he said, he saw a parallel “in a sense” to his own problems now in facing challenges from China. Appeasement did not work in 1938, he noted; within six months of the surrender of the Sudetenland, Germany occupied most of the rest of Czechoslovakia.
The Philippines, he said, is determined not to make similar concessions. “You may have the might,” he said of China, “but that does not necessarily make you right.”
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« Reply #231 on: February 13, 2014, 12:10:26 PM »

By Robert D. Kaplan and Rodger Baker

What are the Chinese up to? Why raise tensions as much as they have in the Pacific Basin? Beijing's recent declaration of new fishing rules in disputed territorial waters has raised the ire of maritime neighbors and the consternation of the United States. It follows on the heels of the recently declared air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, above disputed islands in the East China Sea, which led American B-52s from Guam to overfly the region -- as a challenge to China's declaration and as a statement in defense of Japan, which also claims these islands. In the face of American and Japanese military resolve, can China even defend its claim to the Diaoyu (Senkaku in Japanese) island chain? Or can China truly dominate the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea?

China's bark certainly seems bigger than its bite, as the saying goes. China is acting in both the East China Sea and the South China Sea from, in some respects, a weak position. Indeed, China's various ground-based and airborne early warning systems -- needed to defend the new ADIZ -- are either too far away or still in production, while Japan is further ahead with this type of platform, which has been part of its military for decades. China's naval logistics and long supply lines make formal occupation of islets in the Spratlys difficult to obtain and harder to maintain.

To be sure, with the exception of Japan, China's navy and coast guard can overpower any single local competitor. But China cannot overpower any combination of states that includes the United States. And any overt act that changes the status quo -- occupation of islands, military confrontation or, for that matter, the establishment of an air defense identification zone -- threatens to do just that: draw in the United States. Meanwhile, the Philippines has been vocal in calling for expanded U.S. naval and air assets in and around its archipelago. And Washington will soon shift one of its most modern aircraft carriers to a forward deployment in Japan.

But what if the Chinese regime merely wants to raise tensions with the United States for the sake of a domestic audience, while avoiding actual conflict with it? That is a risky proposition, but it does explain China's behavior. In fact, it explains China's actions across the whole Asia-Pacific region -- actions that garner explosive headlines but are in other ways somewhat benign. The Chinese have coast guard ships circling islands, and those ships occasionally push a Philippine or Vietnamese fishing boat around. It is mainly bluster and puff. In almost all cases the Chinese are not fundamentally altering strategic realities, for they cannot. Preponderant Chinese naval and air ability is not yet there. Unsurprisingly -- again, in most cases -- the United States is largely ignoring these Chinese actions. In other words, there is no demonstrable American naval buildup in the region.

What we are seeing, therefore, is mainly a managed set of confrontations that serve domestically in China to keep the nationalistic spirit at a high volume in order to reinforce the sense of rising Chinese power -- something particularly necessary for the leadership during a time of slowing economic growth. Huffing and puffing at sea also helps China shape bilateral discussions with neighboring maritime claimants from a position of greater strength, or at least lay the groundwork for later assertions of ownership by highlighting the inability of local powers to fully deny China's claims -- something China's neighbors obviously worry about. Furthermore, by having its navy and coast guard antagonize a country such as the Philippines -- not to mention Japan -- China shows its domestic audience that the regime is standing up to the United States, a treaty ally of both of these countries.

Interpreting the Chinese

But observe how China has actually behaved in both the East China Sea and in the South China Sea over the past few years: When its unilateral actions generate too much attention from the United States on account of its alliance structure -- so that the costs of Chinese actions outweigh the benefits -- the Chinese simply shift attention elsewhere. For example, the Chinese stoked tensions for weeks on end in the disputed Spratly Islands near the Philippines in the South China Sea. But just as the United States began to take notice, threatening an uptick in U.S. naval involvement, China shifted military -- and hence public -- attention to the East China Sea and Japan. The Chinese did not stop patrols near the Philippines; they just reduced them somewhat and took demonstrable action elsewhere, around the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. It is likely, therefore, that this East China Sea dispute will fade a bit in the news and that the Chinese will raise the level of maritime provocation near Vietnam or Taiwan. Because China cannot fully secure the waters in the Pacific's marginal seas with the U.S. Navy and Air Force watching its every move, Chinese air and naval actions seem to have much to do with image management at home.

Because Chinese military capabilities are growing at a faster rate than most other Asian countries, it would seem to make sense for Beijing to be a good neighbor, provoke no crises, and simply bide its time as over the years the correlation of military power in the Pacific shifts slowly in its favor. Such a strategy would draw many countries in the region closer to Beijing's orbit, thereby lessening their psychological dependence on the United States. In fact, were China's leaders under no public pressure at home, it would make sense for them to play this long game with the utmost discipline: no military provocations abroad, even as China builds inexorably its military might. And for years, under former leader Deng Xiaoping's advice, China did just that -- keeping its military capabilities relatively quiet, its territorial challenges relatively mute.

But China's leaders evidently feel that they are under pressure at home. China's economic miracle is not what it was several years ago. Fundamental reform and rebalancing can no longer be avoided. And even if such reform works and China's new leaders turn out to be heroes on the scale of the late Deng Xiaoping, more social and political turmoil probably still cannot be avoided. China's new president and party leader, Xi Jinping, needs levers he can pull to ease public pressure on his new leadership team. Nationalism can easily be dialed up in such a circumstance.

In sum, China, by provoking crisis after crisis in the East and South China seas, is apparently acting against its middle-term strategic interests abroad in exchange for short-term benefits at home. After all, provocations such as bullying the Philippines and raising tensions with Japan will only intensify these countries' reliance on U.S. power, which China wants to see dissipate in the region. There is an irony here: Dictatorships do not, at least by definition, govern by the consent of the governed. But in this case, as in many others, it turns out that even dictators desperately require public approval and often act counterproductively to obtain it.

Of course, Chinese leaders and their people believe fervently in their territorial claims in the Pacific and would say that they are merely asserting their rights in the face of false claims by other states in the region, backed up by the hegemonic United States. But again, the likelihood for satisfying these claims would increase were China to act in a low-key fashion, even as it continues its military buildup and, later on, has the element of surprise.

For decades Americans have believed that Chinese power would be more benign if only China liberalized, with public opinion playing a larger role in shaping policy. But the opposite appears to be true. The more Chinese leadership feels it has to listen to public opinion, the more truculent and nationalistic the regime's behavior is likely to become. So while this particular crisis in the East China Sea will likely wane, many similar ones will likely crop up over the horizon. In the long run, as China's military capabilities catch up to its rhetoric, the willingness of neighboring states to dismiss China's claims will decrease.

Read more: Interpreting the Chinese | Stratfor
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« Reply #232 on: March 26, 2014, 08:50:46 AM »



Not bad from the sounds of POTH
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/world/asia/michelle-obama-mixes-some-politics-into-china-trip.html?emc=edit_th_20140326&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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« Reply #233 on: April 01, 2014, 08:33:57 PM »

China's Line in the Sea
Beijing Has Never Properly Explained What Its 'Nine-Dash Line' Represents
By Andrew Browne


Updated April 1, 2014 5:59 a.m. ET

Manila has risked China's wrath as it defies Beijing and what it sees as its historical right to ownership of the South China Sea, which carries more than a half of global trade.

BEIJING--When the Manchus ruled China, it was given the name South Sea—a maritime domain dotted with islets, atolls and lagoons that provided storm shelter for fishermen.

What today's atlases call the South China Sea received its English-language appellation, and its coordinates, under a 1953 document entitled Limits of Oceans and Seas published by the Monaco-based International Hydrographic Organization, whose patron is Prince Albert. And it's critical to the global economy.

It carries more than half of the world's seaborne trade; connects the fast growing economies of the Asian Pacific with markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is reckoned to cover vast oil reserves.

Yet, in a push that's creating alarm among China's neighbors—and the U.S. —the inheritors of the Manchu empire who now run China are making increasingly assertive claims to almost all of it as part of an ancient imperium that they are proudly reviving.

The boundaries of their historical claim are marked by a "nine-dash line"—a line made up of nine dashes, or strokes, that protrudes from China's southern Hainan Island as far as the northern coast of Indonesia, looping down like a giant lolling tongue.

This line has always been something of a mystery. It was drawn up by cartographers of the former Kuomintang regime in 1946 in the chaotic final years of the Chinese civil war before the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan. And, in fact, the line started not with nine dashes but 11: Two were scrubbed out in 1953 after the victorious communists adopted the line. Scale and precision are prized by mapmakers, but the nine-dash line lacks any geographical coordinates. It looks as though it was added with a thick black marker pen.

What's more, Beijing has never properly explained what it represents. Does China's claim to "indisputable sovereignty" over the scattered territorial features inside the line derive from the line itself? Or is it the other way round, with the line deriving from those territorial features and the waters that surround them?

China's neighbors who dispute its territorial assertions—among them the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia—are left to guess.

For these reasons, the prevailing view among Western legal scholars has long been that the nine-dash line wouldn't stand much chance if it was ever challenged under international law.

We may be about to find out. On Sunday, the Philippines filed the first-ever legal challenge to the line as part of a 4,000-page submission to a U.N. arbitration tribunal in The Hague. It wants the line declared as without legal weight so that it can exploit the offshore energy and fishery resources within its U.N.-declared exclusive economic zone. China has so far abstained from the proceedings.

The landmark case risks a Chinese backlash. Already, Beijing has all but frozen political ties with Manila. In recent days, Chinese ships have been playing cat-and-mouse games with Philippine vessels trying to reprovision marines stuck on a lonely outpost called the Second Thomas Shoal.

But what's given the case even greater significance—and a potential for escalation to a strategic level--is that the U.S. has joined in attacks of the nine-dash line, dropping its previous diplomatic caution.

A China Coast Guard vessel tried to block a Philippine government boat as it attempted to enter a disputed part of the South China Sea on March 29. Associated Press

In congressional testimony in February, Daniel Russell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that while Washington doesn't take a position on sovereignty issues, the way that China pursues its territorial claims by reference to the nine-dash line creates "uncertainty, insecurity and instability." He added that the U.S. "would welcome China to clarify or adjust its nine-dash-line claim to bring it in accordance with the international law of the sea."

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman retorted that "China's rights and interests in the South China Sea are formed in history and protected by international law." He didn't elaborate.

What prompted the American shift in rhetoric, says Paul Haenle, a former director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council, was China's decision last November to declare an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea, including disputed islands administered by Japan.

Washington has since explicitly warned Beijing not to do the same over the South China Sea. It fears, says Mr. Haenle "that we'll wake up one morning and discover the whole region has changed."

But altering the nine-dash line, as the U.S. suggests, may be politically impossible for Beijing. China regards the Philippines' action as a gross insolence. It's a slap at President Xi Jinping's much trumpeted "China Dream," a notion that implies the restoration of the country's imperial splendor, including its control over a sea that it regards more or less as its internal lake.

Where is all this headed?

If Manila prevails at The Hague—and it's not clear that the U.N. tribunal will accept jurisdiction over the case--China could simply ignore the verdict and carry on as before. The simplest solution would be for all countries concerned to shelve their territorial disputes and focus on joint development of the area's natural resources.

But that's not the way the Chinese empire has traditionally worked things out. In past days, small countries like the Philippines knew their place—at the bottom of a regional hierarchy dominated by China. It is not likely to quietly allow Manila to upset that order.
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« Reply #234 on: April 01, 2014, 10:20:05 PM »

Good thing the US Navy has the ships and funding it needs to address the rising issues in asia. Right?
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« Reply #235 on: April 09, 2014, 10:18:49 AM »



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304640104579488752623145002?mod=WSJ_hppMIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond&mg=reno64-wsj
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« Reply #236 on: April 11, 2014, 08:02:47 AM »

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — When Robert M. Gates visited China in 2011 as the United States defense secretary, the military greeted him with an unexpected and, in the view of American military officials, provocative test of a Chinese stealth fighter jet, a bold show of force that stunned the visiting Americans and may even have surprised the Chinese president at the time, Hu Jintao.

When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited China this week, the military greeted him with a long-sought tour of the country’s lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in what many American officials interpreted as a resolve to project naval power, particularly in light of recent tension between Beijing and its neighbors over disputed islands in the East and South China Seas.

The displays of China’s military power reveal some dividends from years of heavy investments, and perhaps a sense that China is now more willing to stand toe-to-toe with the Americans, at least on regional security issues.


But American officials and Asia experts say the visits also showed a more insecure side of China’s military leadership — a tendency to display might before they are ready to deploy it, and a lingering uncertainty about how assertively to defend its territorial claims in the region.

Mr. Hagel encountered both combative warnings in public forums and private complaints that Beijing felt besieged by hostile neighbors, especially Japan and the Philippines, which it asked the United States to help address. The impression for some American officials was that China still has not decided whether it wants to emphasize its historical status as an underdog or adopt a new posture as a military powerhouse.

On the tough side, China’s minister of defense, Gen. Chang Wanquan, announced that his country would make “no compromise, no concession, no treaty” in the fight for what he called its “territorial sovereignty.”

“The Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle, and win,” he said.

But the tough stance belies a different reality on the ground, a military with little or no combat experience, outdated or untested equipment, and a feeling of being under siege. The Liaoning, according to American defense officials who toured the ship, still lags well behind the United States’ 10 aircraft carrier groups. While Mr. Hagel spoke expansively about how impressive he found the Chinese sailors he met aboard the ship in his public remarks, one American defense official who accompanied Mr. Hagel noted privately that the Liaoning was “not as big, it’s not as fast,” as American carriers.

Some experts on China were more dismissive. The Liaoning is “a surplus ship from the Soviet era that had been used as a hotel after it was decommissioned,” said Andrew L. Oros, an associate professor of political science at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and a specialist on East Asia.

“In my view this is about national pride, about being on the cusp of being able to challenge the powers that wrought such destruction and misery on China in the 19th and 20th centuries,” Mr. Oros said. “I think this leads them to over-flaunt, both out of genuine satisfaction in being able to do so, but also as a domestic crowd-pleaser.”
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In Beijing, standing next to Mr. Hagel at the Ministry of Defense this week, General Chang likened himself to the American defense secretary, who has two Purple Heart medals from combat during the Vietnam War. “Secretary Hagel and I are both old soldiers who fought on the battlefield,” he said, prompting a number of raised eyebrows among the Americans in the room. “We have a deep understanding of the atrocities of war.”

That may be so, but no one in China’s political or military leadership, which has focused for three decades on national economic development, has significant experience in war, and its troops are not trained in combat. Even Japan, which eschewed combat after World War II, is believed by American officials to have a superior navy, one that regularly trains with American marines and sailors and with a technical sophistication that counterbalances the heavy investment China has made in recent years.

In private meetings with Mr. Hagel, Chinese officials sounded more defensive, American officials said, expressing frustration over what they presented as a Japan and a Philippines made bolder by their treaty alliances with the United States, and ganging up on Beijing.

The American response, that the United States takes no position on competing claims for disputed islands in the East China Sea — which the Japanese call Senkaku and the Chinese call Diaoyu — or the islands and reefs claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea, seemed only to further inflame the Chinese. Beijing also objects to the standard Obama administration line that the United States has treaty obligations to Tokyo and Manila.

Beyond that, American officials say the stronger public statements by leaders of the People’s Liberation Army are aimed partly at the Chinese public at large, noting a headline in the newspaper China Daily on Wednesday that spoke of Mr. Hagel’s being “urged” by General Chang to “restrain Japan.”

Still, no one at the Pentagon denies that China’s military has made huge leaps in the last decade. China now spends more on its military than any country except the United States, and will increase military spending to $148 billion this year from $139 billion in 2013, according to IHS Jane’s, a military industry consulting and analysis company. While that is still only about a fourth of what the United States spends, American military spending is declining, to $575 billion this year from $664 billion in 2012. By next year, analysts estimate that China will spend more on its military than Britain, Germany and France combined.

Moreover, for Beijing, the Liaoning is a launching pad for future naval operations, military experts said.

“Back in August 2011, when the carrier later to be known as the Liaoning took its first test voyage, I happened to be aboard the U.S.S. John C. Stennis witnessing flight operations,” said Andrew Scobell, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, referring to one of the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. “I recall shaking my head in amazement and thinking to myself, ‘The Chinese will never be able to do this!’ ”

But now, planes are taking off from the Liaoning. “The P.L.A. is seen as extremely capable,” Mr. Scobell said, “and one of the clearest indications of this is that the Pentagon now focuses considerable attention on countering what it dubs China’s ‘anti-access/area denial capabilities’ ” — military jargon for the doctrine that could be used by Beijing to deny the United States military the ability to operate in certain areas of the sea near China during a crisis.
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« Reply #237 on: April 11, 2014, 09:07:54 AM »



http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/08/china_might_actually_seize_japan_s_southern_islands
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« Reply #238 on: April 20, 2014, 12:57:52 AM »



http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/58cbbbe2-ba70-11e3-aeb0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2yCpH8pzh
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« Reply #239 on: April 20, 2014, 02:38:26 PM »

http://theweek.com/article/index/254400/what-would-a-us-china-war-look-like?utm_source=thefiscaltimes&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=partnership
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« Reply #240 on: April 20, 2014, 06:09:37 PM »


Any analysis that doesn't include economic warfare is far from complete.
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« Reply #241 on: April 20, 2014, 07:18:51 PM »

Of course!  But isolating the military variable is relevant.
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« Reply #242 on: April 20, 2014, 08:55:06 PM »

I think the Chinese would crash our infrastructure/economy long before the first missile was fired.
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« Reply #243 on: April 20, 2014, 09:39:48 PM »

I have started reading a VERY interesting book by the name of The Death of Money which is making a very similar point.
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« Reply #244 on: April 20, 2014, 10:03:20 PM »

The Chinese aren't buying up tons of gold because they like shiny things.
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« Reply #245 on: April 29, 2014, 05:50:23 AM »

Maybe the Filipinos should not have asked us to leave to begin with , , ,


U.S. Return to the Philippines
China drives another Pacific nation to closer military ties with America.
Updated April 28, 2014 7:26 p.m. ET

President Obama's Asia tour is ending with a deal signed Monday to increase U.S. military access to ports, bases and airfields in the Philippines. Two decades after Manila booted U.S. personnel from the country, China's aggressive rise has Filipinos strengthening their longtime alliance with America.

Under the 10-year deal, the U.S. will rotate troops, planes, ships and other military assets through Philippine territory at Manila's invitation. Their missions will range from disaster relief to training, surveillance and security operations around the South China Sea. In keeping with the Philippine constitution, the U.S. won't own or have exclusive use of bases, and Filipino commanders will have access to areas shared with U.S. forces. Washington has similar rotational-force agreements with Australia and Singapore.

Officials haven't specified where U.S. forces will operate, but one likely spot is Subic Bay, formerly America's largest overseas naval base, which offers quick access to the northern waters of the South China Sea. Some 125 miles away is Scarborough Shoal, the rich fishing territory grabbed from the Philippines by Chinese maritime forces in 2012. U.S. forces may also use Oyster Bay and Brooke's Point in the southwestern province of Palawan, a short cruise from the disputed Spratly Islands. That's where last month China began illegally blockading an outpost of Philippine marines on Second Thomas Shoal.

China doesn't like that the Philippines, Japan and others are trying to resist its territorial revanchism—through ties to Washington and by investing in defense and pushing for international arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Philippines has a woefully weak military—it has zero fighter jets and, as of 2010, only 32 boats patrolling 36,000 miles of coastline—yet China's state-run Xinhua news agency labels it the "trouble-maker in the South China Sea." The new basing deal with Washington, a Xinhua commentary charged on Monday, will allow Manila "to confront China with U.S. backing."

As Beijing knows, Washington has stopped short of backing Manila in the territorial disputes where China has been most confrontational. President Obama affirmed last week in Tokyo that the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty would apply to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, but he and his aides have avoided such assurances about Philippine-controlled territory in the South China Sea. "Our treaty obligations are ironclad," Mr. Obama said Sunday, but the Philippine marines at Second Thomas Shoal apparently fall outside those obligations.

In February Philippine President Benigno Aquino went as far as comparing China's territorial assertiveness to Adolf Hitler's in 1938. Mr. Aquino celebrated the new basing agreement at a press conference Monday, highlighting the Philippine military's opportunity to train on and eventually procure advanced systems such as the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey aircraft.

The deal ought to show China's military leaders that their imperial behavior is backfiring in the region. Instead of kowtowing to Beijing, Pacific Rim nations are looking to the U.S. for strengthened military partnership. The Philippine-U.S. pact will help the cause of free trade and security in the Pacific.
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« Reply #246 on: May 07, 2014, 06:49:14 AM »

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA450WL20140506?irpc=932
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« Reply #247 on: May 07, 2014, 09:37:48 AM »


U.S. State Department spokeswoman:  "China's decision to operate its oil rig in disputed waters is provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region."

Yes.  China fears that a tough stand like this could lead to the drawing of an Obama Red Line, ... or a dotted blue line, a double white line, a line in the sand, maybe an American-made string placed across the South China Sea!  

China's military advisers are saying, don't mess with this administration.  You saw what they did with Iran, in Benghazi, in Syria, and standing up for territorial integrity of Ukraine!  
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #248 on: May 07, 2014, 09:59:29 AM »

And nothing from "we the people", nor for that matter from the Reps.  Where for example is a bill passed by the House calling for a stronger military budget?  Discuss if you wish in the American Foreign Policy thread.
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G M
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« Reply #249 on: May 07, 2014, 01:10:48 PM »

And nothing from "we the people", nor for that matter from the Reps.  Where for example is a bill passed by the House calling for a stronger military budget?  Discuss if you wish in the American Foreign Policy thread.

Why would that matter? We still hold the military advantage over China for now. The key element is that China has no fear that Buraq " Mom jeans " Obama has the huevos to make a stand.
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