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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 46007 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #250 on: May 07, 2014, 03:10:02 PM »

"Discuss if you wish in the American Foreign Policy thread."
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G M
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« Reply #251 on: May 07, 2014, 04:34:02 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/vietnam-chinese-ships-ram-vessels-near-oil-rig-134607409.html;_ylt=AwrBJR7GdmpT6SwAQMnQtDMD
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #252 on: May 09, 2014, 01:35:47 PM »

China Answers Obama
An 80-ship flotilla plants a Chinese oil rig in Vietnamese waters.

Updated May 8, 2014 3:17 p.m. ET

Less than a week after President Obama's Asian Reassurance Tour, Beijing offered its rejoinder, sending a flotilla of 80 military and civilian ships to install China's first oil rig in disputed South China Sea waters, well within Vietnam's 200-mile exclusive economic zone. When some 30 Vietnamese naval vessels demanded the rig's withdrawal on Sunday, China's ships responded by ramming several of the Vietnamese boats and injuring six sailors.

This skirmish hasn't escalated to gunfire or attempted boarding, but the two sides are still facing off at sea. "Vietnam has exercised restraint," said a senior Vietnamese commander Wednesday, "but if Chinese vessels continue ramming Vietnamese ships, we'll have to act out of self-defense." Beijing said Thursday it would negotiate only if Hanoi's ships leave the site. The Foreign Ministry says the $1 billion rig—located 225 miles south of mainland China and only 120 miles east of Vietnam—is "normal and legal."

The truth is that this is China's latest attempt to revise the East Asian status quo through intimidation and force. China claims sovereignty over some 90% of the 1.35-million-square-mile South China Sea, and it is staking that claim by flexing its muscle around the sea's outer reaches. Along the eastern edge, China seized Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012. Since March it has blockaded Philippine Marines on Second Thomas Shoal.

This week's oil standoff also wasn't begun on a whim. China developed the CNOOC 0883.HK -0.16% 981 rig so it would not depend on foreign companies to drill in contested waters. "Large deepwater drilling rigs are our mobile national territory," explained Wang Yilin, chairman of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, in 2012. The sea grab follows several years of gradually intensifying pressure—from Chinese tourist boats landing on disputed South China Sea islands, to Chinese fishing vessels cutting the acoustic cables of Vietnamese oil exploration ships.

As Chinese-Vietnamese relations have worsened, Hanoi has procured new military hardware—including Kilo-class submarines, guided-missile frigates, land-based antiship cruise missiles and jet fighters—and sought closer ties with India, Japan and the U.S. The Vietnamese and U.S. militaries held their first joint naval exercises in 2012, a year after a U.S. Navy ship called at Cam Ranh Bay for the first time since the Vietnam War.

So it goes across Asia—Chinese territorial revanchism is spurring arms purchases and defense cooperation among China's neighbors and with Washington. These are welcome developments, yet China continues on its aggressive course.

"It's fair to say both Vietnam and China have rights to claim sovereignty over the Paracels," said America's top Asia hand, Assistant Secretary of State Danny Russel, in Hanoi Thursday. "It is not for the U.S. to say which position is stronger. It's within the rights of the United States and the international community to call all parties to address the dispute in a peaceful way." China has heard such U.S. rhetoric many times, including as it grabbed Scarborough Shoal from Manila over three months in 2012. Beijing says it plans to drill for oil at least until Aug. 15.
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bigdog
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« Reply #253 on: May 19, 2014, 08:37:57 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-announce-first-criminal-charges-against-foreign-country-for-cyberspying/2014/05/19/586c9992-df45-11e3-810f-764fe508b82d_story.html?wpisrc=al_national

From the article:
The Justice Department is charging members of the Chinese military with conducting economic cyber-espionage against American companies, U.S. officials familiar with the case said Monday, marking the first time that the United States is leveling such criminal charges against a foreign country.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #254 on: May 19, 2014, 11:23:54 AM »

I would quite enthusiastically applaud them for this - if we were not guilty of the same thing(?).
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G M
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« Reply #255 on: May 19, 2014, 12:44:53 PM »

I doubt we are trying to steal technological secrets from China to hand off to US industry. Not yet anyway.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #256 on: May 19, 2014, 01:09:28 PM »

I doubt we are trying to steal technological secrets from China to hand off to US industry. Not yet anyway.

Agree.  I see the distinction.  I wonder if Angela Merkel and others complaining of US spying see it.
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G M
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« Reply #257 on: May 19, 2014, 01:56:44 PM »

I'm curious what the DOJ/administration expects to get from China. I doubt it will be a cascade of apologies.
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bigdog
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« Reply #258 on: May 19, 2014, 03:43:02 PM »

I doubt we are trying to steal technological secrets from China to hand off to US industry. Not yet anyway.

Agree.  I see the distinction.  I wonder if Angela Merkel and others complaining of US spying see it.

Rogers and Ruppersberger Call Chinese Indictment an “Important First Step”

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger praised the indictment by a U.S. Grand Jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania of five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking and economic espionage directed at six American companies.

“These charges are an important first step, both in terms of bringing these five individuals to justice, as well as holding the Chinese government accountable for its campaign of cyber economic espionage against American companies. This is just the tip of the iceberg -- there are thousands of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hackers working every day, at the behest of the Chinese government, to steal American trade secrets and the jobs that result from our innovation.   We must hold Beijing accountable and pressure the Chinese government to stop manipulating the free market through its use of cyber economic espionage. While every nation collects information to protect itself, it is unacceptable for any nation to steal intellectual property simply to get rich at other nations’ expense. ”
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G M
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« Reply #259 on: May 19, 2014, 04:28:32 PM »

China is hardly alone in doing this. France is one of the bigger offenders in economic espionage targeting American firms, iirc.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #260 on: May 20, 2014, 12:58:18 AM »

FWIW if I remember correctly, either today or yesterday Krauthammer saw this as empty posturing, though I must say I am intrigued.  Apparently the "Wang Dong 5" (one of them has the name "Wang Dong" LOL ) now will be subject to extradition if they go to any country with which we have an extradition treaty?  Of course being Team Obama, there is always always a goodly chance that this is some fg illusion, but  As I say, for the moment I am intrigued.

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G M
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« Reply #261 on: May 20, 2014, 02:34:06 AM »

Unless it comes up on the golf course, do you think the president has any clue about this?
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G M
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« Reply #262 on: May 20, 2014, 03:15:20 AM »

http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1515858/us-charges-chinese-military-cyber-spying
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #263 on: May 20, 2014, 10:36:36 AM »

Well, that is not necessarily a bad sign  cheesy

Anyway, let's continue all conversation on the Wang Dong 5 affair on the Cyberwar thread.  Thank you.
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G M
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« Reply #264 on: May 20, 2014, 11:05:54 AM »

http://www.ibtimes.com/china-russia-currency-agreement-further-threatens-us-dollar-248338

Obama has been relentless in destroying the dollar, so maybe this is an olive branch?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #265 on: May 31, 2014, 09:26:29 AM »


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/31/world/asia/us-sway-in-asia-is-imperiled-as-china-challenges-alliances.html?emc=edit_th_20140531&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #266 on: June 02, 2014, 10:38:44 AM »



Discord in Shangri-La
China's attempt at Asian dominance meets resistance.
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Updated June 1, 2014 5:22 p.m. ET

The Shangri-La Dialogue held annually in Singapore has become Asia's premier forum for sniping about regional security, and the snark gets most of the headlines. But this weekend included more substance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Japan would play an "even greater and more proactive role" with stronger defense ties to Southeast Asia, including an offer of coastal patrol boats. And U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a more complete military accounting of the American "pivot" to Asia than we've previously heard.

The justification for both agendas was clear: Beijing has destabilized the region with its attempts to use military coercion to change the status quo in the East and South China seas. That didn't go down well with Chinese officials. Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong called the two speeches "simply unimaginable" and a "provocative action against China."

The most important audience at Shangri-La was the Southeast Asian contingent, representing smaller nations that will have to decide whether to stand up to China or make a separate peace. Diplomats told us they were eager for signals that the U.S. will stay committed to the security of East Asia despite China's growing military might.

Mr. Hagel had the additional challenge of following President Obama's foreign policy manifesto last week at West Point, in which the Asia pivot was conspicuously AWOL. One participant asked the Defense Secretary why Mr. Obama hasn't explained the pivot to the American public with the same enthusiasm it is sold in Asia. That leaves Asians wondering if the policy has strong enough support to survive a crisis, especially as the defense budget shrinks and other trouble spots emerge.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives the keynote address on the first day of The International Institute for Strategic Studies 13th Asia Security Summit in Singapore May 30. European Pressphoto Agency

More doubts arise from the way that Messrs. Obama and Hagel try to make nice with Beijing by holding out the prospect of finding a "new model of great-power relations." That is Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping's formulation, and many in Asia believe it is code for pushing the U.S. out of the region so it can no longer play the role of balancer.

The Obama Administration hasn't endorsed Mr. Xi's concept. But it's hard to shake the impression that the U.S. is playing catch-up after a sea change in Chinese attitudes around 2009. U.S.-China relations used to be based on respect for each other's "core interests," which remained stable. Then over the past five years Beijing redefined its core interests to include the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Virtually every Southeast Asian nation is under pressure to accommodate China's new territorial ambitions.

The rhetoric from Chinese officers in Singapore only reinforced fears that Beijing is on a collision course with the U.S. They accused the U.S. and Japan of using coercion and acting hegemonically, when everyone else in region says that describes Chinese behavior. While this is unlikely to convince Southeast Asians worried by Chinese bullying, it is worrying that self-deceptive nationalism is on the rise in China.

Mr. Abe's speech stressed the importance of international law to resolve or at least manage disputes. China's reluctance to play by those rules suggests it is not a status quo power, but instead wants to create a new Asia-Pacific order that it can dominate. Beijing's bid to heighten minor territorial disputes in which the U.S. has little to gain and much to lose makes sense as a way to drive a wedge between Washington and its allies.

Such disputes are unlikely to be resolved by dialogue, but confabs like Shangri-La offer clues to whether Beijing's strategy is working. So far Asia's Pax Americana has held together, but there are more tests ahead and Washington will have to raise its game.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #267 on: June 19, 2014, 09:27:17 AM »

Roaring on the Seas
China’s Power Grab Is Alarming

By THE EDITORIAL BOARDJUNE 18, 2014

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Few aspects of China’s dynamic emergence as a global power have generated as much insecurity and danger in its neighborhood as its mounting campaign to control the South China Sea, a vital waterway for international commerce. On Wednesday, at a high-level meeting in Hanoi, China’s top diplomat scolded his Vietnamese hosts for complaining about an oil rig that Beijing planted in early May in waters that Vietnam claims, as its own.

The sharp back-and-forth represented one of the lowest points in relations between the two countries since a brief territorial war in 1979, and it added to worries in Washington and elsewhere about Beijing’s continued bullying in energy-rich waters that not only Vietnam but other small Asian nations lay claim to.

In addition to installing the rig, Beijing’s efforts to assert sovereignty over the many specks of rock dotting the South China Sea now includes a novel twist: the piling of sand on isolated reefs and shoals to create what amount to new islands in the Spratly archipelago.

Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations that also claim sovereignty in the Spratlys have watched this island-building with growing alarm, but despite their protests — and a strongly worded statement last month by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel condemning China’s “destabilizing, unilateral actions” in the South China Sea — Beijing is showing no intention of changing its ways.

The Spratly Islands are uninhabited and of no economic value in themselves. But the archipelago covers rich fishing grounds and is believed to harbor large oil and gas reserves, and China could claim an exclusive economic zone within 200 nautical miles of each of the three or four islands it is creating. The new islands, projected to reach 20 to 40 acres in area, would also serve the projection of Chinese military power by providing bases for surveillance and resupply.



China insists that the Spratlys, Paracels and other islands have always belonged to China. But Vietnam also claims sovereignty, and parts of them are claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. In 2002, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China signed a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, agreeing to resolve territorial disputes “without resorting to the threat or use of force.” That declaration is not legally binding, and China has argued that Vietnam and the Philippines have already developed some facilities in the islands, though without adding acreage.

The real problem, in any case, is not the muddled question of sovereignty, but the way China appears to believe that its expanding military and economic power entitle it to a maximalist stance in territorial disputes. Certainly the smaller nations abutting the South China Sea are no match for China in a fight, but the fear and anger that China’s aggressive actions have generated among its maritime neighbors, and the tensions they have raised with Washington, hardly seem to be in Beijing’s interest, or in keeping with the image China’s president, Xi Jinping, tried to project when he said in Paris in March that “the lion that is China has awoken, but it is a peaceful, amiable and civilized lion.”

That is not the lion now roaring over the waters of the South China Sea, threatening the stability and security that have benefited, above all, China. That is all the more reason for Beijing to heed the 2002 declaration’s call for self-restraint in activities that would complicate disputes or disturb the peace.
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G M
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« Reply #268 on: June 19, 2014, 09:32:34 AM »

I was promised a new era of peace when that stupid cowboy Bush left office. What happened?  shocked
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bigdog
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« Reply #269 on: June 23, 2014, 04:38:51 PM »

Related to Crafty's post of 6/19:

http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2014/06/23/why-is-china-building-artificial-islands/

From the article:

The island-building has China’s neighbors alarmed and fighting back. Since April, the Philippines has filed numerous protests to China against land reclamation at two reefs and criticized the movements of Chinese ships they claim are engaged in island-building at two other sites. The Philippine Government has argued at an international tribunal that China occupies only rocks, reefs, and artificial islands — not true islands that would qualify for a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #270 on: July 13, 2014, 11:31:45 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/opinion/sunday/vietnams-overdue-alliance-with-america.html?emc=edit_th_20140713&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #271 on: July 31, 2014, 09:23:15 PM »


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Taiwan Expands South China Sea Facilities but Remains Constrained
Analysis
July 31, 2014 | 0415 Print Text Size
Taiwan Expands South China Sea Facilities but Remains Constrained

A Taiwanese navy frigate takes part in an exercise in waters off the southern naval base of Tsoying on July 21. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary

Shifting maritime security architecture in the South and East China seas is slowly pushing Taipei to expand its defense priorities. Increasingly, regional maritime disputes are taking on a military dimension, threatening the legitimacy of Taiwan's own claims as well as its ability to safeguard the islands it controls against mainland China, Vietnam and the Philippines. As a result, Taiwan appears to be considering a remilitarization of the Taiwan-administered Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, one of the largest of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. As with the other nations fortifying nearby claims in the South China Sea, however, Taiwan will be constricted in its ability to defend Taiping were conflict to erupt.

Analysis

As tensions continue to escalate in the disputed South China Sea, claimant countries are accelerating construction activities in the islands that they control. Mainland China has recently initiated a land reclamation project to expand reefs, atolls and islets under its purview, and the Philippines and Vietnam plan to expand installations on their own claims. With this in mind, Taiwan has abandoned its less confrontational strategy and moved to improve its facilities on Taiping Island. This reflects Taipei's growing concern about the activities of rival claimants in the sea and, more important, an ability to increase focus on defense at the time of relaxed military tension with Beijing.

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Taiping Island is located more than 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from the southern tip of Taiwan. With an area of 0.46 square kilometers (0.18 square miles), it is one of the largest of the Spratly Islands and one of the few in the group with its own freshwater supply. Taiwan's claims go back to 1946, when the government on the mainland claimed the island. After its defeat by the Chinese communists, the government in Taiwan retained control of the island, beginning formal military occupation in the 1950s. In 1999, as part of a more pragmatic approach to rival claimants in Southeast Asia, Taipei handed over the defense of the island to the coast guard in order to focus military capabilities on the emerging naval and missile threat from Beijing.

Growing competition around the disputed islands in recent years has forced Taipei to review its policies in the South China Sea. Expanding facilities on Taiping Island is central to this shift. Ongoing construction projects suggest that Taiwan is considering permanent troop deployments. By November, workers will complete a 320-meter (1,050-foot) pier capable of accommodating 3,000-ton naval frigates and coast guard cutters. The project will also include a 210-meter access road, a 350-meter extension to a 1,150-meter airstrip built in 2008 and new navigation guidance and auxiliary facilities. The expanded airstrip would likely accommodate P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft operated by the navy, boosting Taipei's anti-submarine surveillance and mobilizing capability in the South China Sea.

But Taiwan's ability to defend Taiping Island is limited. Taiwan does in fact possess coast guard and naval capabilities superior to those of the Philippines and, in some ways, Vietnam. Even in peacetime, however, maintaining regular supplies over the 1,400-kilometer distance to Taiping is difficult. To date, the island has no refueling facilities, relying instead on C-130 transport plane shipments every two months. Taiwan has only two replenishment ships in active service: the Wuyi fast combat support ship, or AOE-530, and Panshih fast combat support ship launched in 2013. It has no aerial refueling capacity and is therefore unable to support long-range, long-term deployment of naval vessels and aircraft over the distance between Taiwan and the Spratly archipelago.

Taiwan's competitors share most of these limitations, especially in their attempts to occupy the tinier islets, often little more than circles of rocks or artificial islands that need constant maintenance to avoid sinking. Most of the manned facilities in the South China Sea are hostage to the circumstances of water and weather, overshadowing their usefulness as forward operating positions and potential threats to competitors. In the long run, these facilities may provide support in monitoring the area, but primarily only in times of peace. 

Ultimately, these islands are quite different from the Pacific islands that underpinned the U.S.-Japanese confrontation in World War II, which served as forward operating bases to establish regional dominance. The islands of the South China Sea, in contrast, have served primarily as political outposts or placeholders that block rivals from exercising jurisdiction under international law. Trying to dislodge a neighboring claimant would risk a larger war -- a possibility most would rather avoid. Instead, they choose to strengthen their positions and occupy remaining empty reefs to prevent others from doing so first.

In spite of its distinction as the first country to establish a military presence in the South China Sea and its ambitious claim, virtually identical to mainland China's, Taiwan was one of the last to catch up with the region's changing dynamics. Now that it has done so, its expansions will give Taipei a forward base to operate its surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft and stake its claim to the island. Taiwan's moves, however, do not fundamentally alter its strategic position in the Spratlys or grant control over the area. For its part, Beijing may view Taiwan's claim as politically useful because it will keep Taiwan distant from the Philippines and Vietnam. At the same time, however, Beijing may also feel the need to bolster its own presence as a counterbalance, a development not necessarily favorable to Taipei.

Read more: Taiwan Expands South China Sea Facilities but Remains Constrained | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #272 on: August 10, 2014, 01:42:47 PM »

NYT

ABOARD CSB-8003, in the South China Sea — As the large white Chinese ship closed in, the smaller Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel could only veer off, black exhaust billowing from its stack. The Vietnamese vessel had advanced to within 13 miles of the Chinese offshore oil rig, and the Chinese decided it could come no closer.

With the rig barely visible on the horizon but the Chinese ship looming close behind, the Vietnamese patrol boat, CSB-8003, blasted a two-minute recorded message in Chinese, from loudspeakers on the back of the boat. These waters belong to Vietnam, the message said, and China’s placement of the rig had “hurt the feelings of the Vietnamese people.”


About six hours after the encounter on July 15, one of the last in a two-and-a-half-month standoff over the rig known as HD 981, China began moving the rig north toward the Chinese island of Hainan and out of waters Vietnam considers its exclusive economic zone. Three weeks later, analysts are still debating whether China, facing international pressure, blinked in its standoff with Vietnam — or whether this was just a tactical retreat before a more aggressive campaign.


While Vietnam claimed success in forcing the departure of HD 981, China National Petroleum Corporation, which managed the project, said the rig had completed its exploration work and was moving as planned.

The relocation of the rig just ahead of the approach of a typhoon in the area also prompted speculation that the storm may have forced its early departure. But the $1 billion rig, which is owned by the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation, was moved to a spot about 60 miles southeast of Hainan Island that is also exposed to typhoons.

While the Vietnamese Coast Guard celebrated the departure of the Chinese rig, some officers said they were worried that the episode represented a more aggressive attitude by China.

“From the moment that they installed the rig near the islands, the Chinese began more and more and more attacks, in words and in actions,” said Lt. Col. Tran Van Tho of the Vietnam Coast Guard as he stood smoking a cigarette on the deck of CSB-8003. “Why? It is a part of a Chinese strategy to control the sea. This is a first step to try to make a new base to expand farther south. This not only threatens Vietnam, but the Philippines and other countries. This has been organized systematically, as part of a strategy. It is not random.”

Lyle J. Goldstein, an associate professor at the United States Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, said that China has long taken an assertive stance toward its claims in the South China Sea, but was now much more able to uphold them.

“If anything is changing it is that China has capabilities to enforce and explore more carefully and it has money to field the cutters — that to me is what is driving the situation,” he said.

Vietnam invited groups of foreign reporters to embed with its Coast Guard vessels in an effort to focus international attention on the standoff over the rig. On the water with CSB-8003, the superior numbers of the Chinese vessels were clear.


On its two-day trip from Da Nang in central Vietnam, CSB-8003 encountered some 70 Chinese vessels, including fishing boats, Coast Guard cutters, patrol ships from other Chinese maritime organizations and two vessels that the Vietnamese Coast Guard identified as Chinese Navy missile corvettes.

Vietnam says there were about four to six Chinese military vessels among the more than 100 Chinese ships that patrolled around the rig, along with the Chinese Coast Guard, other maritime agencies and dozens of fishing boats.

As recently as two years ago, many observers said China’s policy in the South China Sea was dominated by an array of poorly coordinated agencies.

Some encounters showed organizational ability, as when Chinese ships harassed the Impeccable, a United States Navy surveillance ship, in the South China Sea in 2009. But many analysts argued that the Chinese Navy, China Marine Surveillance, the Bureau of Fisheries Administration, local governments and state-owned energy companies operated with high levels of autonomy and fueled regional tensions as they sought to increase their own influence and opportunities.


The standoff over the rig shows how things have changed. “The idea that China lacks a coherent policy, that’s clearly not the case with this oil rig,” said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. “It shows a high degree of interagency coordination involving civilian maritime agencies, the People’s Liberation Army and the oil companies.”

Efforts to streamline China’s maritime law enforcement agencies saw significant advancement last year when four of them were joined under the State Oceanic Administration to form a unified Coast Guard.

The placement of the rig indicates the will of China’s leadership to push maritime claims, Mr. Storey said. “Clearly this was sanctioned at the highest level of the Chinese government,” he said. “This is another indication of how Xi Jinping has very quickly consolidated his power in China and is calling the shots.”

Chinese energy companies backed away from plans to explore for oil and gas in the South China Sea after Vietnamese protests in 1994 and 2009. Now it is not so hesitant. HD 981 should be seen as a starting point for future exploration, said Su Xiaohui, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, a research institute run by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “China is sending out a signal to the related countries that it is legal and natural for China to conduct energy exploration and development in the South China Sea,” said Ms. Su.

The Chinese placement of the rig caught Vietnam off guard, and set off protests and riots targeting Chinese-owned factories in Vietnam. Factories owned by Taiwanese, Japanese, South Korean and Singaporean firms were also hit. Four Chinese workers at the Taiwanese-owned Formosa Plastics steel plant were killed by rioters in May.

The rig was first parked about 120 miles off the coast of Vietnam and 17 miles from the farthest southwest islet of the Paracels, islands held by China but claimed by Vietnam.

Both sides have exchanged accusations over who had been the aggressor in the standoff over the rig. In June, China said that over the first month of operations, Vietnamese ships had rammed Chinese ships 1,400 times. But Vietnam appears to have suffered the worst of the skirmishes at sea, with more than 30 of its vessels damaged in collisions during that same period.

The most severe clash was on May 26, when a Vietnamese fishing boat sank after a collision with a Chinese fishing boat. Video later released by Vietnam showed the much larger Chinese boat ramming the wooden-hulled Vietnamese vessel.

The movement of the rig to waters farther north will help defuse the conflict between Vietnam and China. But the broader issues over sovereignty in the South China Sea, and who has the rights to extract oil and gas in the region, remain far from resolved.

At talks among senior diplomats from the Asia-Pacific region on Saturday in Myanmar, Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated a suggestion by the United States that countries in the region refrain from taking steps that would further heighten tensions in the South China Sea. “We need to work together to manage tensions in the South China Sea, and to manage them peacefully, and also to manage them on a basis of international law,” Mr. Kerry said at the regional forum of Asean, the Association of Southeast Asian nations.

China said it would consider proposals to resolve disputes, but said that China and Asean “had the ability and wisdom to jointly protect peace and stability in the South China Sea,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The statement did not mention the United States, but in the past China has criticized Washington for getting involved in its maritime disputes with other countries. In addition to China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines also claim parts of the South China Sea.

China announced last month that it would place four more rigs in the South China Sea, and Vietnam’s inability to block HD 981 will likely give China confidence about its ability to drill in contested locations. “I think China feels it got its point across,” said Bernard D. Cole, a retired United States Navy officer and a professor at the National War College. “I would not at all be surprised to see them do it again.”
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« Reply #273 on: August 11, 2014, 09:47:25 AM »

http://www.hoover.org/research/cycles-or-stages-chinese-history
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #274 on: August 25, 2014, 01:26:55 AM »



http://www.dickmorris.com/china-will-overtake-america-dick-morris-tv-history-video/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
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« Reply #275 on: August 28, 2014, 03:54:04 PM »

China's Reckless Military
Beijing is testing the U.S. resolve to remain a Pacific power.
Updated Aug. 26, 2014 6:18 p.m. ET

'Very, very close. Very dangerous." That's how Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby describes last week's encounter in which a Chinese fighter jet maneuvered, much like Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun," within 20 feet of a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. The Pentagon also revealed that China has flown at least three other provocative missions against U.S. aircraft since March. Such persistent Chinese military recklessness helps explain why China's neighbors increasingly fear for regional security.


China naturally is pushing its own version of last week's events. A military spokesman says that U.S. accusations are "totally unfounded" because "the Chinese pilot's maneuvers were professional, and maintained a safe distance from the U.S. aircraft." The real security risk, says People's Liberation Army Colonel Yang Yujun, comes from U.S. surveillance flights, which would be "the root cause behind any accidents."

Yet such claims don't hold up against China's record of courting danger up and down the Western Pacific. Chinese air and sea incursions into Japanese territory caused Japan's air force to scramble fighter jets a record 415 times in the year that ended in March, up 36% from the year before.

In May and June, Chinese fighters buzzed within 100 feet of Japanese reconnaissance planes near the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea—the closest Chinese flyby ever, according to Tokyo. This follows the January 2013 incident in which Chinese ships locked fire-control radar onto a Japanese destroyer and helicopter.

In the South China Sea, China's aggressive behavior more often targets the U.S., as when a Chinese warship cut within 100 meters of the U.S. destroyer Cowpens last December. In 2009 five Chinese vessels forced the unarmed maritime surveillance ship USNS Impeccable to withdraw from waters off China's Hainan Island. The worst case was in 2001 when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. EP-3 surveillance plane, forcing it to land on Hainan, where its 24 crew members were held for 10 days. The Chinese pilot died.

These South China Sea incidents—and last week's close call—all happened in international waters or airspace, far outside the area of Chinese sovereignty that extends 12 miles from the coast. China's international legal obligations require it to honor other countries' freedom of movement outside that 12-mile zone, but Beijing has tried to ban foreign militaries from conducting surveillance within its 200-mile exclusive economic zone as well.

Beijing last year declared an air-defense identification zone over the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and will likely do the same soon for the South China Sea. Its claims to "historical waters" are particularly troubling because they are not dependent on land claims. Since this has no basis in international law, it's impossible to predict how Beijing might restrict navigation.

While Beijing is ratcheting up the tension, the Pentagon leaked speculation that last week's intercept was only the work of a rogue pilot or maybe a rogue squadron commander. One official told the Journal that "something's out of whack" with Chinese military behavior in the South China Sea. If that's the case, President Xi Jinping —who exerts significant control over the military and has purged several senior generals tied to corruption—now has the opportunity to send a message by disciplining the commander responsible.

But we're not counting on it. More likely, China's military provocations will continue until Washington pushes back.

One possible response would be to stop extending coveted invitations to U.S.-led military exchanges such as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise in the waters off Hawaii, which China joined this summer for the first time. Washington has already offered China a spot in Rimpac 2016, but that can be rescinded. While joint training can be valuable for teaching professionalism and building reliable lines of communication, the upside is limited if China's military remains dedicated to confrontation and intimidation.

At a minimum, continued surveillance flights through the Western Pacific are necessary to convey that the U.S. won't back down to Chinese bullying. U.S. friends in Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam and beyond will be watching for such public signals of resolve. Privately, meanwhile, U.S. officials could warn China that if its military keeps threatening routine reconnaissance operations in international airspace, U.S. forces will have little choice but to deploy F-15s or F-22s as defensive escorts.
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« Reply #276 on: September 11, 2014, 02:15:00 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/philippines-displays-ancient-maps-debunk-chinas-sea-claims-110706447.html

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines on Thursday put on display dozens of ancient maps which officials said showed that China's territorial claims over the South China Sea did not include a disputed shoal at the centre of an acrimonious standoff.

The Philippines is in dispute with China over parts of the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal, an area believed to be rich in oil and natural gas as well as fisheries resources.

China seized control of the shoal in June 2012 and has prevented Philippine fishermen from getting close to the rocky outcrop, a rich fishing ground.

Philippine officials said the exhibition of old maps at a university showed that for almost 1,000 years, from the Song Dynasty in the year 960 until the end of the Qing Dynasty early in the 20th century, China's southernmost territory was always Hainan island, just off the Chinese coast.
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« Reply #277 on: September 14, 2014, 07:26:26 AM »

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/09/12/chinese-see-war-with-japan-as-inevitable/
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« Reply #278 on: November 10, 2014, 01:01:27 PM »

Summary

Editor's Note: Rodger Baker, Stratfor's Vice President of Asia-Pacific Analysis, recently returned from a trip through Australia, Micronesia and the Philippines. The analysis below is drawn from remarks he made on the shifting realities in the East and South China seas -- particularly involving China, the Philippines, Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States -- in a keynote speech at a meeting of the Manila Times Business Forum.

China's recent foray into the East and South China seas is not its first, but it is perhaps its most substantial. For a number of reasons, Beijing is no longer comfortable or confident enough to allow the status quo in the region to remain unchanged. The natural expansion of China's interests, and its attempts to expand and ensure its sphere of influence, inevitably lead to responses both from its neighbors and from the more geographically (but not strategically) distant United States. Beijing's intent is not to trigger conflict, but rather to slowly change the political reality of the region by expanding its maritime buffer and securing its maritime trade routes. But few of these changes will go unchallenged, adding a layer of uncertainty to the future of East Asia.

Analysis

China historically has been a land power, not a maritime power. Although China has been involved in the maritime sphere for centuries and Chinese merchants have been active throughout Southeast Asia, the country's geography, natural resources, population pressures and neighbors have both allowed and encouraged Chinese leaders to focus their attention on the country's vast territory and land borders. At times of relative stability and security in China's history, Beijing could flirt with the idea of state-sponsored maritime exploration, as evidenced by the fleets of Zheng He. But for the most part, China avoided expanding its naval activity because it was neither pressed to physically assert its overseas diplomatic positions, nor did it have the bandwidth and freedom to look across the sea. The Silk Road provided sufficient access to exotic trade, and security concerns with neighbors kept China focused on the continent.

Beijing's Modern Maritime Interests

Today, there are two primary concerns driving Chinese maritime activity: economic resources and strategic access. Although many of the concerns China is dealing with now are not new, other factors have combined to both enable and compel Beijing to act in a more assertive manner.

The South China Sea has always had an abundance of natural resources. Although much attention is paid to existing and potential crude oil and natural gas reserves, as well as the possibility of subsea mineral extraction, one of the biggest resource drivers there is marine protein (fish and seafood). By some accounts, the South China Sea accounts for one-tenth of annual global seafood take. Asia's enclosed seas provide plentiful and readily available food resources, but fishing is a constant source of regional tension. Even at times of low inter-regional stress, fishing fleets frequently violate one another's territories, and run-ins with maritime patrols are not infrequent occurrences. These incidents are normally isolated, but if they occur when political sensitivities are heightened, they can quickly escalate into larger diplomatic incidents or even physical confrontations. (Several deadly maritime clashes between the divided Koreas in the past 20 years have been triggered by disputes over the location of fishing fleets.)

China's Moves in the South China Sea: Implications and Opportunities

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Crude oil, natural gas and seabed minerals are less proven, and political risk has kept significant progress in exploration to a minimum, except near proven reserves and usually within undisputed territory. However, this is not to say that there is no interest in tapping the subsea resources. Rising regional demand -- to which Beijing is a significant contributor -- and a rising level of technological proficiency in China and elsewhere is making subsea exploration and exploitation more desirable and achievable. China is entering the realm of deep-sea exploration, something it was not consistently able to engage in before. Still, cost and political risk will continue to impact decisions for exploration, since mere capability doesn't necessarily translate into cost effectiveness.

In addition to resource exploitation, there is another, more strategic, driver for China's maritime ambitions that is quickly becoming more pressing for Beijing. In the past, China was largely capable of meeting its own needs and sustaining its economy domestically, or via land routes. This is no longer the case, and the significant boom in the Chinese economy has raised the increasing vulnerability of China's overseas dependence to a much higher priority for Beijing. The large shift in Chinese consumption has created a heavy dependence on maritime routes, which high levels of Chinese exports only add to. This dependence has shaped the strategic picture in Beijing: As with any country dependent on maritime supply lines, China will seek to secure those routes, whether from regional competitors, non-state actors or any major maritime power.

China's Moves in the South China Sea: Implications and Opportunities

Click to Enlarge

The United States is currently the global maritime power, and the only nation that can (and does) operate freely throughout the world's oceans while ensuring the same opportunity for others. But the United States' ability to use and act on the seas with near impunity also means that, from China's perspective, Washington has the capability, if not the intent, to use that power to constrain China's growth. China's emergence as an economic power changed the international system, as it became one of three pillars of the global economy. This crucial role shapes not only China's perception of itself and its place in the world order, but also the perceptions others have of China. Beijing's concern is that the United States sees China as its only potential peer, even if an emerging regional power, and thus Chinese leaders fear that Washington will make the decision (if it hasn't already) to contain any further rise of China. This question of Washington's intent, combined with U.S. maritime power, has put pressure on China to develop the defensive capability to protect its critical maritime supply lines, or leave itself at the mercy of the United States.

The shift in Beijing's threat perception coincided with changes in the Chinese military. Under President Jiang Zemin, the Chinese government began to restructure the military and stripped away its business empire, in return offering the People's Liberation Army (PLA) a more modern role and more modern equipment. The modernization of the Chinese military required a new type of soldier who was highly educated and understood the technology of modern warfare. It also required a shift in the training, doctrine and overall focus of the Chinese military. The PLA has evolved well beyond its previous, politically constrained form, especially since China's land borders have remained relatively stable and Beijing has created more civilian forces to deal with internal unrest, freeing the military to focus abroad. The PLA's role is now more than just protecting China's borders, or preventing internal instability; it is preserving China's broader national interests, which include the protection of China's lines of trade. The PLA sees this global role emerging, starting in the South China Sea. New capabilities have allowed China to act with more authority in the South China Sea than in previous decades. Beijing does not see this as aggressive behavior but as defensive action, through which it is securing what is necessary to preserve its national interests.

Beijing's Goals in the South China Sea

China's aims in the South China Sea are not necessarily separate from its broader goals in Southeast Asia. Beijing sees Southeast Asia as a natural economic and political partner, and an area for trade and investment flowing in both directions that clearly falls within China's sphere of influence. Though not an exact parallel, China sees Southeast Asia in much the same way the United States saw Latin America in the early 19th century. China essentially has an unspoken Monroe Doctrine for its near seas -- it intends to remove significant foreign interference and influence from the countries around it. This does not mean that China expects regional countries to shun all connections with the United States; rather, China wants to ensure that it has the upper hand in influencing its neighbors' decisions to protect its national security interests.

China's Moves in the South China Sea: Implications and Opportunities

Click to Enlarge

In the South China Sea, China's small island strategy is not necessarily one of military expansion. Far different than the island hopping competition between Japan and the United States during World War II, the airstrips and dock facilities on islands and atolls in the South China Sea rarely give China a true military advantage. Modern military technology gives China the range to operate without needing these islets, and possessing the islands does not necessarily give Beijing greater strategic control over their surrounding waters. In some ways, from a purely military perspective, holding the islands farthest from the mainland is more of a risk than a benefit to China. They are small, have few or no local resources (in most cases, not even fresh water), and in times of conflict would prove hard to defend and resupply.

Building structures on the islands certainly prevents others from doing the same, and in times of relative peace may make it slightly easier for China to conduct maritime surveillance, but the primary purpose of occupying the islands is not military; it is political. Holding the islands over time, without facing a concrete challenge, strengthens the reality of Chinese ownership. Beijing has assessed that, to its neighbors and their U.S. ally, no single island is worth the military risk of physically countering China, so there is nothing to stop Beijing from slowly absorbing the region. When tension with a particular country rises too high, China can ease off, shift its attention to a different country, or use the perception of heightened tensions to drive a desire for calming the situation. Over time, this strategy slowly shifts the political reality in the region. The lack of real challenge to Chinese actions reasserts, by default, Beijing's claims to and authority over the territory. It also shows that neither the United States nor other extra-regional allies are going to intervene on behalf of the Southeast Asian nations. In the end, China believes this unwillingness for intervention will lead to the realignment of political relations as Southeast Asian nations find accommodating Beijing more beneficial than trying to oppose Chinese expansion through alliances with powers outside the region.

Implications for ASEAN

The changing status quo in Asia is as much a natural consequence of China's economic growth and expansion as of the imbalance between China's rapidly changing position in the global system and its relative lag in soft-power expansion. While China's economic rise benefits the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) considerably, there is no guarantee that it doesn't also undermine the core interests of each individual ASEAN country. The disconnect between China's economic strength on the one hand, and the significant security role assumed by others -- namely the United States -- on the other, highlights the imbalance of power in the region. In some ways this gap has benefited ASEAN by giving member states the ability to take advantage of the big powers' competition for their own benefit. But at other times, they find themselves caught in the ebbs and flows of U.S.-China relations, with little ability to influence the direction of the relationship.

China's economic approach has been to create a reality where ASEAN countries rely much more on China than China relies on them. As the security challenges in the South China Sea remain unsolved, deepening economic relations may only deepen ASEAN's suspicion of China's motives. Meanwhile, China's occasional diplomatic and economic mismanagement of its regional relationships may stir political and social resistance in the ASEAN states, adding to the situation's complexity. Despite these short-term conflicts, Beijing still regards its "friendly neighbor" and "peaceful rise" policies as the key elements in its relationship with ASEAN. Rather than formally dominate ASEAN states, as colonial powers did in the past, China is hoping to simply draw them in and gain their cooperation -- a recreation of the age-old Chinese system of regional political management.

The Philippines' Key Role in China's Strategy

China's Moves in the South China Sea: Implications and Opportunities

Click to Enlarge

The Philippines forms the eastern wall of the South China Sea, the key route to the Pacific Ocean. China cannot afford to have the Philippines adopt a confrontational stance toward Chinese interests and maritime activity. The Philippines is a U.S. treaty ally, and thus is seen as part of any U.S. containment strategy against China. Beijing feels compelled to break U.S.-Philippines ties, or at the very least create strain in the relationship. The Philippines' somewhat ambivalent attitude toward the U.S. military certainly helps China's cause. Furthermore, growing disappointment with the U.S. "pivot" to Asia, a policy widely misread in the region, has added another dimension to the complexity of the relationship between Manila and Washington. In other words, there is plenty of room to increase cooperation between China and the Philippines -- especially economically -- despite any political speed bumps. In 2013, the Philippines received just 1.4 percent of China's total investment in ASEAN, the second-lowest share among the 10 member states. Cross-border trade stood at $15.1 billion that year, ranking China as the Philippines' third most significant trading partner (and higher, if trade with Hong Kong is included). But there is much room for expansion, if political distractions can be overcome.

The Philippines has been one of the two countries in the South China Sea, along with Vietnam, that has noisily challenged China's expansion. Beijing's actions are the most disadvantageous to Manila and Hanoi, which claim the largest swathes of territory in the South China Sea after China itself and are therefore experiencing the biggest shifts from the status quo as a result of Beijing's expansionism. However, China is confident in dealing with the Philippines because of its disproportionate advantage in their economic relationship and because the U.S.-Philippine security relationship remains strained. The strategic balance between China and the Philippines is tipped heavily in Beijing's favor, giving China far more room to maneuver than Manila. Barring significant U.S. intervention, China will retain this advantage. Ultimately, Beijing is counting on its estimation that the United States won't get tied up in a real confrontation with China over a few unoccupied islands claimed by the Philippines.

Read more: China's Moves in the South China Sea: Implications and Opportunities | Stratfor
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« Reply #279 on: November 10, 2014, 10:51:53 PM »

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-10/china-sending-america-message
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« Reply #280 on: December 07, 2014, 12:34:57 PM »

I don't happen to believe this.  Just reporting what's being reported.  Another feather in Obama's cap.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-official-america-is-now-no-2-2014-12-04

It’s official: America is now No. 2

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.


The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.

As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #281 on: December 08, 2014, 12:39:35 AM »

"As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese."

If I am not mistaken, that is since 1990, not 2000.


Regardless, the larger point remains.
 cry cry cry
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« Reply #282 on: January 02, 2015, 10:07:49 AM »

http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/13/china-and-the-united-states-are-preparing-for-war/
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« Reply #283 on: January 21, 2015, 12:36:07 PM »

U.S., Philippines Vow to Strengthen Military Alliance
But Strategic Dialogue Produces No New Measures to Tackle Beijing’s Push in Disputed South China Sea
Philippine foreign affairs undersecretary for policy Evan Garcia and U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel R. Russel shake hands after two days of talks.
By
Trefor Moss
Jan. 21, 2015 7:40 a.m. ET
WSJ

MANILA—The U.S. and the Philippines vowed to deepen their military alliance despite tension over a stalled defense pact and allegations that a U.S. Marine murdered a Filipino transgender woman last year.

At the end of an annual two-day strategic dialogue in Manila on Wednesday, the high-level U.S. and Philippine panels also criticized China for what they characterized as its provocative actions in the South China Sea.

But they didn’t identify any new measures they could take to prevent China from tightening its grip on the disputed region, as some fear will happen this year.

The U.S. and the Philippines signed a new defense pact in April 2014 that would allow U.S. forces to deploy to Philippine military bases. However, the deal remains on ice because of a legal challenge currently before the Philippine Supreme Court.

The alliance was placed under further strain in October when a U.S. Marine was named as the suspect in the killing of Jennifer Laude in Subic Bay—a regular port of call for U.S. Navy ships—west of Manila.

Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton was charged with murder in December and is awaiting trial.

Critics of the new defense pact said the American decision to retain custody of Mr. Pemberton rather than surrender him to Philippine authorities demonstrated the inequality of the U.S.-Philippine alliance.

Mr. Pemberton has been held by the U.S. in a trailer inside the compound of the Philippine military’s headquarters in Manila.

On Wednesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel R. Russel called the alliance “a true partnership of equals,” and reaffirmed Washington’s “rock-solid commitment to the Philippines.” Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan Garcia said the alliance remained deep and flexible.

In a joint statement, the two nations said they would continue “efforts to reinforce” and strengthen their militaries in areas such as maritime domain awareness.

However, on China’s moves in the South China Sea, there was no sign of new measures. Mr. Russel noted that “the Chinese have a number of projects under way in the South China Sea in which they are reclaiming land in shoals and rocks in sensitive areas where sovereignty has been contested,” and reiterated calls for Beijing to desist from such activities.

Mr. Garcia said the “massive reclamation by China in the South China Sea is a clear violation” of an agreement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in which all parties pledged to avoid provocative actions. This month, Manila said a new artificial Chinese island with a potential military base at Fiery Cross Reef, in the Spratly Islands, was 50% complete.

However, the officials said they would continue trying to persuade China to moderate its actions, chiefly through high-level dialogue and by modernizing the Philippine military, although such efforts have been unsuccessful so far.

Chinese officials have confirmed their land-reclamation efforts, but said these are legitimate projects being undertaken in sovereign Chinese territory.

Zachary Abuza, a U.S.-based consultant on Southeast Asian affairs, said China would complete several artificial islands over the next few months, after which “the Philippines will be the focus of their actions.” He suggested that “China really does want to probe the U.S. response” to see how far Washington would go to protect Filipino interests.

A Philippine case at an international court in The Hague, Netherlands, challenging China’s claim to most of the South China Sea “continues to cast a dark shadow over Philippines-China relations,” said Richard Javad Heydarian, a political-science professor at De La Salle University in Manila.

He said a genuine strengthening of the U.S.-Philippine alliance would be “crucial to deterring China from further adventurism.”
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« Reply #284 on: January 21, 2015, 12:41:14 PM »

Utter realism would be preparing to fight another guerrilla warfare campaign against a large Asian invading force. There won't be a MacArthur returning this time.
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« Reply #285 on: January 27, 2015, 02:17:07 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/photos-show-china-military-buildup-on-island-near-senkakus/
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« Reply #286 on: January 27, 2015, 04:28:35 PM »

Well, our pivot to the east will handle this in short order  tongue tongue tongue

It increasingly looks like NO major player of either party is paying any attention to this.  Once again this forum is a lonely sentinel.
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« Reply #287 on: January 27, 2015, 04:30:43 PM »

Well, our pivot to the east will handle this in short order  tongue tongue tongue

It increasingly looks like NO major player of either party is paying any attention to this.  Once again this forum is a lonely sentinel.


Obama's golf balls aren't going to hit themselves.
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« Reply #288 on: January 27, 2015, 04:34:05 PM »

Well, our pivot to the east will handle this in short order  tongue tongue tongue

It increasingly looks like NO major player of either party is paying any attention to this.  Once again this forum is a lonely sentinel.


Obama's golf balls aren't going to hit themselves.

Oh, and Obama is busy mobilizing against his one true enemy to bother with China.
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« Reply #289 on: March 09, 2015, 09:25:00 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/world/in-a-test-of-wills-japanese-fighter-pilots-confront-chinese.html?emc=edit_th_20150309&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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« Reply #290 on: March 10, 2015, 07:32:31 AM »



China will move before Obama leaves office.
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« Reply #291 on: March 10, 2015, 11:58:43 AM »

I fear you may be right on that one GM, though a case can be made that with our declining budget and their increasing budget and theft of our technology that the longer they wait, the easier it will be for them.
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« Reply #292 on: March 10, 2015, 05:23:43 PM »

I fear you may be right on that one GM, though a case can be made that with our declining budget and their increasing budget and theft of our technology that the longer they wait, the easier it will be for them.

They have Buraq's number. They deliberately show disrespect to him. It's clear that see him as weak, so no matter how the PLA stacks up to the U.S. Navy, they are confident that the U S will sit out a short, sharp conflict with Japan.
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« Reply #293 on: April 07, 2015, 05:58:54 PM »

http://theweek.com/articles/548082/china-right-alarmed-by-japans-new-helicopter-destroyer
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« Reply #294 on: April 11, 2015, 11:18:46 AM »

Beijing, With an Eye on the South China Sea, Adds Patrol Ships

By JANE PERLEZAPRIL 10, 2015
Photo
The Chinese guided missile destroyer Harbin during exercises with the Russian Navy in 2012. Credit China Daily/Reuters
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SINGAPORE — China is rapidly building coast guard ships, the vessels that China most commonly uses for patrols in the South China Sea, and in the last three years has increased the number of ships in that category 25 percent, a new report by the United States Navy says.

China has the world’s largest coast guard fleet, with more such ships than its neighbors Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines combined, the report shows.

The unclassified assessment of the Chinese Navy, the first in nine years by the United States Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence, says the rapid modernization over the last 15 years is yielding dramatic results.

The Chinese Navy is “on track to dramatically increase its combat capability by 2020 through rapid acquisition and improved operational proficiency,” the report says.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

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In 2014, China began construction on, launched or commissioned more than 60 vessels, and a similar number of ships were planned in 2015, it said, adding: “In 2013 and 2014, China launched more naval ships than any other country and is expected to continue this trend through 2015-16.”
Photo
A China Coast Guard vessel last year. China has increased its number of Coast Guard ships by 25 percent in the last three years. Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The United States Navy faces growing competition from China in the Pacific Ocean, and Washington has become increasingly concerned about China’s maritime power as it undertakes reclamation works to create artificial islands in contested areas of the South China Sea.

The new islands were to serve a variety of purposes, among them the establishment of defensive military capabilities in the waterway, one of the busiest trade routes in the world, China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The Navy report noted that despite its slowing economy, China had continued its double-digit increases in military spending, announcing in March a military budget of $141.5 billion, an increase of 10 percent.

In keeping with President Xi Jinping’s goal to make China a great maritime power, China will have a much more robust navy with far greater reach in the coming decade with multiple aircraft carriers (China has only one so far), ballistic missile submarines and, potentially, a large-deck amphibious ship. At the moment, the report says, the Chinese Navy is built around destroyers, frigates and conventional submarines.

The report confirms recent announcements in the Chinese state-run news media that China has deployed the YJ-18, a new generation supersonic antiship cruise missile that could present unprecedented challenges to the air defenses of American and allied ships, said Andrew S. Erickson, an associate professor at the United States Naval War College in Rhode Island.

“Everyone serious about understanding Chinese military capabilities must familiarize themselves with this missile,” Mr. Erickson said.

An article in China Daily said last week that three “cutting-edge nuclear-powered attack submarines” had been manufactured by China and that one of them, referred to as the Type-093G, had a wing-shaped cross section designed to improve speed and mobility and to reduce noise. That submarine carried a vertical launcher capable of delivering China’s latest YJ-18 supersonic antiship cruise missile, the article said.

In the past, China had received antiship cruise missiles from Russia, but now China is making them at home and fielding them in greater numbers, said Lyle J. Goldstein, an associate professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College.

“This missile, and its air-launched cousin, the YJ-12, are major threats to the U.S. Navy,” Mr. Goldstein said. “The major increase in speed makes the missile much harder to intercept.”
Correction: April 10, 2015

An earlier version of this article carried an incorrect dateline. The article was reported and written in Singapore, not Beijing.
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« Reply #295 on: April 14, 2015, 09:17:54 AM »

Important maps for understanding this article at
http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-expands-islands-in-disputed-waters-photos-show-1429011466

MANILA—China is expanding two islands it controls in the disputed Paracel Islands, east of Vietnam, even as it builds seven new islets in the South China Sea, satellite imagery published on Tuesday shows.

Woody Island and Duncan Island have both expanded significantly as a result of recent land reclamation work undertaken by China, according to images taken a month ago by satellite-imaging company DigitalGlobe and published today by the Diplomat, an Asian current-affairs website. Vietnam says it owns both islands, although Woody Island is home to China’s largest South China Sea settlement—Sansha City, which has a population of 600 people.
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    China Expands Island Construction in Disputed South China Sea (2/18/15)

China claims about 90% of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. All the claimants apart from Brunei have populated settlements on disputed islands under their control, but China has made a concerted push in recent months to expand its footprint in the contested region, drawing persistent complaints—but little collective action—from its neighbors.

Satellite pictures published by the Philippines and others have charted the speedy construction of at least seven islands by China in the Spratly Islands group through the use of dredgers to dump sand on top of shallow reefs. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said earlier this month that the artificial islands would be used for “military defense,” as well as a range of civilian purposes.

Vietnamese officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday. Diplomatic relations between Beijing and Hanoi became strained a year ago when a Chinese drilling platform was deployed to disputed waters east of Vietnam, though ties have largely recovered since the rig was removed in July.

Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday that “the Paracels are an inherent part of China,” when asked about the reclamation projects there. Chinese officials have consistently waved away complaints about the country’s island-building program on the grounds that China is entitled to undertake construction projects within its own sovereign territory.

President Barack Obama waded into the South China Sea row last week, saying that China “is not necessarily abiding by international law and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions.”

“Just because the Philippines or Vietnam are not as large as China doesn’t mean that they can just be elbowed aside,” Mr. Obama said during a visit to Jamaica on Thursday, when asked about China’s island-building program.

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Admiral Harry Harris last month dubbed the Chinese reclamation program in the South China Sea the “Great Wall of sand,” saying that Chinese dredgers had created 4 square kilometers of artificial landmass in the disputed sea over the past few months.

On Monday, the Philippine government said China’s island-building program would cost the region’s littoral states $100 million a year through damage caused to the local ecosystem and the degrading of fish stocks.

—Dinny McMahon contributed to this article.

Write to Trefor Moss at Trefor.Moss@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #296 on: April 29, 2015, 09:20:27 AM »

China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea are prompting a soul-searching query from Hanoi to Washington: At what point does a sliced-up salami cease being a salami at all?

In a short space of time, China’s unilateral and incremental efforts to carve out a greater presence in the South China Sea — by, for example, turning empty coral atolls into artificial airstrips — have prompted concern that Beijing is not-so-stealthily creating a new strategic reality in one of the world’s most important and potentially volatile flash points. That so-called “salami-slicing” strategy, in which countries undertake a series of seemingly inconsequential steps that add up to a fundamental change, is pushing many Southeast Asian countries closer together and is breathing fresh life into the decades-old U.S.-Japan defense alliance, all with an eye on a common, if often unnamed, adversary.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe celebrated deeper defense ties between the two allies, meant in part to respond to a shifting security environment in the Asia-Pacific region. “For the first time in nearly two decades, we’ve updated the guidelines for our defense cooperation,” Obama said at a joint news conference in Washington.

“We share a concern about China’s land reclamation and construction activities in the South China Sea, and the United States and Japan are united in our commitment to freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes, without coercion,” Obama said

On the other side of the world, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional grouping, went further than it ever had before in condemning China’s efforts to muscle aside neighbors with an aggressive program of island building in the South China Sea. Prompted especially by Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the 26th ASEAN summit concluded with a statement Tuesday that implicitly called out Beijing for destabilizing the region.

“We share the serious concerns expressed by some leaders on the land reclamation being undertaken in the South China Sea, which has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea,” ASEAN countries said in their joint statement.

And even though internal divisions inside ASEAN precluded condemning China by name, Beijing got the message — and shot back with vitriol.

China is “gravely concerned” by the statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a briefing Tuesday. “Relevant construction [on the reefs] is lawful, justified and reasonable and thus beyond reproach. The Chinese side opposes a few countries’ taking hostage the entire ASEAN and China-ASEAN relations for their own selfish gains and undermining the friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN,” he continued.

The back-and-forth came just a day after the United States and Japan cemented a more muscular defensive partnership, with new guidelines that bolster the two countries’ militaries’ ability to plan and operate together. Japan has its own territorial disputes with China in the East China Sea — and Obama reiterated U.S. defense commitments to Japan in the event of a clash there — but the revised guidelines go further. They open the door for Tokyo to get involved in armed showdowns even when Japan itself is not attacked, including taking a greater role in possible South China Sea conflicts.

Taken together with other beefed-up U.S. defense commitments, including expanded basing rights in the Philippines, as well as closer defense ties between Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, the new guidelines point toward a growing recognition in the region and in Washington that China’s efforts to change the facts on the ground represent a real threat. In the past month, a bevy of analysts have called for a more vigorous U.S. response to Chinese actions that threaten regional stability.

“Together, our forces will be more flexible and better prepared to cooperate on a range of challenges, from maritime security to disaster response,” Obama said about the enhanced security relationship, adding that “Japan will take on greater roles and responsibilities in the Asia-Pacific and around the world.” U.S. Marines, Obama added, will relocate from Okinawa to Guam to help “realign U.S. forces across the region.”

Seeking to parry criticism that closer defense ties could suck Japan into U.S. wars, Abe stressed the role that the pact has played in underpinning decades of peace and prosperity in Asia. And in the context of rising tensions in the South and East China seas, Abe said, the revised defense pact will help enhance deterrence and make for a more efficient and functional alliance.

Importantly, the traditional alliance partners are no longer apparently alone. The fact that ASEAN’s 10 oft-divided countries managed to condemn, albeit obliquely, China’s behavior simply underscores how the region is waking up, said Holly Morrow, an expert at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

“What we are witnessing is China reaping the fruits of its strategy in the region: a reinvigorated U.S.-Japan alliance, a completely transformed U.S.-Vietnam relationship, a closer U.S.-Philippine alliance than has been seen in many years, and generally a Southeast Asian view of China’s rise that is much more negative than it was even five or 10 years ago,” she said.

China’s far-reaching claims to sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, a crowded waterway filled with potential energy riches through which passes about $5 trillion in trade every year, are hardly new. The “nine-dashed line” that China says represents its blue territory on the map dates from just after World War II, and China has had low-level disputes with neighbors over maritime claims for more than a decade.

But in the past six months, its ambitious program of building artificial islands potentially gives Beijing the ability to project military power in the region in a way that it could not before. One expert on China defense issues, Andrew Erickson, noted recently that by building an airstrip on the Fiery Cross Reef, located hundreds of miles from China but close to the Philippines, Beijing could install air-defense zones in the heart of the South China Sea.

In the great game of weiqi that China appears to be playing in Asian geopolitics, steps such as reef reclamation and aggressive pushback at even mild condemnations by neighboring countries amount to a slate of strategically placed stones that could tilt the balance ever more in Beijing’s direction, experts say. That could be one reason that Washington appears to be putting more vigor behind the “rebalancing” to Asia, especially at the Defense Department, where the top leadership including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary Robert Work, are well versed in Asian security issues.

The big question, of course, is what the United States can realistically do to respond to China’s actions. The two countries need to cooperate on a whole range of issues, from managing the global economy to dealing with nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, as well tackling climate change, cybersecurity, and other transnational affairs. At the same time, and unlike Vietnam or the Philippines, Washington’s attention is divided by multiple and escalating crises in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine. In that vein, as Foreign Policy columnist Stephen M. Walt recently noted, saber rattling over rocks doesn’t make much apparent sense.

But at some point, many experts now say, Beijing’s incrementalist approach to changing the status quo in the Western Pacific will require a full-throated response from Washington. If not, the Asian salami that the United States has spent 70 years defending might just gradually disappear from the plate.
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« Reply #297 on: April 29, 2015, 09:30:05 AM »

"the United States and Japan cemented a more muscular defensive partnership, with new guidelines that bolster the two countries’ militaries’ ability to plan and operate together"

Although our President's word is of no value, let his career scorecard show that in this one case he got something right.  Welcome Prime Minister Abe to the United States.

More likely than than global security as a motivator, Michelle wanted an occasion like a state dinner to wear a new dress and knows the Japanese will come bearing gifts.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 10:52:16 AM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #298 on: May 12, 2015, 11:49:53 PM »

U.S. Military Proposes Challenge to China Sea Claims
Moves would send Navy planes, ships near artificial islands built by China in contested waters

By
Adam Entous,
Gordon Lubold and
Julian E. Barnes
Updated May 12, 2015 7:33 p.m. ET
179 COMMENTS

The U.S. military is considering using aircraft and Navy ships to directly contest Chinese territorial claims to a chain of rapidly expanding artificial islands, U.S. officials said, in a move that would raise the stakes in a regional showdown over who controls disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has asked his staff to look at options that include flying Navy surveillance aircraft over the islands and sending U.S. naval ships to within 12 nautical miles of reefs that have been built up and claimed by the Chinese in an area known as the Spratly Islands.

Such moves, if approved by the White House, would be designed to send a message to Beijing that the U.S. won’t accede to Chinese territorial claims to the man-made islands in what the U.S. considers to be international waters and airspace.

The Pentagon’s calculation may be that the military planning, and any possible deployments, would increase pressure on the Chinese to make concessions over the artificial islands. But Beijing also could double down, expanding construction in defiance of the U.S. and potentially taking steps to further Chinese claims in the area.

The U.S. has said it doesn’t recognize the man-made islands as sovereign Chinese territory. Nonetheless, military officials said, the Navy has so far not sent military aircraft or ships within 12 nautical miles of the reclaimed reefs to avoid escalating tensions.

If the U.S. challenges China’s claims using ships or naval vessels and Beijing stands its ground, the result could escalate tensions in the region, with increasing pressure on both sides to flex military muscle in the disputed waters.

According to U.S. estimates, China has expanded the artificial islands in the Spratly chain to as much as 2,000 acres of land, up from 500 acres last year. Last month, satellite imagery from defense intelligence provider IHS Jane’s showed China has begun building an airstrip on one of the islands, which appears to be large enough to accommodate fighter jets and surveillance aircraft.

The U.S. has used its military to challenge other Chinese claims Washington considers unfounded. In November 2013, the U.S. flew a pair of B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea to contest an air identification zone that Beijing had declared in the area.

Officials said there was now growing momentum within the Pentagon and the White House for taking concrete steps in order to send Beijing a signal that the recent buildup in the Spratlys went too far and needed to stop.

Chinese officials dismiss complaints about the island-building, saying Beijing is entitled to undertake construction projects within its own sovereign territory. They say the facilities will be used for military and civilian purposes.


“China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters,” said embassy spokesman Zhu Haiquan, using the Chinese name for the Spratlys. “The relevant construction, which is reasonable, justified and lawful, is well within China’s sovereignty. It does not impact or target any country, and is thus beyond reproach.”

Mr. Zhu said that Beijing hopes that “relevant parties,” a reference to the U.S. military and its regional allies, will “refrain from playing up tensions or doing anything detrimental to security and mutual trust.”

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, and its efforts to enforce control of the area in recent years have caused growing concern in the U.S. and in Asia, where several nations have competing claims, including the Philippines, a U.S. ally.

“The Philippines believes that the U.S., as well as all responsible members of the international community, do have an interest and say in what is happening in the South China Sea,” said Charles Jose, spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, early Wednesday, citing freedom of navigation and unimpeded flow of commerce among other factors.

U.S. military aircraft have repeatedly approached the 12-nautical-mile zone declared by China around the built up reefs. But to avoid an escalation, the planes haven’t penetrated the zone. A senior military official said the flights “have kept a distance from the islands and remained near the 12-mile mark.”

U.S. planes have flown close to the islands where the building has been taking place, prompting Chinese military officers to radio the approaching U.S. aircraft to notify the pilots that they are nearing Chinese sovereign territory. In response, U.S. pilots have told the Chinese that they are flying through international airspace.

The USS Fort Worth, a combat ship, has been operating in recent days in waters near the Spratlys. “We’re just not going within the 12 miles—yet,” a senior U.S. official said.

The military proposals haven’t been formally presented to the White House, which would have to sign off on any change in the U.S. posture. The White House declined to comment on the deliberations.

Officials said the issue is a complicated one because at least some of the areas where the Chinese have been doing construction are, in eyes of the U.S. government, legitimate islands, which would be entitled to a 12-nautical-mile zone.

The proposal under consideration would be to send Navy ships and aircraft to within 12 nautical miles of only those built-up sites that the U.S. doesn’t legally consider to be islands, officials say.

Over the years, U.S. vessels and aircraft have had several encounters with Chinese assets, often arising from disagreements over Beijing’s territorial claims.
===================================
    March 2001 China orders an unarmed U.S. Navy survey ship out of waters in the Yellow Sea, claiming a violation of its exclusive economic zone. The U.S. disputed the claim, and days later the ship returned to the Yellow Sea with an armed escort.
    April 2001 A Chinese fighter collides with a U.S. Navy electronic surveillance aircraft near China’s Hainan Island in the South China Sea, forcing the EP-3 to make an emergency landing.
    May 2003 Chinese fishing boats are used to bump the same U.S. Navy survey ship involved in the 2001 incident, causing some damage.
    March 2009 Chinese military and government ships surround a U.S. Navy surveillance ship in the South China Sea in a disputed economic zone, forcing the U.S. vessel to take evasive action. The Navy ship returned the next day accompanied by a guided missile destroyer.
    Nov. 2013 The U.S. flies a pair of B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea to contest Beijing’s air identification zone.
    Dec. 2013 A Chinese ship blocks the path of a U.S. Navy cruiser, the Cowpens, in the South China Sea, some distance from China’s aircraft carrier, forcing the Cowpens to change course to avoid a collision.
    Aug. 2014 a Chinese fighter conducted what U.S. officials said was a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft that was flying in international airspace about 135 miles east of Hainan Island.

=================================================

Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, reclaimed features aren’t entitled to territorial waters if the original features are not islands recognized under the agreement, U.S. officials say. Under that interpretation, the U.S. believes it doesn’t need to honor the 12-mile zone around the built-up reefs that weren’t considered to be islands before construction there began.

Several U.S. allies in the region have been privately urging the White House to do more to challenge Chinese behavior, warning Washington that U.S. inaction in the South China Sea risked inadvertently reinforcing Beijing’s territorial claims, U.S. officials said. Some allies in the region have, in contrast, expressed concern to Washington that a change in the U.S.’s approach could inadvertently draw them into a conflict.

“It’s important that everyone in the region have a clear understanding of exactly what China is doing,” a U.S. official said. “We’ve got to get eyes on.” The U.S. has been using satellites to monitor building at the islands.

In recent months, the White House has sought to increase pressure on Beijing to halt construction on the islands through diplomatic channels, as well as by calling out the Chinese publicly in recent press briefings and government reports.

The U.S. Navy regularly conducts “freedom of navigation transits” in the region, including across the South China Sea. But the Navy has yet to receive explicit authorization from the administration to do so within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands.

John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, is due in Beijing this weekend to make preparations for a visit to the U.S. in September by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has made improving military ties with the U.S. a top priority.

A new standoff with China would add to mounting security crises facing the U.S. in other regions.

Last year, after Russia seized Ukrainian territory, the White House imposed sanctions on Moscow but so far has rebuffed Ukrainian requests for U.S. weapons. In the Middle East, Islamic State militants took over large swaths of Iraq last summer, prompting the U.S. to launch an air campaign against the group.

The U.S. has long maintained that it doesn’t take sides in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, though it has a national interest in maintaining freedom of navigation in the area. In the last year, though, U.S. officials have stepped up its criticism of China’s efforts to enforce and justify its claims in the region.

U.S. officials say they are concerned that a decision not to send naval vessels into the zone would inadvertently help the Chinese build their own case for sovereignty in the area.

Chinese coast guard vessels routinely sail within 12 nautical miles of the Senkaku Islands, which are controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing, which calls them the Diaoyu.

U.S. officials say they believe China sends vessels into the Senkaku area in the East China Sea because it wants to demonstrate to Tokyo and to others that Beijing doesn’t recognize the islands as Japanese sovereign territory.

China’s claims include territorial seas stretching out 12 nautical miles from all the Spratlys, where it controls seven reefs—all recently expanded into artificial islands. Rival claimants occupy several other islands, reefs and rocks.

Historical images from Google Earth and elsewhere reveal that reclamation work at most of the Chinese held reefs began after President Xi took power in 2012.

Much of the construction began in the past year, despite protests from neighboring countries, warming military ties with Washington, and a new Chinese drive to improve relations in its periphery.

U.S. officials say they have repeatedly asked China to stop the work, to no avail.

—Jeremy Page and Trefor Moss contributed to this article.

Write to Adam Entous at adam.entous@wsj.com and Julian E. Barnes at julian.barnes@wsj.com
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« Reply #299 on: May 15, 2015, 03:18:10 PM »

https://www.facebook.com/cctvcom/videos/10153345826364759/
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