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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 37898 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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prentice crawford
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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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Crafty_Dog
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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

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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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DougMacG
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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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