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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 75317 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #400 on: July 30, 2016, 09:25:48 AM »


Indonesia Guards Its Front Door
Analysis
July 28, 2016 | 09:30 GMT Print
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The Indonesian government blows up a foreign fishing vessel in its waters earlier this year. Indonesian authorities have confronted at least three Chinese fishing boats in 2016 near the country's remote and resource-rich Natuna Islands. (SEI RATIFA/AFP/Getty Images)
Forecast

    Chinese fishing vessels will continue to cross into Indonesia's exclusive economic zone near the Natuna Islands.
    Indonesia will maintain its aggressive stance to cement its hold on the area — part of its broader imperative to control the sprawling archipelago.
    Jakarta will build military, fishing and energy facilities on the islands, pursuing a strategy similar to that of other claimants in the South China Sea.

Analysis

At least three times this year, Indonesian authorities have confronted Chinese fishing vessels in the waters near the remote Natuna Islands, an area whose 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) overlaps China's expansive nine-dash line. Each time, Jakarta has made a point of widely publicizing the incursions despite Beijing's objections. In the wake of the run-ins, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited the islands and promised to boost defense, fishing and natural gas production in the area. Despite its provocative fishing activities in the South China Sea, however, China is not the sole target of Indonesia's defensive measures; Jakarta has also made a public show of destroying dozens of Malaysian and Vietnamese vessels found fishing in the area. For Indonesia, protecting the Natuna Islands — however small and remote they may be — is key to exerting control of its territory and affirming its position in Asia's waterways.

A Maritime Fulcrum

Indonesia holds an unparalleled position in the Pacific. Its islands stretch from the Andaman to the Philippine Sea, covering more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles), a span wider than the continental United States. What's more, in a region whose geopolitics revolves around water, Indonesia sits at the juncture of Asia's two key oceans, the Indian and the Pacific. But the nation is also intensely fragmented. Of its 17,508 islands, only 6,000 are inhabited, and water covers most of Indonesia's territory. Anti-imperialist sentiment first united these disparate and ethnically distinct islands, and then decades of military rule and anticommunist fervor held them together. After emerging from New Order rule of longtime President Suharto in 1998, however, the country needed a new unifying strategy.


EEZ

The 1994 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea grants nations an exclusive economic zone of up to 200 nautical miles from the coast and around some islands, carrying rights to marine resources. This makes the official status of tiny rocks, reefs and islands essential.

Under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who took office in 2014, that strategy has been to make Indonesia a "maritime fulcrum" between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Controlling the seas that constitute so much of Indonesia's territory is not only essential to keep the nation together, but it also enables Indonesia to increase its prominence in Asia, making it an indispensible nation to Pacific powers. Jokowi's fulcrum concept boils down to three main priorities: to build up maritime defense, focus on securing and exploiting resources, and develop logistics throughout the archipelago. The idea is not to turn Indonesia into a great power in the Pacific but to make the most of its position by ensuring control over its broad swath of territory. Only with full control of its waterways and flanking oceans can Indonesia take advantage of its position on key trade routes. To do so requires building up naval capabilities and port connectivity.

Troubling the Waters

Though Indonesia has an imperative to control the entire archipelago, certain areas must to be targeted first. The Natunas, a group of 272 islands in the Tudjuh archipelago at the northern edge of Riau Islands Province, are among them. But as the regional powers challenge the balance established by the United States — the Pacific's pre-eminent force — Indonesia's maritime fulcrum strategy has run up against China's own push into the South China Sea. Patrol vessels from Indonesia's Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries encountered and apprehended a Chinese fishing vessel near the Natuna Islands on March 20, detaining its crew and taking the boat in tow. After a Chinese coast guard vessel intervened and freed the fishing boat, Beijing insisted that its fishermen had been in China's traditional waters, a phrase China often uses in defense of its fishing vessels' forays inside the nine-dash line. A second run-in occurred on May 27, when an Indonesian navy frigate seized another Chinese fishing boat for fishing in roughly the same area. And last month, Jakarta announced a third confrontation, in which Indonesian naval vessels fired warning shots at Chinese-flagged fishing vessels on June 18. Some reports indicate that seven crew members were detained, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said one fisherman was shot.

China is not particularly interested in provoking Indonesia over this remote corner of the South China Sea. For one thing, between the Philippines and Vietnam, Beijing has bigger problems. For another, China does not want to make Indonesia any more receptive than it already is to military cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a U.S.-supported alliance structure of which Indonesia is a member. But by encouraging its fishermen to fish along the full extent of the nine-dash line, Beijing is pursuing a dangerous strategy to shore up its claims in the South China Sea. As the largely autonomous, ungovernable fishing vessels follow fish over wide stretches of sea, they inevitably pass into disputed waters. For Beijing, these incursions are a net positive, reinforcing their claims to traditional use. At the same time, however, they invite unpredictable reactions from the countries that claim the waters. In this case, Indonesia's response seems to have taken China by surprise.

An Unforgiving Policy

Indonesia has become increasingly staunch in defending the Natunas, not only against China but also against its neighbors. In late 2014, Indonesia implemented a policy whereby foreign fishing vessels that are in its waters illegally are sunk. Some of the earliest vessels sunk were Chinese, but since December 2014, many have been Malaysian or Vietnamese. Of the 57 fishing vessels that Indonesia has detained in 2016 for illegally fishing around the Natuna Islands, 49 were Vietnamese.

Since Vietnam and Malaysia are closer to Indonesia than China is, their fishing vessels are a more regular nuisance (the EEZ is formalized by treaty neither on its northern boundary with Vietnam nor on part of its eastern boundary with Malaysia). But China poses a more pressing threat to Indonesia's territorial integrity. That large Chinese coast guard vessels intervened on behalf of the fishing vessels seized near the Natunas underscores that threat. Territorial disputes with Malaysia and Vietnam, by contrast, have been put on the back burner. In fact, Malaysia is keen to cooperate with Indonesia not only in the Malacca Strait, an area of shared interest, but also in the far-flung Sulu and Celebes seas to curb piracy. The sudden escalation with China has caused Jakarta to question whether it needs to double down on its maritime strategy to manage a different sort of neighbor.

A Sea of Resources

Though the Natuna Islands are just one of many regions that Indonesia wants to secure, they have become a priority for Jakarta. Visiting the islands on June 23, shortly after the third fishing boat incident, Jokowi called the Natunas the "front door" of Indonesia. The country controls most of the waters approaching the Malacca Strait through the Natunas' EEZ. Moreover, the route is key to east-west trade (especially for the economies of Northeast Asia), and its importance will only grow: By the mid-2020s, the Asia-Pacific region's demand for oil will likely rise by at least 5 million barrels per day, meaning that nearly one-fifth of the world's oil will pass through the region.

In addition, the islands provide access to vital resources. The fisheries near the Natunas offer opportunities for Indonesia to expand its fishing beyond core areas where overfishing has devastated stocks of several species. After the incidents with Chinese fishing boats, Jakarta announced plans to raise the catch in the Natuna Sea from 9.3 percent of sustainable levels to 40 percent by mid-2017 — up to 1 million tons of production. Jakarta also plans to relocate 400 fishing vessels from Java by the end of October and up to 6,000 over the long term. The Natuna EEZ boasts the West Natuna Basin, already an important area for natural gas production. Furthermore, the East Natuna Field, located in the northern part of the Natuna EEZ, is the largest untapped natural gas field in Asia, containing an estimated 1.3 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas. Indonesia is banking on the East Natuna Field — in addition to those on Papua — to expand its natural gas production by as much as 70 percent over the next decade. In fact, on July 12, state-owned energy company Pertamina announced plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian Oil Co. and to start operations before 2030.

Given all that the islands have to offer, it is not surprising that Indonesian military leaders have been calling to bolster defense of the Natuna Islands for the past two years. Since March, Jakarta has unveiled various plans to do so. Less than a week after Jokowi's visit to the islands, Indonesia's legislature voted to increase the 2016 defense budget by nearly 10 percent, to around $8.25 billion. A few days later, the Indonesian government announced plans to build military bases on the islands and to improve the existing Ranai air base. On July 13, Indonesia's minister of defense pledged to send warships and a fighter jet to the area, deploy surface-to-air missiles, and improve ports and airstrips.

But boosting Indonesia's presence in the Natunas — whether through military deployments, fishing activity or energy production — will take time. In the meantime, incursions by Chinese (as well as Vietnamese and Malaysian) vessels will continue. And though they are Indonesia's front door, the Natunas are just one part of Jakarta's larger strategy to achieve control of its vast territorial holdings.

Lead Analyst: Evan Rees
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #401 on: August 10, 2016, 05:21:42 PM »

A Glimpse Into China's Military Presence in the South China Sea is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Does this URL work for you guys?
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ccp
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« Reply #402 on: August 11, 2016, 09:25:10 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/08/11/fbi-chinese-build-uk-nuclear-plant-stolen-us-technology/
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G M
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« Reply #403 on: August 11, 2016, 09:35:17 AM »

A Glimpse Into China's Military Presence in the South China Sea is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Does this URL work for you guys?


Yes.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #404 on: August 11, 2016, 10:12:28 AM »

Good to know-- the maps and the pictures add mightily to the value of Stratfor's work.
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G M
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« Reply #405 on: August 11, 2016, 10:26:43 AM »

Good to know-- the maps and the pictures add mightily to the value of Stratfor's work.


Indeed.
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G M
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« Reply #406 on: August 23, 2016, 12:00:32 PM »

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/21/national/china-hinted-at-military-action-if-japan-sends-sdf-to-south-china-sea/

No worries, team smart power is on it.
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bigdog
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« Reply #407 on: August 23, 2016, 01:10:22 PM »

https://www.lawfareblog.com/military-activities-continental-shelf
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G M
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« Reply #408 on: August 23, 2016, 04:59:22 PM »


Expect more. China knows that they won't be stopped.
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bigdog
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« Reply #409 on: August 25, 2016, 11:20:26 AM »

http://warontherocks.com/2016/08/red-teaming-the-rebalance-is-the-united-states-good-for-asia/
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G M
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« Reply #410 on: August 25, 2016, 12:44:33 PM »


The Seward segment was worthwhile. The fact that China has checkmated us and Obama deliberate sabotage of power is ignored.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #411 on: August 29, 2016, 07:02:57 AM »

Sub race. China is fueling a submarine race in the Pacific, FP’s Elias Groll and Dan De Luce tell us in a smart new story, writing that thanks to China’s huge increases in defense spending “and making aggressive claims to disputed island chains, Beijing’s regional rivals are investing in the one weapon that can undercut the increasingly potent People’s Liberation Army. Across South and East Asia, China’s neighbors are spending heavily on submarines, purchasing silent diesel-electric machines capable of slipping past Chinese defenses.”

But it’s not only subs. New Zealand recently signed a $26 million contract with Boeing to upgrade its fleet of five P-3 Orion submarine hunting surveillance planes. “This is particularly important in the Asia-Pacific region which is home to two-thirds of the world’s submarines” New Zealand’s defence minister Gerry Brownlee said.
 
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bigdog
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« Reply #412 on: August 29, 2016, 09:02:19 AM »

Sub race. China is fueling a submarine race in the Pacific, FP’s Elias Groll and Dan De Luce tell us in a smart new story, writing that thanks to China’s huge increases in defense spending “and making aggressive claims to disputed island chains, Beijing’s regional rivals are investing in the one weapon that can undercut the increasingly potent People’s Liberation Army. Across South and East Asia, China’s neighbors are spending heavily on submarines, purchasing silent diesel-electric machines capable of slipping past Chinese defenses.”

But it’s not only subs. New Zealand recently signed a $26 million contract with Boeing to upgrade its fleet of five P-3 Orion submarine hunting surveillance planes. “This is particularly important in the Asia-Pacific region which is home to two-thirds of the world’s submarines” New Zealand’s defence minister Gerry Brownlee said.
 

This discussion could extend to the Arctic as well.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #413 on: August 29, 2016, 10:55:20 AM »

I still have that Red Team article on my "to read" list.  Looks very interesting.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #414 on: September 06, 2016, 10:20:35 AM »

China’s summit games. While the Americans and Russians danced around one another at the summit, China made some seriously provocative moves over the past several days, sailing eight ships around the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which both the Philippines and Beijing claim as their own. The flotilla, spotted by a Philippine Air Force patrol, may have contained two ships capable of carrying troops and a dredging ship. China and the Philippines have clashed over territorial disputes in recent months, including a protracted legal battle at the International Court of Arbitration, which rejected some of Beijing's claims to territory in the South China Sea.

Despite this, don’t expect the ongoing Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference attended by President Barack Obama in Laos, to make much of a stink over the latest Chinese provocations. A draft of a joint statement to be released at the summit, seen by Reuters, completely ignores the July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. The statement is a diplomatic victory for China, coming on the heels of ASEAN's leaders during a meeting in July to reject a U.S.-backed proposal to insert the ruling in the text of a joint statement.
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G M
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« Reply #415 on: September 06, 2016, 03:41:55 PM »

Note that China has quite deliberately and publicly humiliated Empty Suit Buraq at the G20, yet somehow our professional journalists seem to have missed that.
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G M
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« Reply #416 on: September 06, 2016, 03:58:19 PM »

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/world-news/around-the-globe/watch-china-humiliates-obama-with-disrespectful-greeting-23401

Watch: China greets Obama in unusual manner, sparking controversy
In the past eight years, the US President has never been received in such a humiliating manner. The Chinese government apparently wanted to relay a message to Washington when it forced the US President to descend Air Force One via the back door and without a red carpet.
Sep 4, 2016, 2:00PM
Becca Noy

 

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/world-news/around-the-globe/watch-china-humiliates-obama-with-disrespectful-greeting-23401


Chinese leaders sparked a diplomatic storm when they welcomed US President Barack Obama in a humiliating manner yesterday (Saturday). Obama, who arrived in China for the G20 summit, was forced to descend the plane without the usual red carpet and from the backside of the plane while no senior level Chinese officials greeted him.

The Chinese authorities pulled out the red carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, French President François Hollande, Brazilian President Michel Temer and British Prime Minister Theresa May. However, Obama, who is in the middle of what appears to be his last trip to Asia, was forced to leave the plane from the back door.

On the ground, one of the Chinese officials was seen shouting: “This is our country, this is our airport.” A New York Times reporter who was at the scene said that the way Obama and the White House staff members were greeted was insulting.

Mexico’s former ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo told The Guardian that he is certain that Obama’s humiliating greeting was not a mistake. “These things do not happen by mistake. Not with the Chinese,” said Guajardo.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #417 on: September 09, 2016, 08:51:33 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/09/08/russia-weighs-south-china-sea-belongs-china/
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G M
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« Reply #418 on: September 09, 2016, 09:41:21 PM »


Who is going to stop them?
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bigdog
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« Reply #419 on: September 12, 2016, 10:51:33 AM »

https://www.lawfareblog.com/water-wars-series-summits-highlights-persistent-divisions-south-china-sea
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 12:21:12 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #420 on: September 15, 2016, 12:16:44 PM »

http://www.stripes.com/news/philippines-reversal-on-troops-patrols-could-upend-us-china-strategy-1.429070

Another big win for Team Smart power!

Fundamentally changed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #421 on: September 15, 2016, 02:40:02 PM »

 angry angry angry
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G M
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« Reply #422 on: September 15, 2016, 08:49:10 PM »

http://atimes.com/2016/09/china-may-be-waiting-for-the-perfect-timing-to-strike-in-south-china-sea/



Strong horse.



Weak horse.


Hey Australia,



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G M
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« Reply #423 on: September 20, 2016, 04:34:19 PM »

http://atimes.com/2016/09/counter-pivot-china-russia-hold-large-scale-s-china-sea-war-games/

They are calling it "Operation Obama is a p*ssy"
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