Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
February 11, 2016, 01:13:37 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
92670 Posts in 2301 Topics by 1080 Members
Latest Member: Tedbo
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] Print
Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 60324 times)
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #300 on: May 16, 2015, 12:41:15 PM »

U.S. Seeks Calmer Waters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls for reduced tensions over China’s building of artificial islands
Photos by satellite-imagery provider DigitalGlobe shows what is believed to be Chinese vessels dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. ENLARGE
Photos by satellite-imagery provider DigitalGlobe shows what is believed to be Chinese vessels dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By
Jeremy Page
May 16, 2015 8:33 a.m. ET
13 COMMENTS

BEIJING—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing is determined to protect its sovereignty in the South China Sea as his visiting U.S. counterpart John Kerry called for efforts to reduce tensions over China’s stepped-up building of artificial islands.

At a joint news conference Saturday, Mr. Kerry briefly expressed concern about the land reclamation in the South China Sea and urged China to take steps to defuse the situation. He tried to emphasize other positive aspects of bilateral relations, such as cooperation on climate change.

Mr. Kerry didn’t respond to a reporter’s question on whether the U.S. military is planning to send warships or planes within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Mr. Wang took up the question, however, saying the structures fall within the scope of China’s sovereignty.

“The determination of the Chinese side to safeguard our own sovereignty and territorial integrity is as firm as a rock and it is unshakable,” Mr. Wang said. “It is the demand of our people on our government as well as a legitimate right of ours.”


Mr. Wang said China is committed to resolving territorial disputes peacefully and would continue ongoing talks about the artificial islands with the U.S. and other nations.

The two men had met earlier for talks on the first day of Mr. Kerry’s weekend visit to Beijing, which officials say is designed to lay the ground for high-level meetings by senior officials in Washington in June, and a state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September.

Mr. Kerry was due to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday afternoon and Mr. Xi on Sunday before moving on to South Korea.

The visit to Beijing has been overshadowed by differences on the South China Sea, where Beijing’s extensive land reclamation in the past year has raised fresh concerns in Asia and the U.S. that it plans to use force to assert its sweeping territorial claims.

China’s claims cover almost all of the South China Sea—one of the world’s busiest shipping routes—and overlap with those of several neighboring countries, including the Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally.

The U.S. military is now considering sending navy ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands to demonstrate that the U.S. doesn't believe China can claim territorial seas around them, U.S. officials say.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a joint news conference in Beijing on Saturday, May 16, 2015. ENLARGE
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a joint news conference in Beijing on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Photo: Zuma Press

Ahead of Mr. Kerry’s visit, U.S. officials had said that he would take a tough line on the issue in Beijing.

At the news conference, Mr. Kerry said the U.S. had already expressed its concern over the pace and scope of China’s island-building.

“I urged China through Foreign Minister Wang to take actions that will join with everybody in helping to reduce tensions and increase the prospect of a diplomatic solution,” he said. The region, he said, needs “smart diplomacy” to achieve a code of conduct for the South China Sea rather than “outposts and military strips.”

Mr. Kerry also played down other points of recent tension, saying the U.S. welcomed China’s establishment of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Obama administration at first tried to discourage allies from joining, U.S. officials and diplomats from allied countries have said, but switched to a more cooperative position when the bank, which is due to start operating this year, attracted many prospective members.

Mr. Wang said the infrastructure bank and other recent Chinese initiatives weren't aimed at reducing U.S. influence in Asia, noting that 23 of the 57 founding members of the new bank were not Asian nations.

“When we talk about openness and inclusiveness, we’re not simply talking the talk—we’re actually walking the walk,” Mr. Wang said.

Write to Jeremy Page at jeremy.page@wsj.com
Popular on WSJ

 


It seems China has won a battle without firing a shot.  US appears to be fully confused and disoriented as "loopholes" in the global order are ruthlessly exploited by many who like to serve and eat salami slices.
Flag ButtonShare

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #301 on: May 16, 2015, 12:46:10 PM »

Anyone surprised? China will take full advantage of our self induced weakness.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #302 on: May 16, 2015, 12:53:44 PM »

The lack of attention to China seizing control of the open seas wherein 40% of the world's trade transits boggles the mind.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #303 on: May 16, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »

The lack of attention to China seizing control of the open seas wherein 40% of the world's trade transits boggles the mind.

America is busy watching the Kardashians eat salad.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #304 on: May 22, 2015, 03:02:11 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/politics/south-china-sea-navy-flight/index.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SitRep0522
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #305 on: May 23, 2015, 11:18:23 AM »

 May 22, 2015 6:23 p.m. ET
43 COMMENTS

The U.S. Navy flew a P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane this week over the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, where Beijing is building military bases atop reefs and rocks claimed by several of its neighbors. A CNN team invited along for the mission reported that China’s military repeatedly tried to order the U.S. plane away. “This is the Chinese navy,” it radioed in English. “Please go away . . . to avoid misunderstanding.” The U.S. crew responded each time that it was flying through international airspace.
Opinion Journal Video
American Enterprise Institute Scholar Michael Auslin on the Secretary of State’s latest diplomatic efforts. Plus, feminists call for a unified Korea. Photo credit: Associated Press.

By flying over the Spratlys, the U.S. provided its most forceful rejection to date of Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over an area that lies more than 600 miles from China’s coast. It also signaled that Washington would defend the freedom of the seas and the maritime rights of its partners.

And not a moment too soon. In recent years Beijing has expelled Philippine boats from certain fisheries, cut the cables of Vietnamese oil-exploration ships, and intercepted U.S. military vessels. Chinese dredgers have nearly doubled the total landmass of the Spratlys—creating more than 2,000 new acres, or some 1,500 football fields—in an attempt to extend Chinese military reach and its political claims.

For years diplomats got nowhere politely asking Beijing to stop. In 2012 the Obama Administration did not send naval forces to stop Chinese civilian and coast guard ships from banishing Filipinos from Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing area north of the Spratlys and inside the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. The episode was barely noticed in the U.S. but raised alarms throughout Asia.

To its credit, the Administration has since toughened its response. After China declared an air-defense identification zone over Japan’s Senkaku Islands, a pair of B-52 bombers soon overflew the area. But U.S. officials claimed that was a previously scheduled mission unrelated to China’s gambit. This week’s overflight, by contrast, was an explicit response to China’s island-building, with the military releasing once-classified surveillance footage and bringing the media along for the ride.

In March a bipartisan group of Senate leaders demanded briefings on “specific actions the United States can take to slow down or stop China’s reclamation activities,” including possible military measures, changes in U.S.-China relations and expanded cooperation with Asian allies and partners. U.S. officials also say they are considering sending naval patrols past China’s artificial islands to reinforce that the waters around the Spratlys aren’t China’s to control.

That would be the right move. The longer the U.S. fails to contest Beijing’s South China Sea claims, the more aggressive China will become in asserting those claims—and perhaps the more willing it will be to fight for them. The time to resist Beijing’s maritime pretensions is now.
Popular on WSJ

 ====================

Obama will do nothing for fear of damaging his legacy of non-involvement.  Obama will do nothing about China trying to take over the South China Sea for fear of damaging his legacy of non-involvement.  He will do nothing about the lack of education of poor children largely caused by teachers unions putting their pay and pensions way above the needs of poor children.  He will do nothing about the lack of meaningful actions by Congress.  He will do nothing effective about Putin's actions to increase his power.  He will not stop ISIS.  He will work on his pitching wedge shots.
Flag ButtonShare
3
Lee Hartwig
Lee Hartwig 2 hours ago

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #306 on: May 26, 2015, 09:01:39 PM »

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/26/chinas-military-blueprint-bigger-navy-bigger-global-role/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Editors%20Picks&utm_campaign=2014_EditorsPicksRS5%2F26

China laid out its military strategy in its first-ever defense white paper, promising not to hit first, but vowing to strike back hard if attacked in a world full of what it sees as potential threats.

The paper, released by China’s State Council, the chief administrative body of the Chinese government, is especially noteworthy at a time of heightened tensions with the United States over China’s aggressive behavior in disputed areas of the South China Sea. On Monday, Chinese state media spoke of war with the United States as “inevitable” if the United States keep pressing Beijing on its illegal activities; in the United States, meanwhile, the consensus over accommodating China’s rise seems to have given way to a more hawkish stance on the need to contain the rising Asian giant.

China’s new white paper provides plenty of points of continuity with past strategies, especially with Mao Zedong’s doctrine of “active defense,” known in the United States as the Billy Martin school of conflict management (“I never threw the first punch; I threw the second four.”)

At the same time, though, the defense blueprint breaks new ground. It codifies the ongoing transformation of China into a true maritime power, and puts more emphasis on high-seas, offensive naval operations. More broadly, it envisions a much bigger, global role for Chinese armed forces than had previously been the case, and in some places echoes the famously hawkish Chinese views of thinkers such as Liu Mingfu, whose bestselling book “The China Dream” paints a vision of nearly inevitable conflict between the two global titans.

Here are some of the main takeaways from the white paper’s English-language version.

Times may be peaceful, but things sure look scary in Beijing

The defense strategy’s starting point is a generally benign global environment: “Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become an irresistible tide of the times,” the paper says. “In the foreseeable future, a world war is unlikely, and the international situation is expected to remain generally peaceful.”

But that doesn’t mean everything’s rosy from the vantage point of Chinese leaders. Traditional security threats have been compounded by new threats, from terrorism to cyber war, to make life potentially perilous. One rival country in particular, with a penchant for hanging on to its leading position and supporting treaty allies in the Asia-Pacific region, merits special attention: “There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism.”

For a 5,000-year old civilization that has survived invasions from Mongols, Japanese, and Western Europeans, this is a sobering conclusion: “In the new circumstances, the national security issues facing China encompass far more subjects, extend over a greater range, and cover a longer time span than at any time in the country’s history.” Later, the paper notes: “Due to its complex geostrategic environment, China faces various threats and challenges in all its strategic directions and security domains.”

That’s especially true when it comes to the South China Sea

The white paper is mostly focused on higher-level issues of how China’s military will support the realization of China’s national “rejuvenation,” but it pays special attention to a potential area of conflict that’s in the headlines these days, China’s land reclamation efforts at a spate of reefs and rocks in the Spratly and Paracel island groups. Those activities on land features whose ownership is disputed have sparked tensions with the United States, Vietnam, the Philippines, and even Japan, which is shedding much of its post-World War II pacifism.

“On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China’s reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China. It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.”

To underscore the point, and perhaps send a message to the U.S. Navy, the paper speaks at length about the need to ensure “preparations for military struggle” in China’s watery backyard: “In line with the evolving form of war and national security situation, the basic point for PMS will be placed on winning informationized local wars, highlighting maritime military struggle and maritime PMS.”

The paper makes clear that what’s at stake in the South China Sea is not the fate of a few atolls or uninhabited islands, but the very nature of Chinese sovereignty. Among the Chinese military missions in this new world will be to “safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and maintain security and stability along China’s periphery.” Such doctrinal stances make it hard to believe China will easily blink first in a showdown over navigation rights in the region.

How do you say Mahan in Chinese?

Building a stronger navy was a priority of former President Hu Jintao, and has only been accelerated under Xi Jinping. But if there were any lingering doubts about China’s aim of transforming itself into a modern, maritime power, the white paper puts them to rest.

For a country whose eyes were locked on the northern and western frontier for millennia, this is noteworthy: “The traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests. It is necessary for China to develop a modern maritime military force structure commensurate with its national security and development interests, safeguard its national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, protect the security of strategic [sea lanes of communication] and overseas interests, and participate in international maritime cooperation, so as to provide strategic support for building itself into a maritime power.”

Importantly, especially in the context of China’s interest in ports and possibly bases across the Indian Ocean, the white paper’s first order of business for military modernization is the ability to operate far from home: improving logistics.

That’s a very active defense you’ve got there

The white paper couches China’s posture in terms of active defense, a mainstay of Chinese defense thinking since Mao’s guerrilla campaigns in the 1930s: “We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.” But the paper itself details just how the Chinese navy and air force are shedding their traditional defensive roles to take up more pro-active positions, including a true blue-water navy: “In line with the strategic requirement of offshore waters defense and open seas protection, the PLA Navy (PLAN) will gradually shift its focus from ‘offshore waters defense’ to the combination of ‘offshore waters defense’ with ‘open seas protection,’ and build a combined, multi-functional and efficient marine combat force structure. The PLAN will enhance its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack, maritime maneuvers, joint operations at sea, comprehensive defense and comprehensive support.”

China is embracing its global role

Finally, the white paper makes explicit what had seemed to be a recent evolution in China’s approach to the world. Traditionally, China focused on economic development and took a hands-off approach to global affairs. But with Chinese interests growing by leaps and bounds in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, China is finding that its defense responsibilities are set to go as global as its economic interests.

“In response to the new requirement coming from the country’s growing strategic interests, the armed forces will actively participate in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China’s overseas interests.”

That may not all be bad news: The West, after all, has been asking China to become a “responsible stakeholder” for a decade. The white paper concludes on just that note:

“With the growth of national strength, China’s armed forces will gradually intensify their participation in such operations as international peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and do their utmost to shoulder more international responsibilities and obligations, provide more public security goods, and contribute more to world peace and common development.”
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #307 on: May 28, 2015, 11:29:20 AM »

Analysis
Forecast

    As outlined in China's latest defense white paper, the Chinese military will focus more on the growing internationalization of its role and "active defense."
    China's expanding economic and military activities in developing countries will make it increasingly difficult for Beijing to counter accusations of imperialism and convince other countries that it remains both politically neutral and capable of protecting its interests.
    As China becomes more involved in global defense, it will struggle to maintain its professed policies of noninterference while protecting its expanding national interests and will be forced to choose sides in political and security issues.
    Weaker states or groups within states will attempt to leverage Chinese power for their own interests. 

China's defense white papers are less revelations of new direction than partial reflections of current trends, carefully crafted for foreign and domestic consumption. No secrets are revealed, and little new ground is broken, but a comprehensive view emerges of just how China would like the world to interpret the evolution of its defense capabilities and actions. In China's latest such paper, released May 26, China is sending a message that it is a big power with international interests and will shoulder international responsibilities, but that unlike other major powers before it (alluding in particular to the United States), China has no hegemonic designs.

The centerpiece of China's strategy is "active defense," which Chinese defense officials contrast with the "proactive" defense policies of other nations (a clear nod to the emerging Japanese defense doctrine, as well as to existing U.S. strategy). In short, China wants — and needs — to take a stronger and more active role in international security. But it also wants to prevent any of its actions from being interpreted as aggressive or imperialistic to avoid the political and security consequences of being seen as an interventionist power.

Among the shifts in China's overall defense strategy, as laid out in the white paper but already clearly underway, are modifications of the primary roles of the various branches of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). In Section IV of the white paper, China elucidates these changing roles:

    The PLA Army "will continue to reorient from theater defense to trans-theater mobility."
    The PLA Navy "will gradually shift its focus from 'offshore waters defense' to the combination of 'offshore waters defense' and 'open seas protection.'"
    The PLA Air Force "will endeavor to shift its focus from territorial air defense to both defense and offense."

These evolutions match China's expanding strategic interests and reflect the ongoing refocusing of its defense strategy and capability from internal security and territorial integrity to assuring stability in its near abroad and addressing national interests far from China's borders or shores. This international component is summed up in Section I of the white paper:

    With the growth of China's national interests, its national security is more vulnerable to international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, serious natural disasters and epidemics, and the security of overseas interests concerning energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), as well as institutions, personnel and assets abroad, has become an imminent issue.

The latter half of this quote may highlight the biggest challenge to China's overall foreign policy. Just the assertion of the importance of Chinese interests abroad — shaped by natural resources, transport corridors, personnel and business operations in other countries — places China on a path of likely intervention that follows the United States and other imperial powers (whether intentionally imperial or otherwise) before it. If China is going to protect its physical interests and assets abroad, including its supplies of raw materials and its manufacturing and market bases, it will be forced to choose sides in political and security issues.
The Necessity of Choosing Sides

A shift in internal political alignment, a rising labor movement, the expansion of a militant organization or a change in international relations can all affect the stability and security of Chinese investments, access to raw materials, and the safety and security of Chinese personnel and assets abroad. In recent years, China has experienced these vulnerabilities firsthand, sometimes because of general trends (needing to pull its citizens out of Yemen, for example). At other times, it has been more directly related to Chinese activities (for instance, protests and actions against Chinese business operations in East Africa). China has already begun to face a stream of local accusations of economic imperialism in Africa, for example, and concerns are being raised about China's expanding economic activities in Latin America. Add in a more active military role, and Beijing will find it increasingly hard to convince other countries or populations that it remains both politically neutral and capable of protecting its interests.

An article written by the chief editor of the Sudanese newspaper Al-Ayyam on May 25, timed to nearly coincide with the release of the Chinese defense white paper, highlights this growing challenge for Beijing. Discussing the situation in South Sudan and China's supply of arms to the South Sudanese government, the commentary notes that the situation on the ground is forcing China to take sides and ease away from its noninterference policies, if it truly does want to ensure its own interests. The author then asserts, "China is now speaking the same language as the United States and the West on the South Sudan conflict." This is exactly the image China is trying so hard to deflect, but the reality is that protecting national interests requires choosing sides. And Beijing is finding it increasingly hard to follow its professed noninterference policy — or even its less overt tactic of funding and maintaining political ties with both sides of internal conflicts to ensure it has friends no matter which side wins.

In Africa, Southeast Asia (particularly Myanmar), Central Asia and beyond, Chinese officials face difficult decisions that test the noninterference policies every day. Adhering to noninterference could mean a loss of national interests, of access to strategic commodities, or of ease of passage for goods and services. Violating noninterference presents its own risks, as countries and populations see Chinese actions as more and more selfish and less and less about simply sharing with all in the great rise of the developing nations and the global south. China's clear shift to a more active international defense role shows just how much its thinking and recognition of this change in international relations is a reality. Why develop the ability to intervene to protect Chinese interests abroad if these interests are not threatened and if their status can be resolved through noninterfering political dialogue?

This is not to say that China is about to become the next global policeman, or that Chinese forces will begin deploying around the world on unilateral missions to protect Chinese factories. But the change in defense strategy is tied closely to evolutions in political strategy, and "active defense" to protect "the security of overseas interests" will frequently require choosing a side in internal and regional competitions and conflicts. One of the requirements of a major world power is that it must deal with these sorts of complications and contradictions; it is the cost of an expanded global reach and growing global dependencies.
The Risks of Empire

There is the additional risk that, as China's capabilities increase, countries will attempt to pull China into local or regional conflicts or confrontations to support their own positions. The United States finds itself regularly at the receiving end of requests for military assistance or intervention. And to maintain economic or diplomatic relations, the United States at times finds itself involved in conflicts that are of only tangential interest. For countries with the capability and the need to maintain certain levels of political relations to ensure their economic interests, it can be difficult to avoid being drawn in by third-party interests. Countries and interest groups may seek to exploit China's national interests to compel direct Chinese involvement in issues and cases where Beijing would prefer to remain somewhat distant. The more capability China develops and demonstrates, the more likely it is that weaker states or groups within states will attempt to leverage Chinese power for their own interests. 

The United States, which China is always alluding to when it mentions hegemonic powers, did not seek to become a global empire and did not intend to be an interventionist power. U.S. policy was frequently espoused as noninterventionist, particularly in the 1800s as the United States emerged from a backwater nation in virgin lands to a globally active economic and military power at the end of the century. Yet as U.S. business interests expanded abroad, the U.S. Navy became a default tool of forcing changes in local behavior to ensure American economic access and security. The United States' claims of anti-imperialism during the same period stemmed from both a political will to avoid following the United Kingdom's path and a recognition of the weakness of the U.S. position abroad compared with the existing imperial European powers. Anti-imperialism was a tool to allow the United States to gain economic and security benefits at minimal cost and lower risk. As China continues its emergence from a regional to a global power, it is encountering similar compulsions and constraints and the contradictions that power and expanding global interests bring to professed ideological and anti-imperial non-hegemonic regimes.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #308 on: May 29, 2015, 10:27:29 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/mccain-seeks-defense-funding-help-asia-against-china-185722592.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #309 on: June 02, 2015, 12:44:25 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/06/02/dont-give-up-the-south-china-sea/

and here is this in a similar vein from today's WSJ:

y
Stephen Peter Rosen
June 1, 2015 6:56 p.m. ET
34 COMMENTS

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Saturday called for “an immediate and lasting halt” to China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea. In Singapore for the annual Shangri-La Dialogue with Asian nations, Mr. Carter voiced U.S. concerns about the “prospect of further militarization as well as the potential for these activities to increase the risk of miscalculation or conflict among claimant states.”

The Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia notwithstanding, tensions are clearly on the rise as Beijing becomes more assertive in the Asia-Pacific region. Less clear is what should be done about it. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for a “stable regional balance.” Meanwhile, the Chinese government expands the land around disputed islands and deploys ground forces to them, while prominent Chinese academics discuss the need to end the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

How can a “stable regional balance” be achieved? China’s relative economic and military power will continue to grow. Asia is far from North America. Washington can stand up today for freedom of navigation and multilateral diplomacy, but some argue that geography and the steady shift in power toward China stacks the deck against the U.S. If China continues to build islands in disputed waters, what can the U.S. do?

The message, always there but seldom articulated, is that the U.S. should concede gracefully to the inevitable and make the best deal it can before it is even relatively weaker. This is a superficially appealing argument, but it is shortsighted and self-centered. It looks only at the U.S. But the question of what to do about a rising China cannot be answered by America alone.

China’s ascendance became apparent toward the end of the 1980s. What is forgotten is how unusually favorable to China the Asian environment was from 1990 until 2010. All of Beijing’s important enemies and rivals were neutralized during those 20 years. Soviet rule collapsed along with Russia’s sphere of influence in the region, eliminating what had been China’s main continental rival since the 18th century. Japan was constrained militarily and diplomatically by the consequences of its wars of aggression.

The U.S. became the ally of China during the Cold War and was actively supporting the growth of the Chinese economy and even of its military. When Washington started having second thoughts about this strategy at the turn of this century, they were soon subordinated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rise of China was thus neither motivated nor hindered by foreign hostility. It was facilitated by the most benign Asian security environment that China had experienced for 200 years.

China’s rise also took place when its Asian economic rivals were stunted. The so-called Asian Tigers—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan—grew rapidly but were small. Japan was crippled by its financial crisis. India was hobbled by 40 years of socialist mismanagement and only began its slow journey toward economic reform in the early 1990s, some 15 years after China rejected Maoist economic policies. Vietnam, now a unified country of more than 93 million people, was recovering from 30 years of war. Russia suffered from a succession of kleptocracies. The countries that could provide investments, markets and exports to rival China in Asia were not there.

There are signs that this period has ended. Chinese economic growth has slowed. Japan is emerging as an independent military power; it is investing abroad, and its economy may be recovering from its long stagnation. India’s economic growth is now more rapid than China’s and is likely to remain so. Indian military spending is making up for decades of inattention. Indonesia and Vietnam have achieved modest rates of economic growth.

Russia is likely to remain a nuclear superpower with a decaying society. Moscow’s anxiety about Beijing is real but has been suppressed, if only for the time being, by President Vladimir Putin’s need to find a friend after his Ukraine excursion. Russia’s national anxiety will re-emerge when he goes.

Does this mean that all is well and the U.S. can turn away from Asia? Hardly. It will be at least a generation before other Asian countries have, in the aggregate, enough economic and military power to create some kind of equilibrium relative to China.

The period in which they catch up with China is likely to be dangerous. Facing multiple rising Asian powers that are divided and smaller, Beijing will try to woo, thrash or thwart them one by one. Only the U.S. can provide the security umbrella within which the balance of Asia can be safely restored.

But unlike the postwar struggle with the Soviet Union, Washington is not facing a choice between an endless Cold War with China or negotiations in which the only question is how much regional influence the U.S. gives up. If Washington is able to deny Beijing the opportunity to achieve easy coercive gains for about 25 years—the amount of time since the Cold War ended—Asia is likely to change in ways that make China a strong country among other strong countries. This would be a satisfactory outcome for Asian countries and the United States. And it ought to be satisfactory to a Chinese leadership that does not seek hegemony.

Mr. Rosen is a professor of national security and military affairs at Harvard.
Popular on WSJ

 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 12:48:25 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #310 on: June 10, 2015, 10:55:40 AM »


June 9, 2015 7:32 p.m. ET
0 COMMENTS

The Journal got the scoop Monday that the Malaysian government will loudly protest the Chinese coast guard’s incursions into its exclusive economic zone. National Security Minister Shahidan Kassim said in an interview that Prime Minister Najib Razak will raise the issue personally with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Malaysians are upset that a Chinese coast-guard ship is anchored in the waters around the Luconia Shoals within their exclusive economic zone. The state-owned company Petronas has active gas wells nearby.

Kuala Lumpur played down such provocations in the past; Chinese ships have frequented the area for at least two years, and Malaysia made pro forma protests. The Chinese disrupted oil survey work nearby in August 2012 and January 2013. Yet Malaysia took a low-key approach when Beijing’s ally Cambodia shut down discussion of the South China Sea disputes at regional summits in 2012.

Malaysia has changed its attitude over the past year as China started reclaiming land for military bases on the disputed shoals and rocks it controls. Last year Kuala Lumpur offered to let the U.S. fly P-8 surveillance planes from Borneo airbases. At the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore at the end of May, Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein warned that the dispute could “escalate into one of the deadliest conflicts of our time.” Two weeks ago Mr. Najib was in Tokyo to discuss maritime defense-technology transfer with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Malaysians used to chastise Vietnam and the Philippines for being too confrontational toward China and called for diplomatic solutions. But it didn’t do them much good. The Chinese military is using the same tactics of creeping assertiveness in the Luconia Shoals that it employed in 2012 to take Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Beijing’s aggressive behavior has created such fear among Southeast Asian nations that a new unity may be emerging.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #311 on: June 10, 2015, 11:10:08 AM »

second post



    Opinion
    Commentary

A New Diplomacy to Stem Chinese Expansion
The time for choosing sides in Southeast Asia has come.
By
Daniel Blumenthal And
Michael Mazza
June 10, 2015 12:01 p.m. ET
0 COMMENTS

China’s aggression is pushing the South China Sea to a boiling point. Beijing’s massive island-building project is militarizing the territorial disputes, changing the territorial status quo and shifting the region’s balance of power. The U.S. response has been reactive, rhetorical and confused.

To stop and reverse Chinese expansion, the U.S. needs a bold and comprehensive strategy. So far, Washington’s approach has consisted of strong remonstrations that call upon China to respect “norms,” exercises of military power in the South China Sea to protect these norms, and the shoring up of alliances and partnerships in Asia.

Missing is a clear explanation of U.S. interests and a diplomatic approach that defends them. Washington doesn’t just have an interest in maintaining respect for abstract norms. It has a vital interest in keeping the South China Sea an open maritime commons free of Chinese coercion, as well as in stopping Beijing’s changes to the territorial status quo.

To date Washington has played a behind-the-scenes diplomatic role, encouraging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take the lead in managing maritime tensions.

This approach has outlived its usefulness. For one thing, only five of Asean’s 10 states are parties to the disputes (Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all make claims to physical features; Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone overlaps with China’s “nine-dash line”). Asean also has had little success in recent years acting in a united manner: Members still argue among themselves over maritime territory; meanwhile China actively sows divisions within the institution. And Washington has no assurance that Asean’s efforts will result in a solution that is in line with U.S. interests.

Thus the U.S. needs to play a far more active role in addressing the territorial disputes. A new diplomacy should have three prongs.

First, the U.S., in coordination with allied maritime powers such as Australia, Japan and the Philippines, should delineate what features in the South China Sea it considers to be islands warranting 12-nautical-mile territorial zones, and what features cannot legitimately be claimed as sovereign territory. The allies should make clear what areas of the sea they consider to be high seas, regardless of who ultimately controls the territories, and their militaries should regularly operate in those waters.

Second, the U.S. should lead a new diplomatic process to secure an agreement on the peaceful use of resources in disputed waters and develop clear rules guiding the conduct of claimants in disputed waters, including regulations on land-reclamation construction activities, ultimately leading to a resolution of territorial disputes.

At present, China is the primary obstacle to such a process. It has slow-rolled negotiations with Asean over a code of conduct and insists on bilateral rather than multilateral negotiations over territorial claims.

A new U.S.-led diplomatic process should encourage Chinese engagement, but should not depend on Chinese participation. If China chooses to boycott talks, the U.S. should lead an effort by its Southeast claimant partners to decide on territorial delineation and the proper use of resources in the seas.

This diplomacy would imbue with a political purpose the displays of U.S. and allied force. U.S. military power should be used to enhance Southeast Asian capabilities, to keep the South China Sea an international waterway, to counter Chinese territorial encroachment and to give allies and friends the security and space to develop economically and politically.

This strategy may not reverse China’s already completed land reclamation, but it will render those new Chinese islets indefensible and Chinese sovereignty over them unrecognized internationally. Beijing can choose to enter into a negotiating process over territorial disposition or see disputes resolved without its input. Either way, the U.S. will work with its East Asian friends and allies to demarcate territorial boundaries and gain agreement on how the seas will be used. It will use its power in support of these agreements.

This course of action is not without risk. Beijing will be angered by U.S. “meddling.” It could opt for confrontation, but bullies rarely pick fights they can’t win.

For their part, Southeast Asians prefer a nonconfrontational approach and may be initially discomfited by the U.S. adopting a leading role in finding solutions to territorial disputes. But Beijing has already upended the status quo in the South China Sea. Without action, Washington’s Asian friends will see their territorial holdings eroded and the broader balance of power shift in China’s favor.

Received wisdom is that Southeast Asians do not want to choose sides between China and the U.S. That may have once been true, but China is forcing its neighbors’ hands. The time for choosing has come.

The U.S. can present the Southeast Asians with an alternative to Chinese hegemony. It must do so before yet another regional competitor threatens the peaceful order Washington and its allies have built with blood and treasure.

Mr. Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where Mr. Mazza is a research fellow.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #312 on: June 10, 2015, 01:26:45 PM »

Anyone think Buraq will stand up to the Chinese? The Chinese don't.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #313 on: June 10, 2015, 02:24:36 PM »

A busy day on this thread!
=====================

On Tuesday, the Philippine military announced that it would hold joint naval drills with Japan on June 22-26. Just four days before the announcement, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III concluded a state visit to Japan. In addition to signing a deal to buy 10 Japanese patrol boats and other Japanese defense equipment, Aquino announced that the Philippines and Japan were ready to begin talks on a visiting forces agreement. Under the proposed agreement, the Japan Self-Defense Forces would be allowed to refuel ships and aircraft in the Philippines, and Japanese military personnel would be able to use Philippine bases on a rotational basis. If signed, the visiting forces agreement would mark the second time that Japan has been able to secure basing rights abroad since the end of World War II (the first time being the small Japan Self-Defense Forces outpost in Djibouti that opened in 2011).

The final terms of the potential visiting forces agreement are not yet clear. However, the Philippines' efforts to augment a similar agreement with the United States give clues about its intent with the Japanese pact, if not necessarily the specifics. In April 2014, as China was pressuring the Philippines at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, the Philippines signed an agreement with Washington allowing the United States to station forces rotationally in Philippine bases and stockpile supplies at these facilities. The Philippines-Japan visiting forces agreement, driven by these same tensions, could include similar terms.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman Explains.

The initiation of defense talks between Japan and the Philippines is significant but not unexpected, given their convergence of interests. With its weak external defense capabilities, the Philippines is eager to bring in as many outside parties as possible to bolster its position in its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea. A visiting forces agreement with Japan could give the Philippines improved access to training from Japan's world-class maritime forces, repair services desperately needed by the Philippine navy and coast guard, and maritime reconnaissance data. This support would become all the more crucial as the Philippines begins to take more deliveries of Japanese equipment.

The Japanese, for their part, are happy to oblige. In recent years, Japan has taken greater action to secure its interests far from its shores. The expansion of Chinese activity in the South China Sea threatens the sea-lanes that are the lifeblood of the Japanese economy. This is a major factor in Japan's remilitarization. In recent months, Japan has moved to strengthen engagement with South China Sea claimants, signing a defense pact with Indonesia in March, conducting joint naval exercises with Vietnam in April and signing a defense technology transfer deal with Malaysia in late May. Japanese activities in the South China Sea are likely to intensify if the Japanese legislature passes measures in July expanding the scope of Japan Self-Defense Forces activity. The Philippines' location makes it a natural partner for Japan as Tokyo seeks footholds for its forces in the South China Sea.

If the Philippines-Japan visiting forces agreement is signed, it could take some time to overcome domestic barriers. Domestically, the implementation of the enhanced Philippines-United States agreement has been sensitive since some are wary of welcoming back a former colonizer; the agreement is awaiting a ruling by the Philippine Supreme Court. A comparable pact with Japan could face similar opposition. However, Aquino's decision to announce and move forward on an agreement with Japan despite likely opposition shows Manila's recognition of the basic fact that the Philippines will not be able to secure its maritime interests without outside help. Manila's relations with Beijing are likely to grow strained as ties with Japan deepen, which could harm economic ties between the Philippines and China, but Aquino appears to have calculated that the Sino-Philippine relationship is at the point where it will make no difference (as evidenced by his comments likening Chinese activities in the South China Sea to aggression by Nazi Germany). Moreover, additional aid from Japan — perhaps as part of the $110 billion infrastructure aid package Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in May — will make up for the potential loss of Chinese investment.

This is a data point in another trend that Stratfor has been following: the United States' attempts to shift some of the burden of regional security to its allies. This plan has led to the slow reconfiguration of the U.S. alliance system in Asia, still largely based on a Cold War alliance structure called the hub-and-spoke system. This was a series of bilateral alliances between the United States and its Asian treaty partners featuring strong ties between each of the allies and Washington but limited collaboration among the Asian states themselves. The hub-and-spoke system enabled the United States to both check its adversaries and dominate aggressive allies such as South Korea and Taiwan, preventing them from dragging the United States into unwanted conflicts in an era of nuclear hair triggers. The United States quashed allies' attempts to independently build regional alliances among themselves. In return, the Americans shouldered the main burden of defending their partners, stationing large garrisons in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Times have changed. The U.S. alliance system is no longer made up of weak but militarily adventurous regimes, reducing the need to maintain a tight grip on relations between allies. Some U.S. allies, such as Japan and South Korea, are rich and boast significant militaries, yet nearly 80,000 U.S. soldiers are garrisoned in these two countries in the name of providing regional security. These garrisons, plus the U.S. operations to secure the region's sea-lanes, are extremely costly and tie down significant American resources.

Therefore, the United States wants capable partners such as Japan to pick up some of the slack in supporting weaker allies such as the Philippines. Washington has pushed its allies to build their own bilateral security ties, which had been lacking during the Cold War. Although the effort has so far yielded some modest successes, a Philippines-Japan visiting forces agreement could be a landmark as the United States reconfigures its alliance structure in Asia, potentially leading to similar arrangements between other American allies in the future.
Send us your thoughts on this report.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #314 on: June 29, 2015, 01:12:30 AM »


By
Dion Nissenbaum
Updated June 28, 2015 10:32 p.m. ET
5 COMMENTS

WASHINGTON— Peter Singer, one of Washington’s pre-eminent futurists, is walking the Pentagon halls with an ominous warning for America’s military leaders: World War III with China is coming.

In meeting after meeting with anyone who will listen, this modern-day soothsayer wearing a skinny tie says America’s most advanced fighter jets might be blown from the sky by their Chinese-made microchips and Chinese hackers easily could worm their way into the military’s secretive intelligence service, and the Chinese Army may one day occupy Hawaii.

The ideas might seem outlandish, but Pentagon officials are listening to the 40-year-old senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank.

In hours of briefings, Mr. Singer has outlined his grim vision for intelligence officials, Air Force officers and Navy commanders. What makes his scenarios more remarkable is that they are based on a work of fiction: Mr. Singer’s soon-to-be-released, 400-page techno thriller, “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.”

“World War III may seem like something that was either a fear in the distant past or a risk in the distant future,” Mr. Singer told a dozen Air Force officers during a Pentagon briefing last week. “But, as the Rolling Stones put it in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘It’s just a shot away.’ ”

Pentagon officials typically don’t listen to the doom-and-gloom predictions of fiction writers. But Mr. Singer comes to the table with an unusual track record. He has written authoritative books on America’s reliance on private military contractors, cybersecurity and the Defense Department’s growing dependence on robots, drones and technology.

The Army, Navy and Air Force already have included two of his books on their official reading lists. And he often briefs military leaders on his research.

“Ghost Fleet,” co-written with former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole is based on interviews, military research and years of experience working with the Defense Department.

“He’s the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” said Mark Jacobson, a special assistant to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who made sure his boss read the book. “Peter’s always where the ball is going to be. And people in the Pentagon listen to what he has to say.”

Release of the book by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Tuesday comes during a new period of soul-searching for the U.S. military.

President Barack Obama’s pledge to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was supposed to usher in an era of restrained military intervention world-wide. Budget cuts and shifting priorities have forced the Pentagon to shelve plans to carry out costly nation-building operations like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But threats posed by Islamic State militants reluctantly have pushed Mr. Obama and the U.S. military back into a limited war against the irregular insurgents in Iraq and Syria.

The end of the Cold War and the rise of al Qaeda compelled the U.S. military to reorient its priorities to focus on threats posed by small, stateless militants.

Pentagon officials have elevated military officers who embraced the “small war,” counterinsurgency dogma that guided the U.S. through a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and China’s aggressive attempts to extend its control in the South China Sea have forced the Pentagon to re-evaluate its world view and think anew about the threats posed by powerful rivals.

“Ghost Fleet,” which includes hundreds of endnotes, challenges conventional military doctrine and relies on real events to warn that the U.S. military is vulnerable to cyberattacks that could cripple its ability to win a war with China.

The time has come, Mr. Singer tells military officials in his briefings, for the Pentagon to consider the possibility that Americans could face real dog fights in the sky and deadly naval battles unlike anything the U.S. has seen since World War II.

“It may not be politic, but it is, in my belief, no longer useful to avoid talking about the great power rivalries of the 21st century and the real dangers of them getting out of control,” he told Air Force officers at the Pentagon. “Indeed, only by acknowledging the real trends and real risks that loom can we take the mutual steps to avoid the kind of mistakes that would set up such an epic fail in both deterrence and diplomacy.”

After the briefing, Col. Randall Reed, director of the Air Force Executive Action Group who hosted Mr. Singer, said it helped spark debate about how to respond to real-world threats. “Having various ways to view any issue is diversity of thought and that’s healthy,” he said.

Paula Thornhill, a retired Air Force brigadier general who brought Mr. Singer to the Pentagon to speak about his work on robotics, said Mr. Singer “did an excellent job of challenging some of the Air Force’s finest emerging scientists and engineers to think about the strategic and operational impact of robotics many of them were studying, and I knew he could do the same for a more operationally focused military audience.”

“This would help them better envision the human dimensions of conflict rather than trying to contemplate what that might look like by working mostly with high-tech weapons and drafting operations plans,” said Ms. Thornhill, who is now a senior political scientist at RAND Corp.

One of America’s biggest vulnerabilities is in cyberspace, where Chinese hackers have secured access to White House computers, defense industry plans and millions of secret U.S. government files.

American officials have long warned that the nation is at risk of a “cyber Pearl Harbor,” and the Obama administration has been quietly developing more proactive steps to reduce the country’s vulnerabilities.

In “Ghost Fleet,” the authors envision a cyberwar where Beijing uses hidden technology baked into Chinese-made chips to help bring down one of America’s costly, controversial next- generation F-35 fighter jets.

In another creative hack, China uses a gardener’s cellphone to get inside the Defense Intelligence Agency computer system. The U.S. has to turn to Silicon Valley to develop a modern day cyber Manhattan Project and rely on help from hackers to try to gain an advantage. Meanwhile, Americans in Hawaii launch an insurgency against the occupying Chinese forces.

The book is fiction, but Mr. Singer wants Pentagon leaders to see it as a cautionary tale.

Mr. Singer pointed out to the Air Force leadership that the opening scene of “Ghost Fleet,” featuring a showdown between a U.S. P-8 plane monitoring Chinese ships, played out in real life last month in an increasingly concerning dispute over islands in the South China Sea.

“War is not just revolutionary, it’s evolutionary,” he said. “It’s survival of the fittest. And the real world is moving in such a way as to make this book potentially a work of prediction, which I’d rather never come true.”

Write to Dion Nissenbaum at dion.nissenbaum@wsj.com
Popular on WSJ

 

Set your profile to public to comment
There are 5 comments.
 

All comments will display your real name. Read our commenting rules.



Our war with China is already over.


Here is why.


Yesterday the remote control of my DVD player quit.


Turns out one of the Energizer batteries had exploded.


I read the fine print on the other one. Yup, made in China.


As Singer sings, how we gonna go to war against the country that supplies everything we'd need to wage war, right down to the AA batteries?


And all that stuff they be makin' for us, such as the avionics in our aircraft, do you think they haven't had the foresight to build in remote controls to take it over? We may not be that smart when it comes to military sales, but they are. Heck, they can read our encrypted classified emails, while most of our leaders (think Hillary Clinton) don't even know how to use classified email.


No, if we want to fight somebody, we should try for Iran. They're still backward enough for us to stand a chance. But not for much longer.



If Americans want to understand China better, they need to read Sun Tzu's Art of War. For the chickenhawks, their disappointment will be that China is more for us than against us.
Flag ButtonShare


Have no doubt, China is at war. One leg of this war is the information war, in which state-paid patsies like Dans Zhang, possibly, are goaded to influence world opinion, especially Western opinion.


I have lived in China and I believe I know China better than many Westerners. China, the mainland Communist variety, is a neo-fascist state. Most Chinese do not even realize they live in a neo-fascist state.


Peter Singer is on the right track. Power compels its own logic, and when China has sufficient power to wage war against the U.S., it will. And have no doubt that China will not stop at Taiwan, because the trajectory of its own culture and history will compel it to go as far as it can go.
Flag ButtonShare
2
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #315 on: July 24, 2015, 09:21:02 AM »

China’s Global Ambitions, With Loans and Strings Attached

The country has invested billions in Ecuador and elsewhere, using its economic clout to win diplomatic allies and secure natural resources around the world.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and KEITH BRADSHERJULY 24, 2015
点击查看本文中文版|Leer en español
Water pipes set aside near where Ecuador wants a Chinese oil company to build a giant refinery, outside the port of Manta. China has invested heavily in overseas oil projects. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

 
EL CHACO, Ecuador — Where the Andean foothills dip into the Amazon jungle, nearly 1,000 Chinese engineers and workers have been pouring concrete for a dam and a 15-mile underground tunnel. The $2.2 billion project will feed river water to eight giant Chinese turbines designed to produce enough electricity to light more than a third of Ecuador.

Near the port of Manta on the Pacific Ocean, Chinese banks are in talks to lend $7 billion for the construction of an oil refinery, which could make Ecuador a global player in gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products.

Across the country in villages and towns, Chinese money is going to build roads, highways, bridges, hospitals, even a network of surveillance cameras stretching to the Galápagos Islands. State-owned Chinese banks have already put nearly $11 billion into the country, and the Ecuadorean government is asking for more.

Ecuador, with just 16 million people, has little presence on the global stage. But China’s rapidly expanding footprint here speaks volumes about the changing world order, as Beijing surges forward and Washington gradually loses ground.

While China has been important to the world economy for decades, the country is now wielding its financial heft with the confidence and purpose of a global superpower. With the center of financial gravity shifting, China is aggressively asserting its economic clout to win diplomatic allies, invest its vast wealth, promote its currency and secure much-needed natural resources.

It represents a new phase in China’s evolution. As the country’s wealth has swelled and its needs have evolved, President Xi Jinping and the rest of the leadership have pushed to extend China’s reach on a global scale.

China’s currency, the renminbi, is expected to be anointed soon as a global reserve currency, putting it in an elite category with the dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen. China’s state-owned development bank has surpassed the World Bank in international lending. And its effort to create an internationally funded institution to finance transportation and other infrastructure has drawn the support of 57 countries, including several of the United States’ closest allies, despite opposition from the Obama administration.

Even the current stock market slump is unlikely to shake the country’s resolve. China has nearly $4 trillion in foreign currency reserves, which it is determined to invest overseas to earn a profit and exert its influence.

China’s growing economic power coincides with an increasingly assertive foreign policy. It is building aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and stealth jets. In a contested sea, China is turning reefs and atolls near the southern Philippines into artificial islands, with at least one airstrip able to handle the largest military planes. The United States has challenged the move, conducting surveillance flights in the area and discussing plans to send warships.

China represents “a civilization and history that awakens admiration to those who know it,” President Rafael Correa of Ecuador proclaimed on Twitter, as his jet landed in Beijing for a meeting with officials in January.
 

China’s leaders portray the overseas investments as symbiotic. “The current industrial cooperation between China and Latin America arrives at the right moment,” Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in a visit to Chile in late May. “China has equipment manufacturing capacity and integrated technology with competitive prices, while Latin America has the demand for infrastructure expansion and industrial upgrading.”

But the show of financial strength also makes China — and the world — more vulnerable. Long an engine of global growth, China is taking on new risks by exposing itself to shaky political regimes, volatile emerging markets and other economic forces beyond its control.
Photo

Nearly 1,000 Chinese engineers and workers have been pouring concrete for the dam and a 15-mile underground tunnel that is part of the $2.2 billion hydroelectric plant project. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

Any major problems could weigh on China’s growth, particularly at a time when it is already slowing. The country’s stock market troubles this summer are only adding to the pressure, as the government moves aggressively to stabilize the situation.

While China has substantial funds to withstand serious financial shocks, its overall health matters. When China swoons, the effects are felt worldwide, by the companies, industries and economies that depend on the country as the engine of global growth.

In many cases, China is going where the West is reluctant to tread, either for financial or political reasons — or both. After getting hit with Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Russia, which is on the verge of a recession, deepened ties with China. The list of borrowers in Africa and the Middle East reads like a who’s who of troubled regimes and economies that may have trouble repaying Chinese loans, including Yemen, Syria, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

With its elevated status, China is forcing countries to play by its financial rules, which can be onerous. Many developing countries, in exchange for loans, pay steep interest rates and give up the rights to their natural resources for years. China has a lock on close to 90 percent of Ecuador’s oil exports, which mostly goes to paying off its loans.

“The problem is we are trying to replace American imperialism with Chinese imperialism,” said Alberto Acosta, who served as President Correa’s energy minister during his first term. “The Chinese are shopping across the world, transforming their financial resources into mineral resources and investments. They come with financing, technology and technicians, but also high interest rates.”

China also has a shaky record when it comes to worker safety, environmental standards and corporate governance. While China’s surging investments have created jobs in many countries, development experts worry that Beijing is exporting its worst practices.

Chinese mining and manufacturing operations, like many American and European companies in previous decades, have been accused of abusing workers overseas. China’s coal-fired power plants and industrial factories are adding to pollution problems in developing nations.

The China Factor

Articles in this series explore how China is exerting its financial heft and economic influence around the world.

A few miles from the site of the hydroelectric plant, the Coca River vaults down a 480-foot waterfall and cascades through steep canyons toward the Amazon. It is the tallest waterfall in Ecuador and popular with tourists.



When the dam is complete and the water is diverted to the plant, the San Rafael falls will slow to a trickle for part of the year. With climate change already shrinking the Andean glacier that feeds the river, experts debate whether the site will have enough water to generate even half the electricity predicted.

Ecuadoreans on the Chinese-run project have repeatedly protested about wages, health care, food and general working conditions. “The Chinese are arrogant,” said Oscar Cedeno, a 20-year-old construction worker. “They think they are superior to us.”

Last December, an underground river burst into a tunnel at the site. The high-pressure water flooded the powerhouse, killing 14 workers. It was one of a series of serious accidents at Chinese projects in Ecuador, several of them fatal.
The Rise of China

When the research arm of China’s cabinet scheduled an economic development conference this spring, the global financial and corporate elite came to Beijing. The heads of major banks and pharmaceutical, auto and oil companies mingled with top Chinese officials.

Some had large investments in the country and wanted to protect their access to the domestic market. Others came to court business, as Beijing channeled more of its money overseas.

At the event, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, commended China’s efforts to engage globally through investment and trade, as well as to enact economic reforms. It “is good for China and good for the world — their fates are intertwined,” she said in her keynote address.
Photo
Chinese men, in Ecuador for the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project, in their room in a camp for workers. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

China’s pull is strong.

It is the world’s largest buyer of oil, which gives China substantial sway over petropolitics. It is also increasingly the trading partner of choice for many countries, taking the mantle from Western nations. China’s foreign direct investment — the money it spends overseas annually on land, factories and other business operations — is second only to the United States’, having passed Japan last year.

Chinese companies are at the center of a worldwide construction boom, mostly financed by Chinese banks. They are building power plants in Serbia, glass and cement factories in Ethiopia, low-income housing in Venezuela and natural gas pipelines in Uzbekistan.

This striking evolution happened in a short time.

While China made some economic progress under Mao Zedong, his policies left the country turbulent and isolated. Hundreds of thousands of people were executed after the Communist takeover in 1949, accused of opposing the revolution or owning too much land. Famine killed tens of millions starting in the late 1950s. The Cultural Revolution, beginning in 1966, unleashed a decade of violence and economic stagnation.

When China started to open its economy in the late 1970s, it was among the poorest nations. Beijing had to court companies and investors.

One of the first multinationals to enter was the American Motors Corporation, which built a factory in Beijing. The project was initially aimed at producing Jeeps for export to Australia, rather than building cars for Chinese consumers, who still largely rode bicycles.


The Chinese market seemed unimportant, said Gerald Meyers, then the chief executive of the carmaker. He didn’t even bother to visit the country. “We didn’t devote a lot of our boardroom discussions to it,” he said. “We were really trying to scrape out a living in our domestic market.”

Photo
At night, some of the Chinese workers at the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant walk to the local brothel (prostitution is legal in Ecuador) and sit at separate tables from the Ecuadorean workers. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

Today, China produces two million cars a month, far more than any other country. It mirrors the broader transformation of the economy from an insular agrarian society to the world’s largest manufacturer.

The change has showered wealth on China. But it has also brought new demands, like a voracious thirst for energy to power its economy. The confluence of trends has compelled China to look beyond its borders to invest those riches and to satisfy its needs.

Oil has been on the leading edge of this investment push. Energy projects and stakes have accounted for two-fifths of China’s $630 billion of overseas investments in the last decade, according to Derek Scissors, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

China is playing both defense and offense. With an increased dependence on foreign oil, China’s leadership has followed the United States and other large economies by seeking to own more overseas oil fields — or at least the crude they produce — to ensure a stable supply. In recent years, state-controlled Chinese oil companies have acquired big stakes in oil operations in Cameroon, Canada, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan, Uganda, the United States and Venezuela.

“When utilizing foreign resources and markets, we need to consider it from the height of national strategy,” Prime Minister Li said in 2009, when he was a vice premier. “If the resources mainly come from one country or from one place with frequent turmoil, national economic safety will be under shadow when an emergency happens.”
Road to Dependence

For President Correa of Ecuador, China represents a break with his country’s past — and his own.

His father was imprisoned in the United States for cocaine smuggling and later committed suicide. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mr. Correa focused his doctoral thesis on the shortcomings of economic policies backed by Washington and Western banks.

Photo
A few miles from the site of a hydroelectric plant, the Coca River vaults down a 480-foot waterfall, the tallest in Ecuador. When the dam is complete and the water is diverted to the plant, the falls will slow to a trickle for part of the year. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

As a politician, he embraced Venezuela’s socialist revolution. During his 2006 campaign, Mr. Correa joked that the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’s comparison of President George W. Bush with Satan was disrespectful to the devil.

In an early move as president, Mr. Correa expelled the Americans from a military base in Manta, an important launching pad for the Pentagon’s war on drugs. “We can negotiate with the United States over a base in Manta if they let us put a military base in Miami,” President Correa said at the time.

Next, he severed financial ties. In late 2008, Mr. Correa called much of his country’s debt, largely owned by Western investors, “immoral and illegitimate” and stopped paying, setting off a default.

At that point, Ecuador was in a bind. The global financial crisis was taking hold and oil prices collapsed. Ecuador and Petroecuador, its state-owned oil company, started running low on money.


Shut out from borrowing in traditional markets, Ecuador turned to China to fill the void. PetroChina, the government-backed oil company, lent Petroecuador $1 billion in August 2009 for two years at 7.25 percent interest. Within a year, more Chinese money began to flow for hydroelectric and other infrastructure projects.

“What Ecuador wants are sources of capital with fewer political strings attached, and that goes back to the personal history of Rafael Correa, who holds the United States directly or indirectly responsible for his father’s death and suffering,” said R. Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American studies at the United States Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. “But there is also a desire to get away from the dependence on the fiscal and political conditions of the I.M.F., World Bank and the West.”

The Ecuadorean foreign minister calls the shift to China a “diversification of its foreign relations,” rather than a substitute for the United States or Europe. “We have decided that the most convenient and healthy thing for us,” said the foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, is “to have friendly, mutually beneficial relations of respect with all countries.”

The Chinese money, though, comes with its own conditions. Along with steep interest payments, Ecuador is largely required to use Chinese companies and technologies on the projects.


China has lent nearly $11 billion to Ecuador, much of which has gone for hydroelectric, bridge, road and other infrastructure projects.

The Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric facility, which is being built by Sinohydro for $2.2 billion, is the largest Chinese construction project in Ecuador. Other such projects include Sopladora, in Morona Santiago province, built by Gezhouba, and Toachi Pilatón, financed by a Russian consortium, but built by the China International Water & Electric Corp.

A 1.25 mile, four-lane bridge over the Babahoyo River was built by the Guangxi Road & Bridge Engineering Corp. at a cost of over $100 million. It opened in 2011.

WATERWORKS

A $55.6 million project to redirect the flow of the Bulubulu, Cañar and Naranjal rivers was completed this year. It was built by a consortium of Chinese firms — Gezhouba, Hydrochina and China CAMC Engineering.

OIL DRILLING

The Chinese oil companies CNPC and Sinopec, as the Andes Petroleum consortium, run various oil projects in the Amazonian province of Sucumbios. In Orellana and Pastaza provinces, PetroOriental and Andes Petroleum manage concessions.

 

ROADS

China’s Sinohydro is reconstructing and modernizing several roads in Azuay and Morona Santiago provinces.

MINING

A Chinese joint venture, CRCC-Tongguan Investment, paid $100 million to the Ecuadorean government in 2012 for the rights to the Mirador Copper Mine, with a commitment to invest $1.4 billion over five years. Its Ecuadorean subsidiary, EcuaCorriente, also holds copper and gold properties further north, in Morona Santiago province.

WIND POWER

The wind farm at Villonaco, which generates 16.5 megawatts of power, began operations in 2013. It was built by the Chinese company, Xinjiang Goldwind.

By The New York Times
Continue reading the main story
37 Comments
In what ways do you think Chinese firms will change the culture and economy of the countries they are investing in?

Share your thoughts »

International rules limit how the United States and other industrialized countries can tie their loans to such agreements. But China, which is still considered a developing country despite being the world’s largest manufacturer, doesn’t have to follow those standards.

It is one reason that China’s effort to build an international development fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, has faced criticism in the United States. Washington is worried that China will create its own rules, with lower expectations for transparency, governance and the environment.

While China has sought to quell those fears over the infrastructure fund, its portfolio of projects around the world imposes tough terms and sometimes lax standards. Since 2005, the country has landed $471 billion in construction contracts, many tied to broader lending agreements.

In Ecuador, a consortium of Chinese companies is overseeing a flood control and irrigation project in the southern Ecuador province of Cañar. A Chinese engineering company built a $100 million, four-lane bridge to span the Babahoyo River near the coast.

Such deals typically favor the Chinese.

PetroChina and Sinopec, another state-controlled Chinese company, together pump about 25 percent of the 560,000 barrels a day produced in Ecuador. Along with taking the bulk of oil exports, the Chinese companies also collect $25 to $50 in fees from Ecuador for each barrel they pump.

China’s terms are putting countries in precarious positions.

In Ecuador, oil represents roughly 40 percent of the government’s revenue, according to the United States Energy Department. And those earnings are suddenly plunging along with the price of oil. With crude at around $50 a barrel, Ecuador doesn’t have much left to repay its loans.
Photo
On the beach in Manta, a port city in Ecuador. After Ecuador was shut out from borrowing in traditional markets, the country turned to China to fill the void. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times

Advertisement
Continue reading the main story

“Of course we have concerns over their ability to repay the debts — China isn’t silly,” said Lin Boqiang, the director of the Energy Economics Research Center at Xiamen University in China’s Fujian province and a government policy planner. “But the gist is resources will ultimately become valuable assets.”

If Ecuador or other countries can’t cover their debts, their obligations to China may rise. A senior Chinese banker, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity for diplomatic reasons, said Beijing would most likely restructure some loans in places like Ecuador.

To do so, Chinese authorities want to extend the length of the loans instead of writing off part of the principal. That means countries will have to hand over their natural resources for additional years, limiting their governments’ abilities to borrow money and pursue other development opportunities.

China has significant leverage to make sure borrowers pay. As the dominant manufacturer for a long list of goods, Beijing can credibly threaten to cut off shipments to countries that do not repay their loans, the senior Chinese banker said.

With its economy stumbling, Ecuador asked China at the start of the year for an additional $7.5 billion in financing to fill the growing government budget deficit and buy Chinese goods. Since then, the situation has only deteriorated. In recent weeks, thousands of protesters have poured into the streets of Quito and Guayaquil to challenge various government policies and proposals, some of which Mr. Correa has recently withdrawn.

“China is becoming the new company store for developing oil-, gas- and mineral-producing countries,” said David Goldwyn, who was the State Department’s special envoy for international energy affairs during President Obama’s first term. “They are entitled to secure reliable sources of oil, but what we need to worry about is the way they are encouraging oil-producing countries to mortgage their long-term future through oil-backed loans.”
Plagued by Problems

A pall of acrimony surrounds the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, Ecuador’s largest construction project.
Photo
José Tixi, who works at the hydroelectric plant project, with his family in their home in San Luis. Ecuadoreans on the Chinese-run project have repeatedly protested about the working conditions. Credit Ivan Kashinsky for The New York Times
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Gary
1 minute ago

Sounds like USA over the past 40 years. Ironic eh?
Bill Simpson
1 minute ago

We play world policeman, others get a free security ride. We bomb, so they can build.
WestSider
2 minutes ago

"...Beijing surges forward and Washington gradually loses ground."That's because Washington chooses to sink billions into an ungrateful...

    See All Comments
    Write a comment

Few of the Chinese workers speak Spanish, and they live separately from their Ecuadorean counterparts. When the workers leave their camp in the village of San Luis at noon for lunch, they walk down the main street in separate groups. At night, they also walk in separate groups up the hill to the local brothel. (Prostitution is legal in Ecuador.) The workers sit at separate tables drinking bottles of the Ecuadorean beer, Pilsener.

When the Chinese and Ecuadorean workers return to camp, typically drunk, there have been shoving matches. Once a Chinese manager threw a tray at an Ecuadorean worker at mealtime.

“You make a little mistake, and they say something like, ‘Get out of here,’ ” said Gustavo Taipe, an Ecuadorean welder. “They want to be the strongmen.”

Like other workers, Mr. Taipe, 57, works 10 consecutive days. Then he drives seven hours home to spend four days with his family, then returns for another 10 days. Mr. Taipe and others have complained about low pay for grueling work. He initially made $600 a month. After work stoppages, he now earns $914 a month, a decent wage by Ecuadorian standards.

Advertisement
Continue reading the main story

Kevin Wang, a Chinese supervisory engineer at the project, played down the issues, saying, “Relations are friendly.” He predicted that the project would be a success. “We can do something here really important,” he said.

The hydroelectric project — led by Sinohydro, the Chinese engineering company, and financed by the Chinese Export-Import Bank — was supposed to be ready by late 2014. But the project has been plagued by problems.

A drilling rig jammed last year, suspending the excavation for a critical tunnel. Then in December, 11 Ecuadorean and three Chinese workers were killed and a dozen were hurt when an underground river burst into the tunnel and flooded the powerhouse. Workers drowned or were crushed by flying rocks and metal bars.

At a legislative hearing after the accident, one worker, Danny Tejedor, told the lawmakers, “I am a welder, and on various occasions I have been obligated to work in extreme conditions of high risk, deep in water.”
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 09:24:32 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4991


« Reply #316 on: July 24, 2015, 04:30:20 PM »

China is doing the same thing all over the African continent too and in a big way.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #317 on: July 27, 2015, 12:36:38 PM »

Yes.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #318 on: July 27, 2015, 08:01:54 PM »

And all the sniveling lefties will have nothing to say about what Imperial China does.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #319 on: August 03, 2015, 11:22:18 AM »

Tensions with U.S. rise as China demands return of executive with ties to top leaders

Monday, August 3, 2015 11:21 AM EDT

China is demanding that the Obama administration return a wealthy and politically connected businessman who fled to the United States, according to several American officials familiar with the case. Should he seek political asylum, he could become one of the most damaging defectors in the history of the People’s Republic.
The case of the businessman, Ling Wancheng, has strained relations between two nations already at odds over numerous issues before President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the United States in September, including an extensive cybertheft of American government data and China’s aggressive territorial claims.
Mr. Ling is the youngest brother of Ling Jihua, who for years held a post equivalent to that of the White House chief of staff, overseeing the Communist Party’s inner sanctum as director of its General Office. Ling Jihua is one of the highest-profile casualties of an anticorruption campaign that Mr. Xi has made a centerpiece of his government.

The Obama administration has thus far refused to accede to Beijing’s demands for Ling Wancheng, and his possible defection could be an intelligence coup at China’s expense after it was revealed last month that computer hackers had stolen the personnel files of millions of American government workers and contractors. American officials have said that they are nearly certain the Chinese government carried out the data theft.

Mr. Ling’s wealth and his family’s status have allowed him to move freely in elite circles in China, and he may be in possession of embarrassing information about current and former officials loyal to Mr. Xi.

Read more »

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #320 on: September 02, 2015, 03:15:11 PM »

Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast
Chinese naval presence off Alaskan coast appears to be a first
Chinese navy warships arrive in Sudan in August as part of military cooperation between the two countries. On Wednesday, the Pentagon said five Chinese navy ships have been seen off the coast of Alaska. ENLARGE

Chinese navy warships arrive in Sudan in August as part of military cooperation between the two countries. On Wednesday, the Pentagon said five Chinese navy ships have been seen off the coast of Alaska. Photo: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

By Jeremy Page in Beijing and Gordon Lubold in Washington
Updated Sept. 2, 2015 1:51 p.m. ET
WSJ

Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska, the first time the U.S. military has seen such activity in the area, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The officials said they have been aware in recent days that three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious ship were in the vicinity after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control.

They said the Chinese ships were still in the area, but declined to specify when the vessels were first spotted or how far they were from the coast of Alaska, where President Barack Obama is winding up a three-day visit.

“This would be a first in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands,” one defense official said of the Chinese ships. “I don’t think we’d characterize anything they’re doing as threatening.” The Pentagon official confirmed that the five ships were operating in international waters.

Pentagon officials also said there was no information suggesting the Chinese ships had gone through the Bering Strait, a narrow waterway north of the sea that abuts Alaska.

China’s defense ministry couldn’t be reached to comment.

The presence of the Chinese ships so close to U.S. shores is the latest demonstration of how China’s military is rapidly expanding its operations far from its own coast to protect the nation’s growing global interests.

The Chinese naval activity comes as Mr. Obama visits Alaska and the Arctic region to highlight climate change. The naval operation also comes just before Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a World War II Victory Day parade on Thursday that the U.S. and its allies fear is being used to showcase China’s new military strength and ambition.

Mr. Xi is heading to the U.S. in late September for a state visit, which has already been overshadowed by tensions over Chinese military activity, including alleged cyberattacks on the U.S. and island-building in the South China Sea.

China says its military activities aren’t designed to threaten any other nation but are expanding in tandem with its economic power, as well as its interests and responsibilities around the world.

The Pentagon official said there were a “variety of opinions” on how to interpret the Chinese ships’ deployment.

“It’s difficult to tell exactly, but it indicates some interest in the Arctic region,” the official said. “It’s different.”

China has shown growing interest in using the so-called Northern Sea Route to transport goods between Asia and the West via the Arctic in recent years as melting polar ice has eased access for shipping. The route can take several days less than the journey via the Suez Canal.

The first Chinese vessel to sail the entire Northern Sea Route was an icebreaker called the Snow Dragon in 2012 and some Chinese commercial ships have used the route since, according to state media.

Beijing also has shown growing interest in exploiting energy resources in the Arctic region and in 2013 became a permanent observer to the Arctic Council, whose members are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.

A search of Chinese state media and military statements online revealed no record of any previous naval deployment to the Bering Sea.

China and Russia held joint naval exercises off the Russian Pacific coast—about 2,000 miles west of the Bering Sea—between August 20 and 28, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Seven Chinese ships took part, including two destroyers, two frigates, two landing ships and one supply ship, Xinhua said but it gave no details about where the vessels went afterward.

China’s navy confined itself to patrolling the nation’s coast for the first five decades after the Communist takeover in 1949. But in the past few years, it has ventured deep in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and even the Mediterranean Sea.

The Chinese navy has taken part in antipiracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 and held joint naval drills with Russia in the Mediterranean in May. Last year, Chinese navy ships made their debut at U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific, or Rimpac, joint naval drills in Hawaii.

U.S. officials said an uninvited Chinese spy ship observed the Rimpac drills from international waters just off Hawaii. China’s defense ministry said at the time its ship operations complied with international law.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #321 on: September 18, 2015, 11:55:13 AM »

The tyranny of distance. While secretary Carter has yet to speak with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the seven months he’s been in office, and has often not played a large public role in working through the thorny issues of Iraq, Syria, and Russian adventurism in Ukraine, he has been more outspoken about the Chinese land reclamation project in the South China Sea.

In a speech earlier this month, Carter voiced his “deep concern” over China’s island building, which Beijing claims gives it territorial rights over not only the islands, but also a 12-mile zone around them. Carter says he’s having none of it: “Let me be clear: the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”

He repeated that line word for word in a speech on Wednesday, adding, “turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit.”

But the reality is a bit different. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, David Shear, assistant secretary of defense for Asia-Pacific security admitted, “I believe the last time we conducted a freedom of navigation operation within 12 nautical miles of one of those features was 2012.” Head of the U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris also said that the United States has never conducted a flyover of any of the islands, either.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #322 on: September 30, 2015, 11:29:34 PM »

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-usn-should-never-have-low-t-moment.html

Obama sucks.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #323 on: October 05, 2015, 10:25:03 PM »

By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley
 
Full steam ahead. After three years of giving Chinese land claims in the South China Sea a wide berth, the U.S. Navy is preparing to ignore China’s so-called "Great Wall of Sand." FP’s Dan De Luce drops the exclusive story of how Washington has finally decided to challenge the legitimacy of Chinese claims of territorial sovereignty over the artificial islands Beijing has built in the South China Sea. Just last month, head of the U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris admitted that U.S. ships and aircraft haven’t come within 12 miles of the Chinese “islands” since 2012, which gives the piles of rocks a false air of legitimacy.
 
But now, De Luce reports, “the Obama administration is heavily leaning toward using a show of military might after Chinese opposition ended diplomatic efforts to halt land reclamation and the construction of military outposts in the waterway.”
 
“It’s not a question of if, but when,” a Defense Department said.
 
 
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/02/in-south-china-sea-a-tougher-u-s-stance/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report
 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #324 on: October 09, 2015, 07:44:13 PM »

Senior American officials leaked word this week that the U.S. Navy will soon conduct freedom-of-navigation operations within 12 nautical miles of China’s newly built artificial islands in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago. This means the Administration may finally be willing to challenge Beijing’s baseless sovereignty claims in distant waters.

The caveat is that leaks from this Administration are unreliable signals of intent. Before Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Washington last month, U.S. officials told reporters they were considering sanctioning China for cyber abuses. Sanctions never materialized, as Messrs. Obama and Xi announced a toothless bilateral pledge not to hack trade secrets.

China’s island-building dates at least to 2013, and last year the Philippines revealed evidence of Chinese military facilities under construction at Johnson South Reef. China illegally claims air and sea sovereignty around the islands by warning planes and ships away. In May the Pentagon assessed that China had built 2,000 acres of new land. With China’s neighbors growing alarmed, Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said the U.S. “will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”
Opinion Journal Video
Center for a New American Security Senior Fellow Jerry Hendrix on the U.S. Navy’s plans to enforce freedom of navigation in international waters. Photo credit: Getty Images.

But not where such operations were needed most, within 12 miles of China’s artificial islands. China went on dredging and building, even after it said it was stopping. By August it had amassed nearly 3,000 acres of new Spratly territory.

Washington’s hesitant response has allowed controversy to build around freedom-of-navigation missions that should be routine. Beijing’s strategy in the South China Sea is to bully its neighbors and achieve regional hegemony through coercive means short of war. Turning peaceful naval patrols into diplomatic hot potatoes is exactly the sort of change Beijing seeks.

And right on time on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China is “seriously concerned” about the reports of U.S. Navy action. China “will absolutely not permit any country to infringe on China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands in the name of ‘protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.’” she said.

Such threats are all the more reason for the U.S. to defend international naval norms, and to make this the beginning of a persistent challenge to China’s false claims. The U.S. has put too much hope in a “code of conduct” led by the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a group that has been routinely manipulated and stymied by Beijing. The better U.S. course is to start joint maritime patrols with willing partners, possibly including Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and others.

Two decades ago, then Philippines President Fidel Ramos said the Spratly Islands would be “a litmus test of whether China as a great power intends to play by international rules, or make its own.” Beijing has shown that it scorns those rules. The question is whether the U.S. intends to do what is necessary to uphold them.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #325 on: October 09, 2015, 11:19:45 PM »

And if China uses it's Sunburn missiles to defend it's claimed territorial waters?
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 7501


« Reply #326 on: October 10, 2015, 08:01:11 AM »

And if China uses it's Sunburn missiles to defend it's claimed territorial waters?

Under Obama rules of engagement, I assume US forces will be unamed and (any survivors) will surrender if challenged.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 08:08:40 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #327 on: October 10, 2015, 11:15:43 AM »

And if China uses it's Sunburn missiles to defend it's claimed territorial waters?

Under Obama rules of engagement, I assume US forces will be unamed and (any survivors) will surrender if challenged.

Sadly, China might well be anticipating the same thing.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #328 on: October 14, 2015, 10:41:41 PM »

What Lies in the South China Sea
China’s claims rely on historical fiction and face an imminent challenge from the U.S. Navy.
By David Feith
Oct. 13, 2015 1:22 p.m. ET
25 COMMENTS

The U.S. and China are headed for a showdown at sea. U.S. officials say that within days the U.S. military will conduct “freedom of navigation” patrols to challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea’s strategic Spratly archipelago. That area lies more than 700 miles off China’s coast, between Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, but China’s government has warned that it is “seriously concerned” about U.S. action and “will absolutely not permit any country to infringe on China’s territorial waters.”

Now’s a good time, then, to clarify what’s going on. The U.S. and its Asian partners are trying to curb a Chinese campaign to conquer one of the world’s most vital international waterways. The South China Sea is home to rich natural resources and half of all global shipborne trade: some $5 trillion a year in oil, food, iPhones and more. By asserting “indisputable sovereignty” over its nearly 1.35 million square miles, including vast swaths of sea belonging to its neighbors, Beijing threatens to hold hostage—and to wage war over—the economic heart of East Asia.

The U.S. position is to support open seas and the peaceful resolution of disputes, while taking no stance on who owns what in disputed waters. Yet that’s not because China’s claims are as valid as those of its neighbors. On the contrary, China’s claims are dubious, often laughably so. That Beijing backs them aggressively—sending oil rigs, fishing boats and maritime militia into its neighbors’ exclusive economic zones, transforming rocks and reefs into artificial islands for military bases—only underscores the importance of deterring further such revisionism.

“Islands in the South China Sea since ancient times are China’s territory,” Chinese leader Xi Jinping said last month at the White House, giving President Obama and the Washington press corps some typical Beijing spin. The real story is otherwise.
Opinion Journal Video
Editorial Page Writer David Feith on bilateral tensions and President Obama and Xi Jinping’s agenda in Washington. Photo credit: Associated Press.

Beijing officially registered its South China Sea territorial claims by submitting a map to the United Nations in 2009. With a huge dashed line swooping south from mainland China in the shape of a U, the map derives from one issued in 1947, when China’s Nationalist government wanted to answer Japan’s World War II claims to dominion over the sea. In 1949 the Nationalists fell to Mao’s Communists and fled to Taiwan. But their ahistorical maritime claim based on Japanese Imperial precedent is today a sacred tenet of China’s Communist Party.

China’s U-shaped map is more an assertion of power than an exercise in cartography. Originally it had 11 dashes. Then Beijing made it nine dashes, as in the version filed to the U.N. Still other official Chinese maps have 10 dashes, with one swallowing Taiwan.
ENLARGE

Beijing is vague about the map’s meaning. Does it claim sovereignty over just the rocks, islands and other land features within the nine-dash line, or over all the water and natural resources too? Beijing often acts as though the whole area is a Chinese lake in which foreigners can operate only with permission, but it hasn’t clarified its views to the U.N. or its neighbors. Nor has it deigned to publish geographic coordinates for the dashed line, or to explain why at different times the map has had dashes of different sizes, in different locations.

Beijing often speaks of “historical rights,” yet history shows China never ruled the South China Sea. Until the 1930s the Chinese government didn’t have maps of the Spratly archipelago, let alone control of the territory. After France occupied several of the Spratlys in 1930, it took Beijing three years just to notice—at which point China’s consul in nearby Manila had to ask U.S. diplomats for a map. The first country to object to France’s move was Japan, not China.

When the Chinese government in 1935 published a list claiming ownership of 132 pieces of land in the South China Sea, the assertion was so groundless—Beijing’s attachment to the area so imagined—that Chinese officials didn’t have Chinese names to use. So they translated or transliterated names from Western atlases, such as Antelope Reef and James Shoal. (BBC reporter Bill Hayton documents this in a recent book.)

In the case of James Shoal they made a translation error that echoes loudly today. Shoals are underwater rock or sand masses, and James Shoal lies 70 feet under water in the far southern South China Sea. But China’s 1935 list identified it as a beach or sandbank that rises out of the water. From that, Beijing now claims sovereignty over an area that is more than 1,000 miles from China yet within some 50 miles of Malaysia. What Beijing claims today as “the southernmost point of Chinese territory,” Mr. Hayton notes, “doesn’t exist.”

So China historically didn’t exercise authority over the South China Sea, and foreign states have never acquiesced to Chinese claims to the area. That disposes of Beijing’s historical case as a matter of the international Law of the Sea Treaty, to which China is a party. But of course Beijing’s essential strategy is to bully, not respect any law. As China’s foreign minister told a regional summit in 2010, “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that is just a fact.”

Mr. Xi, who rose to power in 2012, is even more than his predecessors an ambitious revisionist keen to press Beijing’s advantage as long as its neighbors are weak and the U.S. unable or unwilling to impose costs for destabilizing behavior. A la Vladimir Putin.

Hence the imperative for the U.S. to protect freedom of navigation, as basic a pillar of international order as there is. Any U.S. military mission in the Spratlys entails risk, as China’s diplomatic and military responses are unpredictable. But the harms of U.S. inaction are mounting. While Mr. Xi tells tales at White House press conferences, his civilian and military forces are tightening control over Asia’s most sensitive waterway.

Mr. Feith is a Journal editorial writer based in Hong Kong.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #329 on: October 22, 2015, 01:43:04 PM »


By Richard Fontaine
Oct. 22, 2015 12:56 p.m. ET
3 COMMENTS

Beijing’s land reclamation in the South China Sea has prompted reports that the U.S. Navy will soon conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the area. If they pass within 12 nautical miles of China’s artificial islands, American vessels will directly challenge Beijing’s expansive maritime claims.

But Chinese island building poses another challenge beyond freedom of the seas. In constructing and militarizing outposts far from its shores, China is enhancing its ability to project power. The international response should not be limited to freedom of navigation exercises.

During his recent trip to Washington, President Xi Jinping said that “China does not intend to pursue militarization” in the South China Sea. What Mr. Xi meant by that is debatable, but Foreign Ministry officials have since confirmed the presence of military facilities on Chinese-held islands.

Satellite imagery shows a new runway on Fiery Cross Reef that can accommodate military aircraft. Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, has noted the construction of aircraft hangars that appear designed to host tactical fighter aircraft and ports deep enough for warships. He expressed concern that the islands could host radars and electronic-warfare capabilities.

These facilities represent a major increase in Beijing’s capacity for force projection far from its coastline. With just one aircraft carrier, China lacks America’s ability to sail power-projection forces into vital regions. By reclaiming land and militarizing features in the South China Sea, Beijing is making up for this shortcoming and amassing capacity to project power elsewhere.

This should concern the United States and countries within the South China Sea, even those not mired in territorial disputes with Beijing. The implications for Southeast Asia are far-reaching, given China’s penchant for coercive diplomacy backed by demonstrations of military capability.

Most Western observers have noted that China’s island bases are small and exposed, which is unhelpful should a conflict ever ensue. Yet in a military contingency, China’s power-projection advantages may come not only from the aircraft or vessels based on these islands, but also from its improved situational awareness far from its shores. To that end, Beijing has already begun installing navigation aids, sophisticated radars, sensors and other technology that it claims is nonmilitary and would provide greater maritime domain awareness.

In addition, simply because the island bases may be vulnerable doesn’t mean they are without value in a regional contingency. They already enable China to exert power over other claimants or regional states that cannot counter the islands’ capabilities.

Should a short skirmish erupt at sea, most analysts agree that the first mover would have a decisive advantage. Island installations would help China succeed before cooler heads prevail in arresting it.

The trends are clear, as should be the response by the U.S. and its Asian partners. They should continue to deepen their security cooperation, not to contain China but to balance its assertiveness and reduce the prospect of coercion and conflict. This involves all regional actors—not just the U.S. Navy conducting freedom of navigation operations, or the states that claim features in the South China Sea.

By forging new partnerships and deepening old alliances, countries in the region can make China’s new runways and radars less effective. The good news is that the U.S. is pushing on an open door.

Interest in partnering with the U.S. continues to grow. Existing multilateral initiatives include renewed base access in the Philippines, arms sales to Vietnam, the stationing of littoral combat ships in Singapore and the deployment of U.S. Marines to Darwin, Australia.

The region is also deepening defense relations on its own. Washington should support these ties by deepening interoperability between key militaries and encouraging maritime states to conduct their own freedom of navigation operations.

The imminent exercises aimed at preserving freedom of navigation are an important expression of American concern. But they are insufficient to deal with the challenge Beijing poses. In strengthening security ties and joint operations with Southeast Asia, the U.S. can help manage a China whose appetite and capacity for power projection continues to grow.

Mr. Fontaine is president of the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #330 on: October 26, 2015, 09:25:24 PM »

Forecast

    China will continue to push the envelope in the South China Sea because controlling the waters is key to its national security strategy.
    The United States will be limited in its ability to respond because of its concerns about escalation and because of China's nuclear capabilities.
    Beijing will lobby Washington to keep Japan out of the dispute, but Tokyo will remain involved.

Analysis

For months, Beijing and Washington have been engaged in a mounting rhetorical war over Chinese territorial claims — and island building — in contested waters of the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has cautioned the U.S. military not to exacerbate tension in the South China Sea by sailing naval vessels or flying aircraft near Chinese-held islands, many of which are located in waters also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. The Pentagon has countered that U.S. ships and aircraft will travel along any routes allowed by international law at any time and has told regional allies that it will soon conduct patrols near Chinese positions.

Though this standoff might seem like simple nationalist posturing between two Pacific powers, maritime disputes carry a special significance in Asia. Unlike in Europe, water is the organizing element of the continent, which wraps around the East and South China Seas, the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, as well as countless peripheral lagoons and bays. Ownership of a particular island, reef or rock, and the right to name a body of water is more than a question of sentimentality — it is the foundation of many national policy strategies. Securing the right to patrol, build bases and regulate trade through these waterways can mean access to resources critical to sustaining economic growth and political stability.

Pacific Rivals

Beijing's and Washington's divergent perspectives are rooted in radically different national and regional strategies. On the world stage, China portrays the South China Sea dispute as fundamentally a question of sovereignty. The United States, however, foregrounds concerns about freedom of navigation. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the unquestioned pre-eminent power in the Pacific Rim, assisted by its allies, most notably Japan and South Korea. Simultaneously, however, China has been emerging as a potential regional hegemon, and the South China Sea has become the most visible area of tension.

A core but often unstated component of U.S. national strategy is to maintain global superiority at sea. By controlling the seas, the United States is able to guarantee the secure movement of U.S. goods and to deploy military power worldwide. This preserves global economic activity — feeding the domestic economy — while ensuring that any threat to national security is addressed abroad before it can reach the homeland. This state of affairs is enforced by the powerful U.S. Navy, but it is undergirded by Washington's particular interpretation of international law.

In China's near seas, the U.S. global imperative comes into conflict with China's emerging regional needs. Since the early 1980s, China has undergone a transition from an insular, self-sufficient pariah state to a major exporter. This has forced Beijing to reassess its maritime risks and vulnerabilities. China is no longer able to protect its national economy without securing the maritime routes it needs to maintain trade and to feed its industrial plant.

The South China Sea is one such essential waterway, made more important by the value of the sea's fisheries and subsea resources such as natural gas. But addressing the risks of its near seas means tackling the time-consuming and costly project of building, training and deploying a stronger blue-water navy while also establishing a greater maritime buffer along the Chinese coastline. China's assertion of ownership and control in the South China Sea, coupled with liberal interpretations of its rights within its claimed exclusive economic zone, gives Beijing at least a modicum of greater security. With neighbors unable or unwilling to directly challenge China’s concrete actions in the sea, and the United States hesitant to use force to halt Chinese expansion, Beijing is reshaping the status quo unimpeded.

Legalizing National Strategy

In pursuit of their respective interests, the United States and China have chosen to interpret international maritime law differently. The precise legal nature of various landforms has become key. There are four basic geographic terms at play: island, rock, low tide elevation and artificial island. Understanding the ambiguity of each of these terms is key to understanding conflict in the South China Sea.

According to international law, an "island" is a naturally formed elevation that is always above the high-tide level and is habitable and/or capable of sustaining economic activity. A "rock" is also naturally formed and above the surface but not necessarily suitable for habitation or economic exploitation. By contrast, a "low tide elevation" can be covered by water at high tide but is exposed at low tide. An "artificial island" differs from an island in that it is not naturally formed. Disputes are further complicated when considering submerged rocks, seamounts and other subsea landforms.

The designation of a landmass determines precisely how the surrounding water can be used – and who can use it. An island is granted a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea and a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, and it can be used to delineate a continental shelf, which has implications for access to subsea resources. A rock is granted a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea, but no exclusive economic zone. A low tide elevation is not granted a territorial sea, but it may be used as a base point in claiming territorial waters if it is within 12 nautical miles of land. An artificial island is granted nothing other than a 500-meter safety zone. Even conduct within another person’s exclusive economic zone is open to interpretation. The United States argues it is within international legal rights to conduct military patrols inside exclusive economic zones; the Chinese counter that this is considered hostile action and is thus forbidden.

Beijing and Washington each have their own interpretations. China asserts that its South China Sea holdings are islands and are part of sovereign Chinese territory, giving them the full 12-nautical-mile territorial sea and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone. The United States says that while it has no official stance on maritime disputes, it interprets the holdings as either low tide elevations or artificial islands. This reading gives U.S. vessels the right to sail within the 12-nautical-mile limit.

Regional Players

China's construction projects on several South China Sea reefs and islets have stirred the ire of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Chinese crews have been dredging and piling up sand; expanding reefs and islets; and building runways, housing, piers and other facilities on several landmasses. Vietnam complained recently about new Chinese lighthouses, for example, and the Philippines has taken its counterclaims to international courts.

The Philippines has borne the brunt of China's expansion, and much of the Chinese construction has been on islands Manila claims. Manila's status as an ally risks drawing the United States into the conflict, but Washington, while supporting Philippine security, maintains that it takes no side in competing South China Sea claims or, for that matter, any disputes in maritime Asia. Rather, Washington justifies its concern about the South China Sea as simply a defense of the right to freedom of navigation. This freedom includes the regular and irregular patrols of U.S. ships, submarines and air assets within the 200-mile exclusive economic zones of other states, although not within the 12-nautical-mile territorial seas.

China feels it can manage the opposition from various members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by both manipulating ASEAN as a whole and by leveraging economic and military influence. Beijing also believes it can manage Washington, betting that the United States will work to avoid any real conflict with China in the South China Sea. This has been the case so far. Although Washington has challenged Beijing’s take on what is and is not allowed in the waters of the South China Sea. And whether China has a legitimate claim to the seas there, it has been careful to avoid any action that could lead to physical confrontation. China is well aware of U.S. reluctance to escalate the conflict and takes advantage of it to keep expanding its presence.

Rising Sun

But Beijing does fear one thing in the South China Sea: the involvement of Japan. Tokyo, long a passive power in the Pacific Rim, is now embarking on the long process of reasserting itself. If Japan decides to become more involved in the South China Sea, China’s strategy will become significantly more complicated. Recent signs indicate this may be starting. Tokyo recently carried out search-and-rescue drills with the Philippines, as well as other exercises with Southeast Asian states, flying an EP3 out of Palawan over parts of the South China Sea. Japan is also negotiating a visiting forces agreement with Manila to allow Japanese ships and planes to refuel and resupply in the Philippines. It is also offering to fund and supply ships and aircraft to the Philippine and Vietnamese coast guards and navies. And Tokyo and the United States have agreed in principle to carry out joint patrols in the South China Sea, perhaps as early as next year.

Japan has its own concerns about South China Sea claims. As an island nation with few natural resources, Japan’s economic lifelines can only pass through the seas — it has no land options. China’s expansion of activity in the waters, following its assertive activities in the East China Sea, have made it clear to Tokyo that there has been a real change in the Asia-Pacific and that Japan needs to secure its interests. While China has suggested it may accept continued U.S. patrols, it has also asserted that it absolutely cannot accept any role for Japan in the South China Sea, arguing that Japan has no legitimate claims or interests in the waters.

China’s kneejerk response against Japan is in part conditioned by Tokyo’s history of belligerent imperialism. More concretely, however, Beijing recognizes that Japan will have a freer hand in the Pacific than the globally committed United States. The United State is further limited because it, like China, is a nuclear power. Japan is not. This places a stopgap on escalation similar to the constraint on the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This also explains why Beijing has been so set against potential U.S. deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile systems in South Korea. This system would give U.S. missile defense reach onto the Asian mainland and, over time, potentially weaken the viability of a Chinese nuclear counterstrike capability.

China has pledged to not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state. If Beijing intends to uphold that pledge, its ability to threaten Japan is diminished. All of this adds up to a greater threat if Japan and the United States align in the South China Sea. A combined Japanese-U.S. force would be a far different challenge for China than any single force. China is now trying through numerous channels to make clear to the United States that Japan does not have the same constraints and may be willing to gamble with the U.S. security for its own interests. And Japanese aid to the Philippines, by extension, would embolden Manila to potentially trigger a short, sharp clash with China on a disputed islet, armed by Tokyo and able to rely on Washington to step in if things escalate.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #331 on: October 26, 2015, 09:45:49 PM »

Second post

http://www.stripes.com/news/uss-lassen-to-challenge-china-s-spratly-islands-claim-within-hours-1.375279
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 7501


« Reply #332 on: November 12, 2015, 09:46:30 AM »


This could easily go under Glibness in the South China Sea as my favorite Democrat, Walter Russel Mead, delicately points out weakness in the US position.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/11/10/mixed-u-s-messages-in-the-s-china-sea/

Mixed US Messages in the S. China Sea
The Pentagon has been sending mixed messages about whether it recently conducted a full freedom of navigation operation or a less assertive “innocent passage” operation in the South China Sea. Reuters reports:

A U.S. official speaking to Reuters last week described the patrols as an “innocent passage” operation, but later said that had been a mistake.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis insisted to reporters on Wednesday that the patrol was not an “innocent passage.” Pressed further on the issue on Thursday, he declined to explicitly restate that position or elaborate.

According to Hostra University law professor Julian Ku, an “innocent passage” operation by the U.S. would implicitly recognize that “China is entitled to a 12 nm (nautical mile) territorial sea around its artificial island on Subi Reef” and thus undermine the whole point of the operation.

Far be it from us to parse out technical details about naval maneuvers. It’s the messy messaging that concerns us. After months of waffling about whether to conduct the operation at all, the White House appeared to finally have made a decision. Now, the picture looks blurry again. The whole point of sailing within twelve miles of the artificial islands was to send a clear signal, so that signal had better be clear. Even if the U.S. did in fact conduct a complete freedom of navigation operation, stories like these only make the operation less effective.

Almost seven years into the current administration, you’d think the president would know how to make sure his officials are on the same page. The president and his advisors might disagree about the best course of action, but they would eventually come to work in concert. Yet that doesn’t appear to be how this administration operates.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #333 on: November 12, 2015, 09:49:12 AM »

Ugh  angry
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #334 on: November 12, 2015, 10:42:15 AM »

So shocked to hear this.  rolleyes
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #335 on: November 16, 2015, 11:59:23 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-philippines-obama-20151115-story.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=*Situation%20Report
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 7501


« Reply #336 on: November 20, 2015, 11:17:44 AM »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-tells-obama-to-keep-out-of-south-china-sea-disputes/ar-BBn9ho1?ocid=spartandhp
China tells Obama to keep out of South China Sea disputes

Shouldn't this be the other way around?
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #337 on: December 04, 2015, 08:18:51 AM »

A New High for U.S.-China Military Ties
Analysis
December 4, 2015 | 09:15 GMT Print

The guided missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) arrives at the Wusong military port in Shanghai on Nov. 16. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Forecast

    Even as tensions in the Pacific Rim increase, military ties between China and the United States will become tighter.
    China will continue to cooperate with the United States and Japan to establish mechanisms to manage crisis situations.
    U.S. arms sales to Taiwan near the start of 2016 will not lead China to suspend military relations with the United States.

Analysis

After reaching their apex in the final decade of the Cold War, military-to-military ties between China and the United States entered a two-decade tailspin. In the interlude, China emerged as a major power in the Pacific Rim. Now, with Beijing's regional heft at an all-time high, regional military tensions are elevated, especially in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. In this volatile environment, the United States and China are now looking to military relations as a tool for developing strategic trust, making accidents less likely and helping to manage them when they inevitably occur.

Since 2011, and especially since Xi Jinping assumed the presidency in China, the two sides have worked to rebuild their relationship. This process is now speeding up. On Nov. 19, the People's Liberation Army hosted a U.S. Army delegation in Beijing for the first meeting of the U.S.-China Army-to-Army Dialogue. The initiative was signed between the defense establishments in June and includes a raft of confidence-building measures. It is part of a trend that will continue even as military tensions grow in the Pacific Rim.

Highs and Lows

Military relations between China and the United States were at their height in the final decade of the Cold War. The foundation of the relationship was a shared interest in countering the power of the Soviet Union, Beijing's regional rival and Washington's global competitor. When Deng Xiaoping assumed power in 1979, Washington and Beijing formed an entente to counter Moscow. At the height of these relations, the United States sold military equipment to China and even agreed to transfer military technology to the People's Liberation Army, a move that would be unthinkable today. These technology transfers included a modern ammunition production line and an avionics upgrade for Chinese J-8 fighters. China reciprocated by allowing the United States to operate a listening post in the northwestern province of Xinjiang to collect data on Soviet nuclear tests.

This cordial relationship broke down suddenly when the Chinese military cracked down on protesters during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident, but its real decline was due to the crumbling of the Soviet Union. In response to Tiananmen, the administration of U.S. President George H.W. Bush cut military ties with China, suspended technology transfers and imposed sanctions that prohibited U.S. arms sales. These restrictions are still in place. But Beijing's crackdown on protesters was merely the catalyst. At the height of Sino-Soviet tensions, China's military had stared down more than 30 Soviet armored divisions to the north, as well as the threat of battle-hardened and Soviet-aligned Vietnam to the south. By 1989, however, the Soviet Union was already beginning to fall apart, bringing an end to the mutual threat that had united Washington and Beijing. As Soviet power collapsed, most of its forces on the border were withdrawn. With the former Soviet space in disarray, China no longer had to devote its resources to this long land border. Freed up from this obligation, China turned its attention to maritime disputes in the East and South China seas. The People's Liberation Army has also returned its focus to reunification with Taiwan, the most acute point of tension with the United States.

Though the end of the anti-Soviet entente made a decline in military ties inevitable, the degree to which they deteriorated was remarkable under the presidencies of both Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Efforts to mend the relationship began in 1993 with the resumption of military-to-military ties, but crises frequently disrupted progress, particularly the collision of a U.S. surveillance plane and Chinese fighter in April 2001 over the South China Sea. This collision, known as the Hainan Island incident, led the United States to once again suspend relations. Compared to the 1980s, China also became far more willing to cut ties to make a political point, frequently canceling planned visits and formal communications between the People's Liberation Army and U.S. military. These disruptions became Beijing's default response to major U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Beijing and Washington put in place several communications mechanisms during this period, including the Defense Telephone Link in 2007; these often went unused. Senior U.S. officials involved in the many Sino-American crises during this time recalled frustration with China's seeming unwillingness to answer phone calls. Unstable relations and unreliable communications made conflict resolution difficult at a time when increasing Chinese force projection capabilities made clashes between China and its neighbors more likely.

A New High

In recent years, the military-to-military relationship has begun to stabilize once again. Although it is by no means back to pre-1989 levels, neither country has canceled major military interactions since 2011. This improvement roughly corresponds with the start of Xi Jinping's tenure as vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, the military's core leadership body, in October 2010. He later became chairman in November 2012. This was an early indication of his interest in strengthening military-to-military relations during his presidency, which began in March 2013.

Under Xi, the People's Liberation Army has increased the frequency of joint drills with the U.S. military, culminating in the United States inviting the Chinese navy to participate in RIMPAC 2014, the world's largest multilateral naval exercise. This was a symbolic milestone. The People's Liberation Army also built up its regularized communication mechanisms with the U.S. military, including the army-to-army dialogue that kicked off in November. More critically, the Chinese military made a serious effort to establish and implement crisis management mechanisms. At the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium, the People's Liberation Army Navy agreed to abide by the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, which establishes common protocols for interactions between naval vessels to reduce accidents. In September, China signed a bilateral agreement with the United States governing air-to-air encounters as well as protocols governing the use of the Defense Telephone Link. The two navies are also set to hammer out a set of rules on ship-to-ship encounters in the near future.

What is most notable about these newly stabilized military-to-military ties is that they come during a period of tumult between China and the United States as well as China's neighbors. Under Xi, Chinese incursions in the Japanese-controlled Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands have increased. China also declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea while accelerating land reclamation in the South China Sea. This is partly due to the fact that the People's Liberation Army itself appears to have shifted its attitudes and now believes that military-to-military ties with the United States can bring it tangible benefits. At the same time, China's top political leadership now recognizes the need for more tools to manage disputes.

Above all, however, these changes are symptomatic of China growing into its role as a great power in all respects, including how it handles military relations. Like the Soviet Union, China is discovering that great powers need ways to manage crises with their potential military opponents — something uniquely important given China's increasingly global interests. There are diminishing returns to politicizing the U.S.-China military relationship. To do so would both raise the risk of a military crisis with the United States and make it politically easier to isolate China from regional security arrangements. This is doubly critical as Japan makes strides in military normalization that further complicate China's periphery.

China's commitment to stable military ties with the United States will be tested very soon. The first major Taiwan arms sale since 2011 is coming up, likely in December 2015 or January 2016. This will be especially important to watch given China's stock response to such deals under the previous two administrations: suspending U.S. military-to-military ties. The latest source information, however, indicates that China will likely only make pro forma responses of displeasure and not suspend ties. The Chinese leadership now highly values military-to-military ties and has made obtaining an invitation to RIMPAC 2016 a political priority. Although the bilateral military relationship will likely not return to the highs of the 1980s, it will remain much more robust and stable than that of the period between Tiananmen and the end of Hu Jintao's presidency.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13271


« Reply #338 on: December 10, 2015, 04:52:45 AM »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-tells-obama-to-keep-out-of-south-china-sea-disputes/ar-BBn9ho1?ocid=spartandhp
China tells Obama to keep out of South China Sea disputes

Shouldn't this be the other way around?

It would, before a fundamental transformation.

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/11/us-steadily-retreating-in-south-china-sea-dispute/

US ‘Steadily Retreating’ In South China Sea Dispute
By DEAN CHENG
on November 29, 2015 at 3:37 PM
USS Lassen China Freedom of Navigation
USS Lassen
Those of us who cover the US military in detail, those in the military and those who spend lots of time around the military tend to be at least mildly obsessed with Star Trek and Star Wars. As his opening make clear, Dean Cheng is truly one of the tribe. But his topic, freedom of the seas and how the US, China and other countries cope with the difficult calculus of Taiwan, China, the South China Sea and the larger questions of international law and trade — let alone what is right — is deadly serious. Read on. The Editor.

When the Jedi Council assembled in Star Wars Episode I “The Phantom Menace,” they discussed a prophecy that they would soon be joined by one who would “bring balance to the Force.” Little did they expect that the One would achieve this balance by collapsing the old order.

Reality now seems to be mirroring fiction, as the Administration steadily obscures what it means by the “rebalance” to Asia in the six weeks leading to the next episode of the “Star Wars” franchise. American B-52s and the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier battlegroup both operated in the South China Sea recently, providing ample opportunity to conduct operations within 12 nautical miles of China’s artificial islands, and clearly sending the message to Beijing and the world of the seriousness with which the United States takes freedom of the seas.

960117-N-7729M-002 (December 20, 1995).... The U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) conducts a weapons on-load with the ammunition ship USS Santa Barbara (AE 28) in the waters off the Virginia-Carolina  coast, following her post deployment yard period, at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Official U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd. Class  Michael Tuemler
USS Roosevelt
After a stymied ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus, where China battled hard to stop the group from taking any stance on the South China Sea, Southeast Asia is clearly becoming the focal point of growing tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. As China continues to challenge the United States on the competing principles of sovereignty and freedom of the seas, the reefs, spits, rocks, and islands in the Spratlys have become the center of the battle

For the Chinese, the point is simple. As a Chinese admiral observed recently in London, “The South China Sea, as the name indicates, is a sea area that belongs to China. And the sea from the Han dynasty a long time ago where the Chinese people have been working and producing from the sea.” The issue is one of sovereignty, not only over the land and submerged features, but the waters, the “blue soil” that is encompassed within the “nine-dash line,” now more prominently noted in recent Chinese maps.

For the United States, the point is almost equally straightforward. Washington takes no position on the disputes over sovereignty in the South China Sea, but it is firmly committed to the principle of freedom of the seas. All states may use the high seas as they see fit, as they are free for use by all. Conversely, no state may arbitrarily seek to lay claim to swathes of the ocean—and reefs do not exert any justification for territorial claims, even if one builds an artificial island atop it.

Ostensibly as a show of commitment to the principle of freedom of the seas, the USS Theodore Roosevelt operated in the South China Sea, providing a perfect venue for Secretary of Defense Carter to make a speech on this issue. This comes a fortnight after the Administration finally authorized a US ship to transit waters near China’s artificial islands, five months after it stated that American ships would sail where they wished, and three years after the last freedom of navigation operation (FONOP).

Unfortunately, if several recent reports are to be believed, these American ship transits are demonstrating not strength, but weakness.

As it turns out, the USS Lassen reportedly did not engage in a FONOPS to demonstrate that the islands China has built exert no right to territorial waters reaching out 12 nautical miles. Instead, the U.S. ship reportedly conducted “innocent passage,” turning off its radars and grounding its helicopters as it transited within 12 nautical miles of the islands. Undertaking “innocent passage” is done only in another nation’s territorial waters.

In short, the United States, by its actions, may have actually recognized China’s claims. If the reports are correct, the United States treated the artificial island atop Subi Reef as though it were a naturally occurring feature, and therefore entitled to a 12 nautical mile band of territorial water. This is precisely the opposite of what had been announced.

Further obscuring the message, Administration sources are now claiming that it was both a FONOP and “innocent passage,” because the American ship was transiting waters near other islands occupied by various other claimants as well as going near Subi Reef. It would appear that the Administration was more intent on placating domestic concerns (e.g., the Senate Armed Services Committee) than in sending a clear signal.

Now, according to reports, the USS Theodore Roosevelt did not even sail within 200 nautical miles of the Chinese islands, instead avoiding the waters around them entirely. Similarly, the American B-52s underscoring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea took care to never approach more than 15 nautical miles from the artificial Chinese islands.

It is the final step in a pivot of American statements and actions that have charted a steadily retreating course. It has proceeded like this:

from Secretary of Defense Carter’s declaration at Shangri-La this May that “the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as U.S. forces do all over the world;”
to the revelation to the Senate Armed Services Committee this summer that the United States, in fact, has not sailed or operated near China’s artificial islands for three years;
to the apparent concession on international law, five months later, by the Lassen’s “innocent passage” transit, effectively acceding to the Chinese version on the key principle of freedom of the seas;
to the apparent decision to have the USS Theodore Roosevelt and American B-52s avoid those waters and airspace altogether, a message that is being sent less than a month after the Lassen
Like it or not, the message that the White House is now repeatedly sending is that the United States, in fact, accepts that the Chinese artificial islands should be treated as national territory, like a natural feature. In short, the United States is acceding to China’s efforts to close off portions of the open ocean. Teddy Roosevelt’s catch-phrase, of course, was “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” To deliver this craven message via the routing of a ship named for him adds a grotesquely ironic twist to the decision.

No doubt the Obama Administration will claim that it is trying to send a different message. This would be less difficult than the White House’s feckless efforts would make it appear—American aircraft and ships should conduct normal activities within 12 nautical miles of a manmade feature built atop a reef. This could include aircraft fly-overs, helicopter operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, the operation of fire control radars, and loitering in those waters. But, as Yoda observed, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

Dean Cheng, one of the top US experts on the Chinese military and the PRC’s space program, is an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:06:53 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #339 on: December 17, 2015, 02:03:39 PM »

t didn’t take long for the Obama Administration to muddy the message it sent in October by sending a warship to challenge China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea. At the time U.S. officials promised regular follow-up “freedom of navigation” operations—two every three months, according to leaks to the press, including another this year. Now comes word that the next mission won’t come before January, if then.

Citing three U.S. defense officials, Reuters reports that the Administration is stalling while “weighing the risks of raising tensions with Beijing at a time when the United States is focused on the fight against Islamic State.” There’s always an excuse for indecision.

This summer the White House rebuffed Pentagon-proposed freedom-of-navigation missions for fear of spoiling the mood before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s September visit to Washington. After the summit President Obama gave the green light, but our sources say Secretary of State John Kerry was opposed, fearful of angering China before the recent climate talks in Paris.

U.S. patrols are supposed to signal that China’s claim to territorial waters around artificial islands has no basis in international law. They’re also supposed to be routine. But Mr. Obama is turning each one into a diplomatic drama that advertises American irresolution.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Abraham Denmark said this week that the “U.S. commitment to Asia should not be underestimated, and to do so would be a severe miscalculation.” We hope he’s right, and U.S. moves such as the recent deployment of P-8 reconnaissance aircraft to Singapore are helpful.

But conducting responsible, regular freedom-of-navigation patrols is a baseline responsibility. Wavering on this undermines all other U.S. efforts to deter Beijing and reassure everyone else.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #340 on: December 19, 2015, 10:25:45 AM »

WSJ 


U.S. Bomber Flies Over Waters Claimed by China

Beijing files diplomatic protest over the B-52 flight; Pentagon claims route was unintentional
 

A photo from November 2014 showing structures China has built on Cuarteron Reef. ENLARGE   
A photo from November 2014 showing structures China has built on Cuarteron Reef.  Photo:  CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe 
by  Jeremy Page in Beijing and Gordon Lubold in Manama, Bahrain

Updated Dec. 18, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET
 
 
An American B-52 bomber on a routine mission over the South China Sea unintentionally flew within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China, senior defense officials said, exacerbating a hotly divisive issue for Washington and Beijing.

Pentagon officials told The Wall Street Journal they are investigating why one of two B-52s on the mission last week flew closer than planned to Cuarteron Reef in the Spratly Islands, an area where China and its neighbors have competing territorial claims. A senior U.S. defense official said that bad weather had contributed to the pilot flying off course and into the area claimed by China.

Beijing filed a formal diplomatic complaint with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which prompted the Pentagon to look into the matter.

The flight comes amid rising tensions over China’s island-building program and U.S. operations to challenge Beijing’s broad but vaguely defined claims in the area.

In late October, a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of another Chinese-built island in the Spratlys. Two American B-52s also flew close to the islands last month but didn’t go within 12 nautical miles, a boundary marking a country’s territorial waters.

In sending a warship within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, Washington has upped the ante in a contest over the future of one of the world’s most important waterways. Andrew Browne explains why the dispute is far more than just a battle over a reef. (Originally published Oct. 27, 2015)
.
Unlike those patrols, the route taken by the B-52 this week wasn’t planned, according to the Pentagon. “For this mission, there was no intention of flying to within 12 nautical miles,” said Cmdr.  Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman.

“The Chinese have raised concerns with us about the flight path of a recent mission,” he said. “We are looking into the matter.”

China’s Defense Ministry said that both of the American B-52 bombers on Dec. 10 “entered without authorization the airspace around the relevant islands and reefs” of the Spratlys, but didn’t specify the precise area.

The ministry said this and other U.S. operations in the area were “serious military provocations” that endangered Chinese personnel and could cause the militarization of the South China Sea. It added that the Chinese military would take “all necessary measures” to protect China’s sovereignty.

The incident is diplomatically awkward for the White House, which is trying to maintain stable ties with the world’s No. 2 economy while responding to pressure from U.S. allies in Asia, as well as the Pentagon and Congress, to push back against Beijing’s recent military assertiveness.

 

   ENLARGE   
   
.
Aside from the South China Sea, other security issues roiling relations included alleged cyberattacks by China on the U.S.

On Wednesday, Beijing lodged another formal protest after the U.S. approved a $1.83 billion arms sale to Taiwan, an island that China claims but doesn’t control.

Cuarteron lies about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of China’s Hainan island. Since mid-2014, reclamation has expanded the reef by more than 230,000 square meters (57 acres); it now includes two helipads, possible gun or missile emplacements and two possible radar towers, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Washington has grown alarmed at the speed at which China’s artificial islands have expanded—from a total of 2,000 acres earlier this year to more than 3,000 acres by September, according to Defense Department documents.

Cuarteron is one of seven rocks and reefs in the Spratlys where China has built artificial islands in the past year, as part of what neighbors fear is a program to better enforce its claims and establish control over one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

China says it guarantees freedom of navigation, but has “indisputable” sovereignty over all South China Sea islands and adjacent waters. It says the new facilities are for civilian purposes such as weather monitoring, as well as national defense.

Many maritime law experts categorize Cuarteron as a rock rather than a reef, a difference that some maritime experts say figures into Washington’s strategy in the South China Sea.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, natural islands and rocks are entitled to territorial seas stretching out 12 nautical miles, whereas most reefs that are submerged at high tide aren’t.

Thus, some maritime experts say Washington had planned to focus its overflights and ship passages on Chinese installations built on such reefs.

Cmdr. Urban said the Pentagon didn’t consider this week’s B-52 flight to be a freedom of navigation operation. The term is used by the Pentagon to describe missions meant to challenge what the U.S. sees as excessive claims to territorial waters.

Cmdr. Urban said Chinese personnel on the ground warned the aircraft during the flight but there was no indication that the Chinese military had scrambled jet fighters. He declined to say whether any disciplinary action had been taken or if other flights had been grounded.

While the U.S. says it doesn’t take sides in the territorial dispute, U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary  Ash Carter, have said the U.S. will fly or sail wherever it believes international law permits.

The U.S. conducts routine B-52 flights from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam throughout the Asia-Pacific region under a program known as “continuous bomber presence” started in 2004 to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to security in the region.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4991


« Reply #341 on: January 25, 2016, 10:35:44 AM »

So why did we give tax payer money for a bailout of GM for?  For this?

http://qz.com/594984/the-secret-history-of-gms-chinese-bailout/?utm_source=YPL
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 35890


« Reply #342 on: January 31, 2016, 03:02:55 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/pentagon-conducts-warship-passage-near-disputed-island/
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!