Lessons from Paracels XVIII: Kungfu Panda

China's military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

China’s military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

China strikes back at the annual internattional military and geo-political forum Shangri-La Dialogue 2014, against what it deemed as United States and Japan instigating Asian nations to gang up against the Asian Super Power which has been seen as very agressive and  the ‘neighbourhood bully’.

The Channel News Asia story:

China denounces US, Japan for “provocative” remarks

POSTED: 01 Jun 2014 10:25

PHOTOSVIDEOS

Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Wang Guanzhong speaks during the fourth plenary session at the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) in Singapore. (AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)
ENLARGECAPTION
SINGAPORE: China strongly denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel Sunday for “provocative” remarks accusing Beijing of destabilising actions in contested regional waters.

Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), told an Asian security forum in Singapore that the comments had been “unacceptable”.

Abe opened the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday by urging countries to respect the rule of law — an apparent reference to perceived Chinese aggression over disputed islets in the South and East China seas.

Hagel followed on Saturday by warning China against “destabilising actions” in the South China Sea and listed a number of alleged infractions, including against the Philippines and Vietnam.

“The Chinese delegation… have this feeling that the speeches of Mr Abe and Mr Hagel are a provocative action against China,” said Wang, dressed in full military regalia.

He cast aside his prepared speech and said he needed to respond to the remarks, accusing Abe and Hagel of “coordinating” with each other to attack China at the conference.

“This is simply unimaginable,” said Wang, the highest ranking military official in the Chinese delegation, adding that the speeches were “unacceptable and not in the spirit of this Shangri-La Dialogue”.

“The speeches made by Mr Abe and Mr Hagel gave me the impression that they coordinated with each other, they supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first… and staged provocative actions and challenges against China,” he said.

Stressing US commitments to allies and friends in Asia, Hagel had called for a peaceful resolution of maritime disputes and issued a blunt message to Bejing.

“In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” the Pentagon chief said.

He accused China of restricting the Philippines’ access to Scarborough Shoal, putting pressure on Manila’s long-standing presence in Second Thomas Shoal, beginning land reclamation at various locations and moving an oil rig into disputed waters with Vietnam.

Hagel said that while the United States does not take sides on rival claims, “we firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims”.

“The United States will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged,” he warned.

Abe pledged that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia, as his administration moves to reshape the Japanese military’s purely defensive stance.

Laying out a vision of Tokyo as a counterweight to the growing might of China but without naming any country, Abe offered Japan’s help to regional allies “to ensure security of the seas and skies”.

He said Japan and the US stood ready to bolster security cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote peace.

“Japan intends to play an even greater and more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain,” Abe said.

China is locked in heated disputes with various Southeast Asian countries over waters and territories in the South China Sea.

Beijing and Tokyo also contest islands in the East China Sea.

Wang said he preferred Hagel’s directness by directly naming China, compared to Abe who did not mention any country.

“If I am to compare the attitude of the two leaders, I would prefer the attitude of Mr Hagel. It is better to be more direct,” he said.

“He (Abe) may name the (country) or not but all the audience know that he was targeting China.”

– AFP/ac

***************

The fact is that China is bad in playing this geo-political opera. PLA Navy (PLAN) have had serious military stand off with Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and proven to use military might as a projection of force to Malaysia.

China has been proven to be the ‘aggressor’ around the region, South China Sea and Sea of Japan. This is not withstanding the fact that China invaded Paracel islands in Jnauary 1974.

United States and Japan are allies, at the moment have the necessary assets and resources, confidence and clout to stand against the might of PLAN.

China’s CNOPC mobilise this oil rig right in Vietnamese EEZ, early May 2014

Gen. Wang should present indisputable facts about “United States and Japan are being provocative”, rather than just a mere soundbite as a geo-political reaction. He should start with the mobilisation of the USD 1 billion oil rig into disputed territories, which should be deemed part of Vietnamese EEZ in the first place.

Then he and Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying should also substantiate the claims and rights on the imaginary ‘Nine-Dash-Line’, which trespass the EEZ areas provided under United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Signatories to the DOC

Signatories to the DOC

Gen. Wang and Madam Fu should also explain why China has demonstrated blatant disregard towards the Document of Conduct (DOC) which it signed with ASEAN nations in November 2002. The agreement inked in Phnom Penh stipulated that issues pertaining to multiple claims and disputed borders were agreed to be resolved through diplomatic means and talks using principles of UNCLOS.

Whilst at it, they should also present China’s case on why it vehemently rejected the Philippines move to bring the case of Scarborough Shoal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.

A detailed map of China's claims into ASEAN nations' EEZ

A detailed map of China’s claims into ASEAN nations’ EEZ

This crude attempt to play the geo-political game demonstrated China’s gross self-serving arrogant attitude and blatant disregard for others. The thought that on its own is already, somewhat “Provocative”.

Published in: on June 1, 2014 at 22:00  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I sometimes wonder if, among the Chinese, the left arm does not what the right hand is doing. And who is in charge in China – the military or the civilians. And who takes precedence in international affairs generally and in such an IISS conference in Singapore. And does the Chinese Military consult and listens to the Chinese President.

    It’s dangerous if they don’t. It’s dangerous if they do. In cases like the above, it reflects that what the Chinese General said represents the collective views of all arms of the Chinese Government, and especially, of the Chinese President. Despite the General casting the prepared speech aside when he said all those.

    Yet it may not be so. Saying, “The speeches made by Mr Abe and Mr Hagel gave me the impression that they coordinated with each other, they supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first… and staged provocative actions and challenges against China,” the General sounds unwitting, to say the least.

    Didn’t the Chinese General read history on the arrangements made between the Allied powers that led to Japan having a war-renouncing Constitution and US commitment to defend Japan in the event of any threat or attack? It’s simple logic that even a schoolboy knows that Mr Abe and Mr Hagel would have talked along the same line, or even specifically consulted and coordinated with each other on the line they would take at the conference.

    The questions now are: If the departing-from-script Chinese General was “blowing his head off” and became out of line with the official position of the Chinese Government, would any action be taken against him? Is there an official (declared) and an unofficial (undeclared) policy of the Chinese Government concerning the East China and South China Seas? And what exactly is the undeclared policy of the Chinese Government?

    • I read that during Mao Zedong’s time the Defence Minister Li Peng or something tried to topple the old man. The crafty devil organized the so-called Cultural Revolution in the 1960s “giving freedom, allowing everybody to say anything they want anywhere”. Then he found out that his own wife was part of the plot they called “The Gang of Four” to oust Mao.

      Don’t remember whether they were sent to the gallows or faced the firing squad or lined up on the streets, hands tied, dragged in line by a rope, and hurled abuses along the way by the “Red Guards” who did the same to their teachers, professors, even their own parents, all over the country.

      That’s communists for you.

  2. And the General saying that “If I am to compare the attitude of the two leaders, I would prefer the attitude of Mr Hagel .. better to be more direct,” and “He (Abe) may name the (country) or not but all the audience know that he was targeting China” made him look like he was talking to himself. And tempted me to revise my polite word of “unwitting” used in the earlier comment to another more fitting.

    Of course he would want to put the message that he is against the small country, war-renouncing Japan, that he thought China could bully, not so much US, the world Super Power. He must have been fully aware that the Chinese Ambassador to US admitted to CNN only some months ago that China is not a Super Power, only “a developing nation”.

    I’m damn glad that Hagel on Saturday warned China against “destabilising actions” in the South China Sea and listed a number of alleged infractions, including against the Philippines and Vietnam. And who can positively and validly say that US would look the other way if China’s bullying reaches a proportion deemed threatening etc – Hagel has specifically said that US won’t do so at the conference or dialogue.

    And now the Chinese General could only say “The Chinese delegation… have this feeling that the speeches of Mr Abe and Mr Hagel are a provocative action against China.” Of course completely disregarding the question of who started the “provocative action” in the East China and the South China Seas that must have existed in the minds of all the others at the conference.

    China being one of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, the General should be able to imagine what UN Sec Gen Ban Kim Moon felt when he could only say “unacceptable” to certain peace-threatening world situations, like the General said of Abe’s words and Hagel’s warning at the Singapore conference.

    • Reuters reported that when Japan’s Defence Minister greeted the General at the regional security forum this weekend, he was undiplomatically snubbed.

      What was in his mind? China the “Middle Kingdom”, the only civilized nation all others around them barbarians? He should check with History Pofessor Wang Gung Wu, who is now in Singapore, who said that that was not true and the Chinese themselves found that out themselves long ago.

      I read somewhere China was going to put out their concept of regional security at the dialogue. But I have not seen them do it yet.

  3. I don’t think it’s a case of Chinese politicians posturing to get votes, otherwise known as talking “for domestic consumption” in China. Because China is a communist country, any election to the Consultative body is staged and the Military representatives in the Politbureau, the highest decision-making body in China, are appointed by the President,

    And the General bloke being the Military No.2 sure has his place assured. So, what he said represents the stand of the Chinese Government. I feel like being irresponsible and start talking of them in shit language. I can, can’t I? I am not a member of the Malaysian Government, don’t belong to any organization of standing and I stand just on my own. But I won’t – out of respect for BD and readers here.

    But it’s nauseating reading about the irresponsible behaviour of the Chinese in the South China Sea every now and then. I’ll just say: you damn communist Chingkies, I wish a huge catastrophe of unmanageable proportions will befall China and wreak havoc to half your country so that you never can bully anybody any more. And if I am PAS, I’d organize sembahyang hajat special prayers for your nuclear stockpile to accidentally blow up in a few places in your country.

    Well, having said those and run out of my tea time break, I’d get back to work now.

  4. Under UN Law of the Sea when it comes to over-lapping claims the parties involved must find a way to share the loot. The Philippines was one of the major Island States that pushed for the Archipelago Concept where the EEZ can also be drawn from the outer most Island of the state concerned. That is why you find that Vietnam is making a claim 150 KM from its coast and China 17Km from its outer most Island.

  5. Who says the US not doing anything with Malaysia in the light of Chinese bullying in the South China Sea?

    The US Air Base at Westfield announced that the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base is sending aircraft and personnel to Malaysia for a three-week multinational exercise.

    More than 100 members of the base and F-15 Eagle aircraft will be taking part in the exercise, which is called Cope Taufan. Guard members will be involved in operations alongside active duty F-22 Raptor aircraft and multinational Mig-29 and Su-27 aircraft operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

    Well, some preparation is being made to face the possible “Taufan”. And if the Americans are doing that now, who says they won’t come to Malaysia’s aid if and when necessary in the event of a real taufan.

  6. […] ganging-up against China, where United States and the Philippines saw the most populous nation with the largest armed forces personnel reacted aggressively in a geo-political military and diplomacy forum a few months […]

  7. […] Japan started to exert herself into the clout of anti-China sentiments around Asia. Despite China’s strong opposition, Japan has continued on the new policy which would see a balance to China’s military might in […]


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