Lessons from Paracels XXI: Bald eagle challenging the protogonistic panda

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards, with the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ unsubstantiated claims

United States is considering to deploy the US Navy around the disputed are of multiple claims in South China Sea, as a projection of force in an international waters which China claimed to be part of ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

CNN.com story:

China cautions U.S. Navy on patrols in South China Sea

By Brad Lendon and Jim Sciutto, CNN
Updated 0106 GMT (0806 HKT) May 14, 2015

Source: CNN

150511-N-VO234-286 SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released)
U.S. considering surveillance of South China Sea

150511-N-VO234-286 SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released)
U.S. considering surveillance of South China Sea

Story highlights
South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival territorial claims
U.S. considers deploying aircraft and ships to contest Chinese claims to disputed islands
China cautions U.S. it doesn’t have “free access” to China’s territorial waters
Washington (CNN)The U.S. is considering deploying aircraft and ships to contest Chinese claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Options are on the table to fly surveillance aircraft and sail Navy ships nearby in a move that puts the U.S. directly into a contentious territorial contest in East Asia, in which, until now, the U.S. has avoided overtly taking sides.

The South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival — often messy — territorial claims, with China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam disputing sovereignty of several island chains and nearby waters.

China on Wednesday cautioned the U.S. against taking any actions that might be considered provocative, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news service.

While Beijing supports freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the U.S. must be careful in how it uses that right, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the report.

“Freedom of navigation does not give one country’s military aircraft and ships free access to another country’s territorial waters and airspace,” Hua is quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.

A U.S. Navy statement Wednesday said the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth arrived for resupply in the Philippines after completing a weeklong patrol in the South China Sea that took it near the disputed Spratly Islands.

The Navy said it was the first time an LCS, one of the newest vessels in the U.S. fleet, had operated in international waters near the islands. The Spratlys have been claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, according to the U.S. State Department.

“As part of our strategic rebalance to bring our newest and most capable Navy platforms to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, (the LCSs have) a regular presence in Southeast Asia. Routine operations like the one Fort Worth just completed in the South China Sea will be the new normal as we welcome four LCSs to the region in the coming years,” Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore of the Navy’s Destroyer Squadron 7, said in the Navy release.

The Navy said the Fort Worth came across “multiple” Chinese warships during its patrol. A photo released by the Navy showed the Fort Worth being trailed by a Chinese guided-missile frigate, the Yancheng.

“Our interactions with Chinese ships continue to be professional,” the commander of the Fort Worth, Cmdr. Matt Kawas, said in the statement.

China building ‘Great Wall of Sand’ in South China Sea
China building ‘Great Wall of Sand’ in South China Sea 02:12
Kawas said his vessel followed the international Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea to “clarify intentions and prevent miscommunication” with the Chinese ships.

Tensions over the Spratlys have increased in recent months as China has built facilities on five reclaimed-land sites in the islands, including a 10,000-foot (3,050-meter) airstrip.

James Hardy, editor of Jane’s Asia Pacific, told CNN in February that China was executing “a methodical, well-planned campaign to create a chain of air and sea capable fortresses across the center of the Spratly Islands chain.”

The disputed areas in the islands include fertile fishing grounds and potentially rich reserves of undersea natural resources.

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

PLAN building a permanent airstrip and jetty in an atoll which was illegally occupied and contravened the UNCLOS

PLAN building a permanent airstrip and jetty in an atoll which was illegally occupied and contravened the UNCLOS

This projection of force by US Navy is one of the reaction welcome by some of the countries which is affected by China’s aggressive military maneurvres. China’s expansionary attitude and doctrine is well demonstrated by PLA Navy (PLAN) operations within the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

In March, China has been caught to been building permanent airstrips and jetties which suggest that this ‘occupied’ atolls would be used as a forward base for PLAN troops and assets.

Published in: on May 14, 2015 at 12:00  Comments (19)  

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19 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a subject on which we should give endless whackings. No matter how many posts Big Dog produces in this series. Because China is a big bully.

    It looks like it’s because of its new-found power, economically and militarily. China used to be bullied by so many parties throughout its history. Invaded and ruled by the Mongols for nearly a century, by the Manchus for several centuries until the 20th Century, forced by the British to take opium for their goods leading to the Opium War, other Europeans like the French and the Germans too during the period called the “Unequal Treaties”, the Japanese bullied them not only in China but also in Manchuria, China was regarded by the West as a pariah during communist rule under Mao Zedong until only 1-2 decades ago.

    They have never tasted power until now. For a long period of time calling themselves “the Middle Kingdom” and regarded others as “barbarians”, largely because they have no contact with the outside world until the Europeans brought guns against them on their shores.

    But in recent times they see Russian nasty acts on Ukraine, taking Crimea away and annexing it. US has too many responsibilities, Britain has reduced their military strength, having only one nuclear powered submarine in operation now, France relatively quiet over the Ukraine issue and the German Chancellor still went to Moscow despite others boycotting the Russian World War II commemoration military parade.

    All these factors must have contributed to the Chinese bullying in the South China Sea. Small nations with interest on the islands that China are claiming and even building air strips and jetties to exhibit their presence can only, and must, speak up, band together and shout against such acts of China. Yes, the bald eagle may be challenging the panda. But we must echo their shouts and shout on our own, too.

    • No justification at all. Malaysian ships can also engage the Chinese ships in the South China Sea. In a professional manner, like said by the commander of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth.

      Following the international “Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea” to “clarify intentions and prevent miscommunication” with the Chinese ships. Whatever that means. But our Navy are professional and we trust them.

    • The report said the US warship Fort Worth was being trailed by a Chinese guided-missile frigate, the Yancheng.

      I think the US Littoral Combat Ships are also armed with guided missiles. US has had guided missiles for ages, used them in the Iraq War 10 years ago. Maybe they have newer weapons fitted – these are new class of warships built by the US Navy.

      That should give us some comfort. It helps in protecting our interests in the South China Sea. I was hoping the talk some time back about US ships being stationed(?) in Sabah would materialize.

    • China’s so called “Nine-Dash-Line” looks like a nasty tongue trying to lick up areas not belonging to them. On what basis do they make their claims, Pwincess found it difficult to understand as there are no legal basis at all. They claimed the area just because some of their past leaders unilaterally draw the line on their map? Wow, they might as well claim up to New Zealand by reasoning that since there is a Chinatown in Auckland, that is a “proof” that Chinese explorers had ventured that far south.

      Pwincess thinks what China is currently doing is to establish its presence in the areas it claimed. It wants to have this “evidence on the ground” effect and to conduct a titre de souverain by constructing illegal structures, land reclamation and then conducting patrols. Soon, they might as well impose the unilateral air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over these areas, just like what they did to Japan (then they shout on top of their lungs when Shinzo Abe toying with a more self-determinant Japan when it comes to defence matters). On the diplomatic front, China kept on singing all the nice songs about togetherness but is observed to be very keen to “break and rule” ASEAN when it comes to the territorial disputes in South China Sea and pushing for direct negotiations with the countries involved rather than with ASEAN as a whole. China kept on saying that it doesn’t want the dispute to be internationalised. Why? Manila and Hanoi have been very vocal so far, and Beijing even chastised Manila for dragging the dispute to an international tribunal. What other courses of action do the Philippines has in facing China?

      Some, especially in China might argue that other countries are also building structures in the contested areas but one glaring difference is that, these countries build those structures on islands/atolls or rocks that are within their EEZs as stipulated in UNCLOS, unlike China (well, some of the Paracels might be within their EEZ but not the whole bloody South China Sea!). But then again, look at what happened to Tibet, if they can do that in the past, there is no way they won’t do it again if they think they must “annexed” the entire South China Sea based on their deluded map(s).

      China is like a big bully whose teeth is softer than its gum when it talks about the South China Sea disputes.

      Love,
      Pwincess.

  2. Nonsense to be claiming territorial waters almost to the shores of Sabah and the Palawan Island of the Philippines. On the very boundary of our 12 mile territorial waters? Utterly ridiculous.

    Been said before and must be repeated again and again – UNCLOS says we have rights to 200 miles EEZ – Exclusive Economic Zone. Question is: who is going to enforce those rights? When the PLAN ships prowl menacingly in those waters. But challenge we must. Especially when they encroach our territorial waters. Using maps that never existed elsewhere except in their ancient archives.

    The UN has appeared powerless in recent times. Largely because Russia and China are two of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council. The Russians got away with annexing Crimea.

    No doubt since then Vladimir Putin has been a little jittery – even attended a conference in Australia bringing a warship along some time ago. And maybe believing that the West might suddenly attack them some day. Been busy sending their warships and fighter jets in and above the English Channel, scrambled to by British fighter jets on 1-2 occasions. And very recently the British conducted war games in the North Sea with the Americans. Of course, keenly snooped by the Russians.

    China must be dragged to the UN agencies concerned for a resolution of the South China Sea claims. The Philippines has a case ongoing, I think. Malaysia and Asean must support that. There must be one voice in Asean in order that the small fry members’ voices can be felt. Those that do not have similar claims may have other issues that need help in the course of time. Getting the Malaysian Government to focus on getting Asean united voice on the Sputh China Sea issue is one of the things we need to keep on shouting about.

    • “Using maps that never existed elsewhere except in their ancient archives.”

      We can do better. We can claim Taiwan because, better than having unverifiable ancient maps, we have members of the Rumpun Melayu living in Taiwan since ancient times, well before the Mainland Chinese migrated there. The language they use until to day is a member of the Keluarga Besar Bahasa Melayu.

      This has been verified and proven by scholars, including linguistic experts – those who have found numerous evidence that the Malays originated from the islands of the Malay Archipelago, not from Yunan. Read the books, “The Malay Civilization” and “Tamadun Alam Melayu”, published by the Historical Society of Malaysia, available at Wisma Sejarah, opposite IJN, Jalan Tun A Razak, KL.

  3. I like the statement by the US Navy –

    “As part of our strategic rebalance to bring our newest and most capable Navy platforms to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, (the LCSs – Littoral Combat Ships – have) a regular presence in Southeast Asia.

    “Routine operations like the one Fort Worth just completed in the South China Sea will be the new normal as we welcome four LCSs to the region in the coming years,” Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore of the Navy’s Destroyer Squadron 7, said in the Navy release.

    Strategic rebalance, they said. Will be the new norm, they said. Sure the US is not going to sit idle while the Chinese enjoy the spoils. Making sand islands for fighter jet runways and warship jetties is a lot of spoiling. Both the physical features, the political and military atmosphere of the area. Must not be allowed to go on unhindered.

  4. I agree

  5. Will there be World War III starting from South China Sea? Well, let’s see.

    If the Bald Eagle is led by stupid hawks like George W Bush, it’s a real possibility.

    Since World War II, there has been the Korean War (China also involved), the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Iraq War and numerous hot spots, the latest being in Ukraine. Thank God, they didn’t escalate into a World War.

    UN has existed for about 70 years with varying degrees of influence but no control over those bent on war. When Zionist-goaded stupid George W Bush could not get many countries to join in attacking Iraq, he got not-so-stupid but rather daft Tony Blair and a few others in a “Coalition of the Willing” to bomb Iraq.

    But what if the international “Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea” to “clarify intentions and prevent miscommunication” does bring a miscommunication and a trigger happy Commie Naval Commander gives the word “Fire” to his crew in the South China Sea? Difficult to imagine but not an impossibility, isn’t it?

    Didn’t the shot that killed Archduke Ferdinand of Austria start World War I? Won’t happen again? World War II was started by a crazy racist bent on creating an Aryan Master Race? But those in “the Middle Kingdom” calling others “barbarians” no longer thinking so? Let’s hope so.

    • Will World War III lead to total destruction of the world? Of mankind, too? Maybe not. Maybe almost.

      My layman’s opinion: it depends on how many Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) c/w nuclear warheads there are in the world now. Whether those signatories to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) cheat or not in their stocks. Whether China (non-signatory) has plenty – they nave nuclear bombs but their inter-continental delivery system may be doubtful despite having sent rockets to outer space.

      Also on the efficiency of the so-called STAR War capabilities. Knocking out the satellites that control the ICBMs delivery systems.

      And on the number of aircraft carriers plying the seas around the world. China has only one, on trial run some months ago.

      It will take a lot of bombs to annihilate the 1.2 billion Chinese in China. So, the issue of total destruction does not arise.

  6. But can we just live on plain hope? We must have good analysis, forecasts, expert interpretation of events and intentions of those in the “potential theatre of war”. I welcome those expert views here.

    Our Armed Forces personnel, bound by rules and regulations of service, would understandably not likely say anything in public. But those who have conversations with them may want to share their views in here – without disclosing military or defence secrets, but perhaps just opinions on the possibility of flare ups in the South China Sea and what are the likely reactions of those involved, including countries having vested interests in the area, and of Asean.

    Or just indicate to us here what to google to get reliably good analysis, interpretations and forecasts of the outcome in the South China Sea. Particularly the extent the Chinese would go to achieve whatever objective(s) they now have on the area.

  7. An article in National Review asks, “Could U.S. Brinksmanship in the South China Sea Mean War with Beijing?” Here are extracts:

    “The security world” is buzzing over a Wall Street Journal article that the Obama administration is considering sending U.S. naval vessels and military planes into the 12-mile territorial limit of China’s newly reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.

    If adopted, the U.S. moves could lead to the most direct response yet to China’s policies in Asia — but they could also spark an armed encounter between U.S. and Chinese forces pretty soon.

    U.S. Navy leaders, including the current and incoming commanders of Pacific Command, Admirals Samuel Locklear and Harry Harris, have long warned that China’s reclamation activities are moving it toward de facto control over the Spratlys.

    Next, China may declare an air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the Spratlys, if not the entire South China Sea, thus complementing the one it established over the Senkaku Islands and a large swath of the East China Sea in late 2013.

  8. Are the 4 Littoral Combat Ships above part of the move in answering the call? Not yet in the “12 mile territorial waters” of the islands? Whatever it is, we all in this area should welcome their presence.

    No doubt China has called the U.S. actions as “risky and provocative.”
    But China should not be allowed to act willy nally. Here are more views given in the article:

    US may be testing the territorial limits China has claimed. If not challenged, likely that China will push ahead with putting military installations on the islands.

    A face-off on the sea or, worse, in the air may be inevitable (possibly precipitated by an aggressive Chinese pilot or captain). U.S. forces will need absolutely clear rules of engagement to ensure that any Chinese responses are parried and any accidents are avoided or contained.

    Beijing failed to defend the provocative ADIZ it claimed in the East China Sea after U.S. and Japanese jets flew through it, leading many to discount Beijing’s will.

    In the South China Sea, the stakes are higher, given China’s steady attempts to assert claims over the entire region. Yet it is manifestly in Beijing’s interest not to provoke a conflict with the U.S. Navy and Air Force.

    China may have miscalculated, assuming that no real response would be forthcoming from an administration that has so far avoided doing anything to antagonize it.

    It is up to the Obama administration to make the first move, but if it does so, then the risks of an armed encounter with China rise significantly over the next few months.

    If it does not, then Asian nations will find themselves with an emboldened China pushing ever more expansionist claims. With an already boiling Middle East and Eastern Europe, East Asia may now get added to the list of crisis hotspots.

    I fully support US take those moves, So, we be on our nerves in the next few months? Note that a face-off may be “possibly precipitated by an aggressive Chinese pilot or captain”.

    • Maybe lack of nuclear warhead-fitted ICBM and aircraft carrier strength had made China not defend the air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) they claimed in the East China Sea after U.S. and Japanese jets flew through it in 2013.

      And likely to be so in the South China Sea in the foreseeable future.

  9. The following news headlines show the South China Sea problem will continue to irritate and even exasperate us:

    – U.S. allies and friends around the South China Sea look to the United States to ..- Council on Foreign Relations … http://www.cfr.org/

    – Several U.S. allies in the region have been privately urging the White House to do more to challenge Chinese behavior, http://www.zerohedge.com/...

    – US’s John Kerry (in Beijing) warns China over land disputes
    BBC News‎ – 7 hours ago

    – China not backing down on South China Sea dispute as US …
    http://www.theguardian.com
    5 hours ago – China urges caution from US over South China Sea disputes … to speed up talks with ASEAN on guidelines for handling maritime activity in disputed areas. …

    John Kerry is due to hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    His visit comes as the Indian PM Narendra Modi ends his visit to China. Modi and China’s Premier Li Keqiang said they agreed to seek a “fair resolution” to their border disputes.

    So, India also has border disputes with China. India is not a nuclear power but has people power. The 1+ billion population there is a huge potential market. But we in South East Asia have nearly half a billion. We need to speak up. Under ASEAN.

    • .

  10. .

  11. “Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the later than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

    There are 3 major determinants when dealing with strategy and operational planning. They are TIME, SPACE and FORCE.

    In any potential localize, short term campaign in the Spratly against the Chinese, we used to have the advantage of Time and Space. That in itself is a major contributors to our conventional deterrence capability.

    With the completion of these airstrips and other facilities, we will be at significant disadvantages in all three areas. Which then means the Chinese can impose their will onto us with impunity.

    There are good reason why the air force is pushing for the recapitalization of our fighter jets (the MiGs), otherwise known as “Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) Replacement program and the navy with their SGPV-LCS (which appeared to have fared slightly better in term of allocation).

    While the current leadership consider this non-vote generating expenditures as low priority, hence the continuous delay; the Chinese are moving forward with their plan.

  12. […] would brought about a reaction in the projection of force by China. More than six months ago, United States already has been warned about military manoeuvres in the disputed […]


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