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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 18th Sep 2018, 14:28
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Japan holds anti-submarine warfare exercise near the disputed Scarborough Shoal. China not amused...
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 06:57
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a...ific-5l7zgmzbs

Australia and US move to counter China in Pacific

Australia is to reopen a vast Pacific military base used by the US in the Second World War as it seeks to counter Chinese expansionism in the region. The Lombrum naval facility, carved out of jungle on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, is to be rebuilt amid fears that China is trying to establish control over key shipping and naval routes.

Australian defence officials have completed a secret study of the base and secured the support of Peter O’Neill, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, for the project. The Australian government has set aside tens of millions of dollars to redevelop the site to enable it to service large warships, both Australian and American. If the Chinese military were to gain control of Lombrum it would have a foothold in the Pacific barely 600 miles from Australia’s northern tip.

The government in Canberra, aware that the US navy is anxious to have warships permanently based in the region, is believed to have approached the Pentagon for its support on the redevelopment. US warships, including aircraft carriers, already make regular calls to Australian ports but there is no permanent American naval facility in the country. It is expected that Lombrum will be jointly controlled by Australia and Papua New Guinea but will also host the US navy. Three years ago, US navy chiefs admitted that they had begun discussions with the Australian defence force about the possibility of having American warships based in Australia. At its wartime peak, Lombrum hosted 800 ships, four airfields, living quarters for 150,000 troops, fuel depots and a 3,000-bed hospital. It was a critical in the offensive by the Americans against Japan in 1944.

Alarm bells started ringing in Canberra when it emerged that China was funding the development of four ports in Papua New Guinea. Marise Payne, Australia’s new foreign minister, declined to comment on the proposed reactivation of the base but said that Australia supported the island nation’s ambitions “for greater economic growth and development, including on Manus Island”. At a meeting of Pacific leaders last month she suggested that China was making one sided deals with weaker Pacific island nations, some of which are now heavily indebted to Beijing, saying: “Countries will make their own sovereign decisions about arrangements they enter into … but the benchmark that Australia places on this is one of engagement and partnership.”

Michael Shoebridge, director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former defence department official, said using Manus Island “makes good sense”. He added: “It would help give the US a wider operating and support footprint in the Pacific, and give Australian naval forces a location 2,000km away from Darwin and some 1,600km north of Cairns, the two closest Royal Australian Navy bases”.

Australia is all too aware of the vast amounts of money that China has been pouring into Papua New Guinea, which won independence from Australia 43 years ago. The nation will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit (APEC) in November, and President Xi will attend in person, arriving two days early for a state visit. China has paid for and built the multimillion-dollar convention centre for the meeting, as well as new highways in Port Moresby, the capital. Mr Xi is expected to use the summit of Asian and Pacific leaders to press six small Pacific nations — not including Papua New Guinea — to cut diplomatic ties with the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China insists is part of its territory. He is also expected to announce a free-trade agreement between China and Papua New Guinea, and possibly another substantial construction project to rival the one that created the first transport links between Port Moresby and the nation’s remote highlands.

Australia has done what it can to block China’s growing influence elsewhere in the Pacific. This year it stopped China rebuilding the Black Rock military camp on Fiji by itself becoming the sole foreign donor. In June, it prevented Huawei, the vast Chinese telecommunications firm, laying internet cables linking the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea, with Australia. The fear was that Huawei was seeking to gain access to a broadband hub in Sydney, and that the security of the country’s communications network could be compromised. China Harbour Engineering Company, a state-owned company, has a £23 million deal to upgrade Momote airport on Manus Island.

More than 1,500 US Marines are stationed at a base in Darwin, northern Australia, as part of a six-month rotation programme. This figure will rise to 2,500 by 2020. There are also plans to deploy an extra US Marines expeditionary unit on amphibious ships to the region next year, which will bring another 4,000 US sailors and Marines to the western Pacific.......

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Old 30th Jan 2019, 16:40
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Yeah, right........

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Old 30th Jan 2019, 21:56
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Very thoughtful of them. Love to drop in unexpectedly for a spot of tea.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 06:13
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Wouldn't a rescue centre only need helicopters?
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Old 17th Mar 2019, 08:01
  #286 (permalink)  
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https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopo...hinas-military

Is Cambodia’s Koh Kong project for Chinese tourists – or China’s military?



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Old 18th Mar 2019, 06:23
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I paid some government guides to go trekking in the national parks not far from that development. They carried AK's due the poachers and its heavily malarial. At first you'd think it an odd place for a development but I'm noting more mainland tourists off the beaten tracks. And there's hundreds of millions of eager mainland travellers.

3400m? The Chinese like long runways. They'll be hauling out heaps of resources in the aircraft's belly like ivory and seafood.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 19:43
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...navy-lvvm375t3

Sydney wakes up to surprise visit by the Chinese navy

Sydney commuters were greeted today by the arresting sight of three large Chinese warships sailing into the city’s harbour. Armed Chinese sailors could be seen patrolling onboard the vessels as they docked at the Garden Island naval base near the city centre.

The visit was requested by Beijing. However, it was unannounced by the Australian government, leading to suggestions that Canberra was embarrassed by the timing of the arrival. Military and political tensions between Australia and China have tightened in recent months, and Scott Morrison, the prime minister, was in the Solomon Islands yesterday on a trip aimed at curbing Beijing’s influence in the Pacific.

About 730 personnel were on board the three ships: the frigate Xuchang, auxiliary replenishment ship Luoma Hu and the landing platform dock Kunlun Shan, which sailed into Sydney harbour soon after 8am.

Mr Morrison gave no reason for failing to announced the visit in advance. It arrived a day ahead of the 30th anniversary Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre which has a special resonance for the 40,000 Chinese students who were allowed to remain permanently in Australia after the army open fired on protestors.

The visit was requested by China as the ships completed anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Experts questioned why China would send a large fleet to Sydney which was far off their route home from east Africa. The head of Canberra’s National Security College, Rory Medcalf, said that a visit of this calibre was “actually quite something”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Chinese naval visits to Australia have more typically been a lone frigate, not a task group with an amphibious assault ship and 700 personnel. Sydney is hardly a convenient stopover on their way home from the Gulf of Aden. What’s the story here?”

The Chinese ships arrived as Mr Morrison was visiting the Solomon Islands north of Australia in what is widely soon as an effort to counter China’s influence over the small island nation and others in the Pacific.........




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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 23:35
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China is fully well aware that a naval blockade including Oil is a consideration of the US, especially some of the crazier elements that wants it brought to heel.

China saw what happened in 1930's with Imperial Japan with a US blockade so it knows its history.

Economic threat, followed by continued warships on its door step and open threats and after a while they assume a war footing. Looking at US tactics since WW2 they know that any treaty can be just ripped up by US when it suits it or just not ratified by Congress.

The real danger is escalation.

https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nw.../vol71/iss2/6/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKCN1S6140
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 00:16
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Sydney wakes up to surprise visit by the Chinese navy
Australia had HMAS Melbourne visit China as part of the 70th anniversary of the PLA founding, as did Japan and India.

https://en.businesstimes.cn/articles...val-parade.htm

Pilots being attacked with lasars in the South China Sea.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/au...ific-exercise/
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 00:39
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Originally Posted by megan

Pilots being attacked with lasars in the South China Sea.

/
By fishing vessels who probably doing what all fishing vessels do.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 07:33
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Fiendishly good cover!
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 13:52
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The real danger is escalation.

Appeasement is the greater danger....as the British should well know after that grand pronouncement of "Peace" by that Chamberlin fellow.

You also should acknowledge the Oil and Scrap Metal embargo actions took place AFTER Japan invaded China.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 22:56
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Originally Posted by SASless
Appeasement is the greater danger....as the British should well know after that grand pronouncement of "Peace" by that Chamberlin fellow.

You also should acknowledge the Oil and Scrap Metal embargo actions took place AFTER Japan invaded China.
Japan invaded China in 1931, but then again Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Austria and Italy had already done so. All had invaded and established colonial outposts in China from 1901 onwards.

China forced to accept territorial limits when it had zero power to resist, kind of no surprise that when it gains the power it has a different viewpoint. It follows the armed diplomacy viewpoint laid down by others in using might.

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Old 5th Jun 2019, 03:18
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Originally Posted by SASless
Appeasement is the greater danger....as the British should well know after that grand pronouncement of "Peace" by that Chamberlin fellow.

You also should acknowledge the Oil and Scrap Metal embargo actions took place AFTER Japan invaded China.
Trouble is that since 1938/39 "Appeasement - avoidance of" has become a slogan rolled out whenever people don't want to compromise and has led to some serious disasters

Think Suez, Iran in the 50's, Vietnam, Afghanistan (every 10 years), 2 Iraq wars, the ongoing Israeli/Palestine issue, Indo-China War in '62 - the list is very very long

You can't convince me all of these would have turned to a bigger disaster if people had compromised - or even in most cases just not bothered to fight
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 13:33
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Originally Posted by racedo
Japan invaded China in 1931, but then again Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Austria and Italy had already done so. All had invaded and established colonial outposts in China from 1901 onwards.

China forced to accept territorial limits when it had zero power to resist, kind of no surprise that when it gains the power it has a different viewpoint. It follows the armed diplomacy viewpoint laid down by others in using might.
These facts are not much highlighted by our current day elected officials. Unfortunately, that history ensured that China would developed the ruthless type of leaders that now run the country. Plus even if we now make nice to them, they may not see it as a reason to reciprocate.
A speech on China's posture by Wang Yang, a very senior CCP leader, helps understand the Chinese perspective:
https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/why-...rks-on-taiwan/
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 19:43
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I had the honor of standing inside the White House Oval Office for a few minutes all by myself and eighteen months later found myself in the Great Hall in Beijing....seat of the Chinese Governing few.

The contrast between the two...and all of the history between the two nations was easy to sense and cause many questions on how we arrived where we have with the Chinese.

I harkened back to the days my government ignored the Chinese as if they did not even exist (publicly anyway) until Nixon ended that.

How does one ignore many hundred millions of people because of their embrace of Communism and it work out well?

I also found it odd how two Allies....Russia and the United States could become the enemies we did after working together to topple Nazi Germany.

Political leaders of all stripes, hues, and affiliations.....cause far more problems then they claim to solve.

Compromise is the answer...but negotiating to reach a compromise that works for both sides and results in both sides fully embracing it and living up to it is a whole different matter.

Compromise must not come in the form of appeasement.....which is what has happened far too many times.

Aggression must have a heavy price to it....and that is where the road to peace gets filled with potholes and obstructions.

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Old 5th Jun 2019, 19:48
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Originally Posted by etudiant
These facts are not much highlighted by our current day elected officials. Unfortunately, that history ensured that China would developed the ruthless type of leaders that now run the country. Plus even if we now make nice to them, they may not see it as a reason to reciprocate.
A speech on China's posture by Wang Yang, a very senior CCP leader, helps understand the Chinese perspective:
https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/why-...rks-on-taiwan/
Look at it from Chinese Govt POV.

Why would they make nice and trust with countries that have overthrown Libyan leader, attempted to overthrow Syrian, destroyed Iraq / Afghanistan, threatening Iran and Venezula plus others unless they get their own way.

China involvement is Africa is about resources but er so is Western involvement, Western media decry "Chinese Imperialism" who builds schools, roads, hospitals and railways, "Western Imperialism" pays lots of money to leaders / business who then buy apartments in London / Paris and New York then sell lots of weapons but do little to improve the lot of the local population.

Native population look and see who is doing what and not surprisingly West is losing even with 70 years of history behind them.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 00:39
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Racedo....are you saying Qadaffi, Assad, Saddam, The Ayatollas, and those of their ilk should be immune from punitive measures by the Western Powers?

Just where do you draw the line when it comes to mass murder, use of Chemical Weapons, support of Terrorists groups and such conduct?
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 01:21
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No - of course not - but the question is WHO decides behaviour is unacceptable and WHO enforces it?

To a very large number of people "Western Powers" = USA and the USA has a blemished record on human rights . It supports Saudi Arabia & Israel but criticises Iran and Syria. It propped up a large number of C American killers, The Indonesian Military Govt and Marcos but hates Cuba & Venezuela.............. the list is long and well known

As for enforcement the USA refuses to recognize the International Court of Justice and vetos any UN Resolution that might cause it to change course.

hell, the US won't even surrender it's own military to local legal jurisdiction even when the crimes are appalling and the host country has a free, unbiased legal history of the highest standard ......

The US chooses who are "terrorists" and the US decides they will enforce that judgement - its certainly not the Rule of Law whatever real-politic lies behind it..............
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