Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 30th Jul 2021, 10:18
  #1021 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 161
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Agree fully, so suspect he is now speaking out after that effort was rebuffed. At least he is putting down a marker that the US thinks this is stupid.
Except that he's not, because he doesn't. This particular speech has been wildly misquoted/misinterpreted. I'm going to shamelessly steal someone else's excellent post from another forum which covers it in more detail.

I didn't have the means of copying the rough but largely accurate transcription done by someone on Twitter when responding earlier. This came about when Shashank Joshi queried whether this was the gist of what Austin had said:

From the IISS footage of Austin's answer to a question about the UK and US defence relationship


"I'm excited about what we're seeing with the interoperability that 's been demonstrated between the UK and our forces as we've made this journey from Europe to here. It's really been a successful endeavour and I look forward to more of that going forward. The UK and the US are global nations with global interests and so as we look to balance our efforts in various parts of the world.​

We're not only looking to help each other in the Indo-Pacific but we're looking to ensure that we help each other in other parts of the world as well as if... if... for example, we focus a bit more here are there areas the UK can be more helpful in other parts of the world .I have a great relationship with the UK MoD and these are discussions that we've had a number of times and again it's a balancing act - resources are scarce, no matter which country you're talking about... and again, we have interests around the globe, and we want to make sure that we work together to address all of those those interests.​

There are things, obviously that if... if nations are capable of providing resources and capability to help in this region we welcome that and we facilitate that where possible. But again, we have a global perspective and there are a number of places where we can help each other as we shift our stance."​

So - 'if, for example, we focus a bit more here' - the 'here' is generic and not the Indo-Pacific specifically. It's 'Ok, so we'll do.... here, and you do... there, OK?'



This was not Austin having a go at the UK sending a carrier to the Indo-Pacific. Within a couple of hours of it being questioned by Joshi and the transcript and link to the interview - the question is just after 45 minutes in to this -

- the FT had amended the original damning story since people were starting to suggest that it might fit in with a perceived editorial agenda at the newspaper regarding the UK and Europe (which I think might have been a bit tin-foil hatted from some of the comments).

The problem is that rather than do a wider search of Twitter, Tobias Ellwood helped perpetuate the original story's take, rather than going 'hang on. A number of people are suggesting that the story's take is a pile of poo'...
Not_a_boffin is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 11:52
  #1022 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
Except that he's not, because he doesn't. This particular speech has been wildly misquoted/misinterpreted. I'm going to shamelessly steal someone else's excellent post from another forum which covers it in more detail.

I didn't have the means of copying the rough but largely accurate transcription done by someone on Twitter when responding earlier. This came about when Shashank Joshi queried whether this was the gist of what Austin had said:

From the IISS footage of Austin's answer to a question about the UK and US defence relationship


"I'm excited about what we're seeing with the interoperability that 's been demonstrated between the UK and our forces as we've made this journey from Europe to here. It's really been a successful endeavour and I look forward to more of that going forward. The UK and the US are global nations with global interests and so as we look to balance our efforts in various parts of the world.​

We're not only looking to help each other in the Indo-Pacific but we're looking to ensure that we help each other in other parts of the world as well as if... if... for example, we focus a bit more here are there areas the UK can be more helpful in other parts of the world .I have a great relationship with the UK MoD and these are discussions that we've had a number of times and again it's a balancing act - resources are scarce, no matter which country you're talking about... and again, we have interests around the globe, and we want to make sure that we work together to address all of those those interests.​

There are things, obviously that if... if nations are capable of providing resources and capability to help in this region we welcome that and we facilitate that where possible. But again, we have a global perspective and there are a number of places where we can help each other as we shift our stance."​

So - 'if, for example, we focus a bit more here' - the 'here' is generic and not the Indo-Pacific specifically. It's 'Ok, so we'll do.... here, and you do... there, OK?'

https://youtu.be/w5zTv4-S98k


This was not Austin having a go at the UK sending a carrier to the Indo-Pacific. Within a couple of hours of it being questioned by Joshi and the transcript and link to the interview - the question is just after 45 minutes in to this -

- the FT had amended the original damning story since people were starting to suggest that it might fit in with a perceived editorial agenda at the newspaper regarding the UK and Europe (which I think might have been a bit tin-foil hatted from some of the comments).

The problem is that rather than do a wider search of Twitter, Tobias Ellwood helped perpetuate the original story's take, rather than going 'hang on. A number of people are suggesting that the story's take is a pile of poo'...
Thank you, that clears things up properly. I don't get the FT, so only saw the quoted excerpt.
Longer term though, it is hard not to see China prevailing in its push to dominate the South China Sea as well as Taiwan.
They are building the world's largest navy and rapidly expanding their nuclear strike force to be more comparable to that of the US, offsetting the perceived imbalance of forces..
They have more industrial capacity than their potential adversaries and they are using it to become locally preeminent.
etudiant is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 12:29
  #1023 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 161
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Thank you, that clears things up properly. I don't get the FT, so only saw the quoted excerpt.
Longer term though, it is hard not to see China prevailing in its push to dominate the South China Sea as well as Taiwan.
They are building the world's largest navy and rapidly expanding their nuclear strike force to be more comparable to that of the US, offsetting the perceived imbalance of forces..

They have more industrial capacity than their potential adversaries and they are using it to become locally preeminent.
And have been doing so for some years. We can't say we weren't warned.

Question is whether rule of law is worth standing up for...
Not_a_boffin is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 16:00
  #1024 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under a recently defunct flight path.
Age: 74
Posts: 1,235
Yet more rhetoric (or should that sabre-rattling?) from Beijing.
Britain ‘asking for a beating’ over warship challenge in South China Sea, warns Beijing. (in The Times this afternoon).

Britain would be a “bitch . . . asking for a beating” if its aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth challenged China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, state media have declared.

The British flagship has arrived at the South China Sea, with plans to carry out legal freedom of navigation operations in international waters alongside US ships, as the UK bolsters its presence in East Asia to support regional allies in the face of China’s militarisation of the area and claims on territory.

Hu Xijin, the influential editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, said that any incursion into Chinese-claimed waters would be “made the example of China’s determination to safeguard state sovereignty”.

“To say it precisely, if the UK wants to play the role to coerce China in the South China Sea, then it is being a bitch. If it has any substantial move, it is asking for a beating,” Hu said.

“US ships have repeatedly entered the 12-nautical-mile limit of Chinese islets in the South China Sea and China has exercised maximum restraint,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean we will tolerate such provocations for long, and it definitely doesn’t mean US allies can imitate Washington’s dangerous acts.”

A country can claim the water within 12 nautical miles from its coastlines as its territorial sea.

“We must say it bluntly to them, if their warships should behave recklessly in the South China Sea like the US military, they will be made the example of China’s determination to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The South China Sea, through which $5 trillion of trade passes each year, has become a flashpoint of competing interests over the past decade. China claims almost all of it as its own territory, despite rivalling claims from at least six other governments. It has militarised the waters and set up administrative regions there.

The US military has routinely carried out freedom of navigation operations and conducted exercises there. Its allies have joined the US for naval drills in the South China Sea but none has flouted China’s territorial claims by sailing within 12 nautical miles of Beijing-controlled islands.


Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, told The Timeslast week that Britain had a “duty” to insist on freedom of navigation when HMS Queen Elizabeth and its fleet sailed through on their way to Japan.

“It’s no secret that China shadows and challenges ships transiting international waters on very legitimate routes,” he said. “We will respect China and we hope that China respects us . . . we will sail where international law allows.”

Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Chinese ministry of national defence, said yesterday that Beijing “firmly opposed some country deploying warships over long distance to provoke troubles”, adding that the military would “take all necessary measures to respond firmly and effectively”.

Wu Shicun, president of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, also said that Beijing must stop the British aircraft carrier entering China-claimed sea territories.

“If it dares to enter 12 nautical miles of Nansha Islands [Spratly Islands] and trespasses our territorial sea of the Xisha Islands [Paracel Islands], China must take strong countermeasures to make it pay, hence forestalling other countries from following suit and making similar provocations,” he wrote.

Lyneham Lad is online now  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 17:20
  #1025 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad View Post
Yet more rhetoric (or should that sabre-rattling?) from Beijing.
Britain ‘asking for a beating’ over warship challenge in South China Sea, warns Beijing. (in The Times this afternoon).


Remember when the Spratlys and the Paracels were universally understood to be in Philippine waters?
I do and think we have seen China give a master class in salami slicing to achieve national goals.
Judging by the responses to date, we've learned nothing at all. Empty bluster will perhaps okay well back home, but will not change the facts on the ground.
etudiant is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 20:56
  #1026 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
Age: 54
Posts: 216
Sounds like a lot of serious noises coming out of Beijing. I think the Russian response in Crimea to the Royal Navy sail-by has probably already raised the ante, so will we see the HMS QE group come under fire? I am sure the RN won't bottle it (despite, I am sure, some private misgivings from those in command in the group) although maybe the politicians will wonder if sailing in the disputed waters is really worth the possible repercussions? Probably the least we will see are aggressive mock attacks, in force, against the strike group; if not an outright actual attack. Or maybe attempts to lure an F35, or two, out for an aerial victory. Possibly also, in the modern manner, an intense Cyberattack on the UK if the Strike Group goes through with the plan that seems to be suggested. I suppose the advantage to China would be to send the strongest possible message that the stakes have changed dramatically without getting in a shooting war with the US.

I think we may well see a pause as the UK strike group arrives in the region and possibly incorporates a US or Japanese warship or two, or at least get some US air support covering the op. Expect leave is already being cancelled for a whole lot of personnel in Main Building and it will be an extremely anxious time across the UK defence establishment
Flugplatz is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 21:09
  #1027 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,050
I think we may well see a pause as the UK strike group arrives in the region and possibly incorporates a US or Japanese warship or two, or at least get some US air support covering the op.
it’s already got the USS Sullivans as part of its escort and VMFA-211 aboard as part of its air wing. That’s without knowing what submarine escort it might have or long range EW/Elint and other airborne support.

What more do you want?
ORAC is online now  
Old 30th Jul 2021, 21:44
  #1028 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
Age: 54
Posts: 216
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
it’s already got the USS Sullivans as part of its escort and VMFA-211 aboard as part of its air wing. That’s without knowing what submarine escort it might have or long range EW/Elint and other airborne support.

What more do you want?
Good to know; I think that will be enough for me at the moment, let's see how things work out
Flugplatz is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 00:27
  #1029 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,053
it’s already got the USS Sullivans as part of its escort and VMFA-211 aboard as part of its air wing. That’s without knowing what submarine escort it might have or long range EW/Elint and other airborne support.

What more do you want?
It depends upon what the Chinese show up with I should think.

If they get very snotty about it all....it might take a bit more than is tagging along for the ride currently.

Surely the Chinese are smart enough to know where to draw the line....so to speak.

They do not want to trigger a genuine shooter up....yet we better hope or it could get messy quick.
SASless is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 01:02
  #1030 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
It depends upon what the Chinese show up with I should think.

If they get very snotty about it all....it might take a bit more than is tagging along for the ride currently.

Surely the Chinese are smart enough to know where to draw the line....so to speak.

They do not want to trigger a genuine shooter up....yet we better hope or it could get messy quick.
It would take a shooting incident of some kind to precipitate a fundamental reappraisal of how the western nations deal with China.
As long as China can count on a half trillion dollar annual trade surplus with the western powers, it cannot be prevented from expanding its influence globally.
Perhaps HMG is conscious of that.
etudiant is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 07:21
  #1031 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Japan
Posts: 848
The only country actively practising hegemony in that whole area is China.

They need to let ships sail freely past the Spratleys and Paracels to demonstrate respect for international law, and to gain badly needed sympathy on the international stage.
jolihokistix is online now  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 11:26
  #1032 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: back out to Grasse
Posts: 346
It may be the case that denial of free movement through the SCS, results in restricted movement world-wide on Chinese vessels.

It would be quite easy for the English Channel to be blocked. consider the impact on trade to Northern Europe.

Equally, Gibraltar was not acquired out of curiosity, or trying to avoid the straits of Malacca, Panama Canal? Suez?

Nope China's response is going to be carefully measured.

IG
Imagegear is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 14:57
  #1033 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,053
As long as China can count on a half trillion dollar annual trade surplus with the western powers, it cannot be prevented from expanding its influence globally.
Spot On!

We need all those cheap shoddy goods for the shelves of the Big Box Stores and Online Shopping at Amazon.

SASless is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2021, 18:22
  #1034 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 3,547
Which we all buy of course.....................

The Chinese won't start a shooting war over a single UK aircraft Carrier - they know it's all bluster from the UK who won't be able to keep a decent force in the area for more than a few days
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 04:16
  #1035 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 749
Its not about a single aircraft carrier. It is sending a message to the Chinese that if you take on one, you take on all.
Lookleft is online now  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 15:38
  #1036 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 3,547
So Australia will go to war with China if they take a pop at the QE?

I really doubt it - there is no clear coalition of those willing to start any sort of barney with the PRC - especially in SE Asia.
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 16:10
  #1037 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,053
Its not about a single aircraft carrier. It is sending a message to the Chinese that if you take on one, you take on all.
By gosh that will have the Chinese shivering in their Sea Boots!
SASless is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 18:41
  #1038 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Horsham, England, UK. ---o--O--o---
Posts: 1,159
Not much of a message coming from Joe Biden for sure! 🤔
Out Of Trim is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 19:09
  #1039 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,050
We will see what happens both militarily - and in terms of trade and shipping embargoes plus economic sanctions if the PRC decides to attempt any sort of military action.
ORAC is online now  
Old 1st Aug 2021, 23:20
  #1040 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
We will see what happens both militarily - and in terms of trade and shipping embargoes plus economic sanctions if the PRC decides to attempt any sort of military action.
Seems to me that the US/UK team is being deliberately obstreperous, prodding the Chinese to put up or shut up.
If the Chinese attack ships engaged in 'innocent passage' though waters close to Chinese operated (but illegal according to international law) bases in the South China Sea, they provoke a conflict they are not yet ready for.
My guess is that this is the point of this deployment, create a precedent that China will also need to respect.
Of course, as we have seen in Hong Kong, China has plenty of very good diplomats able to run rings around precedents and legal constraints.
So we will have a pause, until China builds up some more.
etudiant is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.