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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 1st Aug 2021, 23:20
  #1041 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC
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.
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 00:28
  #1042 (permalink)  
 
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China is crystal clear in its position towards Taiwan. It is a break away province of China that needs to be recaptured. To date the strategy to bring Taiwan back to mother China has been political and economic, but I am sure that the PLA has a war plan to take Taiwan by force. The calculus is then, will the Western world intervene militarily; yes or no.

I would suggest that the moment China is sure that they won't be opposed they will launch the invasion. I think we are getting closer and closer to that moment .....
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 00:37
  #1043 (permalink)  
 
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Did not Tom Clancy sort all this out in one of his books?
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 02:10
  #1044 (permalink)  
 
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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.
You don't understand Australia's military history then. There is plenty of concern in SE Asia about Chinese power and there are existing military alliances that would come into play should China decide to use military force to take Taiwan. Like I said it is about more than the presence of a single UK carrier.
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 07:59
  #1045 (permalink)  
 
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Concern yes - but I really don't think Australia, or a lot of other countries, will go to war with China over Taiwan - most don't even recognise it as a sperate country officially

It'll belief the Indian take-over of Goa, the Moroccan takeover of the Spanish Sahara or the Indonesian takeover of East Timor and Irian Jaya. Lots of tut-tutting and maybe even sanctions but war? No way......
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 08:12
  #1046 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by etudiant
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.
The precedent of complying with UNCLOS then?

The thing about international law is that if you don't "enforce" it (in this case exercise the right of innocent passage), no-one takes any notice of it. Which sets a very dangerous precedent.

And don't forget that the PRC are - in effect - claiming that only they can allow access to the entire South China Sea, which is significantly at odds with UNCLOS as a whole, never mind who owns what piece of the SCS.
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 12:00
  #1047 (permalink)  
 
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If public footpaths in the UK are not periodically "walked" by people who care - they go away and get covered by a field of beet, thereby removing the "right of way" Ever tried walking through a field of beet ?, it's not easy.

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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 12:20
  #1048 (permalink)  
 
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Lots of tut-tutting and maybe even sanctions but war? No way......
Thats what the Germans thought.
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 12:29
  #1049 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin
The precedent of complying with UNCLOS then?

The thing about international law is that if you don't "enforce" it (in this case exercise the right of innocent passage), no-one takes any notice of it. Which sets a very dangerous precedent.

And don't forget that the PRC are - in effect - claiming that only they can allow access to the entire South China Sea, which is significantly at odds with UNCLOS as a whole, never mind who owns what piece of the SCS.
How UNCLOS (which the US is not a party to while China is) would be interpreted in the case of the South China Sea is clearly an open issue.
That said, China previously refused to recognize the UNCLOS Arbitration panel set up in response to the Philippine objections to Chinas maritime claims.
Presumably China will continue to bulk up its forces in the region until they can make their claims stick..That might not take too long given their current pace.

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Old 4th Aug 2021, 02:14
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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-04/india-building-secret-mauritius-military-base-defence-australia/100348254

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-04/south-china-sea-indonesia-us-blinken-india-germany/100348456


Just to reassure those in Europe and the UK that SE Asia is taking the threat from China seriously.

Last edited by Lookleft; 4th Aug 2021 at 03:18.
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 05:42
  #1051 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...-indo-pacific/

German warship ‘Bayern’ heads to the Indo-Pacific

WASHINGTON – The German navy’s frigate “Bayern” set sail on Monday for the Indo-Pacific region, fully loaded with Berlin’s aspirations to play a small role in the geopolitical standoff between China and the West.

The first such deployment in almost 20 years is meant to uphold freedom of navigation in international waters, protect “open societies” and express support for regional partners sharing Germany’s values, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement.

The six-month mission follows the government’s overall strategy, published almost a year ago, for dealing with Indo-Pacific challenges. For Germany, that has entailed a delicate dance around the subject of China, which government leaders believe is a would-be adversary in the security arena and an ally in other domains, like fighting climate change.

The Bayern’s departure from Wilhelmshaven comes after the coronavirus crisis last year ended planning for a more modern frigate to conduct the mission.

According to the German ministry of defense, the Bayern will help enforce the UN sanctions regime against North Korea and support the NATO and EU missions Operation Sea Guardian and Atalanta, respectively. As a show-of-presence and training mission, the ship’s deployment does not fall under the country’s laws requiring parliamentary approval for military operations, the defense ministry’s statement notes.

A map published by the German armed forces outlines stops in 12 different ports while underway, including in Djibouti, Karachi, Diego Garcia, Perth, Guam, Tokyo and Shanghai. The ship is scheduled to traverse the South China Sea, a hotspot of disputed Chinese territorial claims.

The deployment amounts to a heavy lift for the German sea service, according to Sebastian Bruns, German naval analyst and guest lecturer at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Operationally, it’s an important contribution, although at the price of gutting the fleet,” he said, noting ship maintenance plans and crew training schedules had to be significantly altered to make the trip possible. “Politically, it’s even more significant, towards allies both in Europe and in the region, and towards China.”
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 19:32
  #1052 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...lt-operations/

China reportedly converted civilian ferries for amphibious assault operations

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has converted civilian ferries for use in military amphibious operations, potentially enabling the country to significantly surge its amphibious assault capabilities in a contingency like a Taiwan invasion, according to a new report.…..
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 21:17
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Originally Posted by ORAC
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...lt-operations/

China reportedly converted civilian ferries for amphibious assault operations

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has converted civilian ferries for use in military amphibious operations, potentially enabling the country to significantly surge its amphibious assault capabilities in a contingency like a Taiwan invasion, according to a new report.…..
Another reminder that the Chinese are not as blinkered in their tactics as are our military planners!
I do think China will seek to assemble overwhelming force before they take over Taiwan. They do not have the needed assets as yet, but the nuclear and navy build ups, plus the bases upgrades are all pretty suggestive.
I think it is less than a decade away at the current rate of going.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 09:12
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If the Chinese ferries are the same Chinese ferries that I have been on the troops will be incapacitated half way across.

That's if they get that far.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 14:21
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Not a Navy chap, but have to think that an engagement with a man of war wouldn’t fare well for these ferries, not being designed for the rigors of war.

Guess that’s a chance the Chinese are willing to take.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 21:18
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I don't think the Chinese strategy will allow for a singular focus on retaking Taiwan, typically with game-changing strategic moves like that, history has shown that successful campaigns feature some sort of 'second front' (ideally a real measure beyond a temporary diversion). You raise the stakes like that and put a major other factor in play, then your adversary has to weigh its response against that other major threat. I wouldn't put it past China to make a major move against either Japan or Australia, just to make the south China sea issue seem like a relative sideshow. They can back down on any significant move against Japan / Philippines / Australia a lot easier if they establish a new territorial understanding in the south China sea. Same sort of thing during the Cuba missile crisis, 'NATO' missiles were withdrawn from Turkey as part of the bargain to withdraw nukes from Cuba. In this case, bearing in mind the modern world and China's present means of undermining the western democracies, a cyber-attack on a scale not seen before is a major possibility
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 08:54
  #1057 (permalink)  

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I'd love to see Taiwan draw up some plans for a Mainland invasion...just for ****s n giggles.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:52
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China needs global raw material supply routes. Wouldn't they therefore be too vulnerable to risk any serious global confrontation over Taiwan? An invasion would end trade with the US and upset/ruin relations within Asia. The price is just too high especially as China today earns profits from shares in Taiwanese companies itself.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 13:29
  #1059 (permalink)  
 
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China has 20 outposts in the Paracel Islands which it first occupied in 1955 and 7 in the Spratly Islands which have been occupied since the 1980’s and 1990’s.

There are substantial aviation and naval facilities in Woody Island, Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef. Many other occupied reefs host similar facilities. China has stated that these bases are part of their strategy to operate surface action groups with aviation support into the Indian Ocean and beyond. They are planned to be refuelling stages and bases for forward deployed ships and aircraft. Their legal status can be debated by the rest of the world but China knows that they are there to stay and no one is going to remove them from these occupied reefs.

This and not the forced capture of Taiwan is their main focus of attention. The forces they are developing are for global power protection. It will take time to achieve their stated aim of being the major superpower on earth but they are marching ahead in that direction.

All of this can take place in a situation where global trade and the free right of navigation exist.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 21:40
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Seems to me we should remember a previous war fought against an Asian Nation that involved their establishment of island forrtresses with airfields and port facilities that we had to with in order to convince them to stand down and what it took to get them to do that.

The Chinese know do not have the ability or desire to fight a conventional land war with them so they are quite safe from that worry.



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