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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 23rd Mar 2022, 17:08
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Looks like Tinian island might need a runway upgrade .
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 09:24
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Meanwhile we had an ICBM splashdown 90 miles off the coast here this afternoon, plunging from *6,000 km above.
(*News sources vary… 6,200 km?)

Last edited by jolihokistix; 24th Mar 2022 at 12:05.
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 12:03
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PS Within Japan’s EEZ, and with no advanced warning to aircraft or shipping.
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 12:09
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https://www.news.com.au/world/asia/c...451c740b0e4801

The draft agreement will essentially give China the authority to use its military to protect the safety of Chinese ships and projects in the Solomon Islands.

It will also give leader Xi Jinping a port for his navy, perched less than 2000 kilometres off Australia’s shoreline.
Well....that's not good.
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 14:10
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China fully militarizes key South China Sea features | Asian TelegraphWhile international attention is transfixed on the war in Ukraine, China has fully militarized three of its occupied islands in the contested South China Sea.

Speaking aboard a P-8 Poseidon on patrol in the South China Sea, US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral John Aquilino said on March 20 that “China has fully militarized at least three of several islands it built in the disputed South China Sea, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment and fighter jets in an increasingly aggressive move that threatens all nations operating nearby.”

According to Aquilino, China’s facilities on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef appear to have been completed. He said it is yet to be seen whether China will start construction of additional military facilities in its other occupied features in the maritime area.

Admiral Aquilino added that “the function of those islands is to expand the offensive capability of the PRC beyond their continental shores” and that from these occupied features, China “can fly fighters, bombers plus all those offensive capabilities of missile systems.”

Aquilino also stressed that commercial and military planes flying near these occupied islands will be within the range of China’s weapons, which he said threatens all countries that operate near those features.

During the P-8 Poseidon’s patrol, it was reportedly repeatedly challenged with Chinese radio communications, giving a stern warning that “China has sovereign over the Spratly Islands, as well as surrounding maritime areas. Stay away immediately to avoid misjudgment.”

The P-8 Poseidon’s crew responded, “I am a sovereign immune United States naval aircraft conducting lawful military activities beyond the national airspace of any coastal state.”

While China maintains that its military expansion in these disputed waters is primarily defensive and aimed at protecting its sovereignty, the recent militarization stands in stark contrast to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s past assurances that it would not transform its occupied features into military bases.

China’s objectives in the South China Sea can be summed up in three main points. First, China wants to transform the South China Sea into a sanctuary for its nuclear ballistic missile submarines, which need to operate in the Western Pacific to ensure nuclear deterrence against the US.

Second, China intends to transform the South China Sea into a buffer zone between itself and the US in the event of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Third, China aims to control the South China Sea’s underwater resources, namely oil, gas, and fisheries, as well as secure its own maritime trading routes.

Traditionally, China considered Taiwan to be the most immediate threat to its core interests as its mere existence presents an alternate China not under Communist rule. China considers Taiwan a rogue province that should eventually be reunited with the mainland.

Taiwan’s high standard of living also poses difficult questions about the economic and governance policies of China’s Communist Party rulers, with as many as 600 million Chinese still deemed as poor despite massive economic growth in recent decades.

China started militarizing its holdings in the maritime area two decades back, much to the chagrin of the US and its Pacific allies, alongside Southeast Asian states involved in these maritime disputes. While the US and its allies routinely conduct Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea, the responses of Southeast Asian states have been somewhat varied.

Brunei and Malaysia have taken a softer, quiet diplomacy approach to China’s wide-reaching territorial claims, preferring to maintain a low profile on their conflicts with Beijing. Vietnam has been consistently balancing against China’s superior naval might by modernizing its navy and establishing its own maritime militia.

While Indonesia is not a direct claimant in the South China Sea, Chinese encroachment in its Natuna Islands which are located on the southernmost extent of its nine-dash line has prompted Indonesia to take a hard-line stance on illegal fishing in the area by Chinese trawlers and to modernize its own military and power projection capabilities.

The Philippines heavily relies on its 1951 mutual defense treaty with the US and international law to assert its own territorial claims and challenge China’s. In 2016, Manila lodged a case against China that was handled by the UN-backed Arbitral Tribunal and decided in the Philippines’ favor. Beijing has ignored the ruling, however, which lacked an enforcement mechanism.
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 17:01
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Also Japan, Putin has stopped negotiating peace with Japan, it is still technically still at war from 1945.

https://www.cityam.com/angry-putin-e...kuril-islands/

The Russian government has told Japan it is ending negotiations to sign a formal World War II peace treaty because of Tokyo’s efforts to exploit the Ukraine war to claim the Kuril Islands belong to Japan.

“The Russian side, in the current conditions, does not intend to continue talks with Japan on the peace treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Russia and Japan have never formally signed a peace treaty to end World War II.

One of the key issues is competing claims over territorial rights to the Kuril Islands, which Tokyo calls its Northern Territories. Soviet troops seized them from Japan at the end of the war, and Russia still occupies the island group.

However, last week Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, said that southern Kuril Islands are a sovereign part of his country, and not part of Russia, which has controlled the group of islands since.

Speaking in the Diet earlier, Kishida told lawmakers the Kuril Islands are “original territories of Japan”.

The islands have been a point of controversy between Japan and the Russia for decades. Moscow took control of the islands after World War II in 1945.

In recent years, the Japanese government had refrained from referring to the islands as its “original territories” in order to avoid upsetting the Russian government.

However, following the global anti-Moscow sentiment since the invasion of Ukraine, the Japanese government has reinstated its historic claim on the silands.

“The Northern Territories belong to Japan. They are the territory on which Japan has sovereignty,” Kishida said.

In fact, on 29 February, on the second day of the Russian invasion, Japan’s foreign minister, Hideki Uyama, even went so far to say that Russia had “occupied” the southern part of the Kuril Islands, thereby violating international law.
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Old 25th Mar 2022, 02:30
  #1227 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by havoc
China fully militarizes key South China Sea features | Asian TelegraphWhile international attention is transfixed on the war in Ukraine, China has fully militarized three of its occupied islands in the contested South China Sea.

Speaking aboard a P-8 Poseidon on patrol in the South China Sea, US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral John Aquilino said on March 20 that “China has fully militarized at least three of several islands it built in the disputed South China Sea, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment and fighter jets in an increasingly aggressive move that threatens all nations operating nearby.”

According to Aquilino, China’s facilities on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef appear to have been completed. He said it is yet to be seen whether China will start construction of additional military facilities in its other occupied features in the maritime area.

Admiral Aquilino added that “the function of those islands is to expand the offensive capability of the PRC beyond their continental shores” and that from these occupied features, China “can fly fighters, bombers plus all those offensive capabilities of missile systems.”

Aquilino also stressed that commercial and military planes flying near these occupied islands will be within the range of China’s weapons, which he said threatens all countries that operate near those features....

China’s objectives in the South China Sea can be summed up in three main points. First, China wants to transform the South China Sea into a sanctuary for its nuclear ballistic missile submarines, which need to operate in the Western Pacific to ensure nuclear deterrence against the US....

Second, China intends to transform the South China Sea into a buffer zone between itself and the US in the event of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Third, China aims to control the South China Sea’s underwater resources, namely oil, gas, and fisheries, as well as secure its own maritime trading routes....

Traditionally, China considered Taiwan to be the most immediate threat to its core interests as its mere existence presents an alternate China not under Communist rule. China considers Taiwan a rogue province that should eventually be reunited with the mainland.....

.
Boomers in the SCS

The acoustics of the SCS is just awful, but it is a pond compared to the complete Pacific ocean. with GPS and burst transmission, a temporary SOSUS type array is still feasible, and nuke-powered boomers still have coolant pumps even when good acoustic isolation is employed, and they always leave a thermal trail. I would rather chase a nuke in the lake than a nuke in an open ocean expanse. Turbulence tracking is still viable, so I would not be signing up to spend time in a boat assuming that I cannot be detected or attacked.

The more established China becomes with air defence on their stolen islands, the less tenable the P8 type search and attack capability become, but that doesn't do anything to avoid retasking predators with a Mk 101 or aerial torpedoes.

BUFFERS

Stealing disputed territory as a buffer doesn't look good on your resume, and the sooner that the USA and EUR determine that China's long game is not to be friendly to the interests of the US or EUR, particularly with the resurrection of a god-emperor, the sooner we can get back to stable basics of economics. The cost of concluding manufacture arbitrage pays back very quickly. Ask China. Taiwan has been an asset to China over the last 40 years, and a petulant dear leader moment doesn't do anything to make China a better place than it is now. Taiwanese nationalism will give a response to a Chinese attack that would lead to China being a pariah, and having to deal with long-term guerilla warfare, that quite possibly would be taken back to China proper. The gift that keeps giving. The good news is, making bases in the SCS makes for better targeting of the PRC infrastructure than having to go chase skimmers and boats. Closure of the SCS would have the neat side effect of shutting down China's trade indefinitely, by their own hand. Chinas centrally controlled bubble economy that has developed domestic demand through the insanity of propping up unwanted and unsupportable property development is starting to come home to roost. Shutting off foreign trade is hardly a victory to China.

RESOURCES

SCS has its fair share of resources, a lot of which is getting past its use-by date. Obtaining the resources at the cost of alienating every trading partner apart from.... North Korea, Eritrea, and Russia seem to be unbalanced as a break-even. Doesn't mean that it won't happen, it just suggests that a god-emperor with all-powerful authority and no constraints from rational subordinates conjures up the adage, that total power corrupts totally. How that is of long-term benefit to a China that is successful as a global exporter is lost on me.



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Old 26th Mar 2022, 03:24
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Anyone who has studied the preparation for D-Day done by the allied forces in WW2 would know that China has neither the resources, nor the logistic management & expertise to conduct a seabourne invasion of an island over 150nm of open ocean. They simply don't have the kit or the knowhow. On top of this, China is effectively broke. If the Russians are having a torrid time onvading over a land border what hope to the Chinese have over open ocean.

The Chinese military is little more than a ponzi scheme to get rich........for some. A significant portion of the senior leadership bought their position. Their weatlh (which is siphoned off from government spending) is often invested in western defence industries. Rising tensions are great for their investment portfolios. The PLA itself has no interestin actually going to war with Taiwan, why would they kill the golden goose. They are on to a nice little earner.

There will be no war over Taiwan.
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 07:48
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NMC - that's as maybe but they still manage to build an awful lot of ships compared to everyone else..............
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 13:16
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china can also 'buy' islands.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-...tary/100938958

Solomon Islands defends plans to expand security ties with China, as Canberra, Wellington express concern


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Old 26th Mar 2022, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
NMC - that's as maybe but they still manage to build an awful lot of ships compared to everyone else..............
Russia has an awful lot of military hardware but is not doing so well. I expect many of the structural issues that exists with the Russian military also exist in the PLA. The bottom line is military competence comes from fighting, that is one reason why the US armed forces are so good. The PLA has zero warfighting experience and on the job training gets really expensive really quick.....

I think an invasion of Taiwan would play out exactly the same way the Ukrainian invasion is going. China would fail to defeat the Taiwanese forces and be reduced to conducting an indiscriminate bombing campaign. Dictatorships can never have a truly effective military because the leadership will incentivize loyalty to the supreme leader over military competence and exercises become heavily choregraphed theater instead of learning events.

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Old 27th Mar 2022, 08:21
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In theory you're right about Dictatorships but democracies (other than the UK) did very badly in Europe in WW2
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Old 27th Mar 2022, 11:35
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but democracies (other than the UK) did very badly in Europe in WW2
The only reason the UK didn't do as badly as the other democracies was a body of water called the English Channel.
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Old 27th Mar 2022, 17:16
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It being Mother's Day I am reminded of my dear Mum who believed that she, General Montgomery, and Mr Churchill won the War between them - with help from Uncle Joe of course. It was only very late in her life she realised that Dover- Calais was only 30 miles.....................

"why weren't we told?" she exclaimed.................
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Old 27th Mar 2022, 17:16
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The US forces may be good, but since WW2 that has not translated into winning.
In contrast, the Chinese seem to be very good at winning by means of bloodless engagements that advance China's interests.
Golder's post above (1230) is a case in point, while attention is focused on the SCS build up, China develops another client relationship.
I'd expect Taiwan to get similar treatment. There are pragmatic governments in China and Taiwan. Imho they are just haggling about the price.
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Old 30th Mar 2022, 04:55
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Originally Posted by etudiant
The US forces may be good, but since WW2 that has not translated into winning.
In contrast, the Chinese seem to be very good at winning by means of bloodless engagements that advance China's interests.
Golder's post above (1230) is a case in point, while attention is focused on the SCS build up, China develops another client relationship.
I'd expect Taiwan to get similar treatment. There are pragmatic governments in China and Taiwan. Imho they are just haggling about the price.
I don’t know as I agree. The difference between remaining to some degree sovereign or subject to Beijing is the too far apart to translate into a minor, negotiable difference. As the folks in Taiwan watched the happenings in HK, I have to imagine they have no stomach for the Chinese way. To some degree parallels to what’s occurring in Ukraine as well.

Business partners with China, sure. A vassal state, I doubt it.
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Old 12th Apr 2022, 14:14
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Beware the Chinese bearing gifts…

Anyone received a freebie from a Chinese company as a gift?

The Shin Bet is investigating possible listening devices embedded in Passover gifts sent to Israeli ministries from the Chinese embassy. At least one thermal mug turned over to the office of government services by a minister contained a "suspicious component”.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 02:45
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Beware Greeks (Chinese) bearing gifts ...

Probably old news to most on here. Brief look but couldn't find the 2018 article (my poor search skills?)

In 2018 it was alleged the servers at the African Union were downloading to Shanghai each night. When confronted, the Chinese apparently offered to supply, at no / minimal cost, a whole new African Union headquarters, equipped with Chinese computers.

New Allegations That China Spied on the AU Spark a Flashback to Similar Accusations in 2018 - The China Africa ProjectReuters’ exclusive report that suspected Chinese hackers penetrated the African Union’s IT networks to siphon off data prompted many to think “uh oh, here we go again,” and recalling similar accusations back in 2018.

In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde published a report that was also later confirmed by the Financial Times that Chinese entities had allegedly inserted so-called “back doors” on the AU’s computer network. For five years, according to those reports, massive data dumps took place at night, with countless files purportedly transferred from the AU HQ in Addis to servers located in Shanghai.

Last edited by layman; 13th Apr 2022 at 02:46. Reason: plagiarism ...
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 02:46
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Sorry, ORAC, didn't see your heading ... but now I can't change mine
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 17:26
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https://thepressfree.com/the-chinese...tegic-islands/

The Chinese companies trying to buy strategic islands
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