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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:41
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Re Lonewolf
@fdr I am reminded of the never ending shenanigans between the Greeks and the Turks as regards which rock/island in the eastern med is whose and thus where one measures territorial waters from.”

Neverending Story …er Wars.

Israel vs Palestine
Sunni vs Shia
Irish/Scots Prods vs Catholics
Russia vs countries west
Yemen civil war
Libya civil war
Philippines internal
South America guerrilla
etc.

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Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:52
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix
Re Lonewolf
@fdr I am reminded of the never ending shenanigans between the Greeks and the Turks as regards which rock/island in the eastern med is whose and thus where one measures territorial waters from.”
Neverending Story …er Wars.
No, not wars, ILOS disagreements that negatively impacted our ability to hold exercises with these two NATO allies - Greece and Turkey. They were disagreements of one level, but of a lesser severity than, say, their disagreements as regards Cyprus. The post I was responding to had to do with arguments over the status of international (or not) waters.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 14:13
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Ah, OK, more like Japan vs China vs Korea over small islets in the sea. The US Navy still has trouble getting South Korea to participate in drills with Japanese navy vessels present.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 16:36
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix
Ah, OK, more like Japan vs China vs Korea over small islets in the sea. The US Navy still has trouble getting South Korea to participate in drills with Japanese navy vessels present.
Yeah, that's very much in the same genre.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 21:35
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Another example of how the Chinese simply don't get it. Free speech, and such.
The Chinese Communist Party is demanding the United States take action to stop ongoing protests outside the nation's embassy. State media in China has complained of harassment outside the country's embassy in the U.S., saying that the government must step in the diffuse tensions.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy answered state media outlet CGTN's question on the situation, calling protestors "anti-China thugs."
"Over a long period of time, abetted and organized by anti-China forces, some anti-China thugs have been harassing the Chinese Embassy in the United States at its various locations," the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy said. "They have been constantly attacking China and the Communist Party of China at high volumes, insulting and intimidating the Embassy staff, fabricating and spreading disinformation, and even resorting to violence."
Crybabies. My country has been dealing with this longer than I've been alive: people protesting outside our embassies for {pick a reason}. If the CCP don't like it, too bad.
What will be protected is their status as an embassy and their people.
Their hurt feelings don't matter.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 23:00
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These protesters are Chinese people in the US.
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 15:36
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Extract from an article today in The Times.

China ‘builds six more destroyers to rival US navy’

China is producing at least six more advanced guided-missile destroyers, as it continues to build a world-class navy to rival that of the United States, new evidence suggests.

Citing a picture posted on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, Naval News, a Paris-based defence news site, reported that five hulls of the Type 052D Luyang III-class destroyer were being built at the Dalian shipyard in the country’s northeast.

Another Type 052D destroyer is being built at the Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard northeast of Shanghai, according to Naval News.

All six, armed with guided tactical missiles and advanced radar systems, look set to join an existing fleet of 25 Type 052D destroyers in the world’s largest navy, after eight were built last year.

China’s defence ministry has not confirmed the report, nor has it officially announced such construction plans, but unnamed Chinese analysts told The Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper, that it is “not unexpected if China is indeed building more advanced warships, particularly amid the current turbulent global security situation”.
Click the link for the full article.

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Old 24th Aug 2022, 16:57
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Just be careful around these shipyards if you are a tourist and keen on photography.
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Old 28th Aug 2022, 05:26
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Originally Posted by fdr
Suggest then that UNCLOS be sent to the PRC'ians with Article 3 highlighted in dayglo.




PRC'ia can argue the toss as they may wish, they don't have a legal leg to stand on; they do have the might of arms as an aggressor and non-compliant nation to the UNCLOS.

If the water between the Glorious paradise of China, and the perfidious Taiwanese, sitting atop their rather beautiful isle, was less than 24.0nm, then they could bitch 'n moan and complain. But it ain't.

Presumably if that argument had merit, the shipping that goes in 'n out of Taipei Kaohsiung port, Anping, Keelung, Su-ao, Taipei port, Mailiao port, Hualien, Taichung... would be needing dip clearance from the PRC's.

It's a good shot, but it is a long bow to draw, and would get up the USN's nose pretty quickly.

A point that is occasionally missed by Russia at least is that
Article 19 defines Innocent Passage “Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State.” When Russia drives a fleet into Japanese territorial waters and hovers there, they are being naughty. “Innocent passage” implies two prerequisites: that passage be “innocent,” i.e., "not of such a nature as to affect the security or welfare of the coastal state"; and that “passage” only may be exercised, to the "exclusion of such acts as “hovering” or anchoring in the territorial seas".

The USN conducts its FONOPS to ensure the letter of the law of UNCLOS is applied, except when they are driving a sub around the 'oggin without a valid navplot, and have to replace their divots, but, hey, stuff happens.

China doesn't try to declare itself an archipelagic state... it has a bit of a problem unless it ditches mainland "China" from the moniker "China".



So the USN is transiting 2 x CGs through the straits... outside of 12nm of everyone, which is an expected response. Good to see the point is being made. China can complain as they may, UNCLOS is quite clear, and, for a country that is dependent on both sea trade for their merchant marine, and for the arbitrage that has built their economy to the point that it is at, the "rules is rules...."; the America's Cup adage of "...ruling the waves vs waiving the rules..." seems to fit in passing.

Any country can mouth off, e.g., as Russia does, but the international conventions have obligations and there be dragons consequences if disregarded.

USN, thanks for your service to the rest of us ingrates. Freedom of Navigation is a global need, remove that security, and there would be global famine, in Africa, and China particularly.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 22:20
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Taiwan Says It Will Now Shoot Down Rogue Chinese Drones (msn.com)s its next move in the fast-developing challenge of Chinese drone incursions, the Taiwanese military has reportedly confirmed that it will, in the future, shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles that don’t respond to its warnings. The move comes after authorities on the self-governing island said they would deploy undisclosed domestically developed drone defense systems across its territory, which followed a highly public encounter between a Chinese drone and two Taiwanese soldiers, as you can read about more here.

Taiwan Says It Will Now Shoot Down Rogue Chinese Drones© YouTube Screencap/Patrick Aventurier/Getty ImagesAccording to a report from Taiwan News, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense yesterday announced that its forces would “shoot down intruding Chinese drones that fail to heed warnings.” Exactly what type of drone defense system is planned to be used in such scenarios is unclear, although The War Zone has already looked at some of the possible candidates.

A military drone during the Taiwanese Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China’s People’s Liberation Army invading the island, on July 27, 2022, in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images

What we do know is that the rules of engagement, as described, call for the Taiwanese military to act against drones in its airspace only after they ignore other measures to “drive away” the unmanned aerial vehicles. These include “sounding whistles, broadcasting radio warnings, and firing signal flares.” The last of these is something that Taiwan has done on a fairly regular basis since the current wave of drone incursions began in July. As for the other two, it’s highly questionable if these would have any kind of effect on the small, likely commercially available drone types that seem to have been encountered over Taiwan’s outlying islands. It is unlikely that UAVs of this type would be transmitting live audio let alone be equipped with radios able to transmit and receive voice communications.

NEW TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN - JULY 27: A military drone is seen during the Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island on July 27, 2022 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Taiwan military launches a weeklong of live fire drills involving all forces of the military to repel simulated attacks from China. (Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)© Provided by The DriveIt should also be noted that while the Ministry of National Defense reportedly mentioned shooting down the rogue drones, this may well not involve using a gun or missile, or even a net-based system to capture it. A range of other non-kinetic options are available that could similarly disable a UAV and cause it to crash.

A Sky Net anti-drone gun of the Republic of China Air Force during an anti-invasion drill in Chang-Hua, Taiwan, in May 2019. Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

Also of particular interest is the fact that the latest announcement refers specifically to Taiwan’s outer islands, rather than the main island, around which Chinese manned aircraft of different kinds now also more regularly operate.

CHANG-HUA, TAIWAN - MAY 28: Anti-drone gun of Taiwan Air Force during a anti-invasion drill on hight-way road in Chang-Hua on May 28, 2019 in Chang-Hua, Taiwan. The live firing was part of annual exercices designed to prove the military's capabilities to repel any Chinese attack. China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949, but China claims Taiwan island as its territory. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)© Provided by The DriveIn particular, Chinese drone incursions have been taking place over the islands of Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, as well as the Matsu Islands. At their closest points, these are only around six miles from the coast of mainland China, but around 100 miles from the main island of Taiwan, making their defense extremely problematic. They have also long been the focus of Chinese military activity at times of tension, up to and including artillery bombardment. With the close proximity of these islands to the mainland, they would likely be among the first to be seized in a wider conflict with Taiwan, or they may even be taken as part of a separate operation.

A map showing the general locations of the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, just off the coast of mainland China. Google Earth

That the Kinmen Islands, in particular, are experiencing a Chinese drone ‘problem’ had become abundantly clear by August 16, when a drone appeared over the Lieyu Garrison Battalion on one of the islands of Kinmen.

The drone was variously described as belonging to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) or Chinese civilians, but Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that imagery filmed from the drone, which showed its sentries throwing rocks or other objects at the UAV, was genuine.


The Kinmen Defense Command told Taiwan News that the drone “quickly flew away.”

Since then, however, more video has emerged showing another similar incident, also at a military lookout post in Kinmen’s Lieyu Township.

Again, first appearing on the Chinese Weibo social media platform, this video emerged on August 27 and shows Taiwanese troops scrambling to respond to the drone’s appearance. Soldiers are seen speaking into radios and pointing at the drone.


Provided by The Drive
The Kinmen Defense Command again said that the drone involved was a civilian model, and that warning flares were fired at it. However, as we have observed before, an apparently civilian drone doesn’t rule out at least some kind of connection to the Chinese military or intelligence services.


The Kinmen Defense Command has also confirmed 23 intrusions by Chinese drones over Kinmen County since the controversial visit to Taiwan by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the beginning of this month.

Incursions even by smaller unmanned aircraft could threaten sensitive areas on the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, both in peacetime and in a range of different conflict scenarios. At a basic level, their missions could include various types of surveillance, including testing reactions and response times of the defending Republic of China Armed Forces. At the same time, repeated incursions could also serve to tie up Taiwanese resources while providing a low-cost propaganda tool, apparently undermining Taiwanese defense efforts on the islands and highlighting their vulnerability to a Chinese invasion.

In a time of war in the Taiwan Strait, the PLA would almost certainly make use of its many different drone types and even smaller craft could potentially play a useful role, especially during the open stages of a conflict. They could be especially useful in efforts to degrade air defense systems that might be deployed on the islands, achieved both through the drone’s weight of numbers, kinetic effects, and potentially through jamming.

The very public nature of some of these recent incidents could well have prompted, in part, the Ministry of National Defense’s announcement of harsher measures against drones, although we don’t know when these are likely to start being enforced. Indeed, the ease with which these drones have apparently threatened the security of Taiwanese military facilities has resulted in much discussion, including about the seriousness of Taipei’s plans to defend the outlying islands against potential Chinese aggression.

Taiwan Says It Will Now Shoot Down Rogue Chinese Drones© Provided by The DriveA recent post on the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense Facebook page shows soldiers with a quadcopter drone superimposed and states that it will take “appropriate countermeasures immediately.” The nearest soldier appears to be armed with a flare gun, as used in recent drone encounters.

A close-up of the apparent flare gun. Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense Facebook page

As for the forthcoming drone defense systems, these are directed at a broader set of threats since they are intended to address not just the outlying islands but will be installed at 45 facilities across Taiwan up to 2026, according to the Ministry of National Defense. The investment is expected to amount to $141 million.

KINMEN, TAIWAN - MAY 25: Taiwan Marines Special Force during a anti-invasion drill in Kinmen island on May 25, 2019 in Kinmen, Taiwan. The live firing was part of annual exercices designed to prove the military's capabilities to repel any Chinese attack. China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949, but China claims Taiwan island as its territory.(Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)© Provided by The DriveHowever, the particular vulnerability of the outlying islands is being addressed, with reports that military facilities in these locations will be “prioritized.” Next year, according to reports, Taiwan will acquire “five sets of drone defense systems and 232 jammer guns,” and it seems almost certain that at least some of them will be issued to units like those on Kinmen.

As long as civilian drones are being shot down, the potential for further escalation is probably limited. However, were Taiwan to shoot down a UAV belonging to the PLA, it’s unclear what the response from Beijing would be.

The drones seen in the recent video footage are clearly within Taiwanese airspace, but it’s easy to see how a drone skirting Taiwanese territory that was then shot down could lead to a serious international incident. Furthermore, the nature of spy flights is such that opposing sides very frequently disagree on where incidents take place as regards airspace ownership and appropriate response. With Beijing’s expansive claims over territory, the potential for such flashpoints only grows.

Special forces from the Republic of China Marine Corps during an anti-invasion drill in Kinmen island on May 25, 2019. Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

Interestingly, it seems that, at least to some degree, Taiwan’s previous approach to drone incursions was based on demonstrating restraint, likely to reduce the chances of such misunderstandings.

Indeed, in the wake of the second Kinmen drone video, which emerged on August 27, the Kinmen Defense Command told Taiwan News that its forces had responded according to the principle of “not starting a war lightly and not escalating a conflict.” How shooting down a drone fits into this posture is not quite clear, but it’s easy to see how Beijing would view it as a hostile act. Furthermore, the loss of a drone could give Beijing a reason to adopt an even more aggressive posture in a time of already heightened tension.
Nevertheless, with the Chinese military’s use of drones having sharply increased in recent weeks, and especially with provocative drone flights over the outlying islands, whoever may be conducting them, it seems that Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has made the decision to take a harder line in the future. To what degree this is intended as a response to the current tensions and the related questions over national security, is unclear. Still, it appears that Taiwan is now generally taking the drone threat much more seriously.
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Old 30th Aug 2022, 22:49
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Solomon Islands Suspends US Naval Visits as Tensions Rise (msn.com)

Taiwan fires warning shots at unidentified drone near islands (msn.com)
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Old 31st Aug 2022, 12:16
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Originally Posted by havoc
A Sky Net anti-drone gun of the Republic of China Air Force during an anti-invasion drill in Chang-Hua, Taiwan, in May 2019. Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

They will be Terminating the drones, eh?
China has been playing the long game. Looks like there has been a payoff.
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Old 1st Sep 2022, 13:31
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JMSDF "arsenal ship" or cruiser? The new ships intended to supplant original Aegis Ashore plan will reportedly measure 210m in length, 40m width, possess 20,000 tons standard displacement, and armed with extended-range Type-12 ASCMs for land attack.

https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2022083100730&g=pol

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Old 2nd Sep 2022, 06:10
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General Mick Ryan..

This is a superb piece on the Chinese potential for building an invasion fleet for #Taiwan. It is well-referenced & full of useful insights.

Reassessing China’s Power Projection Capabilities Against Taiwan - @WarOnTheRocks

https://warontherocks.com/2022/09/he...gainst-taiwan/

HEDGING WITH HUMILITY: REASSESSING CHINA’S POWER PROJECTION CAPABILITIES AGAINST TAIWAN
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Old 2nd Sep 2022, 16:54
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Originally Posted by ORAC
General Mick Ryan..



This is a superb piece on the Chinese potential for building an invasion fleet for #Taiwan. It is well-referenced & full of useful insights.

Reassessing China’s Power Projection Capabilities Against Taiwan - @WarOnTheRocks

https://warontherocks.com/2022/09/he...gainst-taiwan/

HEDGING WITH HUMILITY: REASSESSING CHINA’S POWER PROJECTION CAPABILITIES AGAINST TAIWAN
Thanks ORAC, a good read. I’m left a bit more pessimistic. That said, what’s not mentioned (nor should it have been, a strictly capabilities and planning document) is the sudden backlash and isolation by the world community, minus a few.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 00:42
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He's said it again:
https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/jo...19-p5bj6b.html
I'm starting to wonder if this isn't a calculated strategy.
Boiling the frog so to speak...
Check here:
https://www.cbs.com/shows/video/x9VL...MahE59Y4gj9Dc/
...and specifically from 9'44" onwards - and 10'23" specifically.
Repeated twice for clarification.
That's not senility - it's undisclosed policy.

Last edited by tartare; 19th Sep 2022 at 01:13.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 02:07
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If the 'world' gives Taiwan an independent nation status. It's a different story.
I find it hard to make a case when there is a 'One China' policy. If China owns Taiwan, it's an internal squabble. There are many examples in the world now. Then you have the nation vs nation fights. Put Israeli/Palestinians where you want to.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 04:22
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Originally Posted by golder
If the 'world' gives Taiwan an independent nation status. It's a different story.
I find it hard to make a case when there is a 'One China' policy. If China owns Taiwan, it's an internal squabble. There are many examples in the world now. Then you have the nation vs nation fights. Put Israeli/Palestinians where you want to.
The CCP says there is a 'One China Policy though historically even Mao said Taiwan should be independent (when the Japanese were in control of it. Otherwise, the USA only acknowledges that the CCP has a 'One China Policy' - it does not support it or agrees with it - the ambiguity is on purpose and made the most sense in the early 1970s at the height of the cold war. The Taiwanese position has evolved - pre-1949 there were indigenous Taiwanese, some Chinese and about 300K Japanese. So they would hardly see themselves as a part of China. After 1949 when the KMT retreated to Taiwan they saw the island as more of a temporary wartime capital until they retook China.
Now? Taiwan is progressive and democratic and has its own character - if its people want to be independent - or part of China - or part of anything else that is their choice and only their choice - not the Chinese Communist Party's choice.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 04:32
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If China moves (as is did with the latest military show next to Taiwan) the US moves, this seems to be the lesson intended here. It is either status quo as in "no side is moving" or sort of US diplomatic retaliation for unilateral moves. Taiwan is China but not communist China. Even chairman Mao is on the record to have confirmed "Formosa" to be independent.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 06:31
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This is the position.
https://www.newsweek.com/which-count...t.Consequently, Taiwan was given China's seat at the United Nations and was recognized by many U.N. nations. However, China's communist party, which continued to maintain ruling over mainland China, provided evidence that the nationalist government that fled to Taiwan was not the legitimate government of China because more than 98 percent of Chinese citizens lived on the mainland—around 540 million in 1950, compared to only 8 million in Taiwan.

The claims eventually prompted the U.N. to change its diplomatic recognition from the RoC in Taiwan to the People's Republic of China (PRC) on mainland China. As a result, the U.N. expelled Taiwan in 1971 and recognized the CCP/PRC as the official Chinese government.

Now, if any nation or political entity wants to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC, it must not officially recognize the RoC or Taiwan as independent, according to CNBC TV. This also applies to international organizations such as the U.N. and World Trade Organization.
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