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US-China war “inevitable” unless US drops demands over South China Sea? May 28, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in disconcerting, Flightline Friday, foolishness, huh?, non squitur, pr stunts, self-serving, Society, technology.
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No war is inevitable.  This is typical over-the-top rhetoric coming out of the Chicom press apparatus.  Still, it’s one of those areas that merits watching.  The Chinese have grown significantly more aggressive in their attempt to seize the Spratly Islands and de facto incorporate them into their territory (they are quite, quite distant). Allowing them to do so would put Chinese territory and the airbases they are constructing there directly astride the busiest shipping lanes in the world.  It would also set a dangerous precedent regarding appeasing an aggressive powert.

The Chinese are also massively expanded their military capabilities, and are probably spending about as much on defense now as the US, in spite of what their “official” statistics say.  Since the Chinese economy is now larger than ours, and they are probably spending a higher percentage of GDP than the US is on defense……..you do the math.  They keep the real amount of spending a close secret, but given the number of new aircraft and ship types they’ve unveiled in the past few years, including some fairly stealthy tactical aircraft, it seems they are spending at least comparable amounts to the US on developing new weapons systems – and may be spending quite a bit more.

The main reason the Chinese seek to stir up foreign trouble, whether it be the “Daiyou” islands, the Spratly’s, Pescadore’s, or anywhere else, is to divert the attention of their populace to their many internal problems.  Thus far, it’s been a quite effective tactic.  If you ever want a bizarre, borderline terrifying experience, go read pro-Chinese defense sites.  You’ll get a bellyful of the most crazed nationalism you’ve ever seen.  Not exactly a stable mix.china2_3318025b

China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict.

A policy document by the state council, or cabinet, said China faced a “grave and complex array of security threats”, justifying the change. [The threats always go unstated. However, in diplomatic language, a “grave” threat usually means war. But the Chinese are known for taking great liberties with the normal language of diplomacy, and tend to use over the top language as their first recourse]

The People’s Liberation Army, including its navy and air force, will be allowed to “project power” further beyond its borders at sea and more assertively in the air in order to safeguard its maritime possessions, the white paper stated.

The navy will add “open seas protection” to a traditional remit of “offshore waters defence”, it said. [The main focus of their very significant military expansion and modernization efforts has been the ability to project power.  China sees everything in what it calls the “third island chain” – including the US-held Marianas – as being within their area of total suzerainty, and they eventually want to get to the point where they have dominance within that vast region – meaning all foreign powers out.]

The posture risks escalating the tension over disputed islands in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific, where the United States is determined to protect the interests of allies like Taiwan and the Philippines. [Not to US interests , one would think]

Only last week, a US aircraft ignored repeated warnings from the Chinese military to fly a reconnaissance mission over the islands. [US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft.  Routine flight in international airspace, but the thing is, China is claiming 90% of the South China Sea as their territorial waters, meaning they would control virtually all shipping lanes from the Mideast and Europe to Japan, Korea, and even eastern Russia and the US]

Global Times, a tabloid newspaper run by the Communist Party, said that China might have to “accept” there would be conflict with the United States.

“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, said the paper, which is often seen as a mouth-piece of hardline nationalists in the government in Beijing.

State media reported on Tuesday that Beijing had begun building two lighthouses on reefs in the Spratly Islands, a smattering of outcrops that are claimed by an array of countries including not only China but also Vietnam and the Philippines. [They are doing a lot more than that.  They are constructing harbors, air bases, and numerous other facilities, all with a predominately military orientation.  They have basically seized these islands as a pretext to claiming the entire South China Sea there’s, and they are daring other nations to call their bluff by kicking them off]

Last month, satellite imagery revealed the Chinese had almost completed an air strip on another reef – Fiery Cross – while they are turning another rock, Mischief Reef, into a full island through land reclamation.

The Global Times article described the construction of runways, harbour facilities and buildings on the disputed Spratly Islands as SouthCHina_3270601bthe nation’s “most important bottom line”….. [Oh, good, then, you’re going to give independence to Taiwan and Hong Kong, then, right?]

…..“From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference”, he said, adding that “some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs”. [Meaning, what we do there doesn’t matter, it’s Chinese land, and we’re going to do what we want]

Analysts say neither Washington nor Beijing appear to be in the mood to back down and that there is a serious risk of a minor incident in airspace around the islands escalating rapidly.

“I think the concern has to be that China misjudges the situation”, said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University.

“Neither party wants a war if it can be avoided, but there are red lines for both sides”, he said. “I worry whether Beijing considers the US to be a declining power[aren’t we?]  and assumes that Washington will back down if it shoots down a US observation aircraft”. [With President Surrender in office, if you were an aggressive foreign state with significant military capability, is that a risk you would take?  If it were me, I’d be grabbing all I could while this disinterested, narcissistic loser was still in power]

I’ll be straight up: I don’t like China as a nation.  They are communist, for one, but, even more, they are arrogant and expansionist.  I think they mean to cause trouble.  They bear endless grievances over previous Western slights and interventions in their country, and there are a goodly number of Chinese that seek redress of the most humiliating (read: violent) kind.

Then there is the whole matter of Japan.  If there is bad blood towards the increasingly decadent and declining West, there is even more towards Japan.  And not without some reason.  WWII is still bitterly remembered in China.  While the Japanese are expanding their modern Navy quite a bit, their air force is relatively small, aging, and ill-equipped, and their army, even more so.  But, they are also undergoing a cultural shift away from the imposed pacifism of the post-WWII regime, and towards a more “normal” interventionist policy.  Their political leadership is removing many of the taboos that have existed for decades against potential involvement in armed conflict – to no small amount of controversy.

I doubt anything serious develops in the near term (next few years), as the correlation of forces is not yet significantly in China’s favor and there is not much reason to shift from the status quo.  I do expect some possible unfortunate instances, though, like the shoot down or intentional ramming of some US recon assets.  In the longer term, I don’t think the Chinese tiger will be contained by the US. The mantle of responsibility (get it?) will shift elsewhere.

And maybe it was always wrong for the US to be the world’s policeman, anyway.   I increasingly have a hard time seeing the spread of US libertine democracy and cultural mores around the world as a good thing.

So, sort of an early Flightline Friday for me.

Comments

1. Willard Money - May 29, 2015

And yet you’ll still vote for the guys who are supported by the Koch Brothers. Madness.

2. c matt - May 29, 2015

Oh the irony – replace China with US and it reads like a typical Fox News report about the “grave” dangers facing the US under every middle eastern grain of sand.

3. camper - May 29, 2015

The Koch brothers are wonderful, and anyone who denies that should be tried by an inquisition.

I spent time in the far east and I do not believe that much love is lost on Japan thanks to their part in the war.

May God have mercy on us.

4. Obsever - June 1, 2015

We have come a long way since the days of ‘ping-pong diplomacy’!
The emerging writers and thinkers of France’s ‘nouvelle droite’, such as Guillaume Faye, predicted this coming conflict over a decade ago. In this Sino-American conflict Faye believes the future resides entirely on the Chinese side. For unlike the ‘Middle Kingdom’, an ethnic empire of ancient lineage, the US is a “symbiose etatico-entrepreneuriale” with a population loyal only to a paycheck, or to a particular lifestyle, but not to a destinying project rooted in blood and history.
(Faye’s wording which I have paraphrased a bit.)


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