Tuesday, 12 July 2016

South China Sea: Game On

Open thread on China's expansionism.  We've looked at this before, and as the Philippines wins against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, it's moving closer to the top of the front page.  

Wonder if our shiny new, *ahem*, 'aircraft' carriers were designed to 'project power' with the South China Seas in mind.  Hope they've read about the Repulse & the Prince of Wales ...

ND

16 comments:

dearieme said...

NOP. Not our problem: just like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Serbia ........

Raedwald said...

Agree. We should support Australia / NZ to the utmost, but let them lead. If they don't react to south china sea events, neither should we.

And by all means let's send a carrier, the half of the Navy needed to protect her and all our shiny new F35s - but let's put them under Australian command. I actually trust the Aussies more than the MoD.

Antisthenes said...

"Hope they've read about the Repulse & the Prince of Wales ..."

Didn't the Japs sink ships with those names in WWII? If so best the new ones stay out of Asian waters even after they get some F35s to fly off them.

Demetrius said...

An uncle was in the Royal Navy and in the Far East at the time in a different sector. The Wikipedia page on this tells of the impact it had and the shock it gave us.

Anonymous said...

Ball in Chinas court. Could be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the '9-dash' map it seems the Chinese are taking the Mick. It's as if we defined our territorial or economic waters to include the Skagerrak and Bay of Biscay.

But I guess they're thinking - how many divisions have the Filipinos got?

It looks as if the Sibylline books are shortly to be presented for the USA's inspection.

I do urge readers to have a butcher's at Eamnon Fingleton's thesis summarised here

http://www.fingleton.net/extract-from-in-the-jaws-of-the-dragon/

"Two bets are on the table. One has been placed by the Washington establishment, the other by the Chinese Communist Party.

Analyzing China’s prospects in terms of fashionable globalist ideology, Washington is betting that a rich China will be a free one. The theory is that the only way China can continue to grow is by embracing Western democracy and capitalism. Moreover, the very process of China’s enrichment is supposedly undermining the Beijing government’s authoritarianism. More wealth means more freedom means more wealth.

The Washington view has become so widely accepted that almost no one has noticed that there is second bet on the table–that of the Chinese leadership. It has been placed on a disturbingly different outcome: that a future China can be both rich and authoritarian.

If Washington is right, the future is unclouded, and a fast-rising China can readily be accommodated within the existing Western-defined world order. But what if China’s leaders turn out to understand the Chinese character better than anyone in Washington? What if in 2025 or 2030 the United States finds itself facing off against a China so rich that it has surpassed all other nations in military technology yet remains resolutely opposed to Western values?"

Anonymous said...

To continue

"For anyone who takes for granted that corporate America is destined to dominate the world economy in perpetuity, the reality abroad is chastening... here is a sampling of how fast China has been turning the tables on the U.S.:

1. China’s foreign currency reserves are now the largest in world economic history, multiplying more than sixfold since the end of 2001.

2. In partnership with other major East Asian central banks, the People’s Bank of China effectively controls American interest rates and the value of the dollar. To finance America’s trade deficits, it has become a huge purchaser of treasury bonds. Absent this buying, the dollar would collapse and interest rates would soar.

3. Chinese interests have established control of the formerly American-owned Panama Canal. The key ports at either end have been bought by a Hong Kong tycoon regarded as a Beijing surrogate. He also controls ports on Mexico’s Pacific coast that are playing an increasing role in shipping Chinese goods to the American market.

4. Chinese and other East Asian interests now largely control the network of satellites and undersea cables that make up the international telecommunications system. The system had been under American control until our high-technology stock crash, when dozens of telecommunications companies on the verge of bankruptcy were bought by East Asian interests.

5. Of the components of the next Boeing plane, the super-advanced 787, only the vertical fin will be made in the U.S. This will constitute the big-league debut for China’s fast-rising aerospace industry.

Many commentators insist that the U.S. is turning the corner, but the test of all optimistic manufacturing talk is the international trade figures–and these tell a bleak story.

From the volume of its exports to the strength of its trade surpluses, the U.S. was once the world’s strongest trading nation. It also generally ranked as the largest source of other nations’ imports. No longer. With its trade surpluses now a distant memory, the U.S. ranks first in a different category–as the world’s largest deficit nation."

Anonymous said...

I once knew a chap who had been a young sailor on HMS Repulse manning a pom-pom AA gun. 'Graduate 'of the training school HMS Ganges which produced around 1000 boys a year for the RN pre-war. Sunk, rescued, then sunk again escaping from Singapore. Captured and P.O.W.in Java until 1945. Saved from death {by then,in the death-ward) by Aussie medics who parachuted into the camp after the Jap surrender.
His story - and there's lots more- should be told to each and every one of our darling 'snowflakes.'
He told me 'we went out there to show them who was boss but they did the showing.'

Nick Drew said...

anon @5:35 - I hear all that, but there's a phenomenon that doesn't work in 'authoritarian' China's favour

the particular brand of authoritarianism in China is leftist; and leftists (like most religions) are systemically, doctrinally hide-bound when it comes to dealing with the unexpected

(witness Corbyn and his chimps tea-party chums, jerking off impotently in their ever-smaller, ever-smellier corner while the Tory Party quietly emerges from a short period in its chrysalis with wings and fangs regenerated - but also China's utter bemusement by the unseating of Gadaffi)

they have no idea how to react to Events: we capitalists, however, just Change The Rules. Whenever it suits us!

and so until they learn the habits of free capitalists, they will always be danced around by infinitely more nimble westerners (have you ever met a Chinese graduate student? they know so much ... and they know so little - I mean, like, totally neutered)

and is there anyone who actually admires China, except possibly for Putin (who wishes he could be authoritarian-and-successful-too)

but we shall see: they consider themselves able to play the long game - but that's back to the US bet

Anonymous said...

@ND - but will an ability to deal with the unexpected trump a rather large military and navy operating in its close waters, and will the other countries being trodden on (Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan etc) hang together, or be picked off/bribed one by one? China has plenty of bribery cash to spare.

No idea what tech the Chinese have, but shore-based cruise missiles might pose problems for shipping in that neck of the woods, and the launch platform is unsinkable.

Laban

Anonymous said...

china can be as strong as it likes. Who are its Allies? Russia?
In the event of a full on face off who would stand with whom?

The USA and the west has 10 times the military power of China. If it ever came to it.

Nick Drew said...

Laban - oh, for certain China can effectively sanitise the SCS: reduce it to a radioactive puddle if it wishes.

but it doesn't want that! it wants to be kow-towed to as Top Nation by grovelling inferiors freely acknowledging their cultural (and racial) inferiority

hang together? while the USA is willing to put several Carrier Groups into the field (so to speak), I don't see anyone being bribed too easily

for starters, look at their so-called 'communist' neighbours: Vietnam - fought them to a bitter standstill in 1979, no love lost there:
North Korea! - 'nuff said

Japanese? the racial & cultural antagonism (not to mention bad blood over the Jap invasion last century) is acute

not much sign of the much hankered-after Respec' for China that I can see

Anonymous said...

History's moving pretty fast at present. Bernie caves in to Hillary, but Corbyn lives to fight - and almost certainly win crushingly. Obama goes to a memorial service for dead officers and tells them not to be such racists.

Interesting times.

Anonymous said...

http://www.globaltimes.cn//content/993855.shtml

"Not only the Chinese government, but the whole of Chinese society will by no means accept the verdict. Our attitude of non-acceptance and non-participation in the arbitration remains unchanged. The so-called arbitration award is nothing but a piece of paper. But if the US and Japan use it to pile military and political pressure on Beijing, Chinese people will firmly support our government to launch a tit-for-tat counterpunch. We trust Chinese law enforcement and military forces have been well-prepared. We don't believe the provocateurs are emboldened enough to take forceful actions other than making some statements.

We hope China's rightful activities in the Nansha area will not be affected. Meanwhile, Chinese society can withstand all the waves, including geopolitical challenges, to function as usual. We have trust in the Chinese government and in our national strength to deal with these challenges. We have kept a firm hold on the reclaimed islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands. Compared to long-term significance of these strategic pivots, the arbitration is merely a bubble."

Anonymous said...

Washington is betting that a rich China will be a free one. The theory is that the only way China can continue to grow is by embracing Western democracy and capitalism. Moreover, the very process of China’s enrichment is supposedly undermining the Beijing government’s authoritarianism. More wealth means more freedom means more wealth.

The Washington view has become so widely accepted that almost no one has noticed that there is second bet on the table–that of the Chinese leadership. It has been placed on a disturbingly different outcome: that a future China can be both rich and authoritarian.


This is missing something obvious. You can only become rich in China if you support the communists, i.e. the authoritarians as there is no longer anything communist about the CCP. If you get high enough in the party then you are basically free to do what you like as long as you go with the flow.

If you are rich or middle-class and want "true" freedom, then you smuggle your money out and then get out. You certainly don't try to oppose the CCP while you still have stakes in China. If you can't get into North America, Europe or Australia, then you go to the Carribean, South America or Africa. This is what my dad did.

It may be a bit difficult for native Europeans to see this but China is basically the EU after 1000 years of political union (albeit without instant information transfer until recently). Everyone considers "the Chinese" to be one united people - and it suits the government to promote this view, but this is about as true as saying that "Europeans" are one people. The differences between northern and southern Chinese in terms of culture and language is greater than the differences between Scandinavians and Greeks. Being in a Chinese superstate doesn't work for the majority of Chinese, and neither will it work for Europeans, hence why I voted OUT in the referendum.

Peter S said...

Anon. 8:45. That's an interesting comment and punctures some of my preconceived ideas. Can you recommend some further reading please?