Category Archives: Asia

Japan doubles number of ships around disputed Diaoyu Islands after China sends vessels to the area | South China Morning Post

Japan is to double the size of its naval presence in waters around a set of disputed islands that are also claimed by China.

Less than a week after two ships from China’s coastguard entered a zone around the Diaoyu Islands that Japan claims as the Senkaku Islands, Tokyo announced that it would dispatch a further six of its own coastguard ships to the region.

Six Japanese patrol vessels are already tasked with protecting Japan’s claimed territory but there are growing concerns about increasing Chinese assertiveness.

When the Chinese crews of the Haijing 2307 and 2337 were challenged last week by a Japanese coastguard ship, they replied the islands were the “inherent territory of China” and that the surrounding waters were also Chinese.

Japan doubles number of ships around disputed Diaoyu Islands after China sends vessels to the area | South China Morning Post

In order to avoid another war in Asia, we need to visualize it.

“If the parallel for today is the period before World War I, as Henry Kissinger worries, …”

The risk is obvious: The once unthinkable is more thinkable by the day, a brewing Cold War between great powers, one that could even turn hot. The Pacific Ocean covers nearly a third of the Earth’s surface, making it a large canvas on which to paint a picture of the digital age’s first war between great powers. The potential locales could be the Taiwan Strait or an artificial islet in the South China Sea created by Chinese military construction teams. Or the spark for such a conflict may come halfway around the world, driven by China’s growing presence in strategically vital areas like the Middle East or Africa’s resource regions. If the parallel for today is the period before World War I, as Henry Kissinger worries, remember that there were numerous crises and standoffs between Great Britain, France, and Germany before 1914, with friction points from South Africa to Algeria to the Pacific. Yet it was an assassination in Sarajevo, at the other end of Europe from Berlin and London, which led both the world’s leaders and their publics to see logic in a war they once thought impossible in an age of globalization and progress.

Weapons of the Next War | The Diplomat

China’s rise in South China Sea unsettles region | UTSanDiego.com

The U.S. and China are jockeying for power in the South China Sea, deploying sharp words and an expanding fleet of warships, spy planes and fighter jets to protect their interests in a vital maritime domain.

Is this regional arms race and increasingly tense diplomatic showdown between the world’s two largest military forces a new Cold War?

Not exactly. But it is dangerous, according to military officials and analysts based in the Pacific Rim.

Run-ins between U.S. and Chinese military personnel in the South China Sea are happening on a routine basis, American commanders say, stressing their efforts to keep the encounters safe and professional. CNN broadcast one of them in late May, when the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a U.S. surveillance plane flying over man-made islands it occupies to clear out of the area.

China’s rise in South China Sea unsettles region | UTSanDiego.com

Report: ‘China’s Strategic Assertiveness’ Fueling Tensions in Asia | The Diplomat

The 2015 Yearbook emphasizes that regional tensions have been on the rise since 2008, a lot of which can be attributed to “China’s strategic assertiveness,” which manifests itself particularly in maritime territorial disputes.

Tensions in the South China Sea are ever on the rise, the publication explains, while bellicose actions and rhetoric over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea ebbed somewhat in 2014 — SIPRI singles out the reduction of Chinese Coast Guard patrols around the islands as a sign of relaxation.

Additionally, the publication says that “regional military expenditure trends show that states engaged in territorial disputes with China have launched military modernization programs.” SIPRI also notes that nations concerned over “China’s continued modernization efforts” have sought closer ties with the United States.

China appears to be slowly eroding the United States’ position as a principal arbiter regional disputes:  “Within the area of regional security, China is increasingly using its own forums to advance structures that diminish the capacity of the USA to help manage and resolve conflicts in the region.”

Report: ‘China’s Strategic Assertiveness’ Fueling Tensions in Asia | The Diplomat

China and US on collision course for war over South China Sea | News.Com.Au

“This will happen. This is about power.

“The American pentagon is on a collision course with China.

“So the South China Sea has become a flashpoint for war.”

The deputy dean of global studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Professor Joseph Siracussa, told news.com.au that the two nations were “spoiling for a fight”.

Despite the economic ties between China and the global economy, he said it wouldn’t stop a war.

“Economics mean very little at the end of the day,” said Prof Siracussa, who is an expert in human security and international diplomacy.

“Once you militarise a problem, you don’t get a diplomatic solution.

“The [US] Secretary of Defence’s job is to think about the next war and how to beat them up.

“The trigger is there, it’s just waiting to happen,” he said.

During a “Re-assessing the Global Nuclear Order” conference in January, Prof Siracussa said discussions about “inevitable” war between the US and China were quite open and on the table.

“They were discussing the inevitable war with China,” he said.

“This will happen. This is about power.

“The American pentagon is on a collision course with China.

“So the South China Sea has become a flashpoint for war.”

China and US on collision course for war over South China Sea

I agree with this assessment: “The South China Sea has become a flashpoint for war.” It’s only a matter of time before something happens.

China plans to build coast guard base near Senkaku Islands: sources | The Japan Times

The China Coast Guard, which has been sending vessels into waters around the Senkaku Islands more frequently since 2012, plans to build a large base in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, to enhance monitoring of the chain, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

By building the base in Wenzhou, which is close to the Japan-administered islets, the coast guard is apparently hoping to bolster support for surveillance vessels so China can strengthen its claim to them.

China calls the uninhabited islets Diaoyu, but they are also claimed by nearby Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai.

The move came after revelations that China’s military is building large base facilities on the Nanji Islands, which are in the same province and even closer to the Senkakus, indicating that Beijing is poised to test Japan through concerted efforts by the military and coast guard.

China plans to build coast guard base near Senkaku Islands: sources | The Japan Times

You may not want nuclear war but nuclear war wants you. To me this sounds like only nuclear war is going to stop China. Not that we want that but China doesn’t seem to care. Realistically, the US is not going to start a nuclear war with China. Instead, China will be starting a nuclear war with the US. Hey, it’s perfectly clear that China really doesn’t care about nuclear war. It does whatever it wants. Unless something significantly changes on the China side real soon, we are headed for nuclear war.

In my opinion, if there hasn’t been a nuclear war by the end of Obama’s term in office then the US should count itself lucky.

US Must Challenge China in South China Sea | The Diplomat

The U.S. should accept China’s challenge, the sooner the better. If China truly seeks to dominate the Western Pacific, then the United States should contest Beijing’s claims now while China is quite weak in terms of naval power and while the United States still has the relative advantage. The United States should employ a variant of the “Maritime Strategy” used against the Soviet Union in the eighties against China today. Then, the U.S. Navy sailed into so-called Soviet naval redoubts off Murmansk and the Sea of Okhotsk to deny the Soviet navy sanctuary in any conflict. That is what the U.S. Navy must do today against China. It must be made clear that China’s sea bases offer no advantage at all in time of conflict. Perhaps a gunnery demonstration against an uninhabited and unclaimed atoll would be useful. Perhaps a demonstration of the efficacy of fleet ABM capability should be mounted. The objective would be to make public the weaknesses China seeks to hide by its noisy propaganda.

A concurrent approach must be to demonstrate that China’s political claims in the East and South China Seas have no historical basis. To date, the United States has failed to contest these claims, leaving the impression that they are true, which they are not. Not one of them. Beijing claims that Taiwan is China’s territory, which it is not. If sovereignty is a function of conquest, colonization, and control, then no mainland Chinese regime has ever in the five thousand year history of China satisfied these conditions as far as Taiwan is concerned. Indeed, China itself was ruled by a variety of non-Chinese regimes for most of its history and the only quasi-serious claim “China” has to Taiwan was made during the Qing Dynasty, which was a Manchu not a Chinese regime. The Qing declared Taiwan an administrative region, but never controlled the island. Its claim lasted a grand total of ten years, from 1885 to 1895 when Japan took possession of the island as part of the settlement of the Sino-Japanese war. It was Japan that conquered, colonized, and controlled Taiwan against the will of its overwhelmingly non-Chinese inhabitants for the subsequent fifty years, until the end of World War II.

US Must Challenge China in South China Sea | The Diplomat

Some kind of challenge will never happen from the Obama administration. It’s almost pointless talking about it.

3 Ways China and the U.S. Could Go to War in the South China Sea | The National Interest

Neither China nor the United States want war, at least not in the near future.  China’s military buildup notwithstanding, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its components are not ready to fight the United States.  The U.S., for its part, would surely prefer to avoid the chaos and uncertainty that any military conflict with China would create.

Nevertheless, both China and the United States are making commitments in the South China Sea that each may find difficult to back away from. Over the past two weeks, these commitments have generated a war of words that analysts of the relationship have found troubling.  The key problems focus on China’s efforts to expand (or create) islands in the Spratlys, which could theoretically provide the basis for claims to territorial waters.  The insistence of the United States on freedom of navigation could bring these tensions to a boil. Here are three ways in which tensions in the South China Sea might lead to conflict.

3 Ways China and the U.S. Could Go to War in the South China Sea | The National Interest

South China Sea: Washington says one thing but Beijing hears another

Beijing, however, likely does not see the US Navy’s action as being aimed at upholding international law. Rather, it thinks Washington is mainly out to block its rise, a narrative that already dominates China’s geopolitical consciousness.

That reading has consequences.

China has a stake in keeping the global commons open and unimpeded – a norm upon which global trade as well as the Chinese economy depend — and it could be dissuaded from attempts to restrict access to the commons if sufficient opposition can be mobilised. But if that opposition is framed around the narrative of a bipolar power struggle, it will drive the region down a zero-sum track of escalating confrontation.

Any perception of Washington tightening the noose around China could further empower Chinese hawks. They are likely the original proponents of the reclamation projects and the strongest advocates for their militarised use and the imposition of restrictive rules to impede the mobility of the US Navy. Already some in the Chinese military are making the case that the P-8A Poseidon fly-by warrants a Chinese air defence identification zone in the South China Sea.

The advance of the Chinese hardliners would confirm a suspicion rapidly gaining currency in Washington that Beijing aims to not only challenge America’s position as a regional security guarantor but also subvert norms and rules that lie at the foundation of today’s world order. That conclusion would also encourage the rising voices in the US calling for more robust treatment of China.

South China Sea: Washington says one thing but Beijing hears another

Will South China Sea Dispute Lead to World War?

Chang said last week at a panel discussion held by the U.S. Air Force Association that it will not be long before the U.S. takes initiatives to respond to China’s unyielding attitude and behavior in the South China Sea. He said the time frame is now.

“The U.S. Navy is clearly going to test China’s claims of exclusion of the South China Sea,” Chang said. “We have to do that, because if there has been any consistent American foreign policy over the course of two centuries, it has been the defense of freedom of navigation.”

“Now China is infringing on that notion at this time,” Chang added. “I think we probably will act in a very short time frame.”

Chang called it “a classic zero-sum game” for China to challenge the U.S. in the South China Sea. He said China sees the South China Sea as one of its core interests with no room for negotiation, while the U.S. has been the influential maritime power for the past two centuries. Both could concede on the South China Sea issues, Chang said, but they will not abandon their long-held positions.

Will South China Sea Dispute Lead to World War?