Tag Archives: War

US-China Showdown: 3 Ways Shooting War Could Erupt On South China Sea

China has been steadily laying its so-called sovereign claims on what it considers as its rightful territorial waters that span the East and South China seas. But one nation stands in the way of Beijing – America. On the account of its military might, the United States is essentially tempering the aggressiveness that China has been displaying lately. The two superpowers are not exactly quarreling but Washington is challenging the perceived advances being made by the Chinese Navy over at the South China Sea. The situation on the region is characterized at the moment as tense that Michael Austin, a history professor at Yale University, has expressed fears that two countries could get locked in a conflict soon. “The U.S. and China are now potentially closer to an armed encounter than at any time in the past 20 years,” Austin wrote for The Commentator. China and the U.S. slugging it out on the region is not a remote possibility considering the prevailing environment, Austin said, adding that three scenarios could play out into a full-scale confrontation between the two countries.   Read more: http://en.yibada.com/articles/40835/20150625/us-china-showdown-3-ways-shooting-war-could-erupt-on-south-china-sea.htm

China Prepares For War? Chinese Aircraft Carrier, Fighter Jets Conduct Navy Drills Amid Rising South Sea Tensions

Chinese naval soldiers stand guard on China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning, as it travels towards a military base in Sanya, Hainan province, in this undated picture made available on November 30, 2013. Reuters Amid escalating tensions in Asia, China’s lone aircraft carrier conducted military exercises Friday along with fighter jets after setting sail from the coastal city of Qingdao in east China, officials from the People’s Liberation Army Navy said. Military officials declined to state where the exercises where taking place, but called the drills routine, Reuters reported. The exercises are part of China’s ongoing efforts to develop a navy capable of defending its economy, the world’s second largest, and its territorial positions amid disputes over who controls the South China and East China seas. China wants its aircraft carrier and fighter jets, including the Shenyang J-15, to be war ready, the Chinese navy has said. Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/china-prepares-war-chinese-aircraft-carrier-fighter-jets-conduct-navy-drills-amid-1964361

Confrontation looms as two fortresses rise in South China Sea

MANILA: — In just two years, China has poured billions of dollars into reclamation work and military structures on three reefs in the contested Spratlys, implying that it is there to stay. Recently it warned the United States not to attempt to stop the construction, or “there will be war”. China needs oil badly. Without it, a slowdown of its economic growth may trigger a mammoth recession. It knows there is oil in the Spratlys, otherwise it would not risk billions of dollars and war for the island chain. To extract oil, China needs military security. Without militarisation in a volatile place claimed by other nations, extraction can be disrupted. A US Poseidon P8 surveillance plane (a “submarine hunter”) recently braved eight warnings from China to report dredging that has reclaimed 800 hectares from the sea at the Fiery Cross Reef, as well as military barracks and piers rising 300 metres from the seabed, and search radars. A commercial plane was also warned by Chinese authorities to move away. Taiwan Strait choke-point The United States is so far wary of confronting China over its militarisation of the Spratlys’ reefs, but if China closes the Taiwan Strait, vital shipping lanes will be disrupted and it will be America’s turn to warn “there will be war”. Japan may also be a willing combatant since most of its precious imported oil passes through the Taiwan Strait. Remember that when Egypt tried to close the Suez Canal, a vital shipping lane, the United States and Britain were quick to move in. What would make China close the Taiwan Strait? For one, regaining Taiwan is a continuing obsession for Beijing. But even if that is too risky to go to war over, if there is a military confrontation within a 1,000-kilometre radius, which includes the Spratlys, closing the Taiwan Strait choke-point would shield the Chinese mainland from attackers. It would take 24 hours for China to close the strait, simply by laying thousands of mines.   Read more: http://news.thaivisa.com/world/confrontation-looms-as-two-fortresses-rise-in-south-china-sea/96429/

Riding the Tiger of Anti-U.S. Sentiment in the South China Sea

The South China Sea has long been the focus of simmering maritime disputes between China, which claims sovereignty over almost all of the sea, and its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific, each with smaller overlapping claims. But strains between China and the United States have increased since February, when satellite images revealed that Chinese vessels are engaging in a massive reclamation project to turn submerged reefs into small islands capable of supporting airstrips. Now a small but vocal group of nationalist web users are seizing on what they view as the latest provocations in the region — and with its own harsh rhetoric, Beijing risks painting itself into a corner to appease its strongly nationalist citizenry. Since May, tensions between the United States and China have escalated further. On May 20, a U.S. surveillance plane flew over one of the disputed regions with a reporting crew on board, who caught on video the Chinese navy warning the plane eight times to leave the area. On May 25, Foreign Ministry spokesperson called on the United States to “end its provocative behavior.” Then on May 26, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter called for China to halt its island reclamation activities, calling China “out of step” with international norms and indicating that the U.S. military will continue to operate in the South China Sea — comments which he repeated at the May 30 opening address of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-profile security forum held annually in Singapore.   Read more: https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/01/south-china-sea-america-nationalism-tensions-war/

Chinese official: U.S. has ulterior motives over South China Sea

Beijing (CNN)A week after a CNN team aboard a U.S. Navy P8-A Poseidon heard the Chinese military issue warnings eight times to a U.S. surveillance plane flying over disputed waters in the South China Sea, a senior official with the People’s Liberation Army has called Chinese response “professional” and suggested Washington is playing up the issue with ulterior motives. “For a long time, the U.S. military has been conducting close-in surveillance of China and the Chinese military has been making such necessary, legal and professional response — why did this story suddenly pop up in the past weeks? Has the South China Sea shrunk?” Senior Col. Yang Yujun asked rhetorically at a press conference Tuesday. “A certain country has increased the frequency of its close-in surveillance of China and that has caused a problem,” he added. “Some people have been intentionally and repeatedly hyping this topic. Their purpose is to smear the Chinese military and dramatize regional tensions. And I’m not ruling it out that this is being done to find an excuse for certain country to take actions in the future.” Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/26/asia/china-south-china-sea-dispute/

Stopping China and avoiding war

In the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), China continues its “reclamation” projects on several disputed reefs which appears to be future airstrips and harbors meant to accommodate jets and warships. Aside from posing security threats to countries in Southeast Asia, these reclamation projects have also been termed as an ecological catastrophe because the reclamation destroys the reefs; agricultural and industrial run-off poisons the water; and, overfishing by Chinese fishing fleets is depleting fish stocks. The intention is apparently to transform the West Philippine Sea into a Chinese lake by placing the whole area under the control of China’s fast expanding navy and coast guard.  Geopolitical experts, however, have warned that this attempt  is only part of China’s grand strategy. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) of the United States, a non-partisan, non-government national security and foreign policy think tank, just released a 2015 policy report entitled Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China. The 48-page report is too long to fully dissect in this column. However, there are some specific sections that would be of interest to the Filipino people. According to the report, China’s grand strategy has  four operational aims which it has pursued since the 1949 Communist Revolution. These are: Maintain Internal Order; Sustain High Economic Growth; Pacify the Periphery; and Cement International Status.   Read more: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/05/10/1453124/stopping-china-and-avoiding-war

China’s scrappiest enemy is a familiar foe

For the fifth time in 100 years, Vietnam is facing the prospect of being involved in a war with a larger, more powerful country. The country that took on the Central Powers, Japan, France, the United States, and China is facing the possibility of conflict with a familiar foe: China. As Beijing presses territorial claims in the South China Sea, Vietnam is arming itself for a potential air and sea confrontation with its larger neighbor. Despite the difference in size between the two nations, particularly in terms of military power, Vietnam is not backing down. Vietnam went to war five times during the 20th century. In World War I, Vietnamese troops served on Europe’s Western Front as part of France’s colonial forces. Vietnamese troops fought Japanese occupation forces in World War II, the French and American military between 1945 and 1972, and, briefly, China in 1979. Perhaps improbably, Vietnam won — or avoided losing — every time. China and Vietnam are two neighbors that historically do not get along. Vietnam has suffered political, military, and cultural domination from China for thousands of years.   Read more: http://theweek.com/articles/545503/chinas-scrappiest-enemy-familiar-foe

Countering China’s Maritime Coercion

Is China-U.S. competition for primacy in Asia this century’s greatest threat to peace? Some analysts think so. But in leaping from Sino-American competition to potential world war, they miss the obvious: Chinese leaders probe, seize opportunities, and challenge the international system with creeping assertions of sovereignty in the East and South China Seas. Yet they have no intention of sparking war, and they know that American, Japanese and other leaders are equally averse to risking so much over something as arcane as maritime boundaries and rights. We need to reframe the problem. As important as it is, the potential for war is not the sole reason to pay attention to China’s actions. We must also attend to China’s pressing challenge to rules, rule making, and rule enforcement short of war. In other words, the China challenge is not only the avoidance of major power war (as crucial as that is, it is not as likely as some suggest), but also how to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in maritime Asia short of war. China does pose a challenge. Its rapid power gains coupled with its maritime saber rattling are riddling the region with a profound sense of insecurity. A redistribution of power is occurring, to be sure. Change is unavoidable and a rising China must be accommodated. There is no guarantee that a more Sino-centric regional order will protect the rights of China’s neighbors. In fact, there is ample reason to be skeptical about China’s future intentions. One does not have to argue that China has a coherent grand strategy of regional dominance to see that there is a problem and the system is under stress. Towering ambitions to rejuvenate China, make it a maritime power, and achieve the “China Dream” notwithstanding, Xi Jinping may not harbor long-term imperial ambitions. Still, why should neighbors hitch their security to a state with a long history of thinking of itself as the Middle Kingdom, and one in which anti-corruption and censorship campaigns leave individuals totally exposed to the caprice of an unelected Communist Party cadre?   Read more: http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/countering-chinas-maritime-coercion/

Dispute over the South China Sea could put East Asia at war again

Philippine authorities have released satellite pictures of six reefs in the Spratly archipelago that indicate that the Chinese are building artificial structures in the disputed territories of the South China Sea. According to some observers, these features could allow China to extend the range of its navy, air force, coastguard and fishing fleets into the disputed areas. In response, the US and the Philippines announced they would further strengthen their alliance to increase their military capacity. The Philippines have already given the US military access to bases on Philippine soil, two decades after the closing of the last American bases there. The news about Chinese building projects and the possible military consequences have not yet been commented on by the Chinese media or by Chinese officials, but it seems clear that the reinforcements are yet another move in a long, steady game of escalation between the US and China. The disputed maritime area may not be worth the risks. The natural and artificial features in the disputed areas of the South China Sea are generally too small and too far away from the mainland to sustain life, and many of the oil and gas fields in the disputed areas could also be drained from areas that are not disputed – avoiding conflict at least for the time being.   Read more: http://theconversation.com/dispute-over-the-south-china-sea-could-put-east-asia-at-war-again-37825

South China Sea in 2015: Fears of war

Is war over the festering South China Sea (SCS) maritime dispute between China and the Southeast Asian claimants of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam inevitable in 2015? China’s rising assertiveness, the firmness of claimants like the Philippines and Vietnam and the big powers’ interest in the region, have led to fears that tensions might escalate into armed conflict between the contumacious China and one or two claimant countries in 2015, said a top US think-tank in a survey recently. The Washington-based Center for Preventive Action (CPA), a research wing of the Council on Foreign Relations, rated the SCS as one of top 10 potential conflicts in its Preventive Priorities Survey 2015. According to the survey, the other nine potential conflicts are Iraq, a large-scale terrorist attack on the US or an ally, North Korea, Israel’s attacks on Iran, the Syrian civil war, Afghanistan, Ukraine, cyber-attacks and Israeli-Palestinian tensions. “One high-priority contingency — an armed confrontation in the South China Sea — was upgraded in likelihood from low to moderate this year,” the CPA said. Throughout 2014, China, which has shown no signs of agreeing to a code of conduct (CoC), tried to continue its unilateral actions, known as “salami slicing” in the SCS, and appease ASEAN countries through trade, investments and loans. But Chinese actions created more concerns than ever. Like a drop of poison, the SCS has disrupted good relations between China and ASEAN claimant countries, as well as Indonesia. See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/22/south-china-sea-2015-fears-war.html#sthash.Jg6D1IJD.dpuf