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This is a discussion on South China Sea News & Discussions, incl Spratly Islands News within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by swerve Why not just follow the established international laws? That would rule out the island creation, cancel ...


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Old May 30th, 2015   #226
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Originally Posted by swerve View Post
Why not just follow the established international laws? That would rule out the island creation, cancel the Chinese claim, & make most of the disputed area the EEZs (not to be confused with territorial waters) of the littoral states, which means (except for a bit in the north) Not China.
Agreed.

Anyway the militarisation has apparently begun.

U.S. detects Chinese artillery on disputed islands - CNNPolitics.com

I really also object to China accusing the US of stoking tensions. That is a blatant falsehood and I can only hope justice prevails here otherwise terrible things may happen.
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Old May 30th, 2015   #227
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Why not just follow the established international laws? That would rule out the island creation, cancel the Chinese claim, & make most of the disputed area the EEZs (not to be confused with territorial waters) of the littoral states, which means (except for a bit in the north) Not China.
Swerve what are your thoughts about timing of a major US challenge? Once these islands are complete and fully militarised with fighter and bomber fleets, missile defences and naval assets would that present a major danger to the movements of the US an her allies in the area?

Would it be in the interests of the allies to launch a major challenge sooner rather than later?

This surely has to be a dilemma that needs a quick decision by the US policy makers?
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Old May 30th, 2015   #228
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There isn't really much more the U.S. can do beyond what it's already doing. Lets be realistic here. The worrying part is that despite the U.S. "pivot", moves to strengthen ties with regional players and strong statements made by U.S. officials; the Chinese haven't backed down. I suspect the Americans - like everyone else - are not only worried and frustrated but are at a lost at what to do next.

Given the way things are going I will not be surprised to see USN ships visiting Subic more often for rest and refueling stops. Another possibility - if Sino/Vietnamese ties worsen - is USN ships regularly stopping at Da Nang.
The ultimate defiance would be for the allies to build a major reef of their own! A US/Vietnam/Philippines/Malaysia joint venture.
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Old June 1st, 2015   #229
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I don't see why European nations need to lose sleep over what's going on in this part of world. Most European governments will probably be observing developments, and I bet have already quietly done their analysis of the SCS situation. The European 'silence' on this matter should be indicative of how the developments in the SCS are being prioritised by the respective governments.

Also, I don't think NATO will be making any statements regarding the SCS in a long while. It simply is not a fundamental area of interest to them.
Not of fundamental interest!

Trade between China and the EU in 2011 totalled 474 billion Euros, 165.6 exports to China and 309.1 from China.


That's more than enough reason IMHO
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Old June 1st, 2015   #230
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Just saw a PLAN Admiral on CNN saying China may declare Air Defense Zones over some of the reclaimed areas if they perceive their security is threatened. in the meantime, Sec. Ash Carter insists the US wil continue to treat the SCS as part of the global commons and operate accordingly. It's high-stakes poker and seems to put the US and Chinese forces on a collision course. Who will blink first?
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Old June 1st, 2015   #231
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Not of fundamental interest!

Trade between China and the EU in 2011 totalled 474 billion Euros, 165.6 exports to China and 309.1 from China.

China–European Union relations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's more than enough reason IMHO
I was referring to NATO.
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Old June 1st, 2015   #232
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I was referring to NATO.
I don't want to seem petty but which major EU economies are not part of NATO?
Please don't answer.
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Old June 1st, 2015   #233
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I don't want to seem petty but which major EU economies are not part of NATO?
Please don't answer.
Wow, thanks. :/

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This is the best way to counter the Chinese push; for countries to outwardly reject it by mutual co-operation. The UK should follow suit along with other NATO members.
C'mon ASSAIL, do you really think that UK, and subsequently NATO will be making overt rejections of current developments through means of 'mutual co-operation', whatever that means? As you rightly pointed out, there is significant trade that goes on between the EU and China. Wouldn't that warrant a more nuanced approach rather than a belligerent one?

And this area really isn't NATO's playing field, isn't it? It would be of concern to individual European nations, no doubt, but what's NATO got to directly do with the South China Sea?
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Old June 1st, 2015   #234
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Wow, thanks. :/



C'mon ASSAIL, do you really think that UK, and subsequently NATO will be making overt rejections of current developments through means of 'mutual co-operation', whatever that means? As you rightly pointed out, there is significant trade that goes on between the EU and China. Wouldn't that warrant a more nuanced approach rather than a belligerent one?

And this area really isn't NATO's playing field, isn't it? It would be of concern to individual European nations, no doubt, but what's NATO got to directly do with the South China Sea?
I'm certainly not countenancing a belligerent approach by NATO. What I am saying is that its in their interest to treat the situation as important to their collective welfare and to bring diplomatic pressure on all concerned to resolve the differences peacefully.

The SCS is not something that Europe should cast aside as being irrelevant to their interests as some have implied. In fact a parallel situation might be Afghanistan where NATO played a leading role as their collective interest was served by them taking military action despite it not being in their "playing field". (I am not advocating a military response in this case)
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Old June 2nd, 2015   #235
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I'm certainly not countenancing a belligerent approach by NATO. What I am saying is that its in their interest to treat the situation as important to their collective welfare and to bring diplomatic pressure on all concerned to resolve the differences peacefully.

The SCS is not something that Europe should cast aside as being irrelevant to their interests as some have implied. In fact a parallel situation might be Afghanistan where NATO played a leading role as their collective interest was served by them taking military action despite it not being in their "playing field". (I am not advocating a military response in this case)
We're on the same page on this. If you ask me, it would be incredibly unwise for any European government to turn a blind eye to developments in the SCS. As I said earlier, I'm quietly confident that most European governments are keeping an eye on developments in the region. I guess things have not yet developed to a stage where a collective response is warranted - I've no idea where that threshold will lie, honestly. Perhaps when a anti-ship missile battery is spotted on the island?
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Old June 8th, 2015   #236
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We're on the same page on this. If you ask me, it would be incredibly unwise for any European government to turn a blind eye to developments in the SCS. As I said earlier, I'm quietly confident that most European governments are keeping an eye on developments in the region. I guess things have not yet developed to a stage where a collective response is warranted - I've no idea where that threshold will lie, honestly. Perhaps when a anti-ship missile battery is spotted on the island?
The G7 have made a wishy washy sort of statement against large scale island reclamation in the SCS, I know there are only 5 European powers in the G7, and Russia had to sit in the naughty corner this time, however they are the most powerful of the European nations.

The escalation in the SCS creates significant problems for diplomacy in Oz, 'cause we want to be best buddies to everyone in the region, but when your major trading partner and your major strategic partner starts to face off, some tough decisions will need to be made.

So far the 'new model' of great power relations doesn't seem to be working as hoped. I thought this article from 2014 - America, China and the 'new model of great-power relations' | Lowy Institute for International Policy was a pretty good one at describing the 'new model' and how it could pan out in a positive way; and how it could fail. Unfortunately since it was written China has followed what the article calls ‘proactive assertiveness’, putting pressure on its smaller neighbours to abandon their claims in the SCS. As the article points out, this has led several of China’s neighbours to cuddle back up to the US, which is rather counter productive. China may be following a carrot & stick approach, after using a bit of stick, she will then use the carrot of soft economic power to undo the diplomatic damage while keeping what ever asset was gained by the stick. This may be a cyclical thing over the next decades.

Last edited by cdxbow; June 8th, 2015 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typo
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Old June 9th, 2015   #237
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Clearly NATO has more pressing issues than the SCS like Ukraine and ISIL. Given the West's weak response towards the Ukrainian crisis has likely emboldened the Chinese but realistically nobody wants a major power confrontation over the Ukraine let alone a few islands in the SCS. Then again WW1 started over a seemingly minor event.
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Old June 9th, 2015   #238
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Welll . . . . if the Chinese security forces recruited, financed, armed & trained a group of (e.g.) Hawaiian secessionists to assassinate the vice president of the USA while he or she was performing official duties in Honolulu, & they successfully carried out the assassination, killing the VP's spouse at the same time, would you call it a minor event?
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Old June 10th, 2015   #239
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Nope and I would think it would be casus belli.
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Old June 10th, 2015   #240
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That's how WW1 started. Gavrilo Princip was one of a group which was run from inside Serbian Military Intelligence. The assassination was planned by the head of Serbian Military Intelligence. It was allegedly done with the knowledge & approval of the Russian ambassador (died of a heart attack 2 weeks after the assassination) & military attache in Belgrade, which is entirely credible, given their known attitudes.

It wasn't really minor, which was my point.


BTW, Franz Ferdinand was picked because he was seen as an enemy of Serbia. He wanted to make Austria-Hungary more democratic! And federal, with equal representation for its Slavic citizens! How dare he! That threatened to undermine Serbian irredentism (why join poor, violent, unstable Serbia if you could participate fully in running relatively prosperous, orderly, peaceful A-H?) & Pan-Slavism (why be ordered about by poor, autocratic, brutal Russia when you could vote for Slavs in the government of richer, gentler A-H?).

But I digress.
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