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South China Sea thoughts?

This is a discussion on South China Sea thoughts? within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Andri F It might get diffused if Beijing decides to avoid provocations though. You make it sound ...


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Old September 4th, 2012   #16
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Originally Posted by Andri F View Post
It might get diffused if Beijing decides to avoid provocations though.
You make it sound as if PRC is the only one making provocations. This thread has already pointed out the provocations by the other claimants, if you have actually been paying attention.

Nonetheless, here's a recap of some of these provocations.

The Philippines renames part of the South China Sea as West Philippine Sea:

Manila renames South China Sea as 'West Philippine Sea' - Channel NewsAsia

The Philippines passes the Baselines Law to strengthen the legal basis of its claim in the Spratlys:

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/nippon/u...kyo_garcia.pdf

Malaysia and Vietnam's joint submission to Commission on the Limits of the Continential Shelf:

Continental Shelf - joint submission to the Commission by Malaysia and Viet Nam

It's quite amazing how these provocations don't seem to have been reflected as such by the media?
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Old September 5th, 2012   #17
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From a neutral perspective, when PRC sets up Sansha city to administer the Spratlys, it is called a "provocation". Yet, when Vietnam does the same, it is not a "provocation"? Why?
Could it possibly be due to the fact that as China is the most powerful of claimants and is on its way to becoming a superpower, that it is on the onus of China to act responsibly, rather than issue provocative statements that are far from reassuring to other claimants? China on one hand maintains that it wants to resolve the dispute peacefully but on the other hand, some actions it has undertaken send a completely different kind of message.

With regards, to what's provocative or not, it really depends on who's doing the reporting doesn't it? When it comes to the Chinese press, anything that other claimants do - whether its a visit to an island by a minor official or extending a runway by a few feet - is provocative and is an infringement on Chinese sovereignty...

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Do enlighten me on what's the difference between the same actions that are called "provocations" when carried out by 1 country, but is not a "provocation" when other countries does it.
Would be delighted to.....

If the detaining of Chinese fisherman in disputed waters that lie close to reefs occupied by Vietnam or a warning by the Philippines to Chinese trawlers to stay away from waters claimed by the Philippines are provocative to you, how would you describe the actions of Chinese ships on the high seas?? Have ships belonging to other claimants acted in a similar fashion, have they intentionally gone close to reefs/islands ocuppied by others just to test resolve and to make a political statement? Have Philippine, Vietnamese and Malaysian ships traveled far from areas their countries occupy to harass Chinese shipping, and surely it can't be a coincidence that when Chinese fisherman are detained, they are almost always in very close proximity to reef/islands that are occupied by other claimants. Or maybe this is less provovative than the actions undertaken by other countries, which you mentioned? As far as I'm aware, Philippine, Vietnamese and Malaysian ships do not intentionaly sail close to reefs/islands occupied by China and they certainly do not fish in these areas knowing that this could lead to an incident.

The day ships from other claimants act in similar fashion to Chinese ships and the international media does not describe their actions as provocative, then we can truly say that there are double standards when it comes to reporting on the Spratley issue.

I could post some links to provide examples of Chinese acts that are actual 'provocations', rather than the issuing of warnings and the detention of fisherman, etc, but I really don't see the point.

Last edited by STURM; September 5th, 2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old September 5th, 2012   #18
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Originally Posted by STURM View Post
Could it possibly be due to the fact that as China is the most powerful of claimants and is on its way to becoming a superpower, that it is on the onus of China to act responsibly, rather than issue provocative statements that are far from reassuring to other claimants? China on one hand maintains that it wants to resolve the dispute peacefully but on the other hand, some actions it has undertaken send a completely different kind of message.
1. Note that all the ASEAN claimants have also pledged to resolve the issue peacefully. China is not the only on who made that pledge.

2. The onus is for all claimants to act responsibly.

3. What most media failed to highlight is that China's actions are usually in response to another claimants actions. 1 example is that Vietnam instituted an administrative control for their claims in the South China Sea. Hence, China responded with Sansha City. The media coverage is not equal, but coloured by nationalistic sentiments amongst the claimants and political sentiments in various countries.

On the issue of China acting responsibly, do you realistically expect China to not respond when other claimants set up administrative centres for the disputed areas, re-name the seas, bolster their legal basis for claims, etc?

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Originally Posted by STURM View Post
With regards, to what's provocative or not, it really depends on who's doing the reporting doesn't it? When it comes to the Chinese press, anything that other claimants do - whether its a visit to an island by a minor official or extending a runway by a few feet - is provocative and is an infringement on Chinese sovereignty...
And the rest of the claimants don't protest when China sends someone to visit the disputed areas?

An example of protest when Taiwan lawmakers visit:

Taiwan Lawmakers Land on Disputed South China Sea Island

Vietnam protesting Taiwan President's visit to Taiping Island:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/fron.../03/2003400014
It cuts both ways you know.

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Originally Posted by STURM View Post
Would be delighted to.....

If the detaining of Chinese fisherman in disputed waters that lie close to reefs occupied by Vietnam or a warning by the Philippines to Chinese trawlers to stay away from waters claimed by the Philippines are provocative to you, how would you describe the actions of Chinese ships on the high seas?? Have ships belonging to other claimants acted in a similar fashion, have they intentionally gone close to reefs/islands ocuppied by others just to test resolve and to make a political statement? Have Philippine, Vietnamese and Malaysian ships traveled far from areas their countries occupy to harass Chinese shipping, and surely it can't be a coincidence that when Chinese fisherman are detained, they are almost always in very close proximity to reef/islands that are occupied by other claimants. Or maybe this is less provovative than the actions undertaken by other countries, which you mentioned? As far as I'm aware, Philippine, Vietnamese and Malaysian ships do not intentionaly sail close to reefs/islands occupied by China and they certainly do not fish in these areas knowing that this could lead to an incident.

The day ships from other claimants act in similar fashion to Chinese ships and the international media does not describe their actions as provocative, then we can truly say that there are double standards when it comes to reporting on the Spratley issue.

I could post some links to provide examples of Chinese acts that are actual 'provocations', rather than the issuing of warnings and the detention of fisherman, etc, but I really don't see the point.
Based on China's statistics, their own fishermen have also been arrested, robbed or assaulted while fishing in the South China Sea:

Philippine claim groundless|Top News|chinadaily.com.cn

Relevant bits:

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The harassment of fishermen from Hainan Province on April 10th is just one of 700 similar cases in the last 12 years when Chinese fishermen have been arrested, robbed or assaulted by the armed forces of neighboring countries while fishing in the South China Sea.
Do you realistically expect the countries that arrest, rob or assault other countries' fishermen to publish it in their own media? Or for all these incidents to be reported in the media whenever it happens?

In other words, it cuts both ways. Yes, China has carried out provocative actions in the disputed areas, but so have the rest of the claimants. All parties are equally guilty, yet I only see China being taken to task for "provocations" while the other claimants actions of a similar nature are "not provocative"? Why?
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Old September 6th, 2012   #19
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To answer the first one, renaming it West Ph Sea is just a harmless move by our gov't to somehow give a semblance of control of the situation so that our gov't will not be pressured on this issue.
Harmless huh?

So, if Malaysia (another claimant to the Spratlys) renames it the North Malaysia Sea, it is also harmless because it "gives them a semblance of control of the situation"?

And if Malaysia passes their own version of the Archipelagic Law to strengthen the legal basis of their claims in the Spratlys, that will also be acceptable to the Philippines since that is what the Philippines did?

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Originally Posted by Andri F View Post
Do you know what we might do if we truly know what's happening out there? There would be mass rallies everywhere denouncing the PRC (and it will never help) or issuing our gov't to hasten military modernization (although it might help hasten the modernization, once we have a capable military, our people might immediately clamor for war). Also, hastening and cramming our modernization isn't going to help us in the long term
And the same won't happen in Vietnam or China?

I don't suppose this is good for the Philippines' economy:

http://article.wn.com/view/2012/07/1..._from_Boracay/

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As for the 2nd its normal.
What is the 2nd one that is normal? It didn't appear in your post, so a clarification will be useful.
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Old September 8th, 2012   #20
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I think its time for the UN to try and bring China to its sense's it's not as if it is pushing boundries with just one country . They are trying to pick an argument with just about every country in the area.What is needed is the Asean members to try and bring in new members like Japan plus a few others because against just one country China is overwhelmingly superior but against a collective of nations there capabilites would be tested and thats when people like the US and Great Britain would become involved.
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Old September 8th, 2012   #21
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I think its time for the UN to try and bring China to its sense's it's not as if it is pushing boundries with just one country . They are trying to pick an argument with just about every country in the area.What is needed is the Asean members to try and bring in new members like Japan plus a few others because against just one country China is overwhelmingly superior but against a collective of nations there capabilites would be tested and thats when people like the US and Great Britain would become involved.
China has veto power in the UN, so don't expect any action there.
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Old September 10th, 2012   #22
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Singapore's only interest is to keep the SLOC in SCS open. And we are allowing the basing of USN ships here for that purpose. And so far, China has NOT hinted at the closing of SLOC in SCS. And why should they? They are not the Taliban.

Nothing you say can convince me why I, or any Singaporean, should fight and die so that the Philippines can perhaps, drill for oil. If they want oil they should be prepared to spill their own blood and not hope about getting other people involved.
Military alliance is much further off on Asean psychs at this moment. However Diplomatic Alliance should be. Regardless what Philippines or Vietnam intentions to drill for Oil and Gas in South China Sea, I believe the intentions for most Asean members have one thing in common. No one (except China) wants one nation to dominate the South China Sea.

Heard from some forum, that China wants to offer Archipelago Sea Lane in South China Sea if everyone else agree to let her hold sovereign claim to all South China Sea. This is the right being given to Archipelago nations to keep the sovereign rights to Archipelago water (above 12 mil), but with the conditions they have to open and give International Rights to cross specific lane within the water.

China not archipelago nations thus do not have the rights to dominate one large part of International waters, like South China Sea. The question now, If China keep insists on that, and proclaim their sovereign claim with force. Do all Asean members will stay put,knowing one of the 'international' sea lane that very important for life being of much of Asean members now being taken by force ?
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Old September 11th, 2012   #23
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It is normal for one side to strengthen their claims as peacefully as possible. We don't have anything against that. But against force and threat, it's another thing entirely. We won't die if they get it because the UN decides to. Sure there will be mass rallies but we could continue with our lives. Unlike when it's settled by war when we know we're done for and we might never live tomorrow.

In the UN, all claimants are assumed equal and it all comes down to who has the greatest argument and the one with the most concrete and convincing evidence so its the one ideal for us and that's why we don't have anything against renaming or passing of laws and such as long as it doesn't threaten our lives.
You said China's setting up of Sansha City to administer the disputed areas is provocative earlier. The Philippines has also done something similar: Kalayaan. And this is not provocative?

Kalayaan, Palawan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm not sure if you understand the importance of strengthening a country's claims in disputed territories. But, this is effectively undermining another country's claims. And if that is not considered provocative, than why be bothered by China naming it the Sansha province when the Philippines have called it the Kalayaan?

As for you mention of war, did the local media in your country highlight that China's military has not been deployed to the disputed areas? The standoffs at Scarborough are by their paramilitary outfit (coastguard equivalent). If China really wanted to be provocative, they could have sent a destroyer, a few frigates and possibly an LPD with helos.

Also, just to highlight something I had already pointed out earlier, this is all about mutual provocations:

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/publications/...SIS1572012.pdf

Relevant bits stated by Sam Bateman:

Quote:
INCREASING COMPETITION is evident in the South China Sea between China on the one hand, and the United States, the Philippines and Vietnam on the other. This competition makes the development of effective regimes for managing the sea and its resources more difficult.

Earlier this month, the US State Department issued a comprehensive statement on the US position in the South China Sea. Unsurprisingly, China responded shortly afterwards with a robust statement strongly condemning the US position.

This exchange is yet another demonstration of the game of “tit for tat” in the South China Sea - one player replies to another player’s action and the other player responds in turn. Unless the players demonstrate some common interest and mutual understanding, the game can spiral out of control, leading to a “lose-lose” outcome.
It cannot be called "tit-for-tat" if there is no mutual provocation.

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Originally Posted by My2Cents View Post
China has veto power in the UN, so don't expect any action there.
True. But if it goes to International Court of Justice, the UN Security Council will have no say. The thing is ICJ will not judge any issue unless the parties involved agree for it to arbitrate.

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I never heard of the Philippine Navy/Coast Guard or Filipino Fishermen "harass Chinese fishermen in Hainan Province". Unless they claim the Scarborough shoal and Spratly's as part of Hainan Province?
1. Scarborough Shoal and Spratlys are disputed areas which are claimed by multiple states, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. Hence, all the claimants attempt to assert their sovereignty there. (Seriously, do I have to repeat this every few pages? Does people even know what this topic is about before they comment?)

2. Not hearing about it does not mean it has not happened. Do you realistically expect a maritime enforcement personnel (Navy, Coastguard or whatever is the equivalent) to go to the press and say that they had harassed another country's fishermen? China is probably trying quite hard not to fan the nationalistic flames so it could easily spiral into social inrest. Just see what happened in China when 1 of the fishing boats was arrested by Japanese Coastguards in 2011. It was not pretty.


As I said earlier, the most neutral and objective position on this issue that I have come across is that of Sam Bateman (1 of the latest commentary is linked above). For the countries involved in this dispute that are willing to get neutral arbitration, it helps to pay attention to what Sam Bateman is saying on this issue because:

1. He does not belong to any of the claimant countries and thus is not coloured by nationalistic chest thumping issues.

2. He is an expert on maritime law (especially UNCLOS).

3. He has access to a lot more information on this issue than probably everyone on this board.

If forummers are not interested in a neutral perspective, than don't be disappointed if the issue goes to arbitration and the nationalistic position gets taken apart. The ICJ judgement on the Sipadan-Ligitan dispute and the Pedra Branca dispute are recent examples. Those media that were busy doing nationalistic chest-thumping had exactly zero effect on the judge. And those that believed such media were hugely disappointed (to put it quite mildly).
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Old September 11th, 2012   #24
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Military alliance is much further off on Asean psychs at this moment. However Diplomatic Alliance should be. Regardless what Philippines or Vietnam intentions to drill for Oil and Gas in South China Sea, I believe the intentions for most Asean members have one thing in common. No one (except China) wants one nation to dominate the South China Sea.

Heard from some forum, that China wants to offer Archipelago Sea Lane in South China Sea if everyone else agree to let her hold sovereign claim to all South China Sea. This is the right being given to Archipelago nations to keep the sovereign rights to Archipelago water (above 12 mil), but with the conditions they have to open and give International Rights to cross specific lane within the water.

China not archipelago nations thus do not have the rights to dominate one large part of International waters, like South China Sea. The question now, If China keep insists on that, and proclaim their sovereign claim with force. Do all Asean members will stay put,knowing one of the 'international' sea lane that very important for life being of much of Asean members now being taken by force ?
Personally, I do not think China will implement archipelagic sea lanes in the South China Sea simply because it is not in their interest to do so. Further, they have already stated repeatedly that freedom of navigation has never been an issue, or will their claims change this.

I also do not see China being able to dominate the South China Sea simply because there are so many navies active in the area, including the US 7th Fleet. Recently, even the Indian Navy has been active in the area. Hence, it is hard to see how China can dominate the area in the near future.

As for military alliance, the failure of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) makes it quite clear that a NATO equivalent arrangement does not work for Southeast Asia. The political systems amongst the ASEAN countries are so diverse (various types of democracies, Communist country, constitutional monarchy) and there are so many differences that there is currently insufficient common ground for a military alliance. And China is trying not to be the common ground to spark a military alliance against it.
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Old September 11th, 2012   #25
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South China Sea thoughts?

The failure of SEATO, happened a few decades ago, when the geo-political enviroment and the threat perceptions of regional countries was very different. Granted, ASEAN countries till remain politicaly divided on a number of key issues and the possibility of a 'defence alliance', which no country has shown interest in, remains extremely low. This is not to say however that in the coming decades, we might not see an 'alliance', comprising certain countries, who will be forced to take a common stand due to shared interests and threat perceptions.

Amidst all this recent fuss about the Spratleys, it is often forgotten that the dispute has been around for decades but has only been making headlines on a constant basis in recent times. Malaysia for example first started laying claims to the 5 reefs/islands it currently occupies way back in 1980, when it launched a number of operations to occupy and expand its reefs/islands - as part of moves to strenghten its claims - some of which became almost completely submerged during high tide.

To date, Malaysia has not been involved in any standoffs with Chinese shipping - trawlers, fisheries department, naval or otherwise. There have been some instances - which were reported in the Malaysian press and by Chinese bloggers who also released photos - of Chinese fisheries department boats and naval ships coming into very close proximity to areas occupied by Malaysia but which left without much fuss after the appearance of Malaysian naval ships and aircraft. The fact that Malaysian trawlers do not operate in this area and that Malaysian naval ships only operate within areas that are already occupied by Malaysia would indicate that for the time being at least, the chances of any 'unpleasentness' happening between both countries at sea is remote.

Inside Story - The world's most disputed waters - YouTube

http://xnuripilot.blogspot.com/2010/...-tugupt-1.html

http://xnuripilot.blogspot.com/2010/...ay-cruise.html

http://xnuripilot.blogspot.com/2010/...-services.html

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Old September 12th, 2012   #26
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The thing with the article you posted is that, the Chinese media spun it like there are Philippine Vessels near the main island of Hainan.
And one would get the impression that it is trawlers from other countries that routinely go about their business in close proximity to areas occupied by other claimants, when it fact it is the other way around. If I recall correctly, the recent incident with the Philippines was sparked off due to the presence of Chinese ships, not the presence of Philippine ships in, say Johnson Reef South or Subi Reef. Which makes one wonder, why do Chinese trawlers intentionally take this course of action, knowing fully well that it will lead to ''complications''? Indeed there have been cases of Chinese fisherman being detained and ''harassed'' but why is that? Could it possibly have something to do with where they choose to operate in and that their government condones or encourages them to operate with the claimed EEZ of others to test reolve or to make a statement?

SpartanSG has repeatedly stressed the point that provocations are done by all sides but as far as I'm concerned [and no I'm not fanning the nationalist drums here] there are different degrees or levels of provocations. How would China react if Vietnamese navy ships entered in close proximity to the Paracels because Vietnamese trawlers had been detained for entering the area or if the Phillipines declared a establishment of a new military command to safeguards its possessions, as opposed to just renaming something?

And yes, the onus is on all sides to act responsibly but does one expect one side to just sit down passively and not react when another side takes bold actions that can result in increased tensions - and I'm not refering to the renaming of areas or the passing of laws or legislations to strengthen ones claims. If other claimants had resorted to doing some of what the Chinese have done to claimants and non-claimants, including an open clear cut harassment of a U.S. ship that saw the dropping of pieces of wood, trying to hook cables and coming to very close proximity of the ship, shells would probably have started flying already, as they did in January 1974 and in March 1988......

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Originally Posted by USAF77 View Post
They will split their enemies diplomatically/economically and bully whats left with their emerging Maritime military power.
This is already being done and it's working as certain countries are more dependent on the Chinese in terms of economics than others are. China has always maintained that it will not deal with other claimants on a collectively basis but individually, this off course is to China's advantage as it can use its greater diplomatic and economic clout.

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Originally Posted by USAF77 View Post
There is no real alliance of nations to counter them and the only one who can stop them has no claim in the region and has no interest in doing so.
And the only one who can stop them might not be in a position to do so in the coming decades. No doubt there is a very wide technological gap separating PLAN and the USN, but the Chinese are catching up and will in the not too distant furure probably have more hulls in the water than the USN. And unlike the U.S., from a military perpective China only has to worry about its backyard, it has no need to be distracted by other parts of the world.

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They are like an old dog with a bone that he wont give up. China is not going to back down in The South China Sea.
And as far as China is concerned, why should they back down? The Chinese can claim that all this talk and expressions of concern by the West smacks of hyprocisy and double standards, as the area in question is a ''part of China'' and that in the past Western countries have resorted to various means to secure their interests in places they didn't own.

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Old September 13th, 2012   #27
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But truly US public support for a conflict in SE Asia is nil. And could you imagine doing so for Vietnam? Cause I sure cant.
U.S. public support for regime change in Iraq was also next to nil but then came 9/11, and the Bush adminstration, through its actions and words, convinced a large segment of the U.S. poppulation that Saddam and his Bathists chums were somehow in league with Al Qaeda [never mind that the Al Qeda leadership hate secular Arab regimes just as much as the hated the 'West'] and had a hand in 9/11. U.S public support for action in the South China Sea could easily change, especially if an unexpected encounter at sea resulted in a USN vessel being shot at or if a skirmish involving the claimants led to the sea lanes being closed, with negative consenquences for the world economy..

The U.S. does not want to get involved in a full scale shooting war or even a skirmish with the PRC but things were to get out of hand and America's interests were threatened or even if a non-NATO ally was directly threatened, it would have no choice. If it didn't act, it would a wrong signal to friends/allies in the region and would play a part in determining China's policy.

Came across this video on the recent stand-off.

101 East - Standoff at Scarborough Shoal - YouTube

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Old September 14th, 2012   #28
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The failure of SEATO, happened a few decades ago, when the geo-political enviroment and the threat perceptions of regional countries was very different. Granted, ASEAN countries till remain politicaly divided on a number of key issues and the possibility of a 'defence alliance', which no country has shown interest in, remains extremely low. This is not to say however that in the coming decades, we might not see an 'alliance', comprising certain countries, who will be forced to take a common stand due to shared interests and threat perceptions.
The difficulty of defence alliance is that it requires members to come to each other's aid. That's not exactly easy to achieve in a small or medium-sized democratic country (why should a small or medium-sized country come to the aid of another against a potentially really big country?)

And trying to secure public support for this is probably an exercise in futility, particularly when there are different interests for different countries.

There is also the issue of political stability. Would a successor administration opt out of the alliance? Or remain committed to it? What happens if there is a coup?

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Originally Posted by STURM View Post
To date, Malaysia has not been involved in any standoffs with Chinese shipping - trawlers, fisheries department, naval or otherwise. There have been some instances - which were reported in the Malaysian press and by Chinese bloggers who also released photos - of Chinese fisheries department boats and naval ships coming into very close proximity to areas occupied by Malaysia but which left without much fuss after the appearance of Malaysian naval ships and aircraft. The fact that Malaysian trawlers do not operate in this area and that Malaysian naval ships only operate within areas that are already occupied by Malaysia would indicate that for the time being at least, the chances of any 'unpleasentness' happening between both countries at sea is remote.
I am not so sure that Malaysian trawlers don't operate there.

But, there is an important point here about the lack of provocations between Malaysia and China. There is no tit-for-tat between these 2 countries despite their competing claims in the South China Sea. This is in stark contrast to the situation between China, Vietnam and the Philippines. But I suppose this point is lost on some forum members who only see China bullying other claimants and yet fail to see their own country's provocations.

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Originally Posted by USAF77 View Post
With about the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia at stake, let alone all that natural gas and fishing, the interest of the Chinese is pretty easy to see.
Can you show me a link about the proven oil reserves in the disputed area of South China Sea? I have only ever seen estimated reserves. The reserves are not proven because it has been largely an exercise in futility in trying to survey the area for reserves due to the dispute.

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Originally Posted by Andri F View Post
Please read my previous posts. I did not mention Sansha and I'm not really threatened by it. That is just some nuisance I expected but the grounding of the PRC ship is another thing. That was threatening (especially since a media said that they carry surface-to-surface missiles, probably just anti-ships, capable of reaching Palawan). The SCS situation is treading on thin ice and I feared that that one incident may break the ice, as it were.

As for strenghtening claims, I mention PEACEFULLY.

As for my mention of war, read:
1.)"I guess an arms build-up is inevitable and it could increase pressure until the time when one party might make a simple mistake and war might come crashing down."

2.) "There would be mass rallies everywhere denouncing the PRC (and it will never help) or issuing our gov't to hasten military modernization (although it might help hasten the modernization, once we have a capable military, our people might immediately clamor for war)."
3.)"Unlike when it's settled by war when we know we're done for and we might never live tomorrow."

Did I mentioned anything about naval warfare? Nada.

And think for one moment. Those paramilitary ships (if they are/will be armed) could trash our navy in probably a week.

And read again post #165. I'm implying that Beijing stop their provocations and act responsively for once. They are what we could call big brother so they should act nicely first not pop balloons. The arms build up by some claimants other than the PRC are acceptable evidence that they are responding to provocations or preparing to respond to it or trying to lessen it by making their rivals see that they could sting back if stung and they should settle it peacefully. Even my country which still has insurgents to worry about is modernizing its territorial defense stuffs.
It seems my previous posts went over your head?

1. I did not mention naval war (read my previous posts properly). I said that China is exercising restrain by not deploying warships during stand-offs. They only deployed paramilitary ships. There is a difference, but I'm not sure you understand that.

2. It seems the point about mutual provocations is lost on you? There is no such situation between Malaysia and China because there is no mutual provocation. As I have said in my previous posts, neutral observers have highlighted the situation of mutual provocations (tit-for-tat) that resulted in the current situation. But I suppose you choose to believe the reporting from your national media, which has obviously not reported any provocations from your country (for whatever reason).

3. You said other claimants have arms buildup is evidence that there are provocations by China. As far as I can see, Malaysia is also modernising (build up if you will) its military, but I don't see any provocations there.

4. You expect China (Big Brother) to "act nicely". Does this apply if other claimants are acting nastily?

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Concerning the first, Japan has a say on that since the PRC could hypothetically strangle Japan when they cut that off.
The economic life-blood of South Korea (in addition to Japan's) run through the South China Sea. Any attempt to strangle it could theoretically lead to a retaliation by cutting the sea lanes somewhere else to strangle China's economy (say the Malacca Straits or Indian Ocean).

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Originally Posted by Andri F View Post
Then for the boldface: Kudos to the PRC. What I could see is the opposite. US allies are leaning more and more towards the US as counterbalance. A former enemy of the US is warming up to them. Just a little bit more and Beijing MAY find itself surrounded by angry snarling countries backed by the US.
China isn't USSR. USSR and its allies economy are not linked to the economy. China's is. And China is currently the world's 2nd largest economy that provides a lot of manufactured goods to the rest of the world (including a vast majority of the world's consumer electronics such as the iPhone).

All these economies are inter-twined and any conflict will be so costly that it will probably make the Great Depression look like child's play.

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The thing with the article you posted is that, the Chinese media spun it like there are Philippine Vessels near the main island of Hainan.

Anyway, I believe the Philippines have invited the Chinese government to go to the UN and/or go to court. The Chinese simply refuse and say it's an internal matter.
I believe the Chinese article consider all the disputed areas a belonging to Hainan. Hence the impression that foreign fishing vessels went near to Hainan.

The Philippines did indeed want ICJ to arbitrate. Personally, its just as well that didn't happen as I'm not so sure they had a really good case for all of their claims.

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My reply was to the statement about the US Navy 7th fleet being capable of somehow reigning the SCS.
That is an interesting assumption. Do you know how many submarines the PLA Navy have?
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Old September 14th, 2012   #29
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That is just some nuisance I expected but the grounding of the PRC ship is another thing.
Missed replying to this earlier.

Are you implying the grounding of a PLA Navy frigate on Half Moon Shoal is a provocation? Based on reports, PLA Navy frigates have been conducting patrols there for years, but I didn't see protests from the other claimants about such patrols.
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Old September 14th, 2012   #30
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China? You mean the Southern Song?

There are massive continuity issues in almost all Chinese territorial claims. For most of the 12th century, for example, there were two major (& a few minor) states in China. For decades, the only Chinese state was formally a vassal of the main non-Chinese state. Both were eventually conquered by the Mongols.

So . .. how do we evaluate the territorial claims of the Southern Song? Do we treat them the same as we do, e.g., those of the Holy Roman Empire, & declare them totally irrelevant to the 21st century? This is the general rule around the world, e.g. Peru does not claim the territory of the Inca Empire, and is the only rational way to proceed.

China's appeal to ancient claims has no validity, & its uneven application is hypocritical. According to Chinese criteria, Mongolia has a valid claim to rule all of China. Current claims must be based on current criteria.
That's a valid point. And this is how it is applied to territories that are inhabited. For uninhabited territories, it becomes more complex. Which is why there are multiple basis for claims of uninhabited territories (see my earlier post on historical basis, occupation basis & legal basis).

Nonetheless, even disregarding the earlier imperial history that China uses to justify its claims in the South China Sea, it still officially filed the claims with UN in 1947. That's decades before the other claimants became countries (i.e., Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei). If China had sorted out the territorial sovereignty of the area at that time, or before the other claimants became independent, than there won't be such disputes now.

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Would the US really engage a large nuclear-armed power (in its own backyard) over what is essentially a spat over a few uninhabited islands claimed by an ally?
And how would the US finance such a war?

China certainly won't be buying US Treasury Bills if there is going to be war between the 2. And I don't see Europe being able to buy US T-bills at the volume that China is doing.
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