Archive for the ‘CHINA’S INTENTIONS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CHINA’S CLAIMS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND ITS FORTIFIED ISLANDS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY GREGORY POLING IN CHECKPOINT ASIA (NOW RENAMED AS ANTI-EMPIRE)

 

“The Pentagon Is Seriously Underestimating the Value of Beijing’s South China Sea Bases”

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Response to comment saying the author does not give Xi the credit he deserves for being a master planner

Indeed, that is so true.

And it is important to note that the Chinese do not claim exclusive use of waters in the South China Sea.

America’s aggressive “Freedom of Navigation” displays tend to imply that China is interested in limiting passage through the waters, but as with so many claims from the United States anymore – eg, murdering Iran’s General Soleimani was “restoring deterrence” – the words are meaningless, just stuff to blur reality.

Except for foreign warships and regulated economic activities – say, commercial fishing or oil drilling, breaking Chinese regulations – that is not true. China has committed to peace in the region and promised to negotiate all disputes with any neighboring country. It promises to maintain services such as rescue at sea.

This is one of world’s busiest commercial waterways with a third of all the world’s shipping passing through it.

The Chinese are claiming to be owners of two island chains and the resident regulators and defenders of all legitimate activities around them. That is in keeping with some other maritime situations in the world. It is important to have a single legitimate set of rules governing such places.

The Chinese have a couple of thousand years in the region plus documents from the close of WWII giving them authority over islands the Japanese had occupied, the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation. The Spratly and Paracel Islands were occupied by Japan during the war.

China’s activities on the fortified islands very much also reflect concerns for the defence of southern China’s coast. They effectively have moved some coastal defences out to sea, dispersing them, making attack much more difficult for an aggressive United States. I tend to think of the fortified islands as a permanent small fleet of aircraft carriers and multi-function warships.

It is, after all, an outsider to the region, the United States, which maintains an intimidating military presence around China’s maritime perimeter, from the Philippines to South Korea and Japan.