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Can't We All Just Obey China?
Strategy Page ^ | August 7, 2012 | Strategy Page

Posted on 08/07/2012 7:37:14 AM PDT by Zhang Fei

China recently declared that most of the 3.5 million square kilometers South China Sea had become Sansha, the latest Chinese city. The area China claims is within the city limits comprises over two million square kilometers of largely open ocean and a few hundred tiny islands and reefs, many of which are only above water during low tide. Sansha is administered from one of the Paracel islands (Woody Island). The U.S. government responded by asking that China obey international law. China currently claims South China Sea areas close to neighboring nations, except for areas about 22 kilometers from the coast. International law gives all nations control over fishing and oil drilling 380 kilometers off their coasts. China refuses to obey this rule (which it had once agreed to). In response to the American reminder, the Chinese called the U.S. a trouble maker. China is not backing down.

For over three decades China has been using a gradual strategy that involves first leaving buoys (for navigation purposes, to assist Chinese fishermen), followed by temporary shelters (again, for the Chinese fishermen) on islets or reefs that are above water but otherwise uninhabited. If none of the other claimants to this piece of ocean remove the buoys or shelters, China builds a more permanent structure to aid passing Chinese fishermen. This shelter will be staffed by military personnel who will, of course have radio, radar and a few weapons. If no one attacks this mini-base, China will expand it and warn anyone in the area that the base is Chinese territory and any attempts to remove it will be seen as an act of war. The Vietnamese tried to get physical against these Chinese bases in 1974 and 1988 and were defeated both times.

In 1995 China built one of these mini-bases 114 kilometers from the Filipino island of Palawan on Mischief Reef. Earlier buoys and a temporary structure had been removed by Filipino sailors. But in 1995, while the Philippines had suspended air and naval patrols of the area because of a nearby typhoon (Pacific hurricane), the Chinese rushed in and built a permanent base, on stilts, on the reef. China told the Philippines they would defend this one, and the Philippines found that their American ally was reluctant to go to war over a small structure on stilts on Mischief Reef. Four years later the Chinese expanded the Mischief Reef stilt structure, and now it was obviously a military base. The Philippines protested and China ignored that. Now the Philippines is drilling for oil off Palawan and Chinese is using this "base" as the basis for declaring the drilling operations illegal. China has threatened to use force against oil companies that dare drill in their territorial waters without permission.

This is part of a strategy based on the ancient principle that, when it comes to real estate, "possession is 9/10ths of the law." It's the law of the jungle, because all the claimants are armed and making it clear that, at some point down the road, force will be used to enforce claims. With the establishment of Sansha City, China is saying the next time anyone does anything China does not like within the city limits it could be war, because a government has to defend its sovereign territory.

Currently Woody Island has a permanent population of about a thousand people who have to be supplied (even with water) at great expense from the Chinese mainland. Most are military and police personnel (who serve on the island for two years) and civilian officials (who serve six month tours). There is a small fishing community and facilities for fishing boats to tie up and the crews to come ashore for some rest. There are also some tourist attractions. Woody Island is about 340 kilometers from Chinese territory (Hainan Island) thus within China's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The expense of maintaining Sansha is a minor cost when you consider that this move makes many disputed islands, atolls, and reefs officially part of China.

As a "city" Sansha requires a larger military garrison, which is expected to arrive soon in the form of several thousand troops, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons, warships, and aircraft. The Paracel Islands are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. China has been expanding military facilities on these tiny islands for several years. Among the more notable additions were an expanded electronic monitoring facility and a lengthened runway on Woody Island, now long enough to support Su-30 fighters. Several large fuel tanks have also been built, indicating an intention to base warplanes there. Eventually, over 3,000 civilian and military personnel will be stationed in Sansha. This strengthens claims on unoccupied islets and reefs, including many within the Filipino EEZ.

China is also concerned about the nearby Spratlys, a group of some 100 islets, atolls, and reefs that total only about 5 square kilometers of land but sprawl across some 410,000 square kilometers of the South China Sea. Set amid some of the world's most productive fishing grounds, the islands are believed to have enormous oil and gas reserves. Several nations have overlapping claims on the group. About 45 of the islands are currently occupied by small numbers of military personnel. China claims them all but occupies only 8. Vietnam has occupied or marked 25, the Philippines 8, Malaysia 6, and Taiwan one.

Taiwan built a 1,150 meter long and 30 meter wide air strip on Itu Aba, called Taiping Island by the Taiwanese. Ita Aba is one of the largest of Spratly Islands, at about 120 acres (489,600 square meters). It has been in Taiwanese hands since the mid-1950s, and has largely been used as a way station for fishermen. The island is also claimed by the Vietnamese, who call it Thai Binh. Taiwan has long maintained a small military presence on the island and the air strip is meant to cement that control. Protests were made by Vietnam, which controls the largest group of islands, and the Philippines, which also claims Itu Aba island. The Vietnamese earlier refurbished an old South Vietnamese airstrip on Big Spratly Island.

In 1988, China and Vietnam fought a naval battle off the Spratly islands. The Chinese victory, in which a Chinese warship sank a Vietnamese transport carrying troops headed for one of the disputed islands, was followed by Chinese troops establishing garrisons on some of the islands. In 1992, Chinese marines landed on Da Lac reef, in the Spratly Islands. In 1995, Chinese marines occupied Mischief Reef, which was claimed by the Philippines. Now China can claim that many non-Chinese bases on disputed islands are illegal as they fall within the city limits of Sansha. China's neighbors are looking to the United States to deal with the local bully, and so far the Americans have been reluctant to get that involved.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; chineseempire; evilempire; imperialists; indonesia; malaysia; obama; philippines; romney; singapore; southchinasea; thailand; vietnam
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A military confrontation with China is likely. The only question now is who the players will be. All of China's neighbors will benefit from China being slapped down. But nobody wants to incur the cost of being a participant in the process of slapping China down. Ultimately, the biggest winners will be the ones who remain neutral, much like Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey during WWII.
1 posted on 08/07/2012 7:37:23 AM PDT by Zhang Fei
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To: Zhang Fei
If Vietnam,the Philippines,Indonesia,Thailand or Taiwan think they're gonna come out of this with a single square foot of the territory in question they should consider this....China's navy is growing by 10% a year and has been doing so for 10 years or more.
2 posted on 08/07/2012 7:44:54 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Word Is Out,Harry Reid's Into Child Porn.Release All Your Photos,Harry!)
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To: Zhang Fei

What is your solution?


3 posted on 08/07/2012 7:45:35 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: Zhang Fei

My prediction is Taiwan will defend itself down to the last American sailor, all the while loading container vessels with consumer goods bound for the US.


4 posted on 08/07/2012 7:50:19 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: stuartcr
What is your solution?

Lend-lease. Finance, arm and train China's neighbors, but stay out of it while continuing to provide a nuclear umbrella to prevent China from engaging in nuclear blackmail (since none of China's South China Sea neighbors have nukes). Once we're out of Afghanistan, some of the $100b we spend annually there can be diverted towards interest-free loans for China's neighbors, to be spent on American weaponry that will bring them up to par with China's armory.

5 posted on 08/07/2012 7:53:56 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei


6 posted on 08/07/2012 7:54:45 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Zhang Fei

Meanwhile:

STOP PAYING FOR CHINA’S MILITARY.

We need to dis-engage from China. Now.


7 posted on 08/07/2012 7:56:19 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (America doesn't need any new laws. America needs freedom!)
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To: Zhang Fei

Don’t we pretty much already do that?


8 posted on 08/07/2012 8:05:16 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: stuartcr

I think direct American intervention should be highly conditional and require regional players to pony up significant forces and/or money. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany and Japan covered the entire cost of Desert Storm. Much like Desert Storm, any American intervention in SCS should be predicated on the strong-arming of all interested parties for either money or significant military participation. Otherwise...

I understand that a lot of people think our participation in WWI and WWII, where we lost 500,000 men, only to be jeered by the Brits for being “late” to the festivities, set the pattern for posterity regarding an aggressive American posture towards big wars far from our shores. It has to be said however, that our 19th century forebears seem not to have been particularly concerned that they missed out on the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War or any of the other big wars fought in Europe during that era.


9 posted on 08/07/2012 8:05:16 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

What do you think the odds of that really happening are?


10 posted on 08/07/2012 8:09:40 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: stuartcr
Don’t we pretty much already do that?

No. They arrange their own financing, which is why much of their inventory is simultaneously meager and outdated. We've also been pretty careful in terms of the kinds of things we sell them. They will need offensive weaponry to dislodge the Chinese.

11 posted on 08/07/2012 8:09:57 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Do you think they can afford our products and are willing to pay?


12 posted on 08/07/2012 8:11:58 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: Zhang Fei
A military confrontation with China is likely.

Unless we're willing to unleash unconventional weapons, we will not defeat them in that region.

13 posted on 08/07/2012 8:16:23 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: ScottinVA

“Unless we’re willing to unleash unconventional weapons, we will not defeat them in that region.”

The Chinese are counting on the USA to elect someone like Obama who won’t lift a finger to help our allies in the region, that’s why they’re doing this in the first place.

Can we defeat the Chinese with conventional weapons? Absolutely and they know it, too. Why do you think those bandits are so interested in stealing our technology? It’s because they know that their air force is nothing more than a bunch of targets for our F-22 fighters and they know that their navy can’t set to sea without our permission.

We have a capacity for war that is unmatched in the world but which is also utterly useless without the resolve to use it. Obama absolutely won’t use it to defeat our enemies because HE IS ONE OF THEM.


14 posted on 08/07/2012 8:29:08 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: stuartcr
Do you think they can afford our products and are willing to pay?

The way lend-lease worked was that many of the loans were forgiven, especially for equipment lost in battle. I'd say if the weapons are used in combat against the Chinese and lost, we write off the loan. Whether they feel they can afford the weaponry or not, it's not our territory that's at risk from Chinese annexation.

15 posted on 08/07/2012 8:37:19 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Looking a lot like the 1930s again, only this time it’s China trying to create the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.


16 posted on 08/07/2012 8:40:56 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: ScottinVA
Unless we're willing to unleash unconventional weapons, we will not defeat them in that region.

There's no question of guerrilla warfare or collateral damage from a naval war. The side with better range and firepower wins. For the next decade at least, that side is Uncle Sam, although the Chinese are closing fast, due to their massive investments in military R&D.

17 posted on 08/07/2012 8:43:23 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

ok, thanks


18 posted on 08/07/2012 8:46:20 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: Zhang Fei

How about this?

How about we impose tariffs or other trade restrictions so that we quit sending hundreds of billions of dollars in trade surplus to the PRC, which allows them to engage in a military build-up which is going to destabilize the region?

How about we starve them to death?

How about we go back to treating them like the communists they are?


19 posted on 08/07/2012 8:48:11 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: MeganC

You think Mitt will?


20 posted on 08/07/2012 8:51:13 AM PDT by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: Zhang Fei

I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. Wait ‘till China decides it is the right-full owner of all land traditionally a part of it at some high-water point in it’s history.

We can then expect to see more nearby nations absorbed.

China is expansionist. The planet is in for a rough ride thank to the Free Traitors.

Chruschev was right. He just had the wrong nation. And we didn’t sell the rope, we bought it before they used it on us.


21 posted on 08/07/2012 8:52:39 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Nope 2012)
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To: Zhang Fei

Well, i know who those islands and their oil DON’T belong to, that us. We have no claim to them, so we should stay out of it unless they ever try to impede sea lanes.
Freedom of navigation is the only thing for us to go to war over there.

Are we really interested in war on behalf of the Phillipines? They kicked us out. On behalf of Vietnam? Please. On behalf of Taiwan who wants to stake claims 1500 miles from Taiwan?
Im much more interested in China drilling right off the Florida Keys. If we wont enforce our clear territorial and oil interests in the Gulf of Mexico, why in hell should we fight over the Spratley islands? Insane.


22 posted on 08/07/2012 9:11:09 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DoughtyOne
It isn't Free Trade that's driving manufacturing jobs overseas.

Massive corporate taxation, limitless legal vulnerability, crushing environmental regulation and pro-Union arbitrary Government: these are why industry chooses to locate away from the USA.

Protectionism would be the final nail in the coffin. The last vestiges of American industry would be turned into feather-bedded welfare cases, and freeborn Americans would be forced to buy their stuff from the Government store.

Protectionism will also increase Government power. The Dems will collect all of that lovely tariff money and spend it on union pension bailouts or some damn thing.

America has tied its own hands behind its back with a ludicrous knot of EPA regulations, crushing taxation and arbitrary Government (just ask Gibsons guitars).

America needs to untie those knots - not wrap itself up in more of them in a fit of misplaced faux-patriotic anger.

23 posted on 08/07/2012 9:11:49 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: NVDave
How about this? How about we impose tariffs or other trade restrictions so that we quit sending hundreds of billions of dollars in trade surplus to the PRC, which allows them to engage in a military build-up which is going to destabilize the region? How about we starve them to death? How about we go back to treating them like the communists they are?

Trade-wise, I think we need to treat China the way we treated the Soviet Union. However, the problem with trying to enact a trade embargo on China is that nobody else will go along. Chinese exports to the US, at $400b, are only 7% of its $5.7t economy. And that $400b number exaggerates the value added, given that perhaps 10% of the $250 wholesale price of an iPad is composed of value added by Chinese labor, the rest being materials cost (of commodities imported from the rest of the world).

There are also factors beyond our control. The big change in China's economy occurred not in 1973, with Nixon's opening to China, but in 1979, when Deng Xiaoping, China's leader at the time, started dismantling China's centrally-planned economy. Every year after 1979 has featured high single-digit or low double-digit economic growth. The Chinese will eventually present a much more serious security problem than the Soviets because their economy is now capitalist in all but name, and they have 1.2b productive people, compared to the Soviet Union's 200m people at its peak.

As a long-time amateur China-watcher (and former Soviet-watcher), my contention is that the problem with China isn’t Communism - it’s the Chinese (much as the problem with the Soviet Union wasn’t Communism - it was Russians who viewed themselves as world conquerors). When Imperial Japan went on its world tour, its model was Imperial China during its moments of martial vigor. The Chinese put on a mask of amity during their period of weakness, but now that China has grown strong, that mask is slipping. I suspect that future historians will look back upon the Maoist era, when China closed itself off from the world, as a period of respite for China’s neighbors - a time for them to prepare for a revived China red in in tooth and claw. However, historians may also record China’s feckless neighbors (aka future provinces, in the Chinese mind) as having wasted the breathing space afforded them - all you have to do is look at their minuscule defense budgets. With the exception of Vietnam and India, China’s neighbors appear to have settled upon a common policy based on (1) Uncle Sam providing for their defense and (2) fighting China to the last dead American.

24 posted on 08/07/2012 9:16:52 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

“China’s neighbors are looking to the United States to deal with the local bully, and so far the Americans have been reluctant to get that involved”

So Vietnam, the PI, and Taiwan want us to go to war with China, over the oil rich Spratleys? I have a better idea. Get together, build a navy and an army, and send a bunch of asian boys to defend your own asian interests. If you won;t die for it, why should some kid from Nebraska?
It’s angering, the way every corner on earth looks at the USA as running to fight everyone elses fight.

Besides, we are very busy trying to get involved in other wars we have nothing to do with in Uganda and Syria.


25 posted on 08/07/2012 9:20:30 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Zhang Fei

“Lend-lease.”

Ohhh,, like we did with England in 39-40? SOunds like a good way to get dragged in. And interest free loans to peolle arming to fight China? Seriously? Pssst,, guess who WE already owe over a trillion to already? Yeah, THAT China,,the one that holds 26% of our foreign debt.

And let them use our nuclear umbrella? Are you insane? In return for risking nuclear attack on American cities, what do we get in return? Free oil for 5 decades?

Yeah, i thought so.


26 posted on 08/07/2012 9:27:43 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: stuartcr

“You think Mitt will?”

I think Mittens is less likely to betray our allies than Obama has proven to be.


27 posted on 08/07/2012 9:33:19 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: DesertRhino

Desert. With respect: you guys weren’t dragged into anything by Lend-Lease. The Japanese attacked you, and then Hitler declared war.

These countries have money and need weapons. No need to do anything like vendor-financing or arms-swaps for territory - and no need to send ‘trainers’.

Just sell them weapons and so reduce the unit price of your own stuff. No need to let the Russians supply both sides.

Cordially.


28 posted on 08/07/2012 9:39:18 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: MeganC

Yes,, we do have unmatched capacity for war. I know this will sound quaint, but really there is supposed to be an American interest at stake. Interest means something material to our economy or security, not simply, “Say, well isn’t that interesting”.

Unless the Chinese intend to block free navigation, we have no fight there. Wars are expensive, and really suck from up close. We should not be asked fight them over which Asian nation gets to claim the Spratleys. As long as we can sail by on our way somewhere else, I’m cool.

Some won’t be satisfied until we have Marines storming a modern Tarawa somewhere. But on behalf of Vietnamese, Taiwanese, and PI oil dreams? Please.


29 posted on 08/07/2012 9:42:17 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: MeganC

Yes,, we do have unmatched capacity for war. I know this will sound quaint, but really there is supposed to be an American interest at stake. Interest means something material to our economy or security, not simply, “Say, well isn’t that interesting”.

Unless the Chinese intend to block free navigation, we have no fight there. Wars are expensive, and really suck from up close. We should not be asked fight them over which Asian nation gets to claim the Spratleys. As long as we can sail by on our way somewhere else, I’m cool.

Some won’t be satisfied until we have Marines storming a modern Tarawa somewhere. But on behalf of Vietnamese, Taiwanese, and PI oil dreams? Please.


30 posted on 08/07/2012 9:43:30 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino

Well said.


31 posted on 08/07/2012 9:44:16 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: DesertRhino
Well, i know who those islands and their oil DON’T belong to, that us. We have no claim to them, so we should stay out of it unless they ever try to impede sea lanes. Freedom of navigation is the only thing for us to go to war over there.

China isn't just claiming those islands or the waters around them - it's laying claim to the entire South China Sea. In the Chinese view, those waters are inland Chinese waters. That implies a Chinese right to impede commercial and/or military traffic. Ultimately, I suspect we will fight to deny Chinese claims to those islands, simply to prevent China from building platforms from which they can harass or sink shipping passing through the region or invade the surrounding countries. Imagine Guam-sized islands from land reclamation efforts garrisoned by hundreds of thousands of Chinese ground, naval and air force personnel.

Taiwan is just over 200 miles from the Philippines and was the staging ground for Japan's invasion of the PI just after Pearl Harbor. China is about to build bases within 20 miles of mainland Philippines. Given our defense treaty with the Pinoys, I suspect it may be less trouble to keep the Chinese away from the islands that have to recover all of the Philippines from a Chinese army in occupation.

32 posted on 08/07/2012 9:49:10 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

“The way lend-lease worked was that many of the loans were forgiven, especially for equipment lost in battle. I’d say if the weapons are used in combat against the Chinese and lost, we write off the loan.”

I’m just a poor simple guy. So i might be misunderstanding this. We borrow money from China, to arm their enemies, and then whatever is lost in combat, we just “write off”? Like on our taxes? LOL
Or does that really mean, WE pay China back the money we borrowed to help someone attack them to advance THEIR interests?

Heres a clue, NOBODY cared about the Spratleys until oil was discovered there. Now they are all moving to establish bases. Let them elbow each other all they want, but this is not our fight. Not worth even ONE American life or borrowed Dollar.


33 posted on 08/07/2012 9:53:10 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino

Stopping Chinese imperialism before they lay claim to Guam, Hawaii, or San Francisco is an American interest. The Chinese have already laid claim to the Arctic and they’ve claimed that they want ‘special trade zones’ in cities along the Pacific coast incuding Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Long Beach.

...and they’re already in Long Beach where H.L. Richardson long ago pointed out that the ‘security guards’ working at the COSCO terminal there are all PLA soldiers. Why they’re allowed to have a defacto military base on our soil utterly eludes me.

In any case, it is vital to our interests to stop China where they are or else we’ll have to fight them when they come for what’s ours.


34 posted on 08/07/2012 9:53:49 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: MeganC

Or someone like Bush I or Bush II who isn’t a Democrat but isn’t going to interrupt the Chinese at anything.


35 posted on 08/07/2012 10:04:41 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Jeff Head

Strategy Page article FYI


36 posted on 08/07/2012 10:06:31 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei
That is a plausible scenario; good analysis. Supersonic missiles sited on those islands would be just one more thing to worry about. Looks like a good theater for LCVs and subs.

Mahan is more relevant than Sun-Tze: sea-power is going to be the critical factor in that area.

Perhaps some enterprising FReeper could publish a naval order of battle for Vietnam, Taiwan, etc?

37 posted on 08/07/2012 10:09:59 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: agere_contra

Lend Lease was a defacto joining into the war. It was the updated version of the WWI arsenal of democracy thing, which indeed drew us into WWI. A solid argument can be made that we would have eventually needed to fight WWII, but in WWI we absolutely had no interest. That was solely the result of England begging, cajoling, and scheming to get access to US manpower. In fact, the England defacto declared war on us when we were neutral. They created an explusion zone, and stated intent to sink any US ship that wanted to carry cargo to a German port. They announced what US companies may not sell to Germans and their intent to enforce it on the seas.
This exclusion zone was established *before* the Germans did likewise around the British isles with submarines.
So yes i am very wary of foreigners who are eager to have us fight their wars.
The road to getting dragged in is arming one side. the other side quickly sees you as the enemy.

If someone shows up with hard cold cash, id let them buy something. But not F-22s, (which we destroyed the tooling for i believe) and nobody in their right mind truly facing combat, over water, over long distances, against Sukhois would want to buy an F-35.

But yes, lend lease and other prewar entanglements certainly did draw us in. Even the Japanese attack resulted from prewar trade embargoes on behalf of China.

It’s still not an American fight. For me the equation should be, “will the profits of a few weapons sales be worth antagonizing the largest holder of US debt?”. Say we sell 10 or 20 billion in weapons, (a HUGE sale) but lose a few Trillion when Chine refuses to buy anymore T-bills?

And i hear no mention of Australia. They are right there in the backyard of this. Do they want to go to war over this, or provide weapons to these squabbling asians??


38 posted on 08/07/2012 10:24:41 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino
Do they want to go to war over this, or provide weapons to these squabbling asians??

I think our security problem is that China is already way too big. We embargoed Japan to prevent it from incorporating China into the Japanese Empire. We fought in Europe to prevent Germany from controlling all of Western Europe. China has a population that is industrializing rapidly and has 10 times the population of pre-war Germany and Japan combined and 20 times their land area. We may not have the luxury of letting China get any bigger. Imagine a China with twice its current population and land area courtesy of a PLA tour of East Asia. A Chinese Empire in the Far East that includes Australia and New Zealand will put an end to the regional squabbling. But it will also put in great danger our holdings in the Pacific.

39 posted on 08/07/2012 10:40:51 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

No, they do not claim it as an inland water. They want to do exactly one thing there. Drill oil. They won’t impeded shipping there.
What is there plan, close the shipping lanes that their economy utterly depends on? But if someday, someone tries, we can have a war over freedom of navigation. But that is not on the table currently.

And the Phillippines are no longer an American territory, and about 2 decades ago kicked us out and closed our bases. So no,, now they can’t come running that somebody wants their island. And as far as 20 miles from “mainland” Phillippines. WTF is mainland Phillippines? It’s an archipelago. So which island is China within 20 miles of??

Was it another unclaimed, uninhabited, unused, unowned sandspit that they built a colony on? Or did they invade it. Maybe the PI should have thought ahead before they kicked us out. If we were there, i doubt the Chinese would have moved. Decisions have consequences.

And as for China invading the PI? Seriously? Is there the slightest indication that they will? It’s far more likely that they’ll simply buy them.


40 posted on 08/07/2012 10:45:06 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: MeganC

“Stopping Chinese imperialism before they lay claim to Guam, Hawaii, or San Francisco is an American interest”

Give me a call when they are planning to invade ANY US territory. Thats just silly. As for a base here, when you sell and trade with someone, they are here in a port. But that was not a forcible entry. And if you murder someone in the COSCO terminal, you’ll be tried in California or in some cases Federal court.
It is not Chinese national territory.

I hope you have a better argument then that. That we need to go to war in the Spratley islands, to foil China’s plan to invade Hawaii, Guam, and San Francisco. LOL


41 posted on 08/07/2012 10:57:06 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino
No, they do not claim it as an inland water. They want to do exactly one thing there. Drill oil. They won’t impeded shipping there. What is there plan, close the shipping lanes that their economy utterly depends on?

Actually, they do, and they've started harassing non-Chinese fishermen in the region. They're not going to make it a closed military zone, they'll just insist that only Chinese commercial shipping is allowed through those waters, just as only Chinese shipping is allowed to navigate China's canals and rivers.

As a China-watcher who's read a fair amount of Chinese history, what sticks out is China's grabbiness with respect to territorial issues. The amusing thing is that it was a Chinese grad student who disabused me of the notion that China is a peaceful country. In a moment of candor, he said, quite logically, that big countries like China don't get that way by peaceful means. The National Review's John Derbyshire had this to say about China:

The Chinese people respond eagerly to these ultra-nationalist appeals: That is precisely why the leadership makes them. Resentment of the U.S., and a determination to enforce Chinese hegemony in Asia, are well-nigh universal among modern mainland Chinese. These emotions trump any desire for constitutional government, however much people dislike the current regime for its corruption and incompetence. Find a mainlander, preferably one under the age of thirty, and ask him which of the following he would prefer: for the Communists to stay in power indefinitely, unreformed, but in full control of the "three T's" (Tibet, Turkestan, Taiwan); or a democratic, constitutional government without the three T's. His answer will depress you. You can even try this unhappy little experiment with dissidents: same answer.

Is there anything we can do about all this? One thing only. We must understand clearly that there will be lasting peace in East Asia when, and only when, China abandons her atavistic fantasies of imperial hegemony, withdraws her armies from the two million square miles of other people's territory they currently occupy, and gets herself a democratic government under a rule of law. Until that day comes, if it ever does, the danger of war will be a constant in relations between China and the world beyond the Wall, as recent events in the South China Sea have illustrated. Free nations, under the indispensable leadership of the United States, must in the meantime struggle to maintain peace, using the one, single, and only method that wretched humanity, in all its millennia of experience, has so far been able to devise for that purpose: Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.

Every culture has a religion. The Chinese are remarkably irreligious in the conventional sense, except for a cargo cult version of paganism that should be familiar to anyone who's heard of the prosperity gospel. What passes in China for religion is a cult of national greatness - the model for Imperial Japan's world tour in the 1930's and 1940's. I believe China's neighbors are about to discover anew what their ancestors had to put up with on a routine basis before European adventurers set firm boundaries on Chinese territorial expansion 200 years ago. Our interest in the matter is the same as our interest in preventing Japan from annexing China during the pre-war era - it's never a good idea to allow an aggressive and ideologically hostile power to grow too big. More security for them means less security for us.
42 posted on 08/07/2012 11:24:18 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: DesertRhino
And yet you were brought into that war by a German exclusion zone on cargo to English ports. Not the other way round. Using the logic of your own example, Germany declared war on America.

Don't worry about antagonizing China by selling arms to their rivals. You - we - are already in an unstated economic war with China, and playing nice will not help a damn bit. You may as well gently push on their pressure points and sell some kick-ass warships to Taiwan + keep some friends in the area.

China cannot afford to divest themselves of the West's frankly worthless treasuries nor confront the US over anything until they have converted as much of their debt holdings as possible to Gold.

That's going to be the real battleground of the next two years: the possession of real money and the discovery of who actually has it.

Remember: the Central Bank of China is leveraged 1300 to 1, China's GDP figures are fairy stories and they have no spare water to frack for Natural Gas with: they have to tread carefully just like we all do.

Whereas America has about one oz of Gold per capita (assuming we can believe the official figures). This as you know is a high level of gold ownership. America is a Gold superpower.

If you guys can only rid yourself of that KleptoMarxist incubus Obama and exploit/export your vast natural gas reserves you should do very well over the next nine decades. America is a Natural Gas Saudi Arabia - but with every possible resource on earth and having possession of the greatest Naval power ever.

The paper dollar is doomed (just like all paper currency the world over) but once you get used to that idea you guys are well placed to take advantage of the rest of the century.

Don't let go of your Mahan advantage, and don't be afraid to leverage it to sell stuff in China's face. You don't have to invade the Spratleys, and the Chinese can't do anything to you that you haven't already done to yourselves.

43 posted on 08/07/2012 11:24:21 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: DesertRhino

China has made clear that they want the USA out of the Pacific and where have we heard that before? Oh, right, from Japan.

My point is why do we need to wait for China to attack Pearl Harbor and other American properties in the Pacific before we stand up to them?


44 posted on 08/07/2012 11:39:25 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: Zhang Fei
they'll just insist that only Chinese commercial shipping is allowed through those waters, just as only Chinese shipping is allowed to navigate China's canals and rivers.

That would be a dangerous game. The Chinese would disastrously lose face if even a single ship started flying the Stars and Stripes (and if America had an proper President who wasn't afraid to react appropriately to a historically attested casus belli). THAT is a sign of the global reach of sea-power - the ability to wave a flag at a gun boat and get them to back off.

But as you say that level of control over freight is China's eventual aim. It's not an impossible scenario - heck, another four years of Obama and any ships near the Spratleys will be full of people fleeing the US - and China is after all a master of incremental encroachment.

So - it's a great time to sell weapons to China-suppressing proxies in the area. And a great time to maintain Global sea power.

But its a bad, bad time to put any troops in harms way on the islands. The whole point of sea-power is that you don't need to occupy ground: you just have to be able to project power when you need to.

45 posted on 08/07/2012 11:48:00 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: Zhang Fei; DesertRhino

Guys, good thread, good comments from all. I’m off to watch the Olympics.


46 posted on 08/07/2012 11:51:09 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: agere_contra
It isn't Free Trade that's driving manufacturing jobs overseas.

Except when we address it as Free Trade, folks defend it on that basis.  Other than that, you have an interesting point.  It's one we've been trying to make for two decades.  What's taking place with China isn't Free Trade.  I'm glad to see you realize that.

Massive corporate taxation, limitless legal vulnerability, crushing environmental regulation and pro-Union arbitrary Government: these are why industry chooses to locate away from the USA.

Riiiiight.  I guess I'd be a lot more interested in joining in with your righteous indignation here if the folks pleading Free Trade was wonderful, an excllent example of Capitalism at it's best, IF THEY HAD admitted that China charging 40% markup on our exports to it had made our trade relationship with it anything but Free Trade.  So far, in twenty years, I haven't met one Free Traitor that will.  Sure you have a point about our government driving business off-shore, but where was the complaint of China not allowing our goods in import, tariff, or maniulated currency free.  The topic was either brought up by us, or the sound of crickets...

Protectionism would be the final nail in the coffin.

Please link me to where I raised this (protectionism) red hering.  Failing that, we'll just both stipulate that you raised it when no one else did.

And for the record, admitting our nation is in a coffin with all the nails but one already pounded in, you've got a lot of nerve taking me to task because I said this needs to stop now.

I will give you credit for one thing though.  I couldn't have though of a more apropos analogy.  Thank you.

The last vestiges of American industry would be turned into feather-bedded welfare cases, and freeborn Americans would be forced to buy their stuff from the Government store.


Yawn.

Protectionism will also increase Government power. The Dems will collect all of that lovely tariff money and spend it on union pension bailouts or some damn thing.

Yawn.  Through yet?

America has tied its own hands behind its back with a ludicrous knot of EPA regulations, crushing taxation and arbitrary Government (just ask Gibsons guitars).

Okay, why didn't you just say that?  Nobody mentioned protectionism.  Excuse me, nobody but you that is.

Should we be going after government?  Of course we should.  Who has said we shouldn't.  You attribute fixes I never called for to me, and abscond with my intended fix for this and act as if you were coming up with something I didn't know needed to be done.  Nice trick if you can get away with it.  You couldn't.


Lets be honest with each other though.  This has not been the traditional response of the Free Traitors though, has it.  They have spent close to twenty years claiming "Free Trade" was going to win the day when it came to trade with China.  It hasn't, so now they try to shove the blame for all this off on the government.  Why did it take you folks so long, if that was the real problem all along?  Fact is, it wasn't the main reason our corporations moved off shore and you know it.

America needs to untie those knots - not wrap itself up in more of them in a fit of misplaced faux-patriotic anger.

America needs someone who is going to be honest concerning what transpired here.  Manipulating the argument to aleviate any blame from the Free Traitors isn't going to fly.  Thanks for playing though.

Don Pardo, tell our guest what parting gifts he's getting...


47 posted on 08/07/2012 11:57:55 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Nope 2012)
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To: DesertRhino

Well then, by your logic China should be able to make claim to Catalina. Hey, it’s over twenty miles off the mainland U. S.

China wants the Spratley Island group because it extends their military’s arm in the direction of choking off Western Pacific access to the Indian Ocean.

If you didn’t know that, why are you pestering folks on a topic you know nothing about.


48 posted on 08/07/2012 12:04:41 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Nope 2012)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

We are already in an economic cold war with China. They are winning.


49 posted on 08/07/2012 12:08:21 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Zhang Fei
For the next decade at least, that side is Uncle Sam, although the Chinese are closing fast, due to their massive investments in military R&D.

The fact the Chinese supply lines will be far, far shorter puts them at a distinct advantage. They can put a lot of force into their region on short notice.

The other wildcard... they Chinese have observed that the American public will only support a war so long before they start getting antsy. China's leaders have no such worry.

So, it comes down to unconventional weaponry. The problem is, we're ruled by someone who despises their very presence and has vowed not to use them.

50 posted on 08/07/2012 12:50:34 PM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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