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Old 31.05.2015, 17:21
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South China sea

So what´s this thing going on in the south China sea, would the US and China really go to war over some pissant coral reef? Depending on where you read world war 3 seems almost imminent, thing is it seems that both sides are swinging higher and higher and sooner or later something must give, the Chinks can´t back down without loosing face and the military industrial complex, the MIC, former USA, can´t back down either without appearing weak, lines are being drawn and the rhetoric is becoming more and more bellicose.
Apart from the horrific environmental cost of filling these coral reefs up with sand and having 40 years of conservation dredged out of existence does anybody think the Spratlys´ are worth dying for?
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Old 31.05.2015, 18:13
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Re: South China sea

I think it's more than a few Coral reefs, have you seen the map? Chinas claimed land is bordered in red

http://blogs.voanews.com/state-depar...a-Sea-Rev3.jpg

Countries have a right to claim territorial waters off their shore but look at that map, China are claiming everything all the way to Borneo. It's a disgraceful display of bullying and I hope the international community unites to stand up to them.
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Old 31.05.2015, 18:31
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Re: South China sea

Then I ask myself what do they have to gain by yanking the American´s chain? By now everybody and their grandmothers know that "B" follows "A" before "C" is the US (read Obama) seen as so weak that the Chinese speculate that there will be no response?
Thing is even if (I so hope) Obama keeps his cool and can calm things down the next POTUS probably won´t.
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Old 31.05.2015, 22:52
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Re: South China sea

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Then I ask myself what do they have to gain by yanking the American´s chain? By now everybody and their grandmothers know that "B" follows "A" before "C" is the US (read Obama) seen as so weak that the Chinese speculate that there will be no response?
Thing is even if (I so hope) Obama keeps his cool and can calm things down the next POTUS probably won´t.
So far, China had mostly an army lacking offensive power and thus largely unable to project chinese might abroad - not that there had been much need for such to begin with. Instead, it used to have a defensive structure, a tool mostly used to secure domestic, should I say peace or quiet, since after the Long March.

With growing economic power comes the ability, and also the need, to project its might abroad. China needs the ability to protect its resources acquired elsewhere, increasingly around the world. China bought its first aircraft carrier from Russia a couple years ago, it will be combat ready rather soon (IIRC within a year or two). Most probably this is only the tip of the iceberg. The message is clear: the dragon is stretching its limbs.

So, what used to constitute China's natural protection (tundra to the north and northwest, Himalayas to the south and west), is increasingly becoming a fence that restricts them, particularly with Russia becoming an ally. The only viable route is east/south, the world seas.

But China has a severe problem on that score, too:
It's essentially fenced in by countries that are outright allies of the US, or at least oriented to the western lifestyle: Japan and Korea to the north/-east, Japan (Okinawa and the small western islands) and Taiwan to the east, Vietnam, Pilippines and Malaysia to the south, south-west if you will (Singapore strait, access to the Indian Ocean). The one relatively open card is Taiwan, which is claimed by China and not an officially recognized country of its own (as per UN, there can only be one country called China, which is the PRC), but although it seems they speak Mandarin their lifestyle appears to be very much oriented towards Japan/USA. And I have no doubt that in a staredown or cold-war-scenario the US will support them basically unconditionally - keeping China fenced in is just too important.

So unless China wants to go to war with Taiwan (the US might actually like that, just another proxy war to keep a main opponent busy that simultaneously provides an opportunity for big business to make money), the only way to build a base for power projection is by getting hold of a few islands far off mainland China.

Many areas in the Chinese Sea are believed to hold vast natural resource deposits. So China essentially beats two flies with one stroke as any permanantly populated patch of land can be called one countrys' own. Doing that with a newly-built island provides a potential power base, and also allows China to claim ownership of the area surrounding it, including of course exclusive ownership of its natural resources.

In such a context laying waste to a parcel of the sea floor, or destructing a corral reef, unfortunately is largely irrelevant.
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Old 31.05.2015, 23:05
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Re: South China sea

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So far, China had mostly an army lacking offensive power and thus largely unable to project chinese might abroad - not that there had been much need for such to begin with. Instead, it used to have a defensive structure, a tool mostly used to secure domestic, should I say peace or quiet, since after the Long March.

With growing economic power comes the ability, and also the need, to project its might abroad. China needs the ability to protect its resources acquired elsewhere, increasingly around the world. China bought its first aircraft carrier from Russia a couple years ago, it will be combat ready rather soon (IIRC within a year or two). Most probably this is only the tip of the iceberg. The message is clear: the dragon is stretching its limbs.

So, what used to constitute China's natural protection (tundra to the north and northwest, Himalayas to the south and west), is increasingly becoming a fence that restricts them, particularly with Russia becoming an ally. The only viable route is east/south, the world seas.

But China has a severe problem on that score, too:
It's essentially fenced in by countries that are outright allies of the US, or at least oriented to the western lifestyle: Japan and Korea to the north/-east, Japan (Okinawa and the small western islands) and Taiwan to the east, Vietnam, Pilippines and Malaysia to the south, south-west if you will (Singapore strait, access to the Indian Ocean). The one relatively open card is Taiwan, which is claimed by China and not an officially recognized country of its own (as per UN, there can only be one country called China, which is the PRC), but although it seems they speak Mandarin their lifestyle appears to be very much oriented towards Japan/USA. And I have no doubt that in a staredown or cold-war-scenario the US will support them basically unconditionally - keeping China fenced in is just too important.

So unless China wants to go to war with Taiwan (the US might actually like that, just another proxy war to keep a main opponent busy that simultaneously provides an opportunity for big business to make money), the only way to build a base for power projection is by getting hold of a few islands far off mainland China.

Many areas in the Chinese Sea are believed to hold vast natural resource deposits. So China essentially beats two flies with one stroke as any permanantly populated patch of land can be called one countrys' own. Doing that with a newly-built island provides a potential power base, and also allows China to claim ownership of the area surrounding it, including of course exclusive ownership of its natural resources.

In such a context laying waste to a parcel of the sea floor, or destructing a corral reef, unfortunately is largely irrelevant.
Yes, I understand that, but will the US stand to one side and simply say: "yeh China, go for it, being the world police is a crappy job, your turn" or will the US lose their shit?

Last edited by slammer; 01.06.2015 at 07:47.
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Old 01.06.2015, 00:07
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Re: South China sea

No, they won't stand aside. Of course not!

Chinese officials have been reported by MSNBC as saying in a state-run paper in chinese (i.e. addressing chinese people) that war is inevitable. No idea if that's true, or if that's saber rattling in an attempt to raise the bar for their opponents, but if this interpretation is accurate it doesn't look good.

Though Asthon Carter has been quoted saying "we all know there is no military solution", the "Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative" submitted to US congress is proposing to provide $425mln funding to, as they call it, to help build maritime security capacity among nations in the region. Some also want to relieve/lift restrictions on what weapon types may be delivered to Vietnam.

While the US can't make any claims of their own, they'll probably be happy to finance and provide the means for yet another proxy war. With Russia busy in Ukraine, which also keeps Germany from getting on friendly terms with Russia, it's time now to take care of China.

Divide et impera!
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Old 01.06.2015, 01:09
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Re: South China sea

LOSING. It's "losing". One "o". "Lose", not "loose". Big difference.


"Chinks" was pretty good, too, but I'll leave that one for someone who cares about PC issues. Spelling and grammar are WAY more important. And yes, there are lots of other crimes here too, but "lose/loose" was particularly heinous.


As for the coral reefs, no, there won't be a war over them. There's too much trade at stake.
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Old 01.06.2015, 01:20
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Re: South China sea

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Yes, I understand that, but will the US stand to one side and simply say: "yeh China, go for it, being the world police is a crappy job, your turn" or will the US loose their shit?
Now that is an interesting question.

Firstly the SCS has been in dispute for many years with a few battles already.

With the economic rise of China, it is not unexpected that they 'secure their back yard' (just look at how far away from mainland US the US claims as its own territory and how it squeezed out other powers as time went by e.g. Britain in South America).

So far, America seems to have had a policy of encirclement and containment of China and tries to maintain top dog position by poking down China at every opportunity. However, I wonder if the winds are changing.

Recently, the US tried to pressure countries not to join the AIIB and was embarrassed as even close allies such as UK and Oz signed up.

China certainly seems to think that times have changed and perhaps they are right. Perhaps China is growing into a pre-eminent regional power and if this the most likely future scenario, then it may be more beneficial for the US to cooperate with China as a regional hegemon rather than try to cling to its current global hegemony.
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Old 01.06.2015, 07:56
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Re: South China sea

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LOSING. It's "losing". One "o". "Lose", not "loose". Big difference.


"Chinks" was pretty good, too, but I'll leave that one for someone who cares about PC issues. Spelling and grammar are WAY more important. And yes, there are lots of other crimes here too, but "lose/loose" was particularly heinous.


As for the coral reefs, no, there won't be a war over them. There's too much trade at stake.
Thank you for your constructive criticism, but I intended it to be read as: "loose their shit" as in "cry havoc and let slip the shit of war" twas a try at wordplay, didn't work, and as for "chinks" that's just the cold-war kid inside me loosening off some cold-war rhetoric. Seems to be coming more and more en vogue these days.
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Old 01.06.2015, 08:05
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Re: South China sea

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China certainly seems to think that times have changed and perhaps they are right. Perhaps China is growing into a pre-eminent regional power and if this the most likely future scenario, then it may be more beneficial for the US to cooperate with China as a regional hegemon rather than try to cling to its current global hegemony.
I can imagine the current US government to seek cooperation, but I think that the US Democrats will be ousted in the next elections to be replaced by the Republicans who are far more heavy handed in their foreign polices.
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Old 01.06.2015, 09:13
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Re: South China sea

The US has no claims on the South China Seas, so the US will not be engaging China unilaterally. Its up to those affected how they handle it, and how they involve the US in the process. Of the countries affected, I believe the Philippines is the only one with a mutual defense treaty with the US. Yet, I am not sure how seriously the US takes that obligation.

There isn't much incentive for the US to intervene. But it does bring to attention how there is not an effective leverage against China. China plays its trade card exceedingly well. It would require a large coalition of countries around the world to define a leverage that China can feel. Its currently non-existent. But should China continue in this way, it necessitates the creation of one. Perhaps the creation of one is the only leverage against China at the moment.
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Old 01.06.2015, 12:43
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Re: South China sea

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The US has no claims on the South China Seas, so the US will not be engaging China unilaterally. Its up to those affected how they handle it, and how they involve the US in the process. Of the countries affected, I believe the Philippines is the only one with a mutual defense treaty with the US. Yet, I am not sure how seriously the US takes that obligation.

There isn't much incentive for the US to intervene. But it does bring to attention how there is not an effective leverage against China. China plays its trade card exceedingly well. It would require a large coalition of countries around the world to define a leverage that China can feel. Its currently non-existent. But should China continue in this way, it necessitates the creation of one. Perhaps the creation of one is the only leverage against China at the moment.
The EU had a recent painful lesson over the Ukraine about not getting involved in things that mean far more to another country than it does to you. Russia was willing to invade and possibly drop nukes over Ukraine as it is essential for its own security.

Similarly, the South China Sea (as with Taiwan) has a far greater importance to China than it does to the US.
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Old 01.06.2015, 14:59
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Re: South China sea

US media coverage of the situation with China is next to nil, the average American is far too pre-occupied with John Kerry's leg and the smear tactics associated with next year's Presidential election. and US officials have already more or less indicated that, unless the Chinese are stupid enough to shoot down a US military jet or something similar, the likelihood of military conflict over the south seas dispute is zero.

the US is simply rattling its saber in the hope of pushing the Chinese to reach a diplomatic solution with the US allies in the region who actually care about the issue.
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Old 03.07.2015, 16:58
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Re: South China sea

Seems the Chinese have other issues now.

The stock market has fallen 30%; to put it in perspective in the past 15 trading days, more than $3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese listed companies — more than the Spanish, Russian, Italian, Swedish and Dutch stock markets combined.

Maybe they will be trying to sell those reefs
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Old 03.07.2015, 17:23
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Re: South China sea

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Seems the Chinese have other issues now.

The stock market has fallen 30%; to put it in perspective in the past 15 trading days, more than $3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese listed companies — more than the Spanish, Russian, Italian, Swedish and Dutch stock markets combined.

Maybe they will be trying to sell those reefs
With all the bullying they're doing in South China Sea and all the fake food they are selling, all I want to say is: Good! I hope them greedy chinks come crashing down.

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Old 03.07.2015, 17:32
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Re: South China sea

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So, what used to constitute China's natural protection (tundra to the north and northwest, Himalayas to the south and west), is increasingly becoming a fence that restricts them, particularly with Russia becoming an ally.
Russia and China aren't really allies, militarily or any other way. They just use each other when it's convenient, but they compete with each other in terms of power and status.

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Chinese officials have been reported by MSNBC as saying in a state-run paper in chinese (i.e. addressing chinese people) that war is inevitable. No idea if that's true, or if that's saber rattling in an attempt to raise the bar for their opponents, but if this interpretation is accurate it doesn't look good.
The US and China are "frenemies", they disagree on alot of things, but their economies are too far intertwined right now for them to have any kind of military conflict. (Altho people also said that about EU and Russia...)

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The EU had a recent painful lesson over the Ukraine about not getting involved in things that mean far more to another country than it does to you. Russia was willing to invade and possibly drop nukes over Ukraine as it is essential for its own security.
By invading Ukraine militarily, Russia made things much worse for themselves in terms of security as they turned Ukraine's population against them like never before.
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Old 04.07.2015, 18:27
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Re: South China sea

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Seems the Chinese have other issues now.

The stock market has fallen 30%; to put it in perspective in the past 15 trading days, more than $3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese listed companies — more than the Spanish, Russian, Italian, Swedish and Dutch stock markets combined.
That's after going up by 150% or so since in the last year, isn't it? So half the gains still remain.
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Old 08.07.2015, 11:32
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Re: South China sea

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Seems the Chinese have other issues now.

The stock market has fallen 30%; to put it in perspective in the past 15 trading days, more than $3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese listed companies — more than the Spanish, Russian, Italian, Swedish and Dutch stock markets combined.

Maybe they will be trying to sell those reefs
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That's after going up by 150% or so since in the last year, isn't it? So half the gains still remain.
Half the firms on the Shanghai Exchange have requested suspension of trading in their shares so the situation might be more serious than you imply!
The Chinese Government seems to be unable to stop this rout despite several emergency measures. Could become more serious than Grexit as the losses so far are ten times more than Greece owes even on the worst projections!
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Old 08.07.2015, 12:07
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Re: South China sea

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By invading Ukraine militarily, Russia made things much worse for themselves in terms of security as they turned Ukraine's population against them like never before.
I don't think so, my Russian/Ukrainian mother in law is incredibly pro Russia in this conflict and believes Russian propaganda over the so called "lying western media outlets" and her family in Ukraine seem to support her view? I personally don't, she is quite brainwashed, anyway my point is Ukraine is definitely split on this issue.

As for China's claim on the Spratleys, its definitely illegal, but if anyone will want to take it any further, that is another matter. Sure a unilateral trade embargo might pressure Beijing, but we all rely too heavily on cheap plastic toys and electronics.

And Britain, Holland, Spain and France, can't really say a lot as they have similar territorial claims all over the world.
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Old 08.07.2015, 13:15
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Re: South China sea

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Seems the Chinese have other issues now.

The stock market has fallen 30%; to put it in perspective in the past 15 trading days, more than $3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese listed companies — more than the Spanish, Russian, Italian, Swedish and Dutch stock markets combined.

Maybe they will be trying to sell those reefs
i don't know why everyone is panicking about this. a fall of 30% from a 7 year high (and in a bubble market) is probably a healthy thing.
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