Thursday, June 25, 2015



Updated 12/4/2015   American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies

Photo: USN

We recently reported that China has apparently slowed down or even halted their construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea. In that post we noted that we didn't really think it was an overture of peace with the Dragon's neighbors. Rather we believe the Dragon has built enough of these outposts to serve its purpose of wresting the exclusive economic zones of its neighbors and pocketing the potential revenues. Artificial islands are expensive to build. But they do lend a certain near credibility to Chinese claims of soverignity over the watery turf of neighboring states like the Philippines. Now we have to wonder, were the artificial islands in fact not ever part of a "lawfare" scheme to win in an international legal contest decided by an international tribunal? Perhaps the Dragon always intended to take the area by naval force? Perhaps the artificial islands are part of a quite different scheme that not only involves stealing the fisheries and offshore mineral rights of neighbors but also "pushing the U.S. Navy back to Pearl Harbor". What is happening or could be happening under water near these artificial islands claimed by China smacks of a naval war plan.

Photo USN

 The Dragon has a growing fleet of nuclear propelled ballistic missile submarines. In addition to the economic reasons the Dragon always puts forth for wanting all of the South China Sea, and the Dragon;s bogus historical claims, it probably also wants a hideout for this strategic submarine fleet. In the waters near the artificial islands the Dragon may be constructing a deep water haven for its strategic submarine fleet, where a large portion of the fleet could avoid detection. The sea floor in much if the south China sea is characterized by underwater canyons, a perfect hideout for a submarine.

 China's land grab in the South China Sea is expected to be a major bone of contention in upcoming meetings between the U.S. Secretary of State and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang. China is coming into the talks claiming that it has wound down its construction of artificial islands. This may be true and we might even see some willingness to make minor compromises with their neighbors like moving the line of their claims a little farther offshore of the Philippine main island beaches. Presently their claims virtually run right up the low water mark on some Philippine beaches. Nothing like the appearance of an olive branch and and an apparent cessation of obviously hostile activity to lull an incredibly inept U.S. administration into not looking too carefully at the Dragon's real objectives. We think they are trading almost meaningless concessions on their land grab to mollify a hair brained U.S. administration into not looking into the mouth of a trojan horse. The real goal is an undisturbed, if not undiscovered submarine base well out to sea from the Chinese mainland. 

 The U.S. goal of late has been solely focused on getting China to ease its reclamation efforts and its militarization of the artificial islands it has created. China now says its through building islands but intends to "develop those it has finished. " This literally gives China fortified naval installations and a major hidden submarine base smack in the middle of one of the world's  busiest and important shipping lanes of vital interest to Japan and the U.S. West Coast trade. But going into the new talks the U.S. Secretary of State appears to have only one agenda, stop island construction. Thus our bogus administration gets an assured win that will be lauded by the U.S. lap dog media and this will all go down without mention of the submarine threat. 

The South China Sea is  bounded by Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia.  The area is one of the world’s most important international shipping lanes. Under codified (UNCLOS) international law much of it is "international waters. Yet, China claims that  it holds maritime rights to about 80 percent of the sea, and not as the usual international right of ways such as exclusive economic zones but as the territorial sea of China China's claim is  vigorously contested the neighboring states and international shipping interests.

Beijing views the South China Sea as a strategic holding as  it guards China’s southern flank. That flank includes  a submarine base in Sanya, on China’s Hainan island. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)  has constructed  underwater entrance ways  there to quietly dock some of its submarines, including those that carry ballistic missiles. In recent years , China has built  up a nuclear deterrence or attack  capability in of lesser size than that of the United States or Russia. But its still enough  to blow up the world. The Dragon's  submarine program is a major part of that nuclear weapons program.. Because  submarines can often avoid detection, especially with such obvious preplanning, they are less vulnerable to a first-strike attack than land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles or nuclear bombers. 

At the moment, China’s JL2 submarine ballistic missiles can't reach the United States from the South China Sea.   But the Dragon seeks to improve the range of those missiles in the near future.  But their subs forward deployed many may be able to put the U.S. West Coast at risk from positions in the Pacific beyond what China calls the "First Island Chain". It is far easier a nuclear sub to slip away from an underwater haven hundreds of miles from the obvious Chinese submarine pens and reposition in the Pacific than to slip out of a mainland port undetected. 

 We actually seen this "submarine bastion" strategy before used by the Soviets during the Cold War. There are U.S. naval analysts who are convinced that the Chinese are adopting a submarine bastion strategy but who will not speak out forcefully due to administration opposition. There is no doubt that the goal of the Submarine bastion strategy is to position missile subs where their ordinance can reach the United States. China is waving the olive branch over the artificial islands for two simple reasons. First the Dragon wants to protect its submarine bastion. Second it wishes to convince the Philippines to not allow rotational U.S. armed forces into its territory. The utter incompetence of the U.S. Secretary of state and his boss will pretty much insure that the Dragons lair is safe. However the Philippines is not so willing to give in to the Dragon. They have recently begun to warm up to Japan, their invader and occupier in WWII in the hopes of mutual defense. Why would they throw out their long time friend the U.S. when we are bound by formal defense treaties and they are looking for allies? We don't see much coming out of these talks but bluster and a delay in the commencement of open hostilities. The Dragon is still swimming towards the Philippines and the U.S. continues asleep at the switch, but so latently powerful that the Dragon wants to approach slowly. Meanwhile back at the White House the administration works daily to further diminish the remaining power of the United States. 



No comments:

Post a Comment