Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/31/2013 How Far Will The Dragon Swim? China and the Disputed Territories

China to Conduct Naval Drills in Pacific amid Tension

File:Type 051B destroyer.jpg
Chinese Destroyer SHENZHEN DDG 167, Photo by Petty Officer Nathanael T. Miller, USN,  

(Reuters) - Three advanced Chinese warships left port on Wednesday for naval drills and war games in the Western Pacific, and the fleet will likely pass through disputed waters in the East and South China Sea, state media said.


We note that the Dragon intends to carry out the following drills and exercises:

"The fleet will carry out more than 20 types of exercises including naval confrontation, battle drills far out at sea, the protection of maritime rights and command and control," Xinhua cited the Defense Ministry as saying in a statement."

 We note that particularly the "protection of maritime rights" is an exercise of a mission that occurs only where a nation has specific maritime rights. Mostly these missions occur in a nation's territorial sea or exclusive economic zone. Given that Defense ministry has described the exercise zone as areas that are mostly inside the "First Island Chain" as China describes her claim to the entire Pacific out to the beaches of the Philippines this is meant as intimidation, despite China's claim that the exercises are routine. While China is building a fleet of law enforcement vessels for it's several agencies that carry out Coast Guard like functions, its use of it Navy's more powerful combatants for basically sovereignty demonstrations indicates to her troubled neighbors the aggressive intentions of the Peoples Liberation Army's Navy (PLAN). The Dragon's message is clear and these exercises are part of the message; "We assume complete control over the China Seas and whatever Islands you may claim in them, you have no choice in the matter" .  Of course there is still time for Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and others to make a choice to resist. Japan and the Philippines are starting naval/ coast guard build ups. If China is successful in wresting complete control of the region in violation of International law , the Indian Navy has stated that it will assert Indian national interests in the oil production of the region. So China is facing a rather formidable potential naval coalition before the U.S.Pacific Fleet is figured in. So the disclaimer that the exercise is "routine" is to  delay the formation of a formal naval opposition. It's the Dragon's usual game, divide and conquer. Japan, the Philippines, and the United States don't want war and all too often are ready to believe the Dragon in the hopes that the costs of enforcing International law and honoring defense treaties can be avoided or delayed. China uses the time to build an ever larger force and to wear down its neighbors. It is time to form a formal defensive alliance with all parties including former U.S. enemy Vietnam , and staunch U.S. Alley Australia, and including a firm commitment from usually non aligned India to give the Dragon an alternative. Recognize international transit rights through the area, cease claiming your legitimate national EEZ areas as "territorial waters", stay out of your neighbors recognized EEZs. Where EEZ lines are unsettled submit disputes to international tribunals and abide by their decisions. Or your intruding PLAN and Coast Guard like vessels will be shot into when trespassing. History tells us appeasement doesn't work with thug states.

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