HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM:ANYWHERE WHERE IT THINKS ITS BIGGER THAN THE DEFENDERS
As we contemplate the chart above according to Philippine naval authorities 18 "dragons" , Chinese armed ships, are patrolling inside and along the red lines drawn above. The red line is China's territorial sea claim. Note we said "territorial sea claim", not Exclusive Economic Zone or Outer Continental Shelf related claim, or air defense zone or any other type of claim of limited jurisdiction. The Dragon says the South and East China Seas are his exclusive territory. Notice that the red line passes within 12 miles of Vietnam, leaving Vietnam a normal territorial sea but no OCS or EEZ seas. The line then cuts through northern corner of Indonesia's UNCLOS (United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea) EEZ and absorbs nearly all of the EEZ and territorial seas of Malaysia and Brunei. It all but touches the beach at the Philippines. Of course the purpose is to absorb the Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal and the Parcel Islands. The blue line represents the UNCLOS recognized EEZs of the Indonesia, Malysia, Bruni, and the Philippines. One can't help but notice that the claims of the Dragon invade the internationally recognized EEZ waters of these nations and in at least three cases literally violate the territorial seas of these states.
There is an important distinction between EEZ jurisdiction by an "adjacent coastal state" and "Territorial Seas jurisdiction". Note, China isn't even close to being an "adjacent coastal state" relative to the disputed islands and territorial waters jurisdiction. Within an EEZ by well established international law the ships of every nation have the right of innocent passage. The "adjacent coastal state" with recognized EEZ rights has the exclusive right to the bottom dwelling fisheries,and the duty to manage non bottom dwelling migratory ocean species in compliance with international fishing conventions. These are very important and valuable but also very limited rights. By contrast under established international law within a nation's territorial sea the adjacent coastal state has all of the same rights as it has over its own harbors and rivers. Quite literally coastal states "own" their internationally recognized "territorial seas". This is an all inclusive right but very limited in its distance from shore generally 12 miles or less. China's claims in the South, and East China Seas and relative to the disputed islands and their similar claim against Japan in the Diautu/Senkaku island dispute has no basis in international law, it is a blatant land grab by a thug state.
Here is a link to details of the more recent Chinese incursions against the Philippines.
Yesterday we reported that last month the Philippines became the first nation to fire a shot in anger in one of these island disputes. That shot ,which left one dead, was into a non compliant fishing vessel wrecking havoc on the same World Natural Heritage coral reef that the USS GUARDIAN ran aground on last winter. The equivalent of the Philippine National Park Police patrol and monitor the coral reefs of the shoal. The United States accepted Philippine Coast Guard officers aboard our war ships to monitor the salvage effort and we are discussing fines owed the Philippines. You'll note the United States the most powerful naval state in the world at the moment didn't argue for one second that the Philippines lacked any jurisdiction in the area. But China claims all of the area as part of its "province of Taiwan. Unfortunately, smelling oil money, Taiwan is starting to act like a province of China and is reasserting China's claim, but in its own right. Taiwan has not only violated the area by arrogantly fishing the reefs , but as we reported a few months ago, they have even landed hunting parties on the Philippine big islands and poached endangered armadillos.
Lets put it in perspective. If the United States asserted ocean exclusive jurisdiction on the same basis as China demands the islands of its neighbors we would be claiming the exclusive right to drill for oil within sight of the beaches of Mexico, Cuba, and the Bahamas. In the Gulf of Mexico we would be claiming all of the ocean out to the Strait of Yucatan and allowing Mexico only a narrow strip of water right off her Gulf beaches. The United Nations would be in an uproar.
Appeasement doesn't work . The Philippines has already fired the first defensive shot against an agent of the dragon. It is time to break off relations with Taiwan, they have become a Dragon agent. We should not be selling them advanced weapons supposedly so they can maintain their independence from the Dragon when they are just as likely to turn them on us or our allies in the region. The Philippines is building up its naval strength as is Japan. We are executing our "Pivot to the Pacific though it seems too little too late. China is moving forward on its reckless naval path. Eventually, having become fearless the Dragon will strike the Philippines or Japan directly forcing us to honor our defensive treaties with these two nations. China is betting that our present foolish naval policies will continue and when push comes to shove the U.S. Navy will be badly mauled and retreat to Pearl Harbor never to venture into the Western Pacific again. The Middle Kingdom will then draw Japan, the Philippines and even Australia onto its self on its own terms. If we want to avoid a naval war with the Dragon we must prepare to win it now. Thug states must be met with force early on, they don't improve with time or success. China is doing exactly what Germany was doing in the early days of World War II, rolling up and taking their neighbors land. This time instead of tanks across the hedge rows its war ships into island waters. The answer to such clear thievery must the same, military resistance fierce and determined.
But this is America governed by the present crop of air heads of both parties in DC. They will notice the Dragon when his breath is scorching the Golden Gate. Its not by accident that you are reading about these events here in a blog where nobody uses their real name.