Saturday, November 30, 2013


Japan, Once Great Britain's Attentive Naval Student Dealt The Royal Navy A Stunning Blow Three Days After Pearl Harbor

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Click on the smaller book cover icon at the end of the review for more information
 American Admiralty Books gives a rather qualified recommendation of this book for certified and highly motivated wreck divers , maritime historians, and the serious Pacific naval history buffs. The author Rod Macdonald has a good reputation in the UK for ship wreck diving guides for wrecks in the waters off of the UK. This book is his first attempt at examining British wrecks in more distant and warmer waters.

 We were drawn to the book because of all of the naval unrest in the South China Sea region which we take such pains to cover because of the lack of interest and understanding in the American general news media ("infotainment industry"). We have to acknowledge that sometimes our coverage might leave the reader with the impression that the South China Sea is not open to tourism. In fact it very much is. Serious shooting has not started yet. The area is full of great diving destinations and facilities. We would not recommend basing a diving vacation out of China since they are the source of the tensions and show no restraint. If open hostilities were to break out, tourist from the English speaking world could find themselves incarcerated as enemy aliens. By contrast, it should be relatively easy to get back home from most of the other nations surrounding the South China Sea, especially the Philippines. Tourist/dive facilities will be back up and running shortly in the Philippines. We urge Americans and other English speaking recreational divers to consider the Philippines as a vacation destination. However we are digressing from the book review.

 This book is neither a comprehensive wreck diving guide, nor a complete history of the wrecks, it would be inadequate as a single reference for planning a safe wreck dive on these ships. The book is a little bit of both and more. Unfortunately, it is a bit too little on both scores. We have to give it at best a  ":C+" for organization and  "B-" for some of the  narrative and prose, with the notable exception of the description of the sinking of the PRINCE OF WHALES and the REPULSE. which was actually a "cracker jack job". A "C " for editing would be a bit generous but we often fall short on that score ourselves. The illustrations of the wrecks rate a clear "A"  grade. So why do we recommend at all a book that we find falls short of its stated goals and rates rather mediocre grades for parts of its construction? We recommend this book to a rather specific audience because despite its flaws it is unique and seminal. It is a first treatment of its kind and provides a unique perspective. If anyone writes about these two ships either historically or as wrecks in the future they will benefit from reference to this book early in their research. This book is an excellent starting place for research into the these two ships and their loss. We don't predict that it will become a best seller, but we do predict that it will be a much cited reference well into the future. The serious student of British naval history, the South China Seas, or wreck diving will appreciate reading it and want to keep it for future reference.

 The loss of the HMS PRINCE OF WHALES and HMS REPULSE three days after Pearl Harbor was a major event in the early days of the Pacific war. The loss stunned the Royal Navy as it was administered by her former student , Japan and it helped set conditions for the rapid collapse of British resistance in the Far East. The loss of these two war ships is bound to generate at least passing mention in historical accounts of many aspects of the collapse of British resistance in the Far East in the opening days of the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War Two. Sometimes very useful and necessary books are not particularly well written or edited, but they serve and endure because they are the first to address a particular subject from a unique angle, serve as a beacon for more academic authors and better editors to follow , and store for ready reference vital information. Anyone who has watched the continuing evolution of American Admiralty Books can appreciate that we have not perfected our system of information storage and retrieval. However we never cease trying to improve it even as we continue to gather information. In our view, and that of most professional researchers some organization of vast collections of data is better than none. Data organization of important but relatively rarely used data tends to evolve over time. Organization has to start somewhere. We appreciate early, even if imperfect efforts. When it comes to the organization of the complete body of English language maritime information, we are such an effort. Come back in a decade though and watch not only the growth in content, but also organization. We appreciate this book , warts and all. For more information or to order the book click on the book cover icon below:


        The Diving Guide to Southeast Asia was written pre Tsunami, pre typhoon and was a bit dated even before these events. But we could not find another guide published after the recent natural upheavals in the region which obviously would have an effect on the dive related businesses listed. But if you can snag a used volume for Under $11 all of the listed businesses and dive resorts etc. are definitely not out of business, many on going concerns today in the region maintain web sites, this volume might be a useful tool getting your research on a diving vacation in the region started. Again we urge our readers to give the Philippines a shot at your business. They are our staunch friends and could really use the trade right now. Please don't give your business to China, the Dragon is putting its Western driven profits to ill use building a giant navy to take territory from our friends in the region. The Dragon's efforts are delaying the economic development of the entire region. Why fund a regional wrecking ball? Your spending in the Philippines is circulated in a rebuilding democracy, free market economy, and constructive regional community member.  



Map Source CIA, Note: Sri Lanka at bottom of map off India's mainland

"A Naval Ship of Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo this morning on a goodwill visit, the navy said.

INS Shivalik is a frigate, which is 143 meters in length. It has a displacement of 5300 tons and consists of a complement of 400 naval personnel that include 50 officers and 350 sailors. They were cordially welcomed by Commander Western Naval Area Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, under the guidance of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage.

Commanding officer of INS Shivalik, Captain Satish Uniyal paid a courtesy call on Director Naval Operation, Commodore Niraja Attygalle at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo. They held discussions on a range of topics which were of mutual interest and bilateral importance for both navies and exchanged mementos as a gesture of goodwill."

For the complete story and photos: The Daily Mirror



Friday, November 29, 2013



American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

Who Ever controls the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) controls the oil , gas and fisheries around the Islands. China claims the islands as part of the "Province of Taiwan". Taiwan makes their own independent claim. From 1895 when Japan's sovereignty over the islands was first internationally and formally recognized until a few years ago no one challenged Japan's sovereignty.  During the intervening years offshore and gas technology evolved, the EEZ legal concept evolved, and then demands by China and Taiwan manifested after oil and gas were discovered in the vicinity. The claims of China//Taiwan are based on dubious ancient history relative to discovery. Settled international law doesn't credit discovery as a claim to sovereignty or the America's would be owned by Spain. Absent effective settlement, effective use and administration is a lawful claim. Only Japan has used or administered the islands since the 1895 on. The Air Defense zone and constant trespass by Chinese Coast Guard ships and air craft is a belated attempt to assert "effective administration" over an area that has been effectively administered by Japan since 1895. Plain and simply the dragon is trying to steal the territory of its neighbors and if allowed to do so will eventually take main land ares as well. The Dragon is surrounded and will be stopped. If they don't pull back on their own, the price will be world political capital, and national economic loss,  regime change, and elimination as regional leader. 




Truly Bizarre Creatures of the Deep

"Beastie", Our Fishing Video Editor

To paraphrase my friend and colleague Namazu.......Bipeds lend me your eye balls! Really you have just gotta see these ten creatures from the deep captured in the National Geographic Society's annual photo contest!  These guys make me look positively unremarkable! Click on the link below :

Thursday, November 28, 2013


China Military Sends Fighter Jets Into Disputed Air Space Over East China Sea

Chinese Stealth Fighters, Photo U.S. Air Force

Editor's note:  In case you didn't track the news much over Thanksgiving, and don't feel bad about it, the U.S. general media didn't exactly treat this as front page, lead story news; here is a little catch up on the East China Sea situation. China established an air defense zone over the Japanese held SENKAKU Islands (which China calls the Diaoyus). The Japanese have administered an air defense zone continuously over the islands since 1950. China has announced that all over flights including civilian air liners must check in by radio with Chinese air defense authorities.The United States responded by sending in two B52 bombers unarmed and refusing to communicate with Chinese Air Defense. Nothing happened. Then Japan and South Korea sent in war planes and went unchallenged. While some of us were eating Thanksgiving dinner, China sent  fighter jets into the area legally violating Japan's sovereign air space, and went unchallenged. Interestingly while China was busy violating Japan's air space there was a TV news program being aired by a French news service exploring the U.S., Japanese, and South Korean response to the Chinese declaration of the illicit air defense zone. The theme of the show was "Did Beijing Blink First?" Well, the Dragon didn't come roaring out of its den to immediately start a shooting war, but as soon as the air space was clear it came out to foul it. China's brinkmanship is going to lead to disaster. China, so far shows no signs of acting responsibly and lawfully, and her neighbors continue to dust off their defense treaties with the U.S., build up their military forces, form alliances. As we noted previously, China is surrounded by angry neighbors and has completely forfeited for the time being any claim to regional leadership.


 "WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - China's military sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft on patrol into disputed air space over the East China Sea on Thursday, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported, quoting a spokesman for the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

The move raises the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea over the zone. Japan and South Korea sent their own military aircraft through the air space on Thursday."


Ga day Mate! Australia Joins in the Relief of the Philippines

Australian Warship Arrives to Support Philippine Recovery Story from MarineLink.Com

File HMAS Tobruk: Photo courtesy of RAN
HMAS TOBRUK To Join Rescue Effort in the Philippines, Photo Credit: RAN

The HMAS TOBRUK is in the Philippines to help out in the post typhoon recovery efforts. We're sure the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard are happy to see them. The U.S. Navy which is already in country is always happy to see our "cousins" the Aussies in any operation of this sort. With The Japanese aboard as well there are three Naval responders on board with long histories of working together.
China finally sent over their hospital ship after some embarrassing prodding. It is interesting to watch the Philippine / Japanese rapprochement.  Sixty years ago they were very bitter enemies but now are cooperating in the face of the mutual threat to territorial integrity represented by China. The Philippines has long had productive and cooperative relationships with Australia and the United States. Yet it is China that seeks to be and claims the right to be the leader in the region. Why do the smaller regional powers prefer the company of each other and the Aussie/American alliance?  Because every one has confidence in the good will of the other, none are trying to dominate the other or steal territory. A lot of this mutual confidence and respect was built over many years of participating in joint multinational naval operations. So far the Dragon just can't seem to imagine using its Navy for diplomacy. Maybe they'll get some ideas working with these old partners on a disaster recovery mission.

 You can read the full story of the HMAS TOBRUK's arrival and mission in the Philippines at: 



 Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.                                                                                        

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In Case You Missed it on AOL Tuesday:


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`"Beastie, AAB's Epic Fish Video Editor

Giant Mystery Fish

The creature was a whopping 14 feet from head to tail. Quartiano identified the monster as the rarely seen dactylobatus clarkii, or hookskate, according to Local10. The hookskate is a species about which very little is known thanks to its penchant for living on muddy sea bottoms up to 1,000 feet deep.
But it might be something else entirely: GrindTV spoke with George H. Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History, who identified the beast as dasyatis centroura, a roughtailed stingray that normally grows only to 660 pounds but packs a punch in its venomous tail."
Giant Mystery Fish


Tuesday, November 26, 2013




U.S. Navy  Air Formation Over Guam, Photo U.S. Navy


The White House officially protested the publication of an air defense zone over the disputed Senkaku islands by China yesterday. The islands are recognized territory of Japan incorporated as such into the final peace treaty between Japan and the United States concluding WW II. That occurred in the early 1950s and the government of China did not attend the treaty negotiations because it was busy fighting the Communists who also did not attend because they weren't the government of China yet. There was ample historic reason for including these uninhabited islands as territory of Japan since Japan had historic claims of discovery and verifiable effective administration since 1895. In short the islands were Japan's well before World War II and they were simply being recognized as Japan's prewar southern most territory.
Whether China likes it or not the United States is treaty bound to defend these islands on behalf of Japan.
The United States has stated that it has no interest in who has actual sovereignty but given Japan's internationally recognized status as sovereign the United States must assume its treaty obligations unless and until China were to win a declaration of sovereignty in the appropriate UN tribunal. 

 The establishment of an air defense zone over the islands is an aggressive act aimed directly at Japan and the United States despite Chinese claims that the zone is "not aimed at any particular nation. On the other hand it is not a completely illegal act. The Japanese have had a preexisting zone over the islands for decades. As we explained in our on line book THE ENDURING PRINCIPALS OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW such air defense zones are a legitimate "servitude" that adjacent coastal states may exercise. The speed and range of modern military attack air craft create the necessity for coastal states to push their air defenses out over international waters in order to have any chance of intercepting incoming enemy aircraft coming from seaward. However the right to operate such zones does not allow the state establishing such zones to interfere or exclude  the innocent passage of  any aircraft especially scheduled air liners. In the case of ocean areas closely adjacent to the national waters, even the disputed national waters of two adjacent states the establishment of such zones should be negotiated between the two adjacent coastal states. This is the customary international law. However China claims the islands as their own and negotiating with Japan would tend to weaken their already pitifully weak legal case. So China acted unilaterally.

 We disagree in part with the White House reaction. At present it appears that U.S. air lines will decide on their own what they will do and with passenger safety coming first will probably "Squak" ( radio communicate) with both Japanese and Chinese air defense systems. The White House should have instructed the FAA to issue a directive along those lines requiring the airlines to dual communicate as the safest policy for passengers, and to note protest to the Chinese. This would tend to nullify any claim by China that their air defense zone contributes in any way to international recognition of effective administration over the disputed islands. By stating that U.S. military aircraft will simply ignore the zone we invite an unintended shooting incident. We also would be ignoring an unsettled principal of international law. The obligation to negotiate arrangements for air defense zones in similar geographic situations is simply customary and the alternative when two adjacent coastal states can't agree is not firmly set in international legal precedent. However, the right to establish such "servitudes" over international waters is. Why would we want to give the Dragon a legal argument weak as it is to shoot at our air craft. We back our proposal of the other day. The U.S. and Japan should fly recon in force squadrons over the area, notice the Chinese air defense system of our intention to do so, provide coordinates of our intended movements, communicate with the Chinese air defense system but not comply with any orders to deviate from the duly noticed flight plan. As long as our flight plan does not violate internationally recognized Chinese air space or legitimate and recognized Chinese air defense zones and our final turn out of the area is a turn away from Chinese territory or air space the Chinese have no clear international legal right to interfere. If they scramble interceptors to approach our formation, they have every right to do so. If they lock on with any target acquisition radar we have every justification in engaging and shooting their planes down. 

 This is a bit of an over simplification. (1) The international law recognizes the establishment of air defense zones as a legitimate right of nations.  (2) The law is murky when it comes to such zones over disputed islands or undefined border areas. (3) Competitive air defense systems in the same geographic area are a bit unprecedented.  Our suggestion of airliner participation under protest, and formal recon in force with notice is an attempt at finding a reaction that is excruciatingly correct under international law.  By being excruciatingly correct under international law we force China into the first "shot" which modern air to air tactics might well define as target acquisition radar lock on. Whatever happens after that we have both sides with acceptable reasons in terms of justifying things to their populace for not immediately declaring the event an "act of war". Both sides may resort to international tribunals, but China's already weak case will look even worse. That might force a negotiated settlement that denies China any enhanced claim over the islands by virtue of their unilateral declaration of an air defense zone. If an actual exchange of fire occurs between Chinese and American/Japanese air units the reckless brinkmanship of the Chinese will be exposed to the world. As we have described previously the Chinese are now literally surrounded by neighboring states that fear the Dragon. But the reaction of these neighboring states has not been to cower in the face of the dragon but to unite in defense. China must pull back from its thug like military activities and resume a charm offensive of soft power or abandon all hope of ever being the regional leader of Asia. Indeed Chinese national well being is at stake, and regime change just a military defeat or embarrassment away. The Dragon is not invincible, especially not in its present friendless state.

Editor's Note: This post was being written yesterday and events over took it. The U.S. Air Force as we reported in our News Alert of yesterday flew two B52 bombers over the islands without contacting Chinese air defense. We stand by our suggestion  above and decided to publish it in the event the White House announced policy proves problematic. There are alternatives, ours is but one. Lets hope for the best.


China's Air Craft Carrier On The Move

China Sends Carrier to South China Sea for Training Amid Maritime Disputes

BEIJING Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:56pm IST
U.S. Navy Photo of the Future Chinse Carrier LIAONING under Tow before Conversion
 Editor's note: The Swimming Dragon's "bird farm" has been dispatched to the South China Sea, intentionally or not further intimidating China's neighbors who are tying to hang onto their lawfully defined ocean Exclusive Economic Zones. Reuters has the story at :

"Nov 26 (Reuters) - China sent its sole aircraft carrier on a training mission into the South China Sea on Tuesday amid maritime disputes with some neighbours and tension over its plan to set up an airspace defence zone in waters disputed with Japan.

The Liaoning, bought used from Ukraine and refurbished in China, has conducted more than 100 exercises and experiments since it was commissioned last year but this is the first time it has been sent to the South China Sea."



U.S. Directly Challenges China's Air Defense Zone

File:B-1B B-2 and B-52.jpg
Official U.S. Air Force Photo of B 52s  and Stealth Fighter Escort. 

Pair of American B-52 Bombers Fly Over Disputed Island ChainComplete story by THE WALL STREET JOURNALBy Julian E. Barnes Nov. 26, 2013

"WASHINGTON—A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday, in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone.
The planes flew out of Guam and entered the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone at about 7 p.m. Washington time Monday, according to a U.S. official."
For the complete story click on the link below to the Wall Street Journal:



NAMAZU, Giant Japanese Catfish and Former Demigod, Now Lead Maritime Analyst For the AAB Blog
After several weeks of leading the pack in daily number of visits to a particular blog post my description of the Canadian Coast Guard yesterday hit an all time record for visitors. But there is something very strange going on, the visitors to this post aren't from Canada. In fact Canadian visitors yesterday were in the low single digits. In the somewhat less than two years of our publication Canadians have generally been noticeable mostly by their absence. For some reason visitors from Poland and Malaysia have visited the description of the Canadian Coast Guard in the hundreds. Why we don't know, perhaps those nations are considering the need for a Coast Guard and want to examine a model that might work for them. The Canadian Parliament has been mulling around ideas about changing the nature of the Canadian Coast Guard for some time now. The most dramatic change being considered is whether or not to arm the Coast Guard and if Canadian Coast Guardsmen start to bear arms, who, what kind of arms, under what circumstances? We thought for sure that anything on the Canadian Coast Guard would have drawn many Canadian "hits", but not so.

 If you haven't read about this unique national service no matter where you are from you may click on this link to go straight to my article: Canadian Coast Guard   
If you are Canadian or know one please forward either this post, or the link above,  with our humble request for comment. Perhaps there is a knowledgeable Canadian out there who would like to up date us on the debate over arming or perhaps there is an official Canadian Coast Guard Public Affairs site that could respond to questions. We will be happy to post a hyperlink to any reliable source that is willing to provide more information to interested international readers on the Canadian Coast Guard. It is interesting to note that the U.S. Coast Guard and others were described in this series before Canada, but only Canada has drawn such international attention. Are some out there looking for an agency model? We don't know. 

HEY CANADA! Are your Ears Burning? 

 Come join the party of interested English speaking maritime professionals, hobbyists, and sportsmen over here at American Admiralty Books. click in, take a look around, and leave us a comment.

Your Friend:



AP News

Japan Says China's New Defense Zone Unenforceable

"TOKYO (AP) — China's new maritime air defense zone is unenforceable and dangerous, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday, in a continuing war of words over airspace that includes the area above islands claimed by both countries.

Sunday, November 24, 2013



The Associated Press has the story; lead in and links below. Our Analysis below that

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

EDITORS NOTE 1/20/20. While Japan and the US continue to mostly ignore Chinese demands for communications and obendience to their 
controllers the Chineses have done little but complain but still continue with their claims. 

File:Senkaku Diaoyu Tiaoyu Islands.png
Image by   ジャコウネズ or " Jakounezumi", also " "Jackopoid", from: Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License;

EDITOR'S NOTE 3/3/2016: This story was first published a few years ago. It is worth revisiting since the air defenses zone is still in effect and still troublesome.

"BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese Defense Ministry on Saturday issued a map of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone that includes a chain of disputed islands also claimed by Japan, triggering a protest from Tokyo.
Beijing also issued a set of rules for the zone, saying all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities and are subject to emergency military measures if they do not identify themselves or obey orders from Beijing. It said it would "identify, monitor, control and react" to any air threats or unidentified flying objects coming from the sea.
The rules went into effect Saturday."
For the full story from AP click on the link below:
 To understand our analysis one must first understand exactly what an air defense zone is. We describe it full in our on line book: THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY BUREAU'S GUIDE TO THE ENDURING PRINCIPALS OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW:
 However the salient points are;

(1) "U.S. policy is that regulatory needs of coastal states on the high seas can be met through special and limited controls. Such controls deal with issues such as pollution, customs enforcement, and fisheries management. These controls are viewed as legitimate servitudes upon the commons when:

     a. They do not materially interfere with traditional surface navigation rights.
     b. Enforcement measures are only undertaken with "probable cause".
     c. Limited regulation is based on legitimate protective efforts for the commons and not as an extension or manifestation of claimed soverignity over any part of the high seas. Typically such special-purpose servitudes include;


(2) Note that among the "servitudes over the high seas" that are acceptable under international law we include "self defense". Self defensive zones include "Defensive Sea Areas" and "Air Defense Identification Zones." The extension of an Air Defense Identification Zone over international waters might legitimately include extension over some else's air space with permission, or arguably over disputed territory. The islands in question are recognized sovereign territory of Japan by internationally recognized treaty unquestioned for decades.

 " Based on this rule of law, Defensive Sea Areas have been recognized as a special servitude upon the high seas. Defensive Sea Areas parallel the idea of the Air Defense Identification Zones previously described. However , for a Defensive Sea Area to be lawful it can not be established or published in such a way as to deny entry of ships into the area, or in any other way appear to exercise sovereignty over any portion of the high seas."The same is true for the air defense zone, it is permissible only as a needed servitude for defense and may not interfere with legitimate overflights, or be used to infer sovereignty over an area of the High Seas or disputed islands.. 

(3) As noted in the AP article: "By establishing the air-defense zone Beijing has ... potentially escalated the danger of accidental collisions between the Chinese military and the U.S. and Japanese counterparts," said Tomohiko Taniguchi, a counselor in the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "It poses a serious challenge against freedom of movement in the sky and in the seas."
China claims the zone is in compliance with the practice of other nations that have similar zones to protect their coasts. The new zone overlaps with Japan's existing zone, which also includes the disputed islands.
"This is a necessary measure taken by China in exercising its self-defense right," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun was quoted as saying on the ministry's website. "It is not directed against any specific country or target. It does not affect the freedom of over-flight in the related airspace."

(4) Clearly the Dragon's intent is to further its claim of sovereignty over the disputed islands by demonstrating "effective administration". If Japan and the U.S. wish to challenge this latest effort by China they should provide notice to China, under formal protest, citing the Dragon's establishment of  the Air Defense Zone and announce a joint (U.S./ Japan) "aerial recon in force" over the islands.

  Then do it. China may or may not respond by sending out a challenge squadron. The proper response to their challenge is to cite the Japanese air defense zone, acknowledge the Chinese air defense zone, and clearly announce the intention to turn back to Japan at the designated coordinates that were noticed to China. Any arguments from the Chinese; reiterate that the joint recon squadron movements are in exact replication of the notice accorded China. The U.S./ Japan squadron should not threaten or fire upon the Chinese aircraft unless clearly fired upon first.  If the US/Japanese recon in force is attacked then China's intend to not wait on, or abide by international law is clearly demonstrated. The islands will have to be militarily occupied and defended. If China then attacks such positions it is open war and the U.S. should immediately repudiate all debt to China, no sense paying their bills to make war on us and the move would then have little effect on U.S. credit. 

Most of the time the vast U.S. debt that China is holding seems like a leash around our necks. Unfortunately both China and the U.S. forget that debtors also hold power of lenders. In this looming naval war whoever shoots first loses. If China fires a shot the United States and Japan could cancel their debt to China in a heart beat and probably brook little or no international pressure on their credit, where as China would be pushed to the edge of bankruptcy by such a move.  Of course China could retaliate by seizing private U.S. business assets in China. As long as the tax payers refuse to cover that loss it might actually prove beneficial in the long run. The assets China would be seizing like General Motors Research and Development facilities would provide an object lesson to U.S. companies prone to out source jobs.

 Of course any war is difficult to contain and if China suffered major economic damage over this island grab China might get desperate and expand the war beyond the China seas. Since neither the United States nor Japan have any desire to attack or occupy a square inch of actual Chjnese territory their gigantic land army will be of little use. Their navy while large in numbers is not yet a prime time player outside of the China Seas and likely would be a near total loss if the Dragon tried to operate outside the first island chain. That leaves their missile forces as the only recourse to bring the war to Japanese and American shores. Should China launch a missile attack on the U.S. mainland,  that would lead to China being turned into a glow in the dark parking lot over night.

 History demonstrates that thug states can only prosper so long before they over step and are brought down. Any way that the Dragon approaches this; war over these islands means eventual ruin for China, and the constant use of her military and coast guard to harass her neighbors into compliance with the Dragon's desires is simply unwise brinkmanship. A true regional leader would be pushing joint development of the sea islands regions. The use of force to bully her neighbors into not resisting territorial theft is not making China any friends in her immediate geographical sphere of influence. Her naval expenditures are thus a waste and poor investment. These are not the actions of a regional, much less world leader.

(5) This latest act is dangerous, more so to China than anyone else. In a war with the United States and Japan, China can expect real help only from that  open air insane asylum known as North Korea. Having made so many of her regional neighbors afraid of her, the Dragon probably won't be facing only Japan and the United States though we would't care to speculate who might come in. She now has a lot of local states that would like to see her poor and powerless again. The greatest fear of some of her neighbors is that the United States won't act punitively enough towards a war making China. We would predict that China's greatest damage in such a war would come from local  powers coming into the conflict after the dragon is clearly wounded, probably independent of the U.S. and Japanese leadership to simply insure that military defeat equals scorched earth. There will be no Marshall Plan for a post war China. The present regime won't survive such a conflict, but unfortunately in a Confusion society the next regime will probably be just a different flavor of authoritarian. If China really wanted to be effective in challenging U.S. power in the region it would be out leading instead of intimidating. 

China's Hospital Ship ReachesTthe Philippines

Chinese Hospital Ship Arrives, Docks Off Tacloban Story from the GMA NEWS:

File:HS Peace Ark-1.jpg

"TACLOBAN CITY - The Chinese hospital ship "Peace Ark" arrived in the Philippines and docked 10 miles off this city Sunday to give medical aid to those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

"The ship is a hospital ship. It's very big, about 14,000 tons. It's too big to be anchored at any port so it's anchored 10 miles away," Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing told reporters.

She said that while the vessel is ready to treat patients, the patients have to be brought there via ferry.

Ma said the vessel has about 100 doctors to treat various medical conditions."