Monday, December 16, 2013



A Presidential Inspection during the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Philippine Coast Guard

   The Philippine Star has the story:

  " MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon have 10 more vessels in its fleet in order to fulfill its mandate to protect the country’s territorial waters in the wake of a maritime row with China, President Aquino said yesterday. Aquino made the disclosure when he arrived yesterday morning from a visit to Tokyo, where he attended the 40th Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Japan Commemorative Summit, along with other world leaders. “Even before we went home, the good news just did not stop,” Aquino said in his arrival speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City, adding that he signed the $184-million loan Japan had extended to the Philippines. The loan for the acquisition of 10 multi-role vessels was provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Aquino said the additional sea assets for the PCG are a done deal. 

 Aquino said he expects that after the bidding process, the first shipment of the newly acquired 40-meter multi-purpose vessels will arrive in the country in 2015."....
For the full story by Delon Porcalla as published in the Philippine Star click here:

EDITORIAL COMMENT: The Philippines continues to resist Chinese aggression in the Spratly Islands that are located within their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Philippines have turned to former enemy Japan for assistance. Japan also under a Chinese  onslaught of territorial intrusion and claims has responded by building up Coast Guard and Maritime Self Defense Force power. Unfortunately for Japan its post WWII constitution places a number of crucial restrictions on the nation's ability to arm itself. Facing a severely aggressively inclined Chinese Navy Japan's constitution doesn't allow some of the more formidable weapons the nation needs to defend its territory. Amending the constitution to allow such weaponry is a complex political process that faces some heavy internal political opposition.  The Dragon counts on that. But such restrictions are not in the Philippine constitution. The weaker economy of the Philippines is what stands in the way of a much more powerful Philippine Navy /Coast Guard team. Japan is able to help the Philippines build up without the constitutional issues involved in its own build up. Japan and the Philippines both face Chinese aggression in their outer island territories, but unlike the situation between the Philippines and certain other claimants in the Spratlys there are no side issues of blurred EEZ  boundaries or over lapping island claims independent of the Chinese claim to everything. Japan and the Philippines are totally free to cooperate in the face of the dragon and are doing so. The United States has defense treaty obligations to both parties. Powerful on scene forces are rising up against the Dragon. These forces are defending their internationally recognized sovereign territory. They are not under the control of the United States but the United States is obligated to come to their defense.

 The Dragon doesn't seem to under stand this. As we reported recently, the Dragon has already attempted to stop the passage of a U.S. Navy war ship in the international waters of the China Seas near the Philippines. Direct aggression against a U.S. Navy vessel is ill advised but clearly shows just how reckless and utterly foolish the Chinese policy is. The Chinese fleet was unobstructed in its access to the Pacific and Indian oceans having no enemies occupying any of the relatively narrow access points to these oceans. They also had what was then the second most powerful navy indigenous to the area, so even if a dispute with a small state in a geographically advantageous position erupted they could easily muscle their way through. China could have enjoyed a century of naval acquisition, build up, and competency building towards a true globe roaming blue water navy. Instead they started down a path of territorial oceanic aggression and made enemies that now surround them, delaying the needed energy development in the area, confusing the fisheries regime, and bringing the real danger of naval war, a war the dragon, despite its now massive naval size can not win.  They are surrounded by competent local navies determined to not yield territory to aggression. They have non aligned and U.S. allied but unsympathetic naval forces in the Southern passages to the Indian Ocean. In the Indian Ocean they have the powerful and competent Indian Navy becoming ever more wary of the Dragon which has publicly articulated aggressive plans for it's Indian Ocean "String of Pearls". Despite its huge size the Chinese Navy has penned its self in and put itself in a situation where It's fleet could be fish in a barrel to a shooting gallery of Japanese/ Philippine and allied forces which at a minimum will include the American Pacific Fleet.

 The Dragon is doing all of this while the United States is becoming again an oil and gas exporting nation. The switch over from oil importer to oil exporter probably will slow the Chinese led drive against the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.The U.S. will be able to make good on the entire U.S. debt that China is holding making all of those U.S. bonds a worth while investment. On shot fired in anger against a U.S. vessel in this reckless pursuit of oceanic territorial aggression and the U.S. would be justified in immediately suspending all debt payments to China. Such a suspension  would probably have no effect on U.S. credit ratings , the international community doesn't expect a nation to fund another nation involved in a state of belligerency with it, much less open naval warfare. However, such an action would have a devastating effect of the Chinese economy. Meanwhile the unrest generated has cost China the position of leadership in the region that it so coveted and thinks of as its natural right. Its neighbors are arming to resist, not flocking to the "leadership" of the "Middle Kingdom".  Oil exploration isn't happening as it should in the region, including China's legitimate 200 mile wide EEZ where there are no licensing issues to impede development. Unfortunately for the Dragon and all of her neighbors international oil companies are reluctant to pour money into an offshore development region where a war could break out every day. It is China and China alone that has created that impression. Only China can reverse the situation and that can only be done through dropping her untenable territorial claims, quitting aggressive use of her massive Navy and Coast Guard forces, and developing trust with her neighbors for joint cooperative development of the entire region with each nation peacefully sovereign over their own internationally recognized EEZ. The Middle Kingdom must draw to itself its regional neighbors through skillful use of soft power in mutually beneficial arrangements or wither and die.  Japan chose the imperial route that China is trying now more than 70 year ago. For a while it seemed to be working. It ended with Japan's unconditional surrender,

 Japan's unconditional surrender turned into an eventual turn around, but it took massive aid from the United States in the early years. Japan being about the size of California could be so aided. The scale of things in a ruined China would be quite different. If China self destructs by militarily over reaching it is too large to be rebuilt by an infusion of outside capital, there isn't enough in the world. China would be looking at mass starvation, industrial ruin and a long protracted period of civil war, perhaps the last gasp of the Middle Kingdom. China must concentrate on building prosperity for her own people and in concert with her neighbors and forsake wasting her growing but endangered treasure on the exercise of aggressive power.

 Properly led, the Middle Kingdom could eventually draw the world to itself as willing trading partners, but it is trying for vassals. That can only lead to ruin for China. The Chinese communist party rules China. While far from democratic it is not a sole dictatorship utterly devoid of the capability of internal debate. The party is capable of changing policy direction. It is time for those within the party to get discussion going. The present naval policies are leading to future ruin. The party will not survive the loss of the Chinese fleet and destruction of the national economy, but both are inevitable on the current path. If the Chinese were to make good on any of their recent threats of first use of nuclear weapons the nation would be reduced to a glow in the dark parking lot, it won't matter to the Chinese survivors what the other guys look like afterwards, they will want the heads of those who led them to such folly. Turn around dragon, turn around for your own good.

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