BAD MOVE, IT MAY FORCE THE UNITED STATES TO COME TO THE DEFENSE OF THE PHILIPPINES.
Philippine Navy Photo: The SERRA MADRE as an air drop resupply target. Obviously air drop resupply potential is very limited. From our report of March 14, 2014 on the aerial resupply of the Philippine marines aboard the SANTA MARIA
While illegally claiming sovereignty over Ayungin Shoal China has been illegally patroling all around the shoal with its Coast Guard vessels, denying resupply runs to the Marines who have guarded the Shoal; China has bee demanding that the Philippines remove the vessel as an environmental hazard to their shoal. The Shoal is only about 145 miles from downtown Manilia well within the United Nation's Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) compliant Philippine claim of their Exclusive economic Zone (EEZ). The Ayungin Shoal is not only no where near China's main land it is hundreds of miles beyond China's legitimate EEZ.
The Philippines still has the SERRA MADRE, wrecked hulk though she is in commission as a naval vessel. She has been in place since 1999 long before China showed up making unsupportable claims and she is manned by armed marines. The Philippines have refused China's demand to remove the vessel. Now China claims that it will tow it away. To lay a tow line on the Santa Maria while she is still a commissioned naval vessel can never be construed as any part of China's phony "territorial dispute". It is plain and simple an act of war against a U.S. ally. We have published a number of posts on how we predict such a naval shooting war will end. We of course have no crystal ball and can not predict how far the Chinese communist government may push it after hostilities commence, how much blood and treasure the United States and the Philippines may have to expend but considering all of the veriable we see the Chinese economy in ruins in a matter of days with real privation hitting the Chinese streets in weeks, and the whole thing ending with the Chines Communists hung from lamp posts by t heir own people because the maritime interdiction of China won't stop as long as the leadership resists, but there will never be a foreign invasion to rally the people against. Eventually the Chinese people will finally figure out that the Communist party led them down the foolish path that cost them their economic well being. Afterwards there will not be another Marshal plan, China will languish for decades, no one is big enough to invade or bail it out. China's proeperity is dependent on Chinese compliance with international law. The aggression it shows its neighbors in the China Seas can only lead to ruin, and probable reduction in territory has involuntary sectors such as Tibet opt for independence. The swimming dragon does not seem to have the wisdom of Confucius.