Meet the Chinese Maritime Militia
|Map : CIA's WORLD FACT BOOK ("Burma" now " Myanmar.|
in the South China Seas seems to have provoked an unexpected and deadly response by the Dragon. You've heard the phrase "Have a kitten" in conjunction with being unpleasantly surprised? Well, when China heard of the Philippines response to the Chinese aggressive building campaign in the South China Sea, the Dragon literally gave instant birth to an entire pack of dragon pups, a virtual second coast guard, the brand spanking new "Chinese maritime militia."
By militarizing much of their massive commercial fishing fleet China changed the game over night. Now their invasive and trespassing fishing fleet are considered military vessels and any act against them may be considered an act of war. The Chinese Fishing fleet routinely operates right up to the Philippine beach line with no respect at all for Philippine territorial waters much less a Philippine exclusive economic zone. This is really unsettling news. China has been building "a wall of sand" burying the tops of barely exposed coral reefs, cementing them over and building military and
commercial fishing stations. China is well aware that "effective settlement" is the single most effective argument for soverignity over previously uninhabited land. Most of the islands of the South China Sea lay within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
However, only a few are inhabited and none of the rest are really inhabitable without extraordinary effort and mainland logistic support. Previously the uninhabited islands had no economic value worth the expense and effort of habitation. Then oil was discovered in the South China Sea. Effective sovereignty over the Islands could cause a formal redrawing of the exclusive economic zone lines and put the oil inside Chinese holdings, literally grabbed from the Philippines by a combination of "effective administration " and "effective settlement".
In a contest to see who could put "effective settlements" ( military outposts, light houses, fishing stations, fish processing plants) on these waterless low lying islands China had the advantage, abundant capital from its lucrative supplying of the
American consumer market. The Philippines by contrast just doesn't have the capital to install things on these islands that in truth make no real economic sense. The Chinese have been following their "cabbage patch strategy for years." in the cabbage patch the Chinese fishing fleet encircles an area and illegally fishes building a commercial fleet as thick "as the leaves of a cabbage". Then the Chinese coast guard comes in and "protects the fleet" eventually forcing all Philippine use of the area away. In a few cases generally right near the 200 mile exclusive economic zone boundary of the Philippines the Chinese have been slowly building their wall of sand.
The militarization of the commercial fishing fleet makes the "cabbage patch" an instant claim of soverignity any where the Chinese can maintain it. With any interference with a Chinese fishing boat being considered an "attack" on a state ship
the Philippines really risks war with every attempt to enforce their soverignity. But the Dragon can't be everywhere at once. We offer a modest suggestion that would put the Philippine's on a equaly footing with China relative to the ability to put a semi permanent human population on a semi submerged reef, with less environmental damage. The good old south Louisiana self propelled elevating work boat. We have been suggesting this since last year:
http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2014/05/defeating-chinese-cabbage-patch.html Now the need is immediate: Satellite imagery in February indicated unprecedented Chinese off shore construction activity. But China can never build as fast as these self propelled and self elevating vessels could get on station, "jack up" and declare themselves light houses, fish processing units , research facilities. They can bear pretty heavy loads and can probably support smaller crew served weapons without re-engineering. The U.S. Coast Guard proved in the Vietnam war that light anti armour weapons can be effectively used as anti ship weapons in close quarters. There are a number of these for sale in Louisiana right now and a capacity to build probably one a week if necessary. Wide spread use in the Gulf Oil patch has built the production line, these things are relatively cheap. For the price of just a few fighter jets we can offer our loyal allies a real response fleet to the Dragons new pack of pups. You can even regain territory with these things with a storm as your ally as mentioned in our linked post. We don't agree with a recent Wall Street Journal article that suggests there is nothing the United States can do in response to the Chinese Maritime Militia. Let's send the Philippines a small but growing fleet of self propelled elevating work boats, now! The first ones can even be from the used market. We can do this, we can do it fast , and without breaking the budget.