THE GREAT CATFISH EXPLAINS THE DRAGON'S INTENTIONS IN SPACE AND HOW THEY PARALLEL RECENT AND LONG AGO MARITIME HISTORY
THE GREAT NAMAZU AAB'S STAR POLITICAL ANALYST
As we all now know there is a race to the moon, the US and some allies vs the Chinese . If the Chinese get there first and establish a working base we expect that they will behave no better in the commons of space than they have behaved at sea, which has been despicable. While US bipeds walked numerous times on the moon and even left junked cars behind they claimed to have gone there "for all mankind".
Space Dragon Sea Dragon
That's not likely in the case of the Middle Kingdom Dragon Space Force. If we look at the history of the Dragon in the commons of the South China Sea and elsewhere we should expect them to make territorial claims. We should also expect the Dragon to pointedly ignore prior US space actions that could have nuisances of territorial claims. The United States took the high road over 50 years ago and declared the solar system a commons and eschewed any territorial claims. What is going on now in space is a repeat of the dispute between the Catholic European seafaring states and the English and Dutch . Simultaneously. the Europeans were exploring the planet by sea, making claims to lands already occupied by other civilizations, and disputing the status of the seas
themselves as a commons. and on an off making war on each other. The European Recognizance was a very busy time.
ENTER THE POPE
Pope Alexander VI Leading Proponent of the "Mar clausum ( Closed Sea)
In 1494 two years after the first voyage of Columbus Pope Alexander VI published a "Papal Bull" creating an imaginary dividing line of the world on a north south axis. In his Papal Bull Pope Alexander VI used this dividing line to divide the world between Spain and Portugal. The Pope in his bull, 'Inter caetera" decreed that all lands west and south of a meridian line 100 leagues west of the Azores and Cape Verde islands rightfully belonged to Spain. The rest of the world went to Portugal. This set off a debate in international law between two schools of legal thought. The papal theory has come to be known as the Mare Clausumwhich is legal Latin for "closed sea". Today the term is used in international law to describe a sea or arm of the sea under the jurisdiction of a state and not accessible to others without specific permission of the state in possession.. In modern usage until challenged by the Dragon most bays were considered part of the inland or insular waters of the surrounding or adjacent state., while larger bodies of water bordered by multiple states were considered the "high seas" or "Mare Liberum" ( free sea ).. The China seas, north and east are bordered by many states such as the Philippines and their neighbors. The Dragon's "nine dash line" representing their claim of sovereignty over these international seas at one point runs almost to the mean low water mark for certain Philippine beaches. The dragon bases its claim on ancient writings and charts. So far when tested by the International court ( on a complaint by the Philippines ) such evidence has been rejected soundly as being a basis for redrawing territorial waters and exclusive economic zones created by international convention and neighboring states treaties within the bounds of the convention. Expect this rejection to be cited when the Chinese try to enforce their first territorial grab on the moon or mars. Our landing on the moon We suggest the below publication available to read free on line, link below , as a 72 page primer on the international law of the sea: https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/p/authoritative-literature.html -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE ENDURING PRINCIPLES OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------fifty years ago will mean nothing to the Chinese. Our landing of a half century ago will hold no more court precedent than their historical arguments about the 9 dash line. We made no territorial claim and instead declared the solar system a commons of all mankind.The Mare Clausum (closed sea) is an exception to today's international law where the mare liberum (free seas) is the norm. The mare liberum is enshrined in both traditional international law and in codified international law through a number of "conventions" ( treaties agreed to by multiple states),. Today the concept of the mare liberum means that the sea outside the jurisdiction of a state is open for navigation to ships of all nations.
This is the generally accepted principal on what we call the "High Seas", but
it has become subject to modification in recent decades. The discovery of offshore oil and the necessity to effectively manage certain fisheries led to first, an expansion of the Territorial Sea from 3 miles off shore to 12 miles, then the recognition of exclusive economic zones (EEZ). The exclusive economic zone does not confer on the recipient ownership but rather an exclusive license to do certain things within this area of the "commons" such as establish oil wells. Within the EEZ the EEZ holding state with the EEZ privilege must exercise management of all benthic (bottom contacting) fisheries and manage in accordance with relevant international convention certain migratory fish populations when they pass through the EEZ waters., Managing an EEZ is not, nor was it meant to be an exclusive right to do anything the EEZ nation wants, or to limit access except in the cases of dredges, or mobile offshore drilling vessels type craft. The water surface and water column are in the international commons and are open to navigation. The only restriction that the EEZ state may put on foreign shipping is the requirement to use certain safety fairways that the EEZ state is obligated to establish and maintain between their oil drilling operations, wind farms, aquaculture operations etc.... China has a large EEZ by existing law. Their existing EEZ is up to 200 miles seaward from their shore line. They have a legitimate exclusive claim to certain of the resources, and obligations of good stewardship over a bit less than half the area they now claim but were rebuffed in international court. They are now trying to enforce by astute and limited naval force the sovereign rights they claim over other peoples EEZs and in the case of the Philippines almost to their western beaches. SEE: Congressional Research Service Report On The Chinese Navy https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/09/congressional-research-service-report.html Chinese sailors at Pearl Harbor, the place their government has publicly announced that they would drive us back to. (Official U.S. Navy Photo)
ENTER THE POPE , AGAIN
Pope Alexander VI Leading Proponent of the "Mar clausum ( Closed Sea)
Now when the pope divided the world and its oceans into the private preserves of Spain and Portugal the battle over the Protestant Reformation was in progress. Some of the Great Powers of Europe had left the Catholic fold. The most powerful of these "Protestant nations " ( yea I know they call themselves "Anglican Catholic " ) was Great Britain a sea dependent nation with lots of sailing fire power and no tolerance for being told what they could do or where they could go on the world's oceans. The Pope had of course divided the "New World into two Providences to be run by two reliably Catholic powerful states. The rest of Europe was offended while Britannia and the Netherlands were about to spend big time on ocean exploration and colonization they also began to prepare for war. The Catholic powers felt the pope was the last word on International Law. Indeed his papal bulls are still cited today (Eximiae devotionis (3 May 1493), Inter caetera (4 May 1493) and Dudum Siquidem (23 September 1493) when argument arise over the legitimatemareClausum. There are legitimate closed seas but in most cases these are wide bays surrounded on three sides by a single nation, and these were mostly established some time prior to 1494. The Chineseclaim to the South China Sea goes way back beyond 1494 to a time when certain Chinese emperors actually had effective control over the area. Many of those old imperial occupied or vassal states became independent nations centuries ago and as such based on modern conventions are entitled to a 12 mile territorial limit and an EEZ of up to 200 miles from their beach. Where the potential EEZ meets a neighbor's propose EEZ line the Convention requires the two coastal states to work out an agreed boundary in good faith. No one else on the particular arm of the sea may dictate EEZ boundaries . So China is pretty much denied a believable role as a disinterested third party for brokering boundary disputes. Everyone in the nations bordering the China Seas knows that if China is given the referee's seat at the bargaining table some how the dragon will walk away with major concessions towards recognition of its 9 dash line claim. So, blocked from its claim by international law , courts, and public sentiment the dragon is making an end run.
The dragon's strategy, is the Cabbage Patchapproach and the effective control or settlement legal argument. Under the cabbage patch stratagem China picks out reefs and other partially submerged land forms in the contested sea and at great expense raises these areas above sea level. Sometimes they build structures and declare these artificial islands "light houses", or "fishing stations" They then call in their "naval militia " consisting of armed commercial fishermen, These artificial islands, and often natural reefs as well, are quickly surrounded by many armed Chinese fishing boats. Recently they have carried this activity into the EEZ of neighboring states. Once enough Chinese fishermen are present, and the former owners pretty well locked out, the Chinese Coast Guard shows up to "protect their fishermen". The Chinese formed the world's largest coast guard virtually over night by combining disparate marine law enforcement agencies into a coherent para-naval force with civilian law enforcement powers.. Their coast guard ships are not imposingly large and are lightly armed consistent with most formal coast guards found around the world. The dragon's position is that everything going on as their neighbor state struggles to regain control of their lost areas is a law enforcement matter being handled by the Chinese coast guard and not a naval invasion of anyone's territory.. The worst of all lies is the half truth. It is true that an EEZ is not the territorial possession of the state granted the EEZ. So techno-legally the Chinese action isn't a territorial invasion. This gives a lot of Western states , even those like the United states pause when thinking about punishing China for their maritime land grab. If you have a free standing, vigorous and permanent anti war segment in your population ,as the United States does, they are sure to buy into the half truth and mobilize resistance against any effective punitive action, The dragon will get lots of media coverage for its convoluted side of the argument. The cabbage patch strategy can be defeated without war but it takes some out of the box naval thinking. For an example see:
HELIOS RUEHLS, INC NAVAL STRATEGY WHITE PAPER: CHINA SEAS
Going back to developments in the maritime sphere between 1492 and about 1776 the European sea powers attempted to out maneuver each other and for sometimes prolonged periods shoot at each other. All of this pain over the argument between the Mare Clausum and the Mare Liberum. It would take nearly 400 years of English sailors applying pressure and often dying in the process for the Mare Liberum to become the accepted international law. As late as the 1790s and early 1800s the Islamic states of the Mediterranean still didn't conform; remember the Barbary Pirates? Then a young United States stepped forward and enforced the rule. The Mare Liberum is a gift of centuries of English speaking sailors sacrifice. Today it is codified in many ways into international law by wide adoption into the national law of many nations and by wide agreement of multiple nations on international conventions including one called " The law of the Sea Convention" the Dragon would like to scrap this hard won logical and necessary law for a free pass to loot and pillage their neighbors so long as it takes place off the beach,
The companion legal argument to the cabbage patch strategy is a double edged sword consisting of two well known concepts in international law. In assigning sovereignty over previously unknown territories international law recognizes two basis for such assignment effective settlementand effective control. The Chinese are starting to maintain human populations on some of their artificial islands claiming effective settlement. And the Dragon claims that all their coast guard activity amounts to "effective control" . The Dragon's navy also gets into the act by meeting transiting commercial vessels and sometimes even transiting war ships and announcing over the radio a welcome to the South China Sea and notice that the dragon's navy will be providing an escort through "their territory.". Even in the case where ships have tried to avoid this "escort service " the Dragon simply slips into a parallel course at an easy distance off. They have as much right to do that as the transiting ship has the right of peaceful passage and the right to refuse this bogus "escort service".., But the escort "service" even when a sham of just a parallel course always has the potential to develop some useful radio contacts and or photo opportunities that the Dragon can use in an international court at some time in the future.
So this is how they have acted in the oceanic commons. Why would we expect any better behavior in space? look for the Dragon to attack the global consensus that our solar system is a commons like the oceans where no state should be barred from operating. The Chinese will muddy the waters of space exploration and settlement with strident nationalistic and over reaching territorial claims. They re determined not to be a good neighbor in space but rather what they are in their own neighborhood a prowling acquisitive Dragon. If they ever are first to land on any planet in our solar system look for them to claim the entire planet as part of their sovereign territory . The Dragon is going to be trouble in space!