This is a discussion on Type 560 Runs Aground within the Navy forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; This thread is being closely watched. Any discussion in unwelcome areas beyond the ships usual role and the salvage mission ...
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Any clarity about wether the ship accidentally ran aground or was intentionally beached ?
Is there any official Chinese reaction ?
until then ... i'll have a cup of coffee !
Since I like to ply devils advocate, I'm going to get into character and quote a Bond Villain, "the key to a good story is not the how or the where or the when, it is the why".
Unless you are dealing with imbeciles or psychotics, people always have a reason, a why, for deciding to do something. It might not always be logical or reasonable or even make any sense, but there is always a reason for why someone decided to do something that is not a spur of the moment reaction.
I cannot see why China would want to do this. If they wanted to 'upgrade' some rocks into an 'island' by building it up like the Japanese (who actually lost their case recently on exactly this argument iirc), they would just build it up, ramming a warship onto it achieves nothing other than to damage and possibly scupper the warship.
If it was the Philippines who were thinking of making such an upgrade and the Chinese were just pre-empting them by ramming the proposed reef and thus getting an excuse to demolish the top of it so it could not be raised into an island, well ramming a supertanker or any commercial ship into it would have been far more effective and would have not raise any eyebrows or conspiracy theories.
Unless I hear a really good reason for why the PLAN would think this would be a good idea, I would just chalk this up as a genuine balls-up on the part of the Captain/officer of the watch/crew or the result of a really unfortunate set of circumstances like adverse weather/faulty navigation equipment/inaccurate maps etc.
As Forest Gump would say, sometimes 'sh*t happens'.
Sorry for my ignorant, I thought the Chinese only sends the Yuzheng (fishing control vessels) and Haijian (Ocean surveillance vessels). It's the first time I hear there are naval vessels patrolling there. Or maybe I got confused with the Diaoyu islands?
---------- Post added at 09:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:13 PM ----------
Motives aside I just had the thought that, if the PLAN says the ship ran aground and park her very close to the reefs who is to say otherwise? Are they gonna send frogmen to check it out?
Philippines is being hypocritical here. Malaysia have the same problems with the Philippines in the Spartly. However, all the incidents are not in the spotlight, mainly, because the Philippines chose to downplay it. You see, Malaysia is not China, so Philippines cannot play the "victim" in the international scene. It is to Philippines' advantage to put the spotlight to incidents involving China while putting a blind eye to incidents involving Malaysia and Indonesia. They even had some incidents with the Vietnamese but always kept a lid on it.
Yes, I agree with you that Taiwan( Republic of China) had the first and longest claim to the islands. By virtue of the international community recognizing that there is only one China, then mainland China should assume as the legal claimant. All other countries started claiming the islands much later. During the fall of Saigon, Vietnam aggressively occupied some of the Spratly which provoked Philippines to destroy Chinese and Vietnamese survey markers and occupy a few of the island. Malaysia followed suit in the early 80's and have destroyed and replaced a lot of Filipino and Vietnamese markers. Brunei lay her claims in the 2000's.
How do the countries involved handle this? Malaysia chose a diplomatic/ win win approach. The Philippines as usual, being a Westerner trapped in an Asian body, chose the confrontational/ zero sum gain approach. While the Philippines is still in the mist of a brawl, Malaysia is already sharing the revenues of joint oil ventures with China. Oil revenues already represent 40% of Malaysian government's source of fund. Filipinos knows that their democracy is dysfunctional and their politicians are mostly predatory and corrupt, but yet subscribe to their unrealistic approach. I really wonder what will the Philippines get once all the oil are gone.
Here is a article about the running to ground of a Type 053 Jianghu class frigate (560) in the South China Sea.
Chinese frigate runs aground in disputed part of South China Sea
Chinese frigate runs aground in disputed part of South China Sea | World news | guardian.co.uk
Collision comes amid increasingly heated dispute between China, Philippines, Vietnam and other countries over sea
guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 July 2012 08.06 EDT
Hillary Clinton and Yang Jiechi
Hillary Clinton and the Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, at the Asean meeting in Cambodia. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese naval frigate has run aground in a disputed area of the South China Sea in an embarrassing twist to the escalating territorial row in the area.
News of the collision came shortly after a summit of south-east Asian foreign ministers broke up without a joint statement for the first time in the 45-year history of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) because of splits over the complex and increasingly heated maritime dispute.
Huge amounts of cargo traffic pass through the sea, which also boasts rich fisheries and vast energy supplies. The gravest recent tensions have been between China, the Philippines and Vietnam, but Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also claim parts of the sea.
A statement on the Chinese ministry of defence's website said a navy frigate had been accidentally grounded near Half Moon Shoal in the South China Sea while carrying out routine patrols on Wednesday night.
There were no casualties and the navy was organising its rescue, added the report, which appeared shortly after the Sydney Morning Herald broke news of the collision. It is unclear how badly the vessel was damaged.
The area is about 60 nautical miles (111km) west of the Philippine province of Palawan in an area claimed by Manila. The Philippines military told Associated Press that the shoal was well within the country's territorial waters.
"We have to hear from them what happened. If it is in distress, we're always ready to provide any assistance," said Brigadier General Elmer Amon, the deputy regional commander.
Rory Medcalf, director of the international security programme at the Lowy Institute, said it was surprising to see the Chinese using naval vessels to patrol the disputed area.
"This raises lots of questions … They have been relying primarily on civilian forces," he said. "That does mean sooner or later we will see confrontational incidents involving naval vessels rather than civilian agencies.
"Secondly, it raises concerns about the quality of seamanship. If this had been a near-run with a ship from another country, it could have ended badly, with political implications."
Ian Storey of the Institute of South-east Asian Studies in Singapore said that while the grounding was in itself unlikely to escalate tensions, it indicated the growing militarisation of the waters. "Resolution of the dispute is even further out of reach," he added. "No one seriously envisages a major conflict in the South China Sea because it's not in anyone's interests. They depend on those sea lanes for the continued functioning of their economies.
"The real risk is that an accidental clash occurs and escalates. In my mind, it is just a matter of time before one of these standoffs gets really ugly and people get killed."
Tensions have been building in the area since 2007, with increasing keenness to claim the energy resources, and growing pressure from nationalists in several of the countries. Vietnam has seen unusual street protests over the dispute in the past few weeks.
"Add to all that the intensified US-China competition, with the Americans supposedly coming back to Asia, and you have all the ingredients for the muddle we have now," added Medcalf. Beijing and Manila have already engaged in a tense standoff at Scarborough Shoal, after the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching in its exclusive economic zone. China says the area has belonged to it since ancient times. Both sides sent government vessels to the area, although the Philippines has now withdrawn its ships.
Earlier this week, Asean members announced they had agreed a code of conduct governing maritime rights and navigation in the region and procedures for handling disputes. But further talks with China would be required to reach agreement on a legally binding set of rules. China argues that the territorial disputes should be tackled bilaterally, opposing attempts to handle them collectively.
Hillary Clinton and China's foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, sought to strike a more amiable note on the issue as they met in Cambodia on Thursday. But the US secretary of state urged China to open talks on the code, adding: "No nation can fail to be concerned by the increase in tensions, the uptick in confrontational rhetoric, and disagreements over resource exploitation.
"We have seen worrisome instances of economic coercion and the problematic use of military and government vessels in connection with disputes among fishermen."