China's SCS Strategy Thread

Discussion in 'Strategic Defense' started by lilzz, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. localizer
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    localizer New Member
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    i've been pondering about how F35s can be detected, what do you guys think of the following:
    low orbit satellites with high speed/high res cameras + AI detection/tracking; are satellites free game during wartime?
    what about a bunch of small floating devices in the ocean with cameras/radars looking upwards?
     
  2. Totoro
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    Totoro Captain
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    One would need literally a constellation of hundreds of such satellites to even get close to a monitored airspace. Provided there's no clouds. Better to use radars on satellites if one wants to go that route. Wider area of search, possibly less satellites needed. No cloud cover issue. Planes aren't really designed to be nearly as stealthy from above. Who knows how much power is needed, though. Cheap and tiny SAR satellites have already become a thing. Would more power and processing power be needed for a detection radar?

    Would satellites be a target during wartime? Absolutely.

    Sky looking ground/sea IR/cameras are again something that'd require A LOT of systems. Many more so than Satellite ones as their view swath is much narrower, due to the target being much closer to them. At the same time, there's the clouds again. More of them, as most clouds would be low, lower than F-35. Maintaining a sea based network would be very costly. You'd have commercial vessel traffic bumping into them all the time. And it'd really be a sitting duck for the opponent's navy. So high attrition rate.

    All those are technically very possible but the fact we haven't seen them used points to the likelihood of those routes not being cost effective.
     
  3. Rachmaninov
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    Rachmaninov New Member
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    I might be throwing a crazy idea here but what about wave-powered floating pods that can send location data and can listen for sonic booms?
     
  4. localizer
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    localizer New Member
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    Hmm I see.

    I would imagine that you can force the incoming navy to have to find all the radars/satellites, slowing them down significantly. You miss one, and your planes/carrier group gets detected.

    Are there also static underwater equivalent of a SAM site? Let's say I can drop thousands of structures to the bottom of the ocean that can fire missiles at ships/planes/subs.
     
  5. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    China is now challenging FON aggressively now and increase the cost of provocation about time they do this Let the chip fall where they may be
    ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, does not apply.
    “In response to this situation I believe that China will have to take the necessary measures to increase the cost of such provocative actions by the U.S. and other relevant countries,” said Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China, who often reflects the view of the Chinese Navy. “Otherwise the actions of the provocative parties will only be more frequent and unscrupulous.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/world/asia/south-china-sea-risks.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/asia&action=click&contentCollection=asia&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront

    ‘A Game of Chicken’: U.S. and China Are Risking a Clash at Sea
    Image[​IMG]
    The Decatur, an American destroyer, and a Chinese warship nearly collided in the South China Sea in September. The two navies have no conduct agreement to keep a conflict from escalating.CreditCreditPetty Officer 2nd Class Diana Quinlan/United States Navy
    By Jane Perlez and Steven Lee Myers

    HONOLULU — From a distance, the Chinese warship warned the American destroyer that it was on a “dangerous course” in the South China Sea. Then it raced up alongside, getting perilously close. For a few tense minutes, a collision seemed imminent.

    The American vessel, the Decatur, blasted its whistle. The Chinese took no notice. Instead, the crew prepared to throw overboard large, shock-absorbing fenders to protect their ship. They were “trying to push us out of the way,” one of the American sailors said.

    Only a sharp starboard turn by the Decatur avoided a disaster in the calm equatorial waters that early morning in September — one that could have badly damaged both vessels, killed members of both crews and thrust two nuclear powers into an international crisis, according to a senior American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the encounter in detail.

    The ships came within 45 yards of each other, marking the closest call yet as the United States Navy contests China’s military buildup in the South China Sea. The Sept. 30 encounter signaled what American commanders fear is a perilous new phase in confrontations in the disputed waterway, which are unfolding without even a Cold War-style agreement on basic rules of conduct aimed at preventing escalation.

    “A game of chicken is being played around Asia’s flash points,” said Brendan Taylor, an expert on the South China Sea at the Australian National University.

    Mike Pence’s speech last monthdeclaring that the United States would take a far tougher line on China give the two men little incentive to ease tensions in the waterway.

    Despite the risks, neither side appears ready to back down.

    The United States and China “will meet each other more and more on the high seas,” the chief of naval operations, Adm. John M. Richardson, warned after September’s near miss.

    The Trump administration told the Navy last year to execute more operations against China’s territorial claims, and it has sent warships more frequently to waters near the artificial islands China has bulked up with aircraft hangars, runways, deepwater harbors and, most recently, short-range missiles. Washington also recently asked allies to contribute their ships to the task.

    “In response to this situation I believe that China will have to take the necessary measures to increase the cost of such provocative actions by the U.S. and other relevant countries,” said Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China, who often reflects the view of the Chinese Navy. “Otherwise the actions of the provocative parties will only be more frequent and unscrupulous.”

    The near crash with the Decatur showed, however, the dangers of the rivals squaring off against each other.

    The incident occurred as the Decatur, with 300 crew members, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven Reef, a pair of outcroppings in the sea that China has enlarged and fortified with weaponry since 2014. The Chinese destroyer, called the Lanzhou, with a similar number of seamen, sped up from behind and overtook it.

    This account of what happened is based on interviews with American officials, as well as a video released by the British Ministry of Defense to The South China Morning Post that was described as authentic by an American defense official.

    As China deploys more planes and ships to challenge American dominance in the region, such encounters may become more frequent. The United States says there were 18 unsafe incidents in the air and at sea between Chinese and American ships and aircraft in the Pacific region last year, a slight increase from previous years.

    ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, does not apply.
     
  6. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    It will take many years of twist and turn but eventually China will built the Kra Canal since it make sense from economy and security. It will shorten the shipping route from Mid East to China where China still get most of the oil
    And in Case of emergency it can be police and protected from China's SCS base Good move

    Thailand will change tack they are expert in sniffing where the wind blow. Plus the pervasive Thai Chinese influence in Thai politic
    http://www.atimes.com/article/thailand-the-missing-link-in-chinas-maritime-silk-road/

    Thailand the missing link in China’s Maritime Silk Road
    In a policy shift, Thai PM Prayut Chan-ocha says state agencies will study the construction of a long-envisioned ocean-linking canal China craves for economic and security reasons
    By BENJAMIN ZAWACKI BANGKOK, NOVEMBER 9, 2018 11:32 AM (UTC+8)[​IMG]
    Generic image of ships passing through a canal. Photo: Facebook
    After demurring for years, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha last week ordered national planning and security agencies to look into building a possible canal across the narrow Isthmus of Kra in the kingdom’s southern region.

    The canal is a major focus of a book I published last year, in which I argue that China will eventually lead efforts on the long-envisioned but never realized construction.

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    Indeed, the order came a month after China’s ambassador to Thailand confirmed the canal as part of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing’s US$1 trillion flagship project for global economic expansion.

    Although the BRI — including a “Maritime Silk Road” — is a logical undertaking for the most relentless economy in history, less discussed is its possible role under a concurrent security-driven policy.

    Consistent with much of China’s economic outreach in South and Southeast Asia since the turn of the century, its Silk Road can also be seen as a geo-political project aimed at power projection. The benign rubric of development, integration, and “connectivity” — already challenged on the grounds of accompanying “debt traps” — is thus subject to further scrutiny from a security standpoint.

    The Silk Road’s architects likely include military as well as market analysts, projecting not only economic returns but the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) ability to prevail in a regional conflict.

    This accounts for the weakness of counter-arguments to a canal; namely that construction costs would outweigh the savings of time and money that a short-cut connecting the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea would provide.

    [​IMG]
    Potential shipping route if a Thai canal is built. Map: Facebook
    The past 15 years have seen a host of Beijing-backed projects yield less than stellar economic results, but whose main objective has been to expand China’s geo-political footprint in the region while checking those of the US, Japan, and Taiwan.

    Such is the privilege of state-supported banking and industrial sectors, in which the Politburo’s (inter)national strategy can readily absorb tactical economic losses.

    Nor are the economics any longer water-tight—or limited to China as a canal’s chief financier: Singapore would be the country most directly and adversely affected, as it sits atop the Malacca Strait, the very stretch of water a canal in Thailand would circumvent.

    Through the Strait passes nearly half the world’s annual shipping fleet and two-thirds of its oil and liquefied natural gas. On a daily basis Malacca receives three times greater the oil traffic of the Suez Canal and 15 times that of Panama’s channel.

    Considerable money has changed hands each time the Thai parliament has tabled a canal proposal, but Singapore would not win a bidding war of influence with the Chinese.

    Why? Because no single nation is more dependent on the Malacca Strait than China, whose two-way share of trade and energy in the channel exceeds the global aggregate — the result of lacking direct littoral access to the Indian Ocean.

    The world’s most populous nation and second largest economy is landlocked from the warm waters west of the Strait. And dependency is vulnerability in China’s case, given that the Strait is patrolled and policed by the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet.

    To be sure, the fast-increasing number of cargo ships traversing the narrow passage, combined with their ever-growing girth, poses a common challenge. And for most regional countries America’s naval presence is not unwelcome.

    But for a China seeking regional hegemony, the age-old “Malacca dilemma” demands a vested alternative to the Strait, and it is in that light that a Kra Canal—and the Silk Road more broadly—should be seen.

    Eyes on the prize

    While the BRI expands westward, China’s primary focus is to its east and south: a “first chain” of disputed islands and territorial claims in the South China Sea, both of which include and ultimately revolve around Taiwan.

    Beijing has made it clear that it wants full and formal reunification with Taiwan by 2049, and that it will take the island by force “if necessary.” As prerequisite and preparation, it is likely to seize Japan’s Senkaku Islands at an earlier date, either via a “short, sharp war”, or in the manner it did the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal in 2012.

    That seizure featured an overwhelming convergence of “civilian” fishing boats backed by the Chinese Coast Guard in less a use of force than a fait accompli.

    Fishing boats played a similar role during China’s mid-2014 confrontation over an oil rig it had positioned within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, and in the Philippines’ Spratly Islands in mid-2017, one of which was “claimed” by a Chinese fishing boat’s five-star red flag.

    In a possible “dry run”, last year also saw some 260 fishing boats flood Japanese waters near the Senkakus, again flanked by six Coast Guard vessels. China fields the largest fishing fleet in the world, and four months ago placed its Coast Guard under the command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    Its disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as with four other countries, stem from Beijing’s 2009 assertion that all territories within a “Nine-Dash Line” on a map of the South China Sea belong to it.

    Although the map was drawn in 1948 and categorically dismissed as a basis for claims by The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016, its ramifications made Beijing’s contempt for the ruling a foregone conclusion: the map awards China 90% of the Sea and increases its overall geographic size by nearly 50%.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    (cont)

    Since 2013—the same year the BRI was announced—China has constructed some 3,200 acres of artificial islands within the “nine dashes” of the map, some within the sovereign maritime territory of other states. Militarization of the islands commenced in 2015, with as much emphasis on controlling the skies as the sea.

    Runways capable of accommodating fighter jets now exist on seven artificial islands in the Spratly Islands, complementing naval and aviation support facilities on Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs.

    Six months ago, Chinese bombers with long-range and nuclear-strike capabilities landed for the first time on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, which already featured surface-to-air missiles. These are essentially aircraft carriers that cannot be moved—which is the point.

    Encroachment and militarization invite a response, and have already resulted in deadly maritime clashes with regional states and increased “freedom of navigation patrols” in the South China Sea by the US. Should China declare an aerial defense identification zone above the waters, a new front for confrontation would open.

    A short conflict confined to the East China Sea might not require more forces and resources than Beijing has at its disposal along its eastern coast. But Chinese claims in the South China Sea extend as far afield as Indonesia and Malaysia, whose coasts define the narrow Strait of Malacca.

    Now a democracy, Indonesia is historically close to the US, while recent months have seen Malaysia push back on both China’s maritime aggression and its Silk Road. For clashes occurring there to be decided swiftly, China could require ships or supplies from waters west of the Strait, even as its adversaries worked with Singapore and the Seventh Fleet to close the passage off.

    Between the East China Sea and the South China Sea sits Taiwan, the crown jewel in the Middle Kingdom’s bid for regional hegemony. More likely than an escalation or expansion of violence elsewhere, is an outright military move by Beijing against Taiwan that triggers a wider conflict.

    China would be powerless to forestall US involvement, already present and treaty-bound to defend Taiwan. But its occupation and militarization of the disputed islands north and south of Taiwan is designed precisely to deny their rightful claimants’ ability to assist. Taiwan would thus be “surrounded” by Chinese assets, allowing the PLA to move not only from mainland China but from all sides.

    All quiet on the western front

    Beijing would prefer a brief and decisive war but knows better – and its maritime Silk Road could potentially play a supporting role. For at the same time that it increases “connectivity” between and among the Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea, it connects those bodies with the contentious waters east of the Malacca Strait.

    That is, it methodically and progressively addresses China’s “Malacca Dilemma.” In times of peace, this will contribute substantially to both Chinese and regional economic growth, serving container vessels, tankers and cargo planes from around the world.

    But should conflict erupt over Taiwan, the South China Sea, or both, the Silk Road could also serve as a ready supply line and secondary locus for the surface ships, submarines and fighter jets of the PLA.

    The BRI’s unspoken anchor was established in mid-2017 in Djibouti: China’s first overseas military base. Itself a projection of force, the base affords further deployment across the waters to which China is otherwise landlocked. The base also gives China (Djibouti’s top foreign investor) transit control of 10% of global annual oil exports.

    Moving eastward, China’s military presence is less overt but undeniable, primarily via sales of arms and materiel and in forces sent to protect the Silk Road investment and coastal infrastructure—much of which is clearly “dual use” in nature if not intent.

    [​IMG]
    Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews a military display of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Picture: Li Gang/Xinhua via Reuters
    Beijing’s military relations with Pakistan, frequently at odds with the US and historically so with US ally India, have increased markedly in recent years. Not coincidentally, the coastal city of Gwadar is a major focus of Silk Road investment toward a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and a deep-sea port.

    Pakistan utilizes a host of Chinese surface warships and recently purchased eight submarines, four of which are to be built on-site by Chinese engineers.


    In Bangladesh, China is similarly investing heavily in a major industrial park in the port city of Chittagong—where two Chinese guided-missile frigates and a supply ship docked in early 2016. This was followed by the delivery of two Chinese submarines later that year, whose crews were slated to include Chinese sailors for training purposes. In June 2018, the Bangladesh Air Force signed a contract for 23 Chinese training jets.

    In between these nations and out at sea, an expanded airport in the Maldives and an expanded Colombo Harbor in Sri Lanka—where Chinese submarines twice docked in 2014—are being financed and built largely by Beijing.

    Last year, after failing to repay its loan under the Silk Road scheme, Sri Lanka leased a 70% stake in its Hambantota air and seaport to China for 99 years. Despite assurances to the contrary, few believe that the island nation has seen the last of the Chinese PLA Navy.

    Entering Southeast Asia via Myanmar, pipelines running the length of the country and linking China’s landlocked southwest with the Bay of Bengal, pre-date the BRI. They have been Beijing’s chief response to its “Malacca Dilemma” for two decades. Since 2016, Silk Road investment in a China-Myanmar Economic Corridor has aimed to bolster the pipelines with transportation links and a deep sea port at Kyaukpyu.

    As with some of the ports elsewhere, political and/or legal limitations have been placed on China’s use of Kyaukpyu for military purposes. Yet, Chinese military links with Myanmar are deeper than anywhere in South Asia, and Kyaukpyu is its closest asset to the waters east of the divide created by peninsular Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia. Conflicts have a history of changing the rules, particularly those with stakes as high as those presented by Taiwan and the South China Sea.

    The missing link

    Even if China prevails between Djibouti and Myanmar, what even Kyaukpyu fails to deliver is direct maritime access to the Gulf of Thailand and beyond. Under Silk Road projects concurrently underway, China’s “Malacca Dilemma” can be substantially mitigated but not eliminated.
     
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  8. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    (cont)
    Enter Thailand, whose official status under the scheme has been uncertain from the start, but whose location makes it indispensable. When Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha was excluded from a BRI forum in Beijing last year, reportedly due to slow progress on a joint high-speed rail project connecting China and Thailand, conventional wisdom had his country as a peripheral, even expendable, part of the Silk Road.

    In evidence to the contrary, Prayut felt compelled to respond with an equally bold move, using exceptional authority under Thailand’s constitution to override legal restrictions on the employment of Chinese engineers and declare a summary end to the project’s delays.

    Whether continued setbacks signal ambivalence to China’s expansion or a more likely combination of corruption and incompetence, is unclear, but are of grave concern to Beijing either way.

    The train is part of Beijing’s regional “connectivity” plan to link southwestern China to Thailand via Laos, and includes an eventual line down Thailand’s peninsula through Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

    While this extension would follow Thailand’s eastern rather than western shore, and so not afford another indirect link to the Andaman Sea, it would connect China to the Malacca Strait’s primary port and staunch US ally. As elsewhere, the Silk Road’s security element in Thailand is implicit but hard to miss, and follows 15 years of ever-deepening Sino-Thai “mil-to-mil” relations.

    Another test concerns the Thai navy’s 2017 purchase of a Chinese submarine, with two more in the pipeline, whose construction recently got underway. Whether they are docked at the naval facility in Phang Nga on the Andaman Sea or at the Sattahip base on the Gulf of Thailand belies Bangkok’s uncertain standing between the two global powers.

    [​IMG]
    Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping reach to shake hands in a file photo. Photo: AFP/Pool
    Beijing would strongly prefer the Gulf for its connectivity to contested eastern waters and to US assets: Sattahip has hosted American ships and subs since the Vietnam War and is a mere 18 kilometers from the U-Tapao airbase, a US “Cooperative Security Location.” Washington has registered its opposition privately.

    Of chief concern is Thailand’s ability and reliability to deliver on the missing link, a canal across its narrow isthmus. Although the military will retain substantial political power through an appointed Senate, if not formally in elected office, polls scheduled for early 2019 are almost certain to render Thai governance even less decisive and efficient.

    Prayut’s recent order for a review was in response to a proposal by the Thai Canal Association, whose leadership includes several retired generals and members of the influential Thai-Chinese Economic and Cultural Association.

    A number of Chinese investors are in support of the project, and a company experienced in land reclamation and construction in the South China Sea has reportedly expressed interest.

    For its part, the US has no official position on a Kra canal. It did not feature in Obama’s “pivot” to Asia, to which China’s BRI was a response, and thus far has not been part of Trump’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy or the Senate’s Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, the latest volley.

    Thailand is an American treaty ally via both the 1954 Manila Pact and 1962 Thanat-Rusk agreement, and was named a major non-NATO ally in 2003 for supporting US counterterrorism policies after 9/11. But for Beijing that is precisely the point: the Cold War ended almost three decades ago, the War on Terror has lost definition and direction, and allies change—especially those with a history of doing so.

    A direct link between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, finally ending China’s “Malacca Dilemma”, will come down to economic pressure and geo-political ambition. While its BRI dutifully brings economic benefits across the continent through commerce and “connectivity”, China can be expected to remain patient, persistent and purposeful.

    At the same time, should the next major conflict occur in Asia, part of the road leading there will have been paved in silk.
     
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  9. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Junior Member
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    The Kra Canal was a project aspired to by the King of Siam (Thailand) centuries ago. It was stopped by the greatest naval power at the time. The British Empire. Because they wanted to control all trade through Singapore which was their colony at the time. I think in order for East Asia (not just China) to fully develop its trade connections this project must eventually be built to increase trade transit capacity. At one point in the 1980s Japanese investors were also interested in it before their economy tanked. This project is not just in the interest of China but also Japan and South Korea not to mention Thailand which in this way could connect both shores.
     
  10. vincent
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    vincent Junior Member

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    Look at the map people, the Indian Andaman Islands are right on the other side. India is part of the Quad. Canal through Thailand is a completely waste of money
     
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