PLA Strategies In The Indian Ocean And The Malacca And Sunda Straits


3000FCK

Just Hatched
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and see which countries control what. The vast majority of islands in Spratleys are little rocks of little value. China, at great economic cost, has expanded 4 of its controlled islands into real military stations. I would argue that's all China needs to dominate south China Sea. The other little rocks that Vietnam and Phillippines have are of little value. The next thing it needs is to have military bases closer to Australia and Malacca straits. It should be pretty obvious to this thread why China would find these things beneficial.

So, all China needs is to keep its expanded islands floating since they could very easily sink from this ongoing crisis we have called the climate change. Work with Phillipines, Malaysia and Indonesia to divide up the rocks and then work out some kind of model in dividing up the gas drilling rights. I would say there is much greater value in settling these issues than arguing over how many rocks they have. Once you do that, try to sell as much weapons to Indonesia and Malaysia as possible so that they are in China's oribts. Continue to invest in these countries and influence them.

As for your other point, the reality is that Chinese people control the Indonesian economy which has caused a lot of jealousy in Indonesian population. What better way to help those people out than bringing Indonesia into China's orbit.


Everyone needs friends. US claims all of the Americas as its background through the Monroe doctrine. How do you expect China to secure it's trade and energy route without more allies and bases around the world? With what? US can cut china's oil trade off by just moving a couple of its carriers groups over. If you think China should be a superpower, then it cannot trust that when global resources are being crunched up, America will not take it all for itself and its allies.
One thing I've always wondered (and made an account specifically to ask) is why it's considered "OK" when America does stuff like Monroe but not China. Does China also have some sort of reasoning? Or is American just being an imperialist again?
 

tphuang

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One thing I've always wondered (and made an account specifically to ask) is why it's considered "OK" when America does stuff like Monroe but not China. Does China also have some sort of reasoning? Or is American just being an imperialist again?

There is no reason. China should seek to be the dominant geopolitical force in Asia, especially among ASEAN countries. It simply can't do that right now due to having inferior military, financial and possibly cultural power to America. As China grows stronger, it's only natural for China to try to bring these countries into its orbit.
 

3000FCK

Just Hatched
Registered Member
There is no reason. China should seek to be the dominant geopolitical force in Asia, especially among ASEAN countries. It simply can't do that right now due to having inferior military, financial and possibly cultural power to America. As China grows stronger, it's only natural for China to try to bring these countries into its orbit.
What about Japan? Could they eclipse the US? Perhaps with some sort of alliance with South Korea and a willingness to bypass United States hegemony?
 

Godzilla

Junior Member
Registered Member
What about Japan? Could they eclipse the US? Perhaps with some sort of alliance with South Korea and a willingness to bypass United States hegemony?
Japan eclipsing the US? wind the clock back 80 years and maybe they could give it a shot. End of the day, they are just on a small island, and are restricted in growth unless they secure a foothold on East Asia mainland again. Alliance with South Korea would be a pipe dream lol I think they hate the Koreans more than the Chinese.
Japan historically swings with the dominant power. Its in their blood. When China becomes dominant, issues with Japan will resolve through Japan rolling on its back. Key is dominance, and the trend is looking that way hence the US's reactions.
 

3000FCK

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Japan eclipsing the US? wind the clock back 80 years and maybe they could give it a shot. End of the day, they are just on a small island, and are restricted in growth unless they secure a foothold on East Asia mainland again. Alliance with South Korea would be a pipe dream lol I think they hate the Koreans more than the Chinese.
Japan historically swings with the dominant power. Its in their blood. When China becomes dominant, issues with Japan will resolve through Japan rolling on its back. Key is dominance, and the trend is looking that way hence the US's reactions.
Then should China form a sphere of cooperation with Japan and Korea to force out American interests? I mean since Japan seems to roll over and kneel to the highest power, it could work. Just would need to get South Korea to go along with it, which I'm sure isn't hard.
 

antiterror13

Brigadier
That's not how things work. China is big and other countries are small. As long as China is having disputes with them and making unilateral decisions, America can come in and say "you are bullying little countries, you should stop bullying them". When in reality, they want to get in on the gas exploration deals and have their freedom of navigation. Now, if you settle this with Indonesia and Philippines (again, Vietnam is a different story) and settle on the Spratley claims with them and exploration rights with them. You all tell America that you have it settled. How can America butt its head further into the dispute if every country other than Vietnam (who they are not friendly with) tells them we don't need you in this debate and stay outside of air space? And we want to work with China to enforce EEZ rights here, so we don't want your naval ships round here.

Again, how does China expect itself to dominate its backyard in Southeast Asia unless it can settle border disputes with those neighbors. They should be able to do it with Philippines and Indonesia. Why does Philippines care about a couple of rocks that China already control getting expanded. They just care about the commercial rights there. Same with Indonesia. Back 10 years ago, China didn't have the weapons to export to these countries. Now, it has money and advanced weaponry. It can continue to increase its influence in these countries. It can export advanced weapons here. These countries should be in China's orbit if it plays its cards right.

You talk appeasement and strength. How has that strategy worked out so far? Are these countries jumping into China's arms?

Ask yourself, why is Cambodia, Burma and Thailand closer to China than Indonesia and Philippines? Why can't China be the main protector of the region if it settles its disputes with Indonesia and Philippines.

I am not aware any dispute between China and Indonesia? What is it? Natuna? .... my understanding is that Natuna is outside 9 dot line
 

ZeEa5KPul

Major
Registered Member
That's not how things work. China is big and other countries are small. As long as China is having disputes with them and making unilateral decisions, America can come in and say "you are bullying little countries, you should stop bullying them". When in reality, they want to get in on the gas exploration deals and have their freedom of navigation. Now, if you settle this with Indonesia and Philippines (again, Vietnam is a different story) and settle on the Spratley claims with them and exploration rights with them. You all tell America that you have it settled. How can America butt its head further into the dispute if every country other than Vietnam (who they are not friendly with) tells them we don't need you in this debate and stay outside of air space? And we want to work with China to enforce EEZ rights here, so we don't want your naval ships round here.

Again, how does China expect itself to dominate its backyard in Southeast Asia unless it can settle border disputes with those neighbors. They should be able to do it with Philippines and Indonesia. Why does Philippines care about a couple of rocks that China already control getting expanded. They just care about the commercial rights there. Same with Indonesia. Back 10 years ago, China didn't have the weapons to export to these countries. Now, it has money and advanced weaponry. It can continue to increase its influence in these countries. It can export advanced weapons here. These countries should be in China's orbit if it plays its cards right.

You talk appeasement and strength. How has that strategy worked out so far? Are these countries jumping into China's arms?

Ask yourself, why is Cambodia, Burma and Thailand closer to China than Indonesia and Philippines? Why can't China be the main protector of the region if it settles its disputes with Indonesia and Philippines.
You are taking America's presence in the western Pacific as an immutable given and trying to work around it. I don't think that should be China's approach - I think China should make some diplomatic efforts with these countries, but the thrust of its effort should be to change the strategic picture by building enough strength to expel America from the region. That will automatically resolve all disputes in China's favour since the surrounding countries will no longer have a partner powerful enough to hedge against China with.
 

tphuang

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You are taking America's presence in the western Pacific as an immutable given and trying to work around it. I don't think that should be China's approach - I think China should make some diplomatic efforts with these countries, but the thrust of its effort should be to change the strategic picture by building enough strength to expel America from the region. That will automatically resolve all disputes in China's favour since the surrounding countries will no longer have a partner powerful enough to hedge against China with.

And how do you expel America from the region without working with these countries? Do you have a plan other than China needs to get stronger? You think just by getting stronger, these countries will say we don't want America anymore?

You have to use your cultural ties with these countries to build cultural influence there. You have to continue increasing your business ties in there. Now that you have advanced military weaponry, you need to sell them to friendly countries.

For example, if Malaysia wants advanced 5th gen and drone technology, China can sell it to them. If Indonesia feels danger from that, then they need to also come to China for that technology, because America isn't going to provide them to them.

When you are in a strong position of negotiation, work out these island disputes with them. Then, Philippines will no longer be talking about signing EDCA. It will rely on China. You can work on getting naval bases in Indonesia.

But you need a strategy to achieve all of this. Isolate Australia in the region. Make sure Singapore is neutral. Vietnam is a lost cause. Every other countries in the region are potential allies.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Major
Registered Member
And how do you expel America from the region without working with these countries? Do you have a plan other than China needs to get stronger? You think just by getting stronger, these countries will say we don't want America anymore?

You have to use your cultural ties with these countries to build cultural influence there. You have to continue increasing your business ties in there. Now that you have advanced military weaponry, you need to sell them to friendly countries.

For example, if Malaysia wants advanced 5th gen and drone technology, China can sell it to them. If Indonesia feels danger from that, then they need to also come to China for that technology, because America isn't going to provide them to them.

When you are in a strong position of negotiation, work out these island disputes with them. Then, Philippines will no longer be talking about signing EDCA. It will rely on China. You can work on getting naval bases in Indonesia.

But you need a strategy to achieve all of this. Isolate Australia in the region. Make sure Singapore is neutral. Vietnam is a lost cause. Every other countries in the region are potential allies.
I think all your proposals are great and China should pursue them. My point is that they don't get you to the finish line. Certain things can only be won through war. America has the position it does in the region not because of military, financial or cultural strength, it has it because it conquered Japan in war. So, yes, the main thrust of my plan is China becoming economically, militarily, financially, etc. strong enough to either fight against America and win, or intimidate America into quitting the region. Its specific relationships with other countries in the region is secondary to that - if they align with China, great. If not, no great loss.

These countries fundamentally align with America because they see it as strong enough to stand against China. Once that's no longer the case and they recognize that to no longer be the case, they'll re-evaluate their relationship with America.
 

Phead128

Captain
Staff member
Moderator - World Affairs
China lost Southeast Asia as a exclusive sphere of influence when it lost the wars against Europeans and Japan (e.g., IndoChina conquered by France, Burma/Malaysia by British, Indonesia by Dutch, Philippines by Spain/US). For China to restore it's exclusive sphere of influence, it must go through war again. In other words, the Europeans/Americans must be physically expelled from East Asia and SE Asia via war.

Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore have formal treaty alliances, major Non-NATO allies, or strong working relationship with US. No amount of cultural exchange, economic interdependence, and confidence building measures can override security alliances, as we can see with South Korea. It can change on a dime with an new pro-US conservative president.

More fundamentally, ASEAN will play both sides to maximize their own benefit and will never accept overdependence on a single great power unless coerced by force OR there is simply no other option (e.g. when China was so piss-poor and backwards, US or USSR was the only option)
 

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