PLAN SCS Bases/Islands/Vessels (Not a Strategy Page)


Zool

Junior Member
It would be very helpful in establishing a baseline for arguments/debates/compromises (or no compromises) if China files papers with the UN and clearly define what it claims in the SCS, and what exactly the the 9-dash line means.

I think that would provide too much insight into strategic planning and only serve to highlight internal Chinese priorities & concerns. Very much in opposition to Sun Tzu philosophies.

My take is that anything China does, particularly in the SCS & ECS, will be viewed critically and labelled 'Aggressive' or 'Potentially Destabilizing' by the US & Western media outlets and the Chinese know it. Those are the buzz words in most reporting on China these days. If China were to delineate it's interests that would only focus the criticism and clarify it's plans and potential weaknesses to it's competitors regionally & abroad.

Better for China to manage the blanket criticism, which they can shrug off as the standard 'Rising China Threat' rhetoric, rather than be forced into a corner on specific strategic plans which it they then must defend in detail -- providing answers which will never be satisfactory to those asking the questions in the first place. All part of the game.
 

taxiya

Colonel
Registered Member
I think that would provide too much insight into strategic planning and only serve to highlight internal Chinese priorities & concerns. Very much in opposition to Sun Tzu philosophies.

My take is that anything China does, particularly in the SCS & ECS, will be viewed critically and labelled 'Aggressive' or 'Potentially Destabilizing' by the US & Western media outlets and the Chinese know it. Those are the buzz words in most reporting on China these days. If China were to delineate it's interests that would only focus the criticism and clarify it's plans and potential weaknesses to it's competitors regionally & abroad.

Better for China to manage the blanket criticism, which they can shrug off as the standard 'Rising China Threat' rhetoric, rather than be forced into a corner on specific strategic plans which it they then must defend in detail -- providing answers which will never be satisfactory to those asking the questions in the first place. All part of the game.
Very well said. The one asking these questions is not interested in the answer at all, it is just looking for a target to shoot at, no need to fulfill that wish. Like some times dealing with a crying baby, let it cry untill it feels bored.
 

jkliz

Junior Member
Registered Member
Given the US presidential race coming up soon, I think China is wise to keep a low profile about the Islands and simply shrug off any statements made about it as several of the Republican contenders will be looking to prove how "tough" they are and will surely be looking for an issue to further their political goals.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
Given the US presidential race coming up soon, I think China is wise to keep a low profile about the Islands and simply shrug off any statements made about it as several of the Republican contenders will be looking to prove how "tough" they are and will surely be looking for an issue to further their political goals.

I doubt world events are shaped according to US election year with political tid bits.
 

Blackstone

Brigadier
Better for China to manage the blanket criticism, which they can shrug off as the standard 'Rising China Threat' rhetoric, rather than be forced into a corner on specific strategic plans which it they then must defend in detail -- providing answers which will never be satisfactory to those asking the questions in the first place. All part of the game.
The other side of that coin is what happens in the SCS can affect the majority of nations on Earth, and how China goes about conducting its business defines how others will react to it. The phrase "blue national soil" is of great concern to not only China's immediate neighbors, but all maritime trading nations of the world. China is in the tiny minority of nations that thinks it can regulate foreign military operations in its EEZ, and that is a big problem for the rest of the world that don't share China's position.

I get it, China is pursuing what it considers its national interests, but it's quite clear such actions have and will continue to cause friction with its neighbors, and with other big powers. If China chooses to play hardball anyway, then expect others to follow suit. As below, so above.
 

AssassinsMace

Lieutenant General
The US media is talking up foreign policy in the Presidential race and none of them mention China or anything having to do with China as an important foreign policy problem to Americans. Island reclamation has been happening over a year and it only made the news in the US recently. Like no one knew a runway was being built until now? That's suppose to give it that shock value like it was a surprise and just happened and it's still not important to Americans. Plus if anyone saw the remarks by the Pentagon in Congress that started the media attention, one of the first things said was about how the US Navy is threatened by budget cuts in the face of growing maritime problems. That's what it's about.
 

nemo

Junior Member
The other side of that coin is what happens in the SCS can affect the majority of nations on Earth, and how China goes about conducting its business defines how others will react to it. The phrase "blue national soil" is of great concern to not only China's immediate neighbors, but all maritime trading nations of the world. China is in the tiny minority of nations that thinks it can regulate foreign military operations in its EEZ, and that is a big problem for the rest of the world that don't share China's position.

Really?
1. China never threaten the freedom of navigation -- after all China is one of the big beneficiary of that. China has issue on the extraction of resources on the EEZ, but impact of that on the world is no different from extraction of sources from anywhere else. China has issue on abusive close surveillance close to its territorial sea -- that no one else used except US.

2. Even if South China Sea is closed to commerce, it's not like there is no other routes -- one can go around Indonesia, for example. Alternate route merely imposed minor extra cost and time -- no where near crippling.

So whatever China do in the South China Sea, the impact on the world is not a major concern to anyone except the countries actually borders on the South China Sea. And since when nations far away have interest in South China sea more than the nations actually borders the South China Sea, that the nations that actually borders South China sea actually have to subordinate their interest to nations far away?
 

jon88

New Member
Registered Member
Oh Jeff, don't mean to go off-course, but the bottom center picture on the reclaimed islands in your website is not Chinese. It's Pulau Layang-layang(Swiftlet reef), a reclaimed Malaysian Spratly island. Reclaimed in the 80's after Malaysia discovered oil off the coast of Borneo and Terengganu, off the coast of formerly known Malaya. Malaysia made the claim of the area almost immediately after the oil discovery.

I am sure it is just an oversight. Excellent site.
 

Blackstone

Brigadier
Really?
1. China never threaten the freedom of navigation -- after all China is one of the big beneficiary of that. China has issue on the extraction of resources on the EEZ, but impact of that on the world is no different from extraction of sources from anywhere else. China has issue on abusive close surveillance close to its territorial sea -- that no one else used except US.
This is the PRC mantra, and the US isn't buying it.

2. Even if South China Sea is closed to commerce, it's not like there is no other routes -- one can go around Indonesia, for example. Alternate route merely imposed minor extra cost and time -- no where near crippling.
Would the PRC consider it "minor" if it was barred from SCS trade traffic? I rather doubt it.

3. So whatever China do in the South China Sea, the impact on the world is not a major concern to anyone except the countries actually borders on the South China Sea. And since when nations far away have interest in South China sea more than the nations actually borders the South China Sea, that the nations that actually borders South China sea actually have to subordinate their interest to nations far away?
Closing down one of the world's biggest maritime trade route is a very major concern to not only China's immediate neighbors, but with all trading nations around the world.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
This is the PRC mantra, and the US isn't buying it.

The reverse can be said as well, that PRC isn't buying the idea that US enforcement of freedom of navigation is unrelated to its military surveillance of strategically important military facilities.
Let's put out a hypothetical question here -- do we think China would be pressing its claims or seeking to enforce them in such a great urgency if there was not such consistent US surveillance aircraft and ships near China's important facilities?

Let me pre empt a response, by first saying that yes, China has also on occasion sailed and flown similar surveillance flights, and it is within the rights of the US to use whatever legal means to achieve its aims -- even if this includes forward positioning and conducting intensive and comprehensive reconnaissance of a potential foe's strategic military facilities such as nuclear submarine bases.

However China also has the right to use means to try and pre empt it in whatever means within the flexible bounds of international law.

What I do not find reasonable however, is when one side tries to use freedom of navigation as a lead in for conducting these kind of surveillance actions. If the US straight up said "we desire to have overwhemling ISR for our forward based air and naval assets against our strategic competitors" -- that I can accept. I don't even need the US govt to acknowledge it, but it would be nice if we on an online forum that talks candidly about military matters can straight up describe each other's intentions.



Closing down one of the world's biggest maritime trade route is a very major concern to not only China's immediate neighbors, but with all trading nations around the world.

Of course, but what makes anyone think China would seek to close down maritime trade in that area when China is so dependent on maritime trade itself?

Let's ditch the holier than thou attitude -- this entire issue rests upon power and mistrust.
Neither side trusts each other to have power in this waterway where trade flows through.

China doesn't like the US having control over its SLOCs and the US wouldn't like China to have control over SLOCs where some of its trade and much of the world's trade goes through, because both sides mistrusts each other's potential intentions in different contingencies.

Relating it back to the first part of my reply -- the US would also like to have a highly capable forward deployed presence near China's borders along with comprehensive ISR about China's military and strategic capabilities, meaning it requires relatively complete control of waters near China including the SCS.
China would obviously prefer it if the US wasn't so close to its borders and that it could have safe basins for its land bases and navy ports and nuclear submarine docks which were not so close to the effective reach of potential US carriers, destroyers, striker fighters and submarines.


I'm not going to say if either side is right or wrong, I will only say that both sides have a right to their requirements but it would be nice if we could all candidly speak about it instead of beating around the bush.
 

Top