South China Sea Strategies for other nations (Not China)

Jura

General
anyway,
South China Sea set to top agenda at Asean defence ministers’ meeting

UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2018, 11:28pm
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Beijing’s militarisation of disputed waterway has encouraged greater cooperation among regional players and major powers

Long-standing tensions in the South China Sea are expected to come to the fore at a key regional defence meeting in Southeast Asia next week, amid an intensifying strategic clash between China and the US.

Defence ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will gather in Singapore for their 12th annual meeting from Thursday to Saturday, along with their counterparts from China, the United States, Australia, India and Japan.

While observers expect the delegates to find some consensus on less contentious issues such as disaster relief, maritime research and anti-terrorism efforts – including a regional counterterrorism intelligence sharing network advocated by Singapore – they do not expect any concrete progress on core territorial disputes.

The
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is one of the world’s most strategic waterways and home to several overlapping territorial claims, mostly involving China and regional players like Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, all three of which are members of Asean.

Washington’s growing criticism of Beijing’s militarisation of the waterway is also likely to make it the meeting’s hot topic, especially after US vice-president Mike Pence slammed China’s aggressive behaviour following a
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on September 30.

“We might see the US reiterate its support for the Indo-Pacific, and to again call out China’s behaviour in the South China Sea,” said Aaron Rabena, an associate fellow at the Philippines Council for Foreign Relations. “As Sino-US tensions build up, Asean will face pressure from two sides.”

US Defence Secretary James Mattis was expected to visit China for two days of talks before the start of the Asean summit, but those plans were cancelled due to rising tensions between the two sides. He will instead spend Tuesday and Wednesday visiting officials in Vietnam.

According to some analysts, Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea have not only heightened concerns among Asean member nations, but also encouraged greater engagement and cooperation in the disputed waters between America’s allies, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Britain and France.

“One could expect more robust or substantive discussions at the upcoming defence ministers’ meeting,” said Elena Collinson, a researcher with the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney.

“Any decisions … will take into account each Asean member country’s relationships not only with China but also with the West,” she said.

The summit also comes after
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in the South China Sea, after more than a decade of negotiations, although analysts said a final deal was unlikely to appear any time soon.

“It’s important to think of the code of conduct as a journey, rather than a destination,” said Bill Hayton, a South China Sea expert and associate fellow at British think tank Chatham House.

“I have no expectations that they’ll make any major announcement on it [at the defence ministers’ meeting]. It will be a nice surprise if they actually kind of agree to anything concrete, frankly.”

Even if the code of conduct was finalised, it would be non-binding, territorial disputes would be outside its purview, and non-signatories would be excluded from intervening in disagreements, said Pooja Bhatt, a research associate at the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi.

“Going by the text, the document itself is not a very strong document as it is,” she said. “Even if it comes to a conclusion, the problems remain the same.”

Beyond the defence ministers’ meeting, China and Asean will stage their inaugural cooperative maritime field drills later this month after conducting table-top exercises in August. Analysts have described the move as a “confidence-building measure” rather than a fundamental strategy shift.

Besides staging joint drills with China, Southeast Asian countries are pursuing closer ties with other major powers, including the US and Japan, to counter Beijing’s influence, while also building up their own military defences, observers said.

“The US-China game is going on … and it’s alarming at the moment,” Bhatt said. “Because of this conflict, other countries are getting scared about their own security, and they’re reacting by building up their own security architecture.

“Overall, it’s an alarming trend. It’s definitely making the region more and more sensitive,” she said.

Beijing has denounced as “illegal provocation” the United States’ freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, while France and Britain have also conducted similar exercises in the waterway this year.

“China is a bit rattled about all this attention [on the South China Sea],” Hayton said. “There has been a decision by China to make life more difficult for foreign powers – the level of brinkmanship that Chinese destroyer deployed in front of the American destroyer about a week ago, that was really serious.”

Collinson said that tensions in the waterway had “undoubtedly mounted” in the past year.

“For any real change to be effected in the disputed waters, the same message would need to be conveyed by more than one messenger,” she said. “However, there continues to be a reluctance by countries other than the US to engage in any commitment beyond articulations of ‘serious concern’.

“Being smaller countries, Asean member states would bear the brunt of any conflict in their region.”
 

ougoah

Senior Member
Registered Member
I was going to let it be, but changed my mind after this sentence of yours:


reading
Philippine Claims in the South China
Sea: A Legal Analysis
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(sorry about formatting):

doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing
Your article only mentions Philippines and then you say "doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing", grouping Vietnam into this from an article that attempts to show Philippines' claim. Their entire basis of their claim is taking the position that the shoals and islands were unclaimed since Japan's defeat in WW2 and the subsequent San Fran treaty. By international law, this is correct and no nation holds sovereignty over those islands. No doubt. But Philippines never had any history of discovering those islands they are claiming and they never had any records either. I know this does not matter from the perspective of int. law but their entire claim is purely based off the fact that since Japan's been forced to give up the territory won from invasion after their defeat (this is important because if they weren't defeated, they do not need to relinquish invaded territory and this rule has unfortunately been true for all of history across the globe). Therefore Philippines do not have a better claim than China. They are both weak claims. The difference is China is willing to fight for it because they feel their national security will one day be threatened if they do not hold absolute control over this piece of ocean. This is just my personal interpretation on why China is so adamant in its position and resolve.

The only subtle difference is that China does have historical records of charting those waters and islands. I know that's from a different era and do not hold legal authority anymore, but it gives the people a feeling that they are more entitled than someone who doesn't even have that. Let's also remember than Philippines unilaterally allowed one of their citizens to privately acquire some of those islands (Tomas Cloma) in the mid 20th century. ROC was very opposed to this move and reacted. PRC today has good reason to be very wary of their neighbours. If they showed respect towards each other, PRC wouldn't be forced to act as aggressively. They are surrounded by a pack of wolves. The difference is, these nations are not even a road-bump to China's military today. Yet China still does not lose its head and start shooting (I really doubt USA will happily go to all out war for Vietnam and Philippines but PRC is rightfully concerned about this possibility). If it were Japan or Russia or another power in China's position, they would have flattened VN and PH and if USA wants to step in, they can risk nuclear escalation (most likely outcome given that US will win conventional war). This is hard to argue because only ~70 years ago Japan murdered millions when they're empire's survival wasn't even threatened and Russia had no qualms showing and exercising force in eastern europe, georgia, and syria in 21st century.

Above is important because other powers (that are not China) have foolishly setup this precedence. Rules that are unquestioned and acceptable across the world today due to precedence;

1. Land won by military conquest are your's to keep. Other's may disagree but if you have the military means to hold onto those lands indefinitely than they can only complain indefinitely. But those lands are effectively your's. Whether you can hold onto them is entirely different matter and highly doubtful. (This isn't legal precedence but this rule is undeniable)

2. Hague and UN rulings can be ignored completely. USA constantly does this and does this more than every other nation on earth put together. It gives all other nations the same privilege, effectively making any decision utterly meaningless. If one person is above the law and that one person has the exact legal rights as every other person, then the set of laws immediately become ineffective. If they didn't want China to ignore rules, they shouldn't have done so, so many times in the past themselves. To say but this and but that, doesn't matter on principle... them ignoring rules indicate there is a problem with the entire system and it is the system that is broken, not the US' decision making.

3. Japan and Philippines both started letting private groups purchase islands and made these decisions unilaterally. Therefore China can unilaterally make decision such as building islands. Their problem if they want to defend them from US navy and this is a separate issue.

4. Vietnam started pouring concrete on islands to make structures. China just reacted and did that on a grander scale. But the Vietnamese set the trend, forcing China to react.

All of this is leading to conflict with no alternative solution in sight. People can complain about China's activity in SCS as much as they like but China is forced to commit because the alternative would be to give it up (and the wolves will surely move in gradually like they did in the past) and let USA closer to Chinese mainland and give them far more say in commercial shipping. They've cut off many routes in the past and stopped Chinese vessels (unilaterally! and not only Chinese... these guys just want to use force to push others down and take everything for themselves, US fucked up Malaysia royally in the past too), they will do it again. So it is clear from China's POV what they need to do. I don't know if China has the military means to defend against US effectively (I personally do not think so) but that's even scarier because it will push the CCP into a humiliating defeat which they cannot face the Chinese citizens and hope to continue their rule, so they will choose to threaten USA with nuclear war. Watch updates on China changing no first use policy in future if this matter ever gets escalated, then we will know it could be close if USA doesn't back down. China may do that to bluff a nuclear exchange with USA hoping USA will back off in a region they stand little to gain from (apart from having more means to contain China) or they can risk their mainland.
 
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ougoah

Senior Member
Registered Member
All of this just indicates how broken the global diplomacy instruments are. League of Nations was a joke and so is the UN. There is no effective international method of resolving all conflicts. It shows how selfishly motivated ALL parties are and how hopelessly inadequate so called politicians and diplomats really are. These people have zero interest about what is right and wrong, all of them on every side is just paid to do a job to enrich the groups that have often hidden political and economic interests. Washington and Beijing are no different here and the majority of the West still believe in the moral righteousness of Washington... somehow.

I understand the disgust people have for anything that has to do with "communism" (lower case c) and people's natural suspicions. But it is bewildering that these same people hold Western politics in higher regard when it is just as defective and dirty albeit in different ways. If one says that dirty stuff was in the past and history, well so if communism's dirty past. The rest are personal opinions and preferences. No right and wrong. One cannot say that China having harsh penalties and censorship etc etc is wrong. I think there is a place for that stuff depending on the situation and application, ie rest is opinion.

Also China being "communist" is a joke.

So this SCS issue, beyond what political camp and team you are on (as stupid as sports team fans... basically tribe mentality and defective IQ level intelligence if one is part of this), basically boils down to empathy. From Chinese POV, they were humiliated, murdered, mistreated, looted, and had to take serious toils on living and earning capacity, just from being weak and unassertive in the last two hundred years. Before that, they were complacent and didn't realise the technological gap that grew out of the Enlightenment which they missed. They also didn't count of western powers colonising most of Asia. So to trip over the same pitfalls again would be quite an embarrassment. So today, the focus is science and technology, improving economy, and building a military that can guarantee self-defense through both conventional means (not there yet) and MAD.

The planners understand the dangers well. To them, preparing for possible problems is better than responding to those problems even if they never materialise. So we are stuck in this stalemate. PRC have no issues disrespecting VN and PH claims and opinions since those same two countries disrespected PRC's opinions and claims. PRC was happy to leave border disputes as "best left to be solved by the wisdom of future generations" when all stakeholders officially vocalised their claims. Let's not forget that. But if one picks a fight, they better be prepared to pay whatever the price. Chinese people always been considered by others in negative way and most people always think Chinese are incapable. Just like India in 60s, on one hand their leader Nehru called Chinese brothers, while on other hand, move troops around against Chinese wishes and to British set borders which were not historical borders before Indian independence. He didn't think there'd be a price either.

So while Viets and Filipinos are busy saying "made in China" jokes with the rest of the world and underestimating China, they should really be backing their talk up, otherwise the smashing will hurt even more if they choose that path because big boy USA doesn't want to die for someone else's reward.
 
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Jura

General
Your article only mentions Philippines and then you say "doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing", grouping Vietnam into this from an article that attempts to show Philippines' claim.
did you perhaps miss the sentence

"By contrast, the claim of
Vietnam devolves from a legal annexation
document issued by the French in 1933 that has specific coordinates and affects
specific territories."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?

Their entire basis of their claim is taking the position that the shoals and islands were unclaimed since Japan's defeat in WW2 and the subsequent San Fran treaty. By international law, this is correct and no nation holds sovereignty over those islands. No doubt. But Philippines never had any history of discovering those islands they are claiming and they never had any records either.
did you perhaps miss the sentences

"Similarly, the presence of itinerant fishermen from either
China or the Philippines is legally insufficient to establish a legal presence.
However, there is evidence that the Philippines and the U.S. Navy visited the
feature, charted it, and exercised law enforcement jurisdiction over the features."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?

... quit at this point
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
did you perhaps miss the sentence

"By contrast, the claim of
Vietnam devolves from a legal annexation
document issued by the French in 1933 that has specific coordinates and affects
specific territories."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?


did you perhaps miss the sentences

"Similarly, the presence of itinerant fishermen from either
China or the Philippines is legally insufficient to establish a legal presence.
However, there is evidence that the Philippines and the U.S. Navy visited the
feature, charted it, and exercised law enforcement jurisdiction over the features."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?

... quit at this point
And ROC told the French they already owned them in 1933 too. And as far as I know 1933 is after Qing's complaint to France in the 1800s too.

So basically the French tried to claim something that is already owned. Last time they did that in Europe, we had WW2, how is it acceptable in Asia?

Just because the French got kicked out, the Vietnamese want to try again like the Indians and copy their colonial masters?
 
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ougoah

Senior Member
Registered Member
And ROC told the French they already owned them in 1933 too. And as far as I know 1933 is after Qing's complaint to France in the 1800s too.

So basically the French tried to claim something that is already owned. Last time they did that in Europe, we had WW2, how is it acceptable in Asia?

Just because the French got kicked out, the Vietnamese want to try again like the Indians and copy their colonial masters?
Exactly. Almost no use trying to reason with him. His entire refute to me makes no sense at all. Because he has zero point to make, he asks me to quit lol.

Jura maybe you can start by addressing why Vietnam and Philippines started moves? Why did Vietnam feel the need to create an artificial island before anyone started doing that? Why did Philippines allow one of their citizens to purchase some islands and do all that unilaterally?

You answered everything yourself here.

"By contrast, the claim of
Vietnam devolves from a legal annexation
document issued by the French in 1933 that has specific coordinates and affects
specific territories."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?


did you perhaps miss the sentences

"Similarly, the presence of itinerant fishermen from either
China or the Philippines is legally insufficient to establish a legal presence.
However, there is evidence that the Philippines and the U.S. Navy visited the
feature, charted it, and exercised law enforcement jurisdiction over the features."

inside Yesterday at 6:00 PM
?

... quit at this point
For Vietnam, their entire claim is weak as piss because it is entirely based off a colonial source where the French unilaterally used force to take some islands then once they left VN, VN thinks it is automatically entitled to those islands. When it was never recognised by China to be French or Viet at any time in history so these two decided for themselves what they want to do, well China can play by those rules too and it is doing exactly that. If you want to say it does, then China is now using force to take those islands, basically employing the exact same rule they applied for themselves. Difference is this implies that might is right and well.... VN can try to use force and take those islands off China. Basically they created this standard themselves (by applying French force and tacitly agreeing that imperialism gives right to sovereignty) but cannot do anything to China if China uses their standard against them. Ironic.

Second paragraph about Philippines and fisherman makes no sense to me. Explain how that negates China's claim and how it works for the Philippines exclusively.

The problem with China and VN dispute is quite similar to the border clash between China and India in the 60s. Vietnam thinks that once the colonial bastard left, they are entitled to be selective about the consequences of independence. VN thinks because the French rules Vietnam includes some of the disputed islands, they receive all of them. That's like saying if a thief robs you with criminal force then gives those proceeds of crime to thief's son, then all is fine, as long as the original thief isn't in direct ownership of proceeds. Then what is stopping someone like China to pillage and colonise by force and then giving those lands to an ally and once China loses the war, the proceeds still belong to the ally?

India did similar. When the British colonialists finally gave India independence, they sought to create tensions (like they did for some of their African colonies) for all neighbours once they leave so that the region stays messy and unstable. They created Pakistan and changed India's borders. Now the Indian nation never existed prior to this and no modern borders were set because they used to be a whole lot of princedoms during the Mughal empire, building up to becoming a colonial state. But as India gained independence, its new borders had to be reforged. They decided to take the British decision of borders regarding the one shared with China because it cut into what was previously Chinese territory that did not flare up when the Brits were not in Asia. Peace existed to centuries along those borders and the Mongolian Yuan dynasty of imperial China didn't have ongoing disputes with the Mughal empire when the Yuan invaded and colonised Tibet. No formal recorded disputes exist as far as I'm aware of. Similarly, VN has decided by itself to go with French borders, against what was historically understood to be borders between the two. Many of these islands (there are too many for each to be chartered) were never claimed by either side which is why VN's claim is no better than China's.
 
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Jura

General
Exactly. Almost no use trying to reason with him. His entire refute to me makes no sense at all. Because he has zero point to make, he asks me to quit lol.

...
LOL what is this?

let me reconstruct this conversation:

in previous page
https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/south-china-sea-strategies-for-other-nations-not-china.t7302/page-217
we talked the Baltic Sea, if it is, or isn't, relevant for the SCS;
I thought it was somewhat relevant (as argued earlier May 24, 2018),
you appear to think it was irrelevant, fine;

then I reacted to your sentence

#2169 ougoah, Sunday at 5:45 PM
"The reason for the historic claims, and one difference here is, Vietnam and Philippines do not have any historic claims for those islands."

with Sunday at 6:00 PM
I was going to let it be, but changed my mind after this sentence of yours:


reading
Philippine Claims in the South China
Sea: A Legal Analysis
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

(sorry about formatting):

doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing
containing large chunk related to 'nam and Philippines;
your opening sentence then was

#2173 ougoah, Yesterday at 10:15 AM
"Your article only mentions Philippines and then you say "doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing", grouping Vietnam into this from an article that attempts to show Philippines' claim."

so I reiterated Yesterday at 8:02 PM (that's the post you quoted now)
and meant to say (by "... quit at this point ") I have quit reading right after that first sentence, after I had noticed you perhaps didn't read or dismissed the specifics of what I posted Sunday at 6:00 PM
plus because I noticed your verbiage containing "communism" in
#2174 ougoah, Yesterday at 10:33 AM


so? so I quit (again LOL), just wanted to tell you I absolutely didn't mean to say you should quit

cool?
 

ougoah

Senior Member
Registered Member
LOL what is this?

let me reconstruct this conversation:

in previous page
https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/south-china-sea-strategies-for-other-nations-not-china.t7302/page-217
we talked the Baltic Sea, if it is, or isn't, relevant for the SCS;
I thought it was somewhat relevant (as argued earlier May 24, 2018),
you appear to think it was irrelevant, fine;

then I reacted to your sentence

#2169 ougoah, Sunday at 5:45 PM
"The reason for the historic claims, and one difference here is, Vietnam and Philippines do not have any historic claims for those islands."

with Sunday at 6:00 PM
containing large chunk related to 'nam and Philippines;
your opening sentence then was

#2173 ougoah, Yesterday at 10:15 AM
"Your article only mentions Philippines and then you say "doesn't sound to me like Vietnam and Philippines had nothing", grouping Vietnam into this from an article that attempts to show Philippines' claim."

so I reiterated Yesterday at 8:02 PM (that's the post you quoted now)
and meant to say (by "... quit at this point ") I have quit reading right after that first sentence, after I had noticed you perhaps didn't read or dismissed the specifics of what I posted Sunday at 6:00 PM
plus because I noticed your verbiage containing "communism" in
#2174 ougoah, Yesterday at 10:33 AM


so? so I quit (again LOL), just wanted to tell you I absolutely didn't mean to say you should quit

cool?
Seems like a misunderstanding. I thought you were asking me to quit, not referring to you choosing to quit this line of conversation at that point. Okay I misinterpreted that.

As for the statement that we disagree on ie VN and PH have no historical claims. What I mean is neither of them discovered those islands and then documented those islands as having been uninhabited and then claimed sovereignty prior to 20th century and prior to French invasion of Vietnam. China does have historical records of having discovered many islands in these seas but of course this is more or less irrelevant today and Imperial China is not PRC but CCP inherited Imperial China and is the legitimate government after the KMT lost the civil war. Although Imperial China didn't officially claim sovereignty as far as I'm aware, at least there is far more evidence these islands were known to Chinese before VN and PH. I said that sentence with MANY disclaimers in my original post. Its purpose was to explain that there is a difference between Chinese history with those islands and VN and PH history which is non-existent unless you want to count 20th century politics but if one wants to look at 20th century politics and relate that to how VN and PH have better claim than China, well China is using the same 20th century politics (essentially taking by force).

I should add that China taking it by force is the only method for China to take those islands because it is doing so against the wishes of PH, VN, and USA, who shouldn't really be involved here but they are because it is strategically important for them to not let these islands and seas get under total Chinese control. If the USA were genuinely interested in human rights and getting rid of injustices around the world, they can start at home and in Africa and with their allies Saudi Arabia and Israel, all of them far more problematic and ill-behaved than the CCP. But many of those strategic friends are encouraged to continue their immoral behaviour. Stinks of a double standard that obviously indicates the USA's opposition to anything PRC (which is understandable).

Also if China weren't to use force to take it (seems like still the only way things get done these days), the other guys will. Chinese people have learned this the hard way several times in history. Better kill than be killed if those are the only choices given and it would be utterly stupid of CCP to believe there are other ways. Previous generations of leaders operated under the strategy of shelving all matters until China is wealthy and powerful enough to dictate diplomatic terms. This is a poor understanding of the modern world where there will always be powers that are more or less equal. A multipolar world is a good thing and will contain all major powers from seizing absolute control. China is just putting its foot down on a key strategic region. It will likely never have the means to become a colonial power in a world where such ideas can still exist.
 
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Jura

General
now noticed in Twitter
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The British Royal
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will carry out more
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freedom of navigation passages in the South
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Sea, says head of service ADM Sir Philip Jones. The Navy has an obligation to "showcase" physical support, he said.
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