Discussion in 'China' started by Oblaks, Jun 10, 2014.
SC justice says China's claim ‘a gigantic historical fraud’ | News | GMA News Online
Indeed, the whole thing is bogus.
"Playing Fort" in the South China Sea and Spratly Islands
The South China Sea is filling up with surreal ocean castles. Hundreds of miles from land, on rocks and spits of sand, structures of concrete and steel rise straight up out of the water and stand guard over empty, open water. Tiny specks of solid ground like Fiery Cross Reef, Len Dao Island and Ardasier Bank have been turned into miniature fortresses, built to withstand the sea more than any human enemy. Some are circular concrete towers; others are low concrete squares or wooden shacks on stilts. Surrounded by the sea, they are like little worlds all to themselves, inhabited by at most a few dozen marines or soldiers who step out their front door into the middle of the sea.
These strange, lonely structures are physical markers of the claims that China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia make on the Spratly Islands. The geopolitical contest for control of the South China Sea determines their very physical structure: wherever possible, these structures have a solid structural foundation on rocks or reefs, allowing the building nation to make a legal claim based on occupation of a geological structure that connects to surrounding undersea features.
Chinaâ€™s open-ocean garrisons are the most heavily fortified in the region. They are almost exclusively built of concrete that entirely covers the reefs and rocks theyâ€™re built on, equipped with powerful radars, helicopter pads and 40mm antiaircraft guns. At the other end of the spectrum, one Filipino garrison guards its reef from the rusting hulk of a WWII freighter run aground. The Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino outposts are scattered randomly onto as many reefs and atolls as they could occupy throughout the archipelago, reflecting the aggressive, zero-sum nature of these countriesâ€™ claims, while Malaysiaâ€™s outposts are confined to the sector of the Spratlys that Malaysia claims.
The very absurdity of building a minifortress on a semisubmerged rock hundreds of miles from land is indicative of how seriously these countries treat this dispute. The Spratlys dispute is about sovereignty, and these countries, just now finding their feet as nation-states and regional powers, are trying to demonstrate that they will go to any length to defend their sovereignty, even if it means fortifying a worthless, shifting sandbar with a force of five men. The reef outposts are objects of great nationalist pride, particularly among small but active groups of citizens. The Filipino and Vietnamese garrisons are partially supplied by civilian patriotic organizations.
All parties to the Spratly dispute are building up their presence in the region. Taiwan is reinforcing the islands it occupies, China is building an airfield on Johnson South Reef, the Philippines is holding large wargames in the area with the United States, and Vietnam has copied the Philippines and appointed a â€œmayorâ€ to symbolically administer the archipelago. Compared to the diplomacy around them, life in the outposts must be positively tranquil; while the politicians battle back and forth, the marines can just sit back and watch the bright blue waves break. Letâ€™s hope it stays that way. â€¨
"Playing Fort" in the South China Sea and Spratly Islands | The National Interest Blog
China plans artificial island in disputed Spratlys chain in South China Sea
The move indicates a shift from defence to offence in the East and South China seas
China is looking to expand its biggest installation in the Spratly Islands into a fully formed artificial island, complete with airstrip and sea port, to better project its military strength in the South China Sea, a Chinese scholar and a Chinese navy expert have said.
The planned expansion on the disputed Fiery Cross Reef, if approved, would be a further indication of China's change of tack in handling long-running sovereignty disputes from a defensive stance to an offensive one, analysts said. They said it was seen as a step to the declaration of an air defence identification zone.
The Philippines last month protested against China's reclamation activities at nearby Johnson South Reef, site of a 1988 skirmish between the Chinese and Vietnamese navies that was triggered by China's occupation of Fiery Cross Reef.
With recent developments in the South China Sea having again focused the international spotlight on China, the analysts warned reclamation at the Fiery Cross atoll - which China, the Philippines and Vietnam all claim - would further strain Beijing's relations with neighbours.
The proposal to build an artificial island there had been submitted to the central government, said Jin Canrong , a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. The artificial island would be at least double the size of the US military base of Diego Garcia, a remote coral atoll occupying an area of 44 square kilometres in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Jin added.
The reef currently houses Chinese-built facilities including an observation post commissioned by Unesco's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
Li Jie, a naval expert from the Chinese Naval Research Institute, said the expanded island would include the airstrip and port. After the expansion the island would continue to house the observation post and to provide military supplies and assistance, he said.
A retired People's Liberation Army senior colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the construction of a landing strip on Fiery Cross Reef would allow China to better prepare for the establishment of an air defence identification zone over the South China Sea.
Beijing's declaration of such a zone over the East China Sea in December prompted concerns among Southeast Asian countries that a similar arrangement could be imposed in the South China Sea.
Fiery Cross Reef, known as Yongshu in China, Kagitingan in the Philippines and Da Chu Thap in Vietnam, is close to sea lanes and could serve as a strategic naval staging post, said Alexander Neill, a Shangri-La Dialogue senior fellow.
Jin said consideration of whether and how to go ahead with the Fiery Cross Reef proposal would depend on progress on reclamation at Johnson South Reef.
"It's a very complicated oceanic engineering project, so we need to learn from the experience" on Johnson South, Jin said.
Late last month, renditions of a proposed artificial island were circulated among Chinese media. Citing a report posted on the website of the Shanghai-based China Shipbuilding NDRI Engineering, the Global Times said the unidentified artificial island could include a landing strip and a 5,000-tonne berth.
Zhang Jie, an expert on regional security with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China had long been researching island reclamation. Institutes and companies had drafted various designs over the past decade, said Zhang, adding that she had attended deliberation of one proposal years ago.
"We had the ability to build artificial islands years ago, but we had refrained because we didn't want to cause too much controversy," she said.
However, this year had seen a "turning point" in which Beijing appeared to be making more offensive moves in the area, said Zhang, citing the recent deployment of an oil rig to disputed waters near Vietnam.
"Building an artificial island can no doubt provide supplies to ships and oil rigs nearby, but this would also cause very severe negative impacts in the region."
Such moves, she added, would further deepen mistrust among China's neighbours and cause instability in the region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment.
China plans artificial island in disputed Spratlys chain in South China Sea | South China Morning Post
Imagine to what lengths China can go to bolster her bogus claim.
Historically speaking Mr @Ray human kind witnessed how Nazi regime rose to its peak and collapsed.
Chinese CCP is following the same path.
As far as India is concerned only worry is that how much damage will be caused to India during this process of strategic and economic battles.
The Chinese are learning from the Malaysians who did the same thing much earlier in the 90's by re-making and enlarging Swiftlet Island into both a military outpost and a tourist destination. Philippines and Vietnam protested then, but into deaf ears and I am sure it is the same situation now.
Subsequently, it became a cat and mouse game with Malaysia, Vietnam, and Philippines blowing up and removing each others national markers and replanting their own on the outlying islands. They have been arresting each other's fishermen ever since, even now.
China's problems is actually with Vietnam and Philippines but not Malaysia simply because Malaysia downplay the whole thing. It is still a territorial dispute but Malaysia jointly explore the resources there with China. It is just like the Senkaku islands, where Japan also have a dispute with Taiwan (Republic of China) but both can freely and jointly fish there. Likewise, Communist China do not have a problem with Taiwanese fishing in their territorial waters. So, it is just how they deal with the dispute.
You can make it a big problem and likewise a small problem too if you like. Yes, it is very hypocritical but that's geopolitics for you.
@jon88 re. Diaoyu (Senkaku) Japanese used to harass Taiwanese fishermen blatantly too off Diaoyu. It was after PRC (mainland) stepped up the pressure on Japan over E.China Sea that Japan had to ease tensions with Taiwan through a fishing agreement for fear that TW could join hands with PRC against Japan. So Taiwanese virtually free-load on PRC tactics.
As for Vietnam and the Philippines they basically follow what Lee Kwan Yew advised long ago "grab whatever possible before Chinese get assertive" over SCS. They're aware their days are numbered inevitably though emboldened by American "rebalancing" . Chinese reclamation and airstrip/dock buildup on Johnson South and Fiery Cross Reefs is an over 1,000km leap from Hainan Island and penetrates deep down south in overseeing navigation passage through SCS as Chinese "Diego Garcia" .
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