Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sommer Brokaw — Mattis warns of future aggression to Chinese militarization

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Saturday there could be an aggressive U.S. response to China's military presence in the South China Sea.
Mattis warned there could be "much larger consequences" in the future from China's installation of weapons on disputed islands, the Wall Street Journal reported....
Mattis warns of future aggression to Chinese militarization
Sommer Brokaw

See also
Adam Garrie, a political writer and activist, made the remarks in reaction to US President Donald Trump’s pick for the next American ambassador to South Korea, Admiral Harry Harris who said on Wednesday that while North Korea continues to pose the most imminent threat to the US, China's still remains the biggest long-term challenge that Washington is faced with....
Garrie emphasized that the US “is very good at destroying countries that cannot defend themselves but very poor at destroying countries that can.” Therefore, because the US cannot directly attack China because of its defensive capabilities, Washington provokes Beijing around its periphery, he concluded....
Press TV (Iran)
US provoking China on its periphery: Analyst

China has branded as "irresponsible" US comments that it is intimidating its neighbours with its military deployment in the South China Sea.
A top Chinese general said China had the right to deploy troops and weapons "on its own territory"....
Gen He said Beijing's deployments were part of a policy of "national defence", adding: "They are for the purpose of avoiding being invaded by others....
Red lines being drawn.

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks 'irresponsible' US comments

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In reality, China’s goals are clear. Beijing seeks to confirm its sovereignty over a Sea on its maritime border for the same purposes that in the 1920s, the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ataturk sought to confirm the same status over the Turkish Straits. In 1841, the western powers effectively bullied Turkey into signing the London Straits Convention which while confirming the Ottoman Empire’s sovereignty over the Straits, also prohibited any warships other than Ottoman ships from passing through the straits during war time. This had the desired effect of provoking further hostilities between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, all the while British and French ships had open access to all sides of the Mediterranean. 
After the First World War, the victorious western powers attempted to remove Turkish sovereignty over the Turkish Straits by making them an international zone under no one state’s authority. Ataturk refused and as a result the 1936 Montreux Convention allowed for all nations with ports on the Black Sea to pass through the Turkish Straits in times of war or peace while foreign ships would be banned in war time. It is this convention which continues to govern the status of the Turkish Straits to this day.
In The South China Sea, Beijing wants essentially what Turkey wanted and got in the age of Ataturk. China has no desire to close the South China Sea to the wider world, let alone the ASEAN countries who contest sovereignty over parts of the Sea. Instead, China seeks to use its military might and traditional role as the major power of the region in order to ensure that foreign provocations from powers who do not border the Sea are not able to effectively colonise the South China Sea as the western powers attempted to colonise the Turkish Straits in the early 20th century.
The dominance of US ships in the important Strait of Malacca which links the Asia-Pacific region to the Indian Ocean, has only further served to convince China of the importance of staking its sovereign claims to the South China Sea. Thus, the dispute has nothing to do with what the US deceptively calls “freedom of navigation” but has everything to do with China making sure that in a time of war, it is not a distant foreign superpower that controls crucial sea routes which border China….
The geopolitics and geostrategy of the South China Sea in a nutshell. Ergo, this is a red line for China. Is it a red line for the US, too? That will decide whether there is war.
Eurasia Future
There is One Clear Aggressor in The South China Sea and It Isn’t China
Adam Garrie

See also
Are the U.S. and China “destined for war“? Harvard professor Graham Allison posed that question in a provocative book published last summer. I’ve written previously in this space about Allison’s thesis, but it seems newly relevant in light of developments over the last month, if not the last few days.
The gist of Allison’s argument is that the modern world’s two most powerful nations are stumbling into a “Thucydides Trap.” That’s Allison’s shorthand for the theory of an ancient Greek general who identified sudden, significant shifts in the relative strength of major powers as a primary cause (if not the primary cause) of military conflict. Thucydides, considered by many the world’s first true historian, floated the idea in his chronicle of the Peloponnesian Wars, the series of devastating conflicts between the two most powerful Greek city states, Athens and Sparta, in the fifth century BCE. Thucydides posited that, whatever superficial frictions and flashpoints might be blamed for hostilities between the two sides, the underlying cause of war was the frustration of leaders in the rising power, Athens, and the fear the growing strength in Athens inspired among leaders of the established power, Sparta.
Allison sees the same dynamic in conflicts between a rising England versus the Dutch Republic in the 17th century, a rising Germany versus Britain in the early 20th century, and a rising Japan versus the United States in the 1940s. In his book he argues that Thucydides’ theory perfectly explains the growing animosity between the U.S. and China. Allison doesn’t say war between the U.S. and China is inevitable. But he does argue that, “on the current trajectory, war between the U.S. and China in decades ahead is not just possible, but more likely than currently recognized.”
Allison expanded on those ideas in an appearance at the Asia Society here in Hong Kong in late April. He got a big laugh by observing that, if Hollywood were to produce a “Thucydides Trap” movie depicting the clash of the modern era’s two great powers, Central Casting couldn’t have contrived more perfect antagonists than Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. (Alec Baldwin, call your agent!) The line stuck with me, though, because in the weeks since, the two leaders have seemed to be reading almost line-for-line from the Thucydides script....
This is the chief reason, among many others, that the Chinese leadership chose to consolidate leadership in Xi Jinping. The other major reason is Xi's overarching vision for the future of China set forth as "Xin Jinping Thought" and formally institutionalized as guiding policy.

Are the U.S. and China "Destined for War"?Clay Chandler

1 comment:

Konrad said...

China is flexing its military and industrial muscle in the South China Sea, and there is little the Empire can do about it. That’s why the Empire is continually whining.

Why is the South China Sea so important?

[1] It is the second most used sea lane in the world, carrying over $3 trillion in trade each year. Over 50% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage passes through the Strait of Malacca, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait.

[2] The South China Sea has proven oil reserves of around 7.7 billion barrels, plus another 20.3 billion barrels estimated. China has been drilling for oil there since 2014.

[3] The South China Sea has natural gas reserves of around 266 trillion cubic feet.

[4] The South China Sea has fisheries that are crucial for the food security of millions in Southeast Asia. Fish stocks in the area are depleted, and countries are using fishing bans to assert their sovereignty claims. Fishing fleets from Vietnam and the Philippines have invaded Indonesia's maritime waters, leading to Indonesia seizing and sinking Philippine and Vietnamese vessels.

[5] The South China Sea is hotly contested by many nations, of which China is by far the strongest.

The area is so sensitive that when the U.S. military accidentally destroyed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the South China Sea (8 March 2014; 239 people murdered, 64% of which were Chinese nationals) the Empire pretenedd that the jetliner simply vanished in the night sky without a trace.

“The U.S. very good at destroying countries that cannot defend themselves. but very poor at destroying countries that can.” ~ Adam Garrie

Yes, and this is why the USA keeps building aircraft carriers. They are useful for bombarding small and defenseless nations. However, carriers would be sitting ducks in an actual war with China or Russia, because of today’s missile technology.