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With the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague set to announce it's ruling on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea within days (or maybe West Philippine Sea if you are a Filipino), and China already claiming the tribunal has no jurisdiction and claiming they will ignore any findings, I am curious what people thing about this.


Do you think the United States has a legitimate interest in supporting the other claimants in the dispute? Do you take seriously China's threat of military action if the United States "interferes"? Do you think the risk is worth it if so? What should be done about the land reclamation and destruction of reefs they are doing, if anything?

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They certainly don't seem to care about international law at the moment. That is a bit worrying for those in the area. I'm afraid they haven't left themselves any way to retreat from this without massive embarrassment. Chinese don't seem to do embarrassment very well.

 

Shouldn't get out of hand unless someone makes a big mistake though. Unfortunately mistakes happen. Anyone see that missile Taiwan accidentally launched and hit a fishing boat?

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I personally think the US needs to ratify UNCLOS quickly. The biggest legitimate complaint that China has on this issue right now is that the US is pressuring it to follow a treaty that we haven't ratified. I find it a little hypocritical especially since we had a great deal of influence in crafting it, though not terribly so. We may not have ratified UNCLOS, but China did.

 

I don't like the sound of a lot of the complaints from the Chinese on this issue. It sounds a lot like Japan in the 1930s. The US and European powers ganging up on them to keep them from their rightful place in the global community. Rigging international law to serve us against them. I don't think this issue is anything like the Washington Treaty, but if they do we have to be sensitive to that. China is still really pissed about the humiliations of the Qing dynasty and ROC. We may look at China as a new superpower but they think they were the original, and would have remained so without the foreign interference . With the growing nationalism sentiment there it is a bad combination. Everyone thinks China won't push overly hard on this issue because they want to continue expanding into the global economy and community, but if they think that community is always going to be rigged against them they may decide to make their own rules. Like Japan did.

 

I half think the reason they were so pissed off about the suit the Philippines filed is simply because they don't have the fait accompli yet. In another couple years they could probably actually keep the US out of the SCS by force. Between their DF-21D and DF-26 missiles (which is what the THAAD in South Korea is actually all about, China is right about that), and advancements in aircraft and submarines, we won't be able to impose our will the way we always have. Or it will at least be a whole lot more risky.

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I left a few danglers in that last one hoping someone would pounce, but I guess I will keep discussing this topic with myself.

 

The Washington Treaty was actually extremely generous to Japan. There is no way in hell they could have built 3 tons of warship to every 5 of ours. In 1941 alone, before our shipyards went balls out, we launched more shipping than Japan did in the entire war. In an unrestricted naval arms race they would have been lucky to make a 10/1 ratio (more likely 20/1, and Yamamoto knew it). It wasn't the treaty itself but the communications with Japan that caused so much resentment. As you can imagine, telling their representatives "There is no way your little piss-ant island full of backwards slant eyed fishermen could possibly compete with a real industrial power, take what we gave you and go back to your shanty" didn't go over well. Those weren't the exact words of course, but that's how the Japs took it.

 

The THAAD is actually a legitimate defense platform against the NK missiles. I think there are a few other, cheaper systems that could have done the job just as well, but it will do the job. Those other systems don't include an X-band radar with a 2000+ Km range though. The missile component doesn't have anything to do with China, but we wanted the radar there so we would have better early warning and more detailed tracking on missiles out of the Chinese mainland. The anti ship ballistic missiles they are fielding scare the Navy to death. The Air Force doesn't like the new "Guam Killer" any better.

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  • 1 month later...

All three active heavy bombers types operating from Anderson AFB now.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-air-force-3-bombers-pacific-2016-8

 

It's warming up. WTF is China thinking about these days? They act like they want to go ahead and fight a war with us and Japan. Even with the ruskies they don't have the marbles.

 

P.S. I wish we had sold the F-22 to Japan and kept the program going with the revenue.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Obama isn't going to shit about it. He'll just bury his head in the sand like he always does. He's much more concerned with bullshit issues like climate change than he is about foreign affairs, especially now that he is (thankfully) on his way out.

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That Duterte is a whole new kind of dumbass. He calls the one person on the entire planet with the power, influence and will to broker their territorial disputes favorably a "son of a whore". Now Obama seems to have taken it personally and Duterte is looking to suck lots of Chinese dick for the next few decades.

 

We are shedding historically close allies at an alarming rate. Now we are advertising Japan as our partner in the region, how long till they kick us off Okinawa?

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So, the clown must have got a sniff of the unequal treaty the Chinese are looking for and is trying to back track.

 

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/09/21/1625911/we-need-us-south-china-sea-duterte

 

This is the kind of thing I worry about with a Trump presidency. Shooting from the hip without putting any thought at all into it. The comment section is very interesting. All the same complaints you here about Trump.

 

I find it interesting that nobody (including the media for the most part) seems to be paying much attention to the SCS right now. We are closer to the start of a major war than we have been in a long time and that is the hotspot, not the middle east. One bad day and the top 4 military powers in the world are shooting at each other.

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Marc, I do find the SCS a fascinating geo-political subject, and have put a lot of time into reading about it, the Spratly Islands and so forth.

That being said, although it can be considered a 'hot spot' so to speak, we are just not closer to a major war than "we have been in a long time" over the SCS. It's just not gonna happen man, and especially not involving the US. This has been in dispute since basically WW2 and it's never amounted to anything. Sorry dude.

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If a war starts in the SCS it automatically involves the U.S. For lots of reasons, primarily the mutual defense treaty with the Philippines.

 

I agree that a war with China is not likely in the short term. But when you consider that China's stated national goals (which they don't seem willing to back away from) require them to invade the sovereign territory of a nation we are treaty bound to protect (and not like that weak ass Ukraine "assurance"), war is inevitable unless the situation is resolved politically. Throw in the leader of that ally being highly destabilizing and the odds get way higher than they should be. Still probably not even %10 chance in the next 5 years unless China starts dicking around with Scarborough Shoal or trying to enforce an ADIZ.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

China is going to wrap this thing up pretty quick. Philippines. Malaysia. Dominoes are falling. The TPP getting the shitcan I think is having a lot to do with it.

 

I really wish people would pay attention to something besides our local clusterfuck.

 

One destroyer sailing beyond the 12 mile limit in an "innocent passage" is not standing up to China. People are starting to figure that out. They are picking the team with balls. Screw international law if there is nobody to enforce it.

 

Like usual, it will get to a shooting war before anyone in the US will pay attention.

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Because it is, really, a non-issue as far as US-China relations go. Alarmist nonsense aside, China and the US can't afford war. The economic ties are enough to ensure MAD without the nukes being involved.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is what we have in store. Stupid un-calculated decisions made on the fly without having any idea of the consequences.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-duterte-idUSKBN1352QM

 

Duterte is honoring the defense treaties with the US but he wants all foreign troops out of the Philippines by the end of his term. So we are still on the hook to defend his nation but we can't train our troops there with the locals. He has no clue how much work has gone into making the US-Philippines able to operate together militarily. He has no idea how this works.

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So, now that all our allies in the region have begun to align themselves economically and military with China we start threatening a blockade of all things. I discounted Tillerson's statement at first. They doubled down.

 

This kind of threat is 3-5 years late to work without shots fired.

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Because it is, really, a non-issue as far as US-China relations go. Alarmist nonsense aside, China and the US can't afford war. The economic ties are enough to ensure MAD without the nukes being involved.

I don't think big nations are ever warring ever again. It's new world order time. The violence will come from fighting terrorism, and oh it's not done by a long shot

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