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South China Sea disputes

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Irviding
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#1

Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:36 AM

As of recently as I'm sure people have heard, the dispute over the South China Sea is getting worse as the days go on. Friends of mine in China say it's permeating the news every single day and that people there are getting anxious with the government for not more aggressively pursuing Chinese claims in the area.

Basically, the main belligerents are China and the Philippines at this time, though Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan, and even Indonesia are involved as well.

Here is a map of the claims for reference

user posted image

As you can see, it is China and the Philippines who are overwhelmingly claiming the most here. One would think that the Philippines would simply be muscled into giving up their claims due to their overwhelmingly weaker armed forces, but they are seeking aid from the US who are happy at this time to counter Chinese forces in Asia. President Obama called for a "pivot" in US foreign policy to Asia and is essentially containing Chinese growth of power.

Basically, while I do not think this is going to erupt into a war between major powers, it certainly brings up a few things here. Should the US respond to the Philippines requests for aid under the mutual defense treaty we have with them? Should China be contained at all by the international community for essentially muscling nations into giving it islands?

Leftcoast
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#2

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:43 PM

I strongly disagree with China's maritime policies and actions, I don't believe the US should be involved at this point in time. The US has enough issues at home and abroad at the moment.

I do want to point how greedy China looks on that map, that does piss me off something fierce.

sivispacem
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#3

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE (Leftcoast @ Thursday, Apr 26 2012, 21:43)
I do want to point how greedy China looks on that map, that does piss me off something fierce.

In relation to the Spratley Islands, out of all the possible belligerents I still cannot fathom what claim, if any, China and Taiwan have to any of the region. There's no close border (maritime, continental or otherwise), they never officially made any claim to them when they had garrisons on them in the 1930s and 1940s and even on that principal cannot claim to have inhabited them "first". It's totally absurd posturing.

OchyGTA
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#4

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

A similar situation occurred between China and Taiwan in the mid 1950's involving in an artillery barrage and the eventual occupation of the Matsu and Kinmen islands respectively. The Americans did come to the assistance of the Taiwanese government and in fact did threaten nuclear retaliation although this was in the height of the Cold War. I wouldn't expect any direct military involvement from the US at all, nor would I expect the Obama administration to make any effort to get involved as he seems to be an isolationist (in my view anyway) which seems strange for a democrat. Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. With regards to the Mutual Defence Treaty, don't be surprised if the American government ignore this as they did in the past with Taiwan.

The containment of China is a difficult one as you don't want to spark a reaction by condemning them to harshly. However, sitting back and doing nothing or very little may encourage them to do whatever they want as you could argue the Nazi's did in the build up to WW2. In my opinion, the US should make more of a deal of their Mutual Defence Treaty with the Philippines to try and discourage the Chinese and maybe threaten sanctions should they continue with an aggressive foreign policy.

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#5

Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

I'm kind of mixed with the argument. On the Philippines/USA's side; it's a really greedy claim by the Chinese. And the US would want to try and restrict the Chinese, like OuchyGTA said about the Nazis prior to WW2. But on the Chinese side; they have the military power over all them countries, why not use it to there advantage?

Overall, I'm supporting the USA, because it's greedy of China to try and take the sea right down to the Brunei and Malaysian coast.

Brad
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#6

Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Monday, Jun 17 2013, 10:02)
they have the military power over all them countries, why not use it to there advantage?

Do they, though? We see two theatres across the globe going through a power-shift and that is Europe and Asia. After the US' withdrawal of Afghanistan, it's strategic interest will shift towards the South China Sea. It's only really obvious as 1/3 of the world's maritime shipping pass through those waters. We're seeing an emergence in Japanese hard-power capability. Most notably, through Japan's participation in US' military exercises (see Dawn Blitz), Japanese forces are looking to cooperate and familiarize with the tactical applications of American military equipment and doctrine after relying on US hard power for quite a while. Another thing to consider is Vietnam's strategy - by reopening the Cam Ranh Bay (a deep harbour port to facilitate deep-sea vessels), Vietnam is merely inviting other navies into the area, especially India and the United States, merely inviting more capability for hard-power Far-east Asia.


As for China's claim, most of it is derived from the "Nine-dash-line", a loose boundary line outlining China's maritime claims in the South China Sea.

user posted image


The nine-dash-line was loosely based on the eleven-dash-line, drawn in 1947 by the ruling Kuomintang government without much strategic consideration, mainly due to the aftermath of dealing with Japanese occupation of China. The map, despite the lack of specific coordinates and measurement became the foundation for China's maritime claim. It was rekindled to the nine-dash-line to mitigate conflict with Vietnam in 1953. Thus, the new Chinese map was met with little resistance or complaint from its neighbouring countries due largely to the fact they were focussed on their own national strife for independence. Essentially, Beijing's interpretation of the silence in this territorial claim was seen as consent. With this being part-and-parcel of Beijing's claim for decades, lack of legal recognition for the nine-dash-line and the constant friction it produces, Beijing has little agility in moving away from its claim.

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#7

Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:48 AM

@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

sivispacem
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#8

Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:22 PM

QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

Brad
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#9

Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 18:22)
QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

This, basically. We're seeing the current Japanese government in the process of amending/removing Article 9 of it's constitution (a demonstration of a shift of strategy in Asia and counteracting Chinese foreign policy) which is essentially the crux of what makes the Japanese self-defence; where its quasi-pacifist foreign policy derives from. The main catalyst for breaking this more than half-a-century tradition is mainly in reaction to China's strategic policy in the Western pacific. Thus, China will be more than unlikely seeing a hegemony in the South China Sea and the greater Pacific region as it desires.

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#10

Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:41 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 18:22)
QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

Then why would China still insist on such greedy territorial claims? I'm still more curious as to why the hell they're claiming such substantial areas in the first place. Greed, perhaps?

sivispacem
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#11

Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Wednesday, Jun 19 2013, 18:41)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 18:22)
QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

Then why would China still insist on such greedy territorial claims? I'm still more curious as to why the hell they're claiming such substantial areas in the first place. Greed, perhaps?

You've got to remember the strategic context to the initial claims of territorial hegemony over the South China Sea. Many of the nations there were either existing colonies or emerging from colonial rule. Revolutionary China staked a claim partially as a response to the atrocities of the Japanese occupation, and partially to take advantage of weak national or colonial governments in surrounding nations. Personally I'd ignore China's rhetoric over the region; they lack both the capability and the desire to trade anything other than words over it; in fact their aggressive rhetoric only serves the purpose of trying to improve their position on the bargaining table.

Brad
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#12

Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jun 19 2013, 19:11)
QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Wednesday, Jun 19 2013, 18:41)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 18:22)
QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

Then why would China still insist on such greedy territorial claims? I'm still more curious as to why the hell they're claiming such substantial areas in the first place. Greed, perhaps?

You've got to remember the strategic context to the initial claims of territorial hegemony over the South China Sea. Many of the nations there were either existing colonies or emerging from colonial rule. Revolutionary China staked a claim partially as a response to the atrocities of the Japanese occupation, and partially to take advantage of weak national or colonial governments in surrounding nations. Personally I'd ignore China's rhetoric over the region; they lack both the capability and the desire to trade anything other than words over it; in fact their aggressive rhetoric only serves the purpose of trying to improve their position on the bargaining table.

Not only this but Beijing will want to keep strong on the issue as it wants to keep its population relatively content on Chinese foreign policy.

Irviding
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#13

Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:57 PM

QUOTE (Brad @ Thursday, Jun 20 2013, 04:49)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jun 19 2013, 19:11)
QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Wednesday, Jun 19 2013, 18:41)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 18:22)
QUOTE (KaRzY6 @ Tuesday, Jun 18 2013, 12:48)
@Brad
So you're saying that China doesn't have the military advantage?

Given that the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia all have existing and active military partnerships with the US and by proxy NATO, they don't. The desire to limit Chinese strategic power in the Western Pacific is a major uniting factor in their strategic policy.

Then why would China still insist on such greedy territorial claims? I'm still more curious as to why the hell they're claiming such substantial areas in the first place. Greed, perhaps?

You've got to remember the strategic context to the initial claims of territorial hegemony over the South China Sea. Many of the nations there were either existing colonies or emerging from colonial rule. Revolutionary China staked a claim partially as a response to the atrocities of the Japanese occupation, and partially to take advantage of weak national or colonial governments in surrounding nations. Personally I'd ignore China's rhetoric over the region; they lack both the capability and the desire to trade anything other than words over it; in fact their aggressive rhetoric only serves the purpose of trying to improve their position on the bargaining table.

Not only this but Beijing will want to keep strong on the issue as it wants to keep its population relatively content on Chinese foreign policy.

Definitely. Stoking anti-Japanese sentiments is certainly a good way for the Chinese government to maintain legitimacy.




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