China’s Active Defense Strategy Makes China Southeast Asian HegemonPosted: July 20, 2016
Reuters says in its report today titled “U.S. says its forces will keep operating in South China Sea”, “U.S. military forces will continue to operate in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson said on Wednesday during a visit to a Chinese naval base.”
Moreover, Reuters says in the report that during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Sydney, he “assured US key ally Australia there would be no retreat from Washington’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, regardless of who wins November’s presidential election.”
Australia has to be assured as China has begun regular combat air patrol of South China Sea with warplanes fully loaded with weapons.
US may still believe that China’s strategy is but A2/AD to prevent its enemy from entering the area near China to attack China but Australia does not. It knows what China’s active defense means especially when Chinese air force is conducting regular combat air patrol in the South China Sea.
As soon as a military conflict breaks out between the US and China, Chinese air force that is conducting its regular combat patrol may attack US bases in Australia with its air-to-ground long-range cruise missiles.
Now, US NCO Adm. Richardson has to keep US navy’s presence in the South China Sea and Biden has to assure Australia that US will maintain its pivot-to-Asia policy to transfer 60% of its military to Asia.
However, the pivot is degraded into protecting its allies instead of threatening China.
This blogger has repeatedly pointed out in his posts US lack of wisdom in transferring 60% of its military to Asia.
Is it wise to transfer 60% of US air force to its bases in Asia within the range of China’s intermediate ballistic missiles and strategic bombers?
Is it wise to transfer 60% of US aircraft carrier battle groups to the areas within the range of the large number of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles that China can launch from land, air, warships and submarines?
If the 60% is annihilated by China, will the US be able to deal with China’s growing navy and cut China’s trade lifelines in the oceans? The US will lose the capabilities China fears most: its powerful navy that is able to dominate the oceans.
Even if there is no military conflict between the US and China, is 40% of US military enough to deal with Russia and Iran for protection of US allies in Europe and the Middle East?
From the above we see how difficult it is for a declining United States to maintain its world hegemony and how easy it is for a rising China to have regional hegemony in Southeast Asia.
China has sought no hegemony whether in Asia or the world as it has claimed and reiterated. It only wants to defend its sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea. However the ruling of the arbitration US has instigated and the Philippines has filed has turned China into regional hegemon in Southeast Asia due to China’s strategy of active defense.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed below:
U.S. says its forces will keep operating in South China Sea
U.S. military forces will continue to operate in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson said on Wednesday during a visit to a Chinese naval base.
China has refused to recognize a ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated its vast territorial claims in the South China Sea and did not take part in the proceedings brought by the Philippines.
China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually.
China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have rival claims, of which China’s is the largest.
The United States has conducted freedom of navigation patrols close to Chinese-held islands, to Beijing’s anger, while China has been bolstering its military presence there.
Meeting Yuan Yubai, commander of the Chinese North Sea Fleet, Richardson “underscored the importance of lawful and safe operations in the South China and elsewhere professional navies operate”, the U.S. Navy said.
U.S. forces would keep sailing, flying and operating wherever international law allows, Richardson added.
“The U.S. Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, including in the South China Sea, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all. This will not change.”
Freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies in the South China Sea could end “in disaster”, a senior Chinese admiral said over the weekend.
State news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday that countries outside the region should stay out of the South China Sea issue lest they cause unwanted problems.
“Western countries have a long history of failing to establish orderly rule over parts of the world. The Middle East is a classic example,” it said.
Richardson said he was supportive of the deepening of relations between the U.S. and Chinese navies.
“But I will be continuously reassessing my support conditioned on continued safe and professional interactions at sea. In this area we must judge each other by our deeds and actions, not just by our words,” he added.
The United States has complained that Chinese aircraft and ships have performed “unsafe” maneuvers while shadowing U.S. ships and planes, particularly in the South China Sea.
Speaking in Sydney on Wednesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden assured key ally Australia there would be no retreat from Washington’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, regardless of who wins November’s presidential election.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)