China Stupid in Opposing US Freedom of Navigation OperationsPosted: August 1, 2016 | |
The above map shows the millions of square nautical miles of exclusive economic zones demarcated by the US and Japan in the oceans will be lost due to their support of the Hague arbitration ruling on Philippines’ South China Sea dispute with China.
Bloomberg Business Weekly points out that in its article on July 28. In the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, there are no clear definitions of island that is entitled to a 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone around it and rock that is not. However, the ruling has made the strict definition that an island shall be able to sustain human habitation or economic life of its own. According to such definition, most of the islands around which the US and Japan have claimed exclusive economic zones are but rocks that are not entitled to such zones. As a result the US and Japan will suffer greatly themselves by their attempt to hurt China.
The US and Japan have instigated the Philippines to file the arbitration China and called for respecting its ruling in order to deprive China of the sea area claimed by China within its nine-dash line or at least cause China to suffer great damage to its reputation if China reject the arbitration and its ruling. However, China has utterly rejected the arbitration and its ruling but suffered no damage to its reputation as only seven countries including the US and Philippines want to respect the ruling.
The ruling certainly does not constitute a legal precedent but by supporting it, but by respecting it, the US and Japan have to give up to millions of nautical miles of exclusive economic zones that they have illegally claimed around rocks. (The article can be viewed at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-07-28/u-s-japan-and-other-nations-could-lose-exclusive-economic-zones.)
The arbitration is a measure that the United States has adopted to contain China but is stupid and may finally hurt the US if the US keeps on upholding it.
However, I am not surprised by such stupidity as the US has adopted quite a few measures to contain China that have been proved ineffective and stupid. As a Chinese, I certainly know some better and wise ways to contain China, but due to my patriotism, I will not make them public.
China surprises me with its stupidity in opposing US freedom of navigation though it has been wise in countering US pivot to Asia and quite successful in:
1. Winning over Russia to its side as its de factor ally with the following benefits:
1) Obtaining the most advanced weapons from Russia such as Su-35 fighter jets, S-400 air defense system and advanced technology such as those for building large aircraft and helicopter through joint ventures with Russia;
2) Using Russia’ influence to prevent India and Vietnam from becoming too close to the US;
3) Getting energy supply from Russia at preferential terms; and
4) Establishing land, railway and road connections to Europe, Africa and the Middle East through Russia and pro-Russia Central Asia;
2. Conducting intensive arms race with the US as soon as the US began its pivot to Asia to contain China. As a result, China has developed and made enough weapons to resist the US if the US attacks it;
3. Building seven large artificial islands with three large airports to fully exploit its geographical advantages in resisting the US. If it has deployed enough weapons on the islands, there is no hope for the US to win a war near China;
4. Having the vision to know US trick to use Philippines’ arbitration on South China Sea disputes to hurt China’s sovereignty, rights and interests to the South China Sea and China’s reputation in the world for rejecting the arbitration ruling. China has reject the arbitration and its ruling from the very beginning and been making great efforts to justify its rejection to protect its reputation, resulting in the US only have six countries to support his calls for respecting the ruling; and
5. Successfully conducting its Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road initiative to ensure its connection to Europe, the Middle East and Africa by railways, roads and pipelines so that the US cannot stifle China by cutting its trade lifelines through the Indian Ocean.
However, China’s trade routes through the Pacific Ocean to North and South Americas will be cut by US dominant navy. That is an increasingly serious problem as China has substantial and fast growing trade with those areas.
It is rare but true that China and the US are competing with each other in stupidity, but now they are precisely doing so over the issue of freedom of navigation.
US freedom of navigation operations near China’s artificial islands give China the excuse to deploy weapons on its artificial islands; therefore, China shall welcome such operations.
However, that is not the most serious consequence of US freedom of navigation operations. They are in fact a trap set by the US. The US will fall in the trap later and find itself miserable; therefore, I regard such US freedom of navigation operations as the most stupid things that the US has ever done.
Freedom of navigation benefits the US now as with such freedom its navy can sail wherever it needs to impose US dominance all over the world. Other countries, though allowed freedom of navigation near the US do not have strong navy to sail near US coast to threaten US homeland.
Such being world military situation, the US is wise to advocate freedom of navigation.
However, the US is now declining and no longer able to maintain the strongest and richest nation in the world for a few years to come. China has and will have resources to develop a navy rival to US navy.
As a result, when Chinese navy is strong enough, it can take advantage of the freedom of navigation to cruise near US homeland.
That seems not possible within a few decades as China lags far behind the US in aircraft carrier technology and perhaps will not be able to catch up within three decades.
But aircraft carriers as advanced and expensive as what the US is developing and building are obsolete. As I point out in my book “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.” China shall develop aerospace bomber to obtain the integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense Chinese President Xi Jinping wants. Such a bomber can sink an entire aircraft carrier battle group in minutes.
Aerospace bomber and advanced aircraft carrier are too difficult to build and will take a long time for China to develop.
However, China has the technology, shipbuilding capacity, financial resources to build float artificial islands and good conventional aircraft carriers and submarines now. As the islands and conventional carriers and submarines are much cheaper than nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines, China can easily afford the costs.
In my post “China to Dominate the Oceans with Its Float Artificial Islands” on July 13, I said according to US calculation in planning the construction of a 1,500 km x 1,500 km float artificial island, such an island plus two aircraft carriers has the capabilities of five aircraft carriers.
I said in my post:
With 300 to 400 warplanes on an artificial island and most importantly the AEW&C aircrafts based on the island, China needs only two conventional aircraft carriers for the island to control a vast area of ocean with a radius of at least 2,500 km (J-20’s range of 2,000+ km plus J-15’s 500 km). If China uses J-11B as carrier-based fighter jets with range exceeding 1,000 km, the area a float artificial island controls will be even larger.
Moreover, China may have much more powerful radar on the island than on warships. As a result, two float artificial island battle groups, each consisting of one float island, two conventional aircraft carrier battle groups and a dozen of conventional submarines will be able to protect China’s trade lifelines in the Pacific. Its conventional aircraft carriers and submarines will be able to operate far away from Chinese homeland like nuclear ones if supported by float artificial islands.
What about a third and fourth float artificial island battle group cruising around US coast? Those battle groups will all be carrying out freedom of navigation operations advocated by the US! They may be a threat to US homeland security but the US shall not oppose since it advocates freedom of navigation.
Moreover, in peacetime, float artificial islands have income from tourism and the exploitation of fishing and other natural resources while nuclear aircraft carrier groups and submarines are very expensive to operate and maintain.
This blogger believe that when China has successfully developed tourism, fish farming and natural resource exploitation on its artificial islands in the South China Sea, it will have sufficient experience to build float artificial islands for civilian purposes with the hidden goal of turning them into military bases.
Due to the above analysis, I believe Adm. Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of PLA general staff, was stupid in saying US freedom of navigation operation might end up in disasters.
Yes, US freedom of navigation operations seems to humiliate China so that Adm. Sun responded so strongly. However, it is not humiliation if China also advocates such freedom for its future freedom to threaten US homeland with its float artificial island battle groups.
In that perspective, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was wise in advocating freedom of navigation in China’s agreement with ASEAN (see Reuters report “Diplomatic win for China as ASEAN drops reference to maritime court ruling” on July 25).
However, the freedom of navigation that Wang Yi has agreed may be civilian freedom not in contradiction with Adm. Sun’s opposition to the freedom of navigation of US warships in China’s territorial waters. Sun shall withdraw his opposition while Wang shall make clear the freedom of navigation he has agreed include the freedom of navigation for warships.
Article by Chan Kai Yee on freedom of navigation and float artificial island. For China’s design of float artificial island, readers can view my post “Photos of Modules of Artificial Island China Plans to Build in Oceans” dated July 28, 2015.