South China Sea disputes: China Advances, US RetreatsPosted: April 24, 2017
SCMP says in its report “China’s coastguard staking claim to contested reefs in South China Sea” today that China has intensified patrols of the sea area claimed by it within its nine-dash line. It said, “These South China Sea claims were also denied by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague last July” to hint that China is wrong in carrying out such patrols.
However, SCMP seems to forget that after the arbitration award China sent its air force to conduct combat patrol of the area it claims with its best fighter jets and bombers. The US sent two aircraft battle groups to force China to accept the arbitration award, but China responded with its firm resolution to fight a war to protect its rights and interests in the South China Sea.
Patrol by coast guard vessels are really not worth mentioning compared with combat patrol by advanced warplanes.
The US is wise not to fight China in the South China Sea as China has geographical advantages there especially when it has built large artificial islands with three airports there.
Moreover, Obama and Hillary Clinton created trouble in the South China Sea in order but to contain China. The US has no interests there for it to fight a war with a military power.
Trump’s priority is to bring jobs back home and make the US great. He certainly will not waste US resources in a conflict that will not benefit the US.
Other claimants may be unhappy with China’s patrols in the disputed areas but who shall they blame? The Philippines that filed the arbitration, the arbitration court that gave an entirely unacceptable arbitration award and the US that instigated the arbitration but has failed to enforce the arbitration award.
We see the stupidity of the arbitration. Without the arbitration, China did not actively patrol the disputed area, but after the arbitration that utterly denies China’s rights and interests, unless China is weak and easily bullied as it was a century ago, it will certainly advance into the area. Without sufficient military power to counter China’s advance, the US can do nothing but avoid military conflict with China there no matter who is US president.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2089962/chinas-coastguard-staking-claim-contested-reefs-south.