China’s Islands Building Wins in South China Sea and Then in Pacific


Modules of China’s planned super large floating island

On May 12, Ely Ratner, the Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow in China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, published an article along with Samir Kumar titled “The United States Is Losing Asia to China” .

I posted my comment on the article on June 14 titled “Why the United States Is Losing Asia to China?” to make my analysis of the reasons why the US has been losing Asia. I point out that the US has lost due to its own problems and that China has done nothing to grab Asian leadership from the US.

Unhappy with US loss, Mr. Ratner published another article on Foreign Affairs on June 13 titled “Course Correction: How to Stop China’s Maritime Advance” to give US government his advices on the measures that the US shall adopt to stop China’s advance in exerting full control of the South China Sea, including revival of Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the adoption of some other measures with similar effects to TTP to put an end to ASEAN countries economic dependence on China and providing weapons and military support for them to stand up against China in the South China Sea.

Such measures will certainly be economic burdens too heavy for a hard-up US to bear. In the final analysis, however, Mr. Ratner does not want such US efforts to result in a war with China. He believes that such measures will force China to retreat as China fears a war with the US.

He simply does not understand the Chinese dream that Chinese President Xi Jinping has used to overcome the serious split between conservatives and reformists and make China a united nation.

Chinese people cherish the Chinese dream due to their memory of China’s misery of being bullied by foreign powers for nearly a century. They want the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation to make China strong to be able to resist foreign bully, which now comes from the US, the only hegemon in the world now.

In 1947, China published its map with an 11-dash line (9-dash now) encircling most of the South China Sea to show its historical claim. The map in fact means that the South China Sea is China’s lake. The US did not oppose as at that time China was very weak and depended on US support for its claim. At that time, China’s lake means America’s lake for US politicians and military.

Unfortunately, there has been regime change and China’s unexpected rise. Now China has grown so strong that it can claim the lake on its own strength. The US can no longer dominate Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. Ratner believes that such loss means US loss of Asia.

In fact, in spite of its ambition, the US has never had Asia. North and Central Asia was parts of the Soviet Union and now Russia and areas under Russian influence. South Asia especially India is under Russian influence. US influence in Pakistan has long been replaced by China. Pakistan now regards itself as China’s closes brother.

To further west, the US lost Iran long ago and now has Iran as its dead enemy. The US is losing the Middle East possibly to Islamic extremists but not to China.

Therefore, Mr. Ratner’s statement that the US is losing Asia to China merely reflects US impudence and fear of a rising China. China cannot have Asia even if the US does not exist in the world. How can China take Russia, India or Japan? China simply shall not have the ambition to take them. China shall take care of its own people and have no ambition for world hegemony.

However, due to Chinese people’s dream for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, they will fight to resist foreign bully no matter how strong the bully is.

China’s posture to fight was shown very clear in Chinese navy chief Adm. Wu Shengli’s meeting with his US counterpart. We have a photo of Wu pointing his finger at his US counterpart when he was told to respect Hague arbitration award that entirely denies China’s historical rights and interests. China conducted large-scale military drill around the time when the award was declared and began combat patrol of the South China Sea immediately after that.

What was US response at that time? It simply dare not respond militarily but only declared that it would maintain its naval presence in the South China Sea.

I said repeatedly in my posts that with geographical advantages, especially the seven large artificial islands with three airports, China has full control of the South China Sea and made it China’s lake as it has claimed long ago.

China can deploy at least 600 fighter jets on the three airports of the artificial islands. There are in addition land-based fighter jets on Chinese coast that may join the fight through refueling as China’s J-20s will have air supremacy. The US only has 10 aircraft carriers but cannot send all of them to fight as they are so sophisticated as to need long-term overhaul periodically so that only two third of them can be in service. As a result, the US can only send a maximum of 7 carriers with at most 560 fighter jets to deal with more than 1,000 land- and island-based Chinese fighter jets.

Chinese fighter jets are now as good as US ones.

They say Chinese pilots lack the experience in fighting modern war. So are US pilots. They have never had any air battles with advanced air force. They have defeated Iraqi air force much inferior to them and can have gained no experience they need in fighting China’s air force.

In an emergency, land based fighter jets can land on Chinese expressways when Chinese airports are damaged but carrier-based fighter jets in the South China Sea can only fall into the sea or land on Chinese airports to be captured by China.

Moreover, artificial islands are large and can deploy the best air defense and anti-ship missiles and rocket artillery to destroy entire US attacking navy. China has built islands to not only defeat US aircraft carrier battle groups but also prevent US submarines from attacking China with submarine-launched missiles.

China’s strategy of island building is much better than US strategy of carrier building.

Artificial islands can be used as fishing and mining bases and can even generate income as tourist resorts. US navy has conducted a research and proved that one floating island and two aircraft carriers have the capabilities of five carriers.

I can safely predict that China can dominate the Pacific if it has built three floating islands and six aircraft carriers and deploy them in the Pacific. China’s Silk Road economic belt initiatives have enabled it to have land routes to Europe and the Middle East through Russia, Central Asia and Pakistan so that it has no need to deploy its navy in the Indian Ocean. Its three floating islands and six carriers with capabilities of 15 carriers are more than enough to protect its trade lifelines in the Pacific against US navy that can deploy at most only 7 carriers.

Moreover, China is able to build nuclear submarines better than US ones and have built a plant able to build four nuclear submarines simultaneously. The US only has the capacity to build two. Even so, it has funding problem to maintain such scale of construction.

The US is not capable to stop China’s control of the South China Sea. Mr. Ratner had better worry about the Pacific than the South China Sea.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Affairs’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-06-13/course-correction.

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17 Comments on “China’s Islands Building Wins in South China Sea and Then in Pacific”

  1. […] “China’s Islands Building Wins in South China Sea and Then in Pacific” […]

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  2. Simon says:

    USS Fitzgerald just been rammed by a Fillipino cargo ship and needed to be towed. Apparently America’s finest with all its so call cutting edge radars has failed to detect a 770ft container ship in calm sea and just folded like a coke can when impacted. No other navies in the world suffer that kind of embarrasing episode and the Yanks has the cheek to accuse the Chinese military of unprofessionalism when intercepting American navy and airforce. Throwing stones while living in glass houses that what Yanks are really about.

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  3. free okin says:

    China should build a few mobile floating platforms to guard the Bashi Channel (even anchor FON on Scarborough Shoal which will drive US berserk) , East PH Sea, Sulu Sea where US subs will most likely hide. The Bashi Channel is particularly important to detect US, Japanese subs in particular from entering the South China Sea.

    These mobile floating platforms should be capable of very long duration, lightly manned, full of drones, helios, Haiyan UUV’s to conduct ASW and also equipped with mini subs like the Swedish Gotland to track US subs. Possible teethered aerostats to expand the range of detection of subs and even stealth jets if equipped with UHF antennas. Each of these Mobile Floating Platform to guard a 500 NM radius to deny US/Japanese any advantage in the South China Sea.

    Just play Forward Defense and US and Japanese ‘exercises, freedom of navigation’ will be forced to stop or go further away as forward monitoring will make them uncomfortable, like RIMPAC exercise as they fear giving intel about their operations away to the China.

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    • Red Flag says:

      “They say Chinese pilots lack the experience in fighting modern war. So are US pilots. They have never had any air battles with advanced air force. They have defeated Iraqi air force much inferior to them and can have gained no experience they need in fighting China’s air force.”

      The reality is that the Chinese military observed how easily the Iraqi military, which at the time was the fourth largest in the world, was quickly defeated and decided to undertake a serious upgrade of their forces to avoid the same fate in the event of a war with the United States.

      China has since worked hard to modernize its forces. But even with the Chinese policy of “imitative innovation,” they still lag far behind in important areas. More seriously for China the world has come to recognize China as a emerging peer power and begun to take them seriously.

      Sadly if war broke out today China would suffer the same fate as Iraq in 1991.

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      • Simon says:

        Well come and have a go with you think you are hard enough!

        Like the way China rubbed America’s nose in the dirts in the Korean war when China was far behind militarily. America today cannot even take on North Korea without risking heavy causualties what chance do they have against China? None.
        Don’t forget Iraqi forces did not have nuclear weapons, poorly trained trained conscript force and militarily inaffective.

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      • chankaiyee2 says:

        Where do you get the idea of China’s “imitative innovation”

        Are China’s quantum satellite, nuclear submarine better than the US, aerospace plane much more advanced than the US, etc. imitative?

        Better not showing your ignorance to become a laughing stock.

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        • Red Flag says:

          Question: “Is China’s quantum satellite really something?”

          Answer: Russia beat the United States into space with the first orbital satellite, and the first man in space. Yet when it was all said and done, the Americans beat the Russians to the moon. China needs to remember that it is who crosses the finish line first rather than who starts the race first.

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          • Steve says:

            Do u understand what u are saying.? U said ‘China needs to remember that it is WHO Crosses the line FIRST rather than WHO Starts FIRST.’

            Well, China did not start first in Quantum Communication Research and guess what Boof.

            China is now the FIRST COUNTRY in the World to establish photon entanglement at a distance of more than 1,200 kilometres, paving the way for ultarsecure, long distance quantum communication. The previous record was only 100km. In other words, China crossed the line FIRST and FOREMOST.

            Also, China did not start first with hypersonic delivery research. China is now the FIRST COUNTRY with hypersonic delivery at Mach 10. In other words, China crossed the LINE FIRST and FOREMOST.

            U are very narrow minded and prejudice against China, a land of great historical culture, discoveries and latest scientific innovation.

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          • chankaiyee2 says:

            Pentagon regards it as something, but you do not. Remain so ignorant as you like and perhaps luckily for you the US will finish the line first like it did in the 1960s when it has much greater financial resources than the Soviet Union. I regret to tell you that the US is now hard up and cannot afford building a new space station jointly with Russia while China is now building the world’s only space station alone.

            Certainly as a whole China still lags behind the US in space technology, but that does not mean it lags behind the US in each and every space technology. Perhaps you have not read about China’s Beidou navigation system more accurate than US GPS or China’s anti-ASAT satellites that the US does not have.

            I am sorry to give you information to make you unhappy as you want so earnestly that China remains backward. However, what I tell you is the truth. It is not made up by me to please pro-Beijing people or upset pro-US people.

            There is too much to tell you to make you sad. For example, China has made better accelerator while the US has to close its best accelerator due to lack of funds; China has developed third-generation nuclear reactors, some of which is so small as to be installed on an aircraft; China has built a thousand-km-long multi-node quantum communication network while the US has only a two-node network linking Pentagon and White House, etc., etc.

            Do not weep. Do not have difficulty to fall asleep at night, good boy. There will be much more such unhappy news for you. You have to get used to it.

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          • James says:

            My advice to you red flag – try to learn something from this blog. Instead of showing your ignorance and prejudice, perhaps shutting up and reading other contributors here may smarten you up.
            It is unfortunately an inconvenient truth for someone like you. China is on the ascent and the US is in terminal decline.
            It’s time to draw the white flag and you will sleep better.

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          • Joseph says:

            You know, we can see the Russian achievement in putting the first man in space and in building first orbital station. But we cannot see the proof of the American landing in the moon but a few grainy footage of American flag ‘swiveling’ on the supposedly atmospher-less environment. Even the many Americans doubt it was nothing but studio footage. But with the today’s advanced satellite imaging technology, why would NASA kept the moon coordinate of the landing site a secret? They would not even let their Japanese ally who flew imaging satellite there to photograph it from orbit. What does NASA have to hide? Could It be the moon landing was really a fake?
            ‘Is China’s quantum satellite really something?’ I guess you can go to college to really learn something about it. College if far more credible than YouTube. That’s only if you’re even qualified to go to science college. Most Americans I know only qualified to enter art college.

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          • Fugu says:

            The Americans beat the Russians to the moon? Really? Current global belief is that the Americans never went to the moon in the first place. It was just a Hollywood production. If anything, it looks like a Chinese will become the first man on the moon. And jealousy ridden hubristic Westerners are not going to like that one bit. Especially the “presstitute” medias, Pentagon, “Deepstate” and oligarchic controlled neocons who are now in quandary, since like the boy who cried “wolf”, no one is ready to believe any claims they make nowadays. So, what will “Atlantis” do to “Lemuria”? Destroy them like they eons ago and suffered a catastropic destruction themselves in turn?

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      • Joseph says:

        General Big Mac said the same thing when he decided to cross Yalu River into Chinese territory in the Korean War. Sadly for general Big Mac when he planned to be home for Christmas in 1950, that the Chinese forces did not suffer the same fate as the Japanese. The American forces were. Kicked out so far from Yalu River in the north to Jeju Island in the south, Bic Mac’s ‘iconic’ Inchon Landing failed to become another Normandy. In the end Big Mac did go home, to beg American congress for Atomic bombs and got fired in the process.
        The problem with you is you read to much of that analysis craps along with fake news. Iraq was the fourth largest military? How the American was desperate to look good. Iran and Singapore had larger military than Saddam Hussein ever had. China’s policy for ‘immitative innovation’? Another clueless Western analysis? No wonder you always insists on the ‘immitative innovation’ of clumsy practice on ‘pushing personnels to their death policy’. What’s the other? Unsafe carrier night landing, eh? Who wants to imitate that? Observing is one thing. Blindly imitating, perhaps that’s the only thing Western journalists can think of.

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      • Steve says:

        Hey Curry, U R so lucky to have so many tutors giving u free education.

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  4. Steve says:

    Ratner has a rat mentality…if war breaks out in the Asia pacific he will take refuge in his hiding hole. He is just an instigating scoundrel for another Asian war. The only action of providing or supplying military weapons to ASEAN countries against China will be WMD. Will the US support such a provision. He is nuts, just like the sacked Steve Bannon who believes that war will erupt with China within 5 years and what China fears most Christianity.

    Ratner wants the US to exert full control of the SCS and in part, the revival of the TPP. If his economic advise is adopted, it will surely sink the United Scoundrels of America faster than a tsunami, the US will lose control of its outsourcing manufacturing enterprises. How did he become an expert adviser in the China studies at the council of foreign relations.

    China does Not fear nor retreat on American fear-mongering. Even the Catholic Pope says that journalism based on fear-mongering is a form of terrorism. It’s fair to say that Ratner is promoting the three evils of Extremism, Terrorism and Separatism in the Asian Pacific especially advising the US to provide weapons and military support for ASEAN countries. He should be arrested.

    Consequently, Ratner is promoting the US military doctrine of mass murder in the Asia Pacific against China because he wants his USA to exert full control of the SCS militarily. US declining influence in Asia is the result of it’s scoundrel behaviour, pursuing maritime supremacy in the Pacific ocean, ECS, SCS and fear-mongering. The only two Asian country that supports US influence is the unrepentant scoundrels of Japan and the confused nation of Sth Korea.

    China is now conducting Air combat patrols, Naval surveillance and securing the SCS militarily and soon to be China’s lake fortress. What is the US doing about it ….. Nothing.

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  5. Simon says:

    Floating islands are like mega aircraft carriers, less sinkable with bigger firepower and more pernanent fixture without the need of frequent maintenance.

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