China has ‘stern’ words with U.S. over ship in South China Sea


November 30, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday it had lodged “stern representations” with the United States after the U.S. Navy sailed a ship through the contested South China Sea, passing near islands claimed by China.

Tension between the two powers in disputed Asian waters comes as their relationship has between strained by a row over trade involving increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s imports.

The U.S. guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville sailed near the Paracel Islands on Monday to challenge China’s “excessive maritime claims”, the U.S. Pacific fleet said in a statement.

China foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a daily news briefing the U.S. ship had entered Chinese waters without permission and China had made its position known with its “stern representations”.

The Chinese army said it had sent ships and planes to watch the U.S. ship and to warn it to leave.

The Chancellorsville’s voyage was the latest in what the United States calls freedom of navigation operations aimed at challenging what it sees as Chinese activity limiting freedom of movement in the strategic waters.

In particular, the United States has criticized China’s construction of islands on tiny reefs and shoals and its installation of military facilities on them, including air strips and docks.

China claims “irrefutable” sovereignty over most of the South China Sea and the islands in it, and accuses the United States of raising military tension with its navy presence there.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all claim parts of the waterway, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year. Taiwan also claims the waters.

(This version of the story was refiled to remove extraneous word “said” from paragraph one)

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel

Source: Reuters “China has ‘stern’ words with U.S. over ship in South China Sea”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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China, Philippines to Cooperate on Oil, Gas Exploitation in Disputed Sea


SCMP says in its report “China-Philippine relations ‘never been better’, says ex-president Gloria Arroyo” that during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s just finished visit to the Philippines, the two countries signed 29 deals including a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on oil and gas development in the South China Sea.

Preceding his visit to the Philippines, Xi visited Brunei and agreed with it “on further win-win cooperation in exploiting oil and gas resources in the disputed South China Sea”, according to SCMP’s report “China and Brunei to step up oil and gas development in disputed South China Sea” on November 19.

I said in my comment on SCMP’s that report titled “China Solving South China Sea Disputes by Oil, Gas Exploitation Cooperation” on November 20:

Xi is to visit the Philippines today and may conclude some agreement on cooperation in exploiting oil and gas with the Philippines. As Vietnam and Malaysia also have similar desire on cooperation with China, there are prospects that China’s disputes with its neighbors over the South China Sea will be resolved peacefully through win-win cooperation.

Some may think Philippine current president Duterte’s pro-China strategy is exceptional, but Philippine former president and present speaker of House of Representatives Arroyo precisely adopted a similar pro-China strategy in her nine years as Philippine president until 2010.

During the nine years, the Philippine also cooperated with China on oil and gas development with a US$15 million deal – known as the Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking – to jointly conduct seismic prospecting for oil in the sea. The deal was later joined by Vietnam.

Arroyo’s successor former President Aquino, instead, is an exception. He tried to exploit US pivot to Asia to deny China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea with US military support, but failed in disgrace. He makes Duterte’s pro-Beijing strategy popular as his failed speculation showed that the US does no care about its ally’s interests. Though Philippines’ military ally, the US is not willing to fight for Philippines’ interests.

That make Duterte’s policy of dumping the US popular among Philippine people.

In fact, Philippine elite knew US selfishness long ago as shown by their driving away of US military bases in the Philippines in the 1990s.

The US believes that it is popular in the Philippines. Duterte’s popularity proves precisely the contrary.

China is popular among developing nations as it respects them, cares for their interests and is generous in providing financial aids for them

SCMP’s another report today “Faced with a mounting economic crisis, the cash-strapped Maldives is looking to renegotiate its piles of Chinese debt” proves precisely that. Its title tries to make readers believe that Maldives is in China’s debt trap, a term Western countries use to demonize China.

The fact reflected in the report proves the contrary.

SCMP quotes China’s ambassador as telling the local Avas.mv website that in fact only about half of the Maldives’ external debt pile of US$1.2 billion was owed to Beijing.

He said the loans carried an interest rate of 2 per cent and a five-year grace period, while also disputing claims of a debt trap.

“We have nothing to gain if a friendly country falls into debt,” he said. “There is no single (piece of) evidence to support the so-called debt trap claim.”

In spite of the busy demonizing by Western politicians and media, China remains popular as it pursues win-win cooperation with other nations. And in spite of US boasting of its so-called good intention to help other nations, the US remains unpopular due to its arrogant invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. interference in other countries’ internal affairs by causing regime changes and exporting its democracy that does not bring prosperity and unity even in its own country.

Comments by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s reports, full text of which can respectively be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2174384/china-philippine-relations-never-been-better-says-ex-president and https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2174413/faced-mounting-economic-crisis-cash-strapped-maldives-looking.


China’s Defense Buildup Effective Deterrence of US Aggression


Washington Free Beacon’s article “China Speeding Up Large-Scale Military Buildup” says China’s military modernization “undermines deterrence and increase risk of war”

The article is based on the recently published annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

It tries to make others believe that there will be risk of war if the US has lost its military superiority.

The fact is precisely the contrary. When there was military balance between the US and the Soviet Union in the Cold War period, the US was very careful not to fight a war for fear of Soviet involvement. Its defeat in Vietnam has taught it a humiliating lesson.

When the US became the only superpower in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US became arrogant. It recklessly invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and boasted its ability to fight two conventional wars simultaneously.

It is a pity that in spite of its superiority in weapons and military technology, it is unable to win the wars. It has to keep its troops in Afghanistan to deal with Taliban that it cannot conquer after more than a decade of fighting.

Its occupation of Iraq gave rise to ISIS that it had to eliminate by its proxies.

Economically, the two wars have left the US heavily in debt and made it realize that it cannot afford a war in a relatively large country such as Iraq, let alone China.

China’s military buildup is precisely the deterrence of US wars of aggression it works as a balance to US aggressive military power.

It first of all aims at deterrence of US military intervention in China’s Taiwan issue.

Taiwan is a province of China, but the article regards it as a country. It shows some Americans’ ambition to separate Taiwan from China. China has to make its military much stronger than the US to prevent that.

The US manipulated to have the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague to give an arbitration award that entirely deny China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea. China rejected the award and the UN issued a statement that the arbitration court is not a UN agency. In spite of that the US sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to force China to accept the award.

If China had not built up its air force and navy, constructed its artificial islands and deployed defensive weapons there, it would not have effectively deterred US military intervention in China’s disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea.

China’s military buildup is entirely legitimate and necessary for its national security and defense.

The above facts prove that contrary to what the article claims, China’s military buildup deters and decreases the risk of war.

The article shows that the US is scared by China’s military buildup but that is only the beginning. I have pointed out in my previous posts that China’s military buildup is still far from enough. Only when China has developed the capability of strikes of US homeland can entirely deter US attack of Chinese homeland. That will take a decade or two.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Free Beacon’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-speeding-large-scale-military-buildup/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=577f6fb70d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_14_10_55_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-577f6fb70d-46069085.


War of Words before Trade War Truce?


Reuters describes the oral war between US and Chinese high officials at their joint press conference after their talks in its report “U.S. presses China to halt militarization of South China Sea” yesterday.

The two sides argued about Taiwan, South China Sea, human rights, etc. but not trade.

The report says, “While Pompeo spoke little about trade in his public comments, Yang (Yang Jiechi, Politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party) said he hoped the two sides would find a mutually acceptable solution on the issue ‘before long.’”

It seems there will be a truce in their trade war as neither of them wants to be hurt by it, but the conflicts on other issues will remain and be the major themes of their cold war in the future as cold war is unavoidable since the US has fallen deep in Thucydides trap.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china/u-s-presses-china-to-halt-militarization-of-south-china-sea-idUSKCN1NE2C4.


China says U.S. arms sales to Taiwan interfere in its affairs


October 14, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China accused the United States on Sunday of going on the offensive by sending U.S. Navy vessels into the South China Sea and described U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as interference in Chinese internal affairs.

“It’s not Chinese warships that are going to the coast of California or to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s so close to the Chinese islands and it is so close to the Chinese coast. So who is on the offensive, who is on the defensive? This is very clear,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai told the “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” program, apparently referring to a U.S. destroyer sailing near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sept. 30.

Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Source: Reuters “China says U.S. arms sales to Taiwan interfere in its affairs”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Will US-China Trade War Grow into Military War?


Trump’s trade war against China clearly aims at stop China’s rise to prevent it from challenging America’s predominance. It clearly indicates that Trump has profoundly sunk into Thucydides trap. According to historians’ study, there have been 16 cases of a rising power threatened to displace a ruling one over the past 500 years. Twelve of the sixteen cases ended in war, military instead of trade war.

A military war may give rise to serious damages and casualties. China and the US shall regard themselves as lucky that there is no military but a trade war.

However, will the trade war grow into a military war?

Trump is furious that his tariff hikes fail to subdue China. He is now trying his best to pressure China in every possible way. The recent freedom-of-navigation operation by USS Decatur is an obvious move for that purpose. China sent a destroyer to compel Decatur to leave with near collision. That reminds me of the Hainan Island Incident in April 2001.

In that incident a US reconnaissance plane was compelled to land at a Chinese airport due to a collision with a Chinese fighter jet that tried to intercept the US plane. It gave rise to tension but the US plane was but carrying out a routine reconnaissance operation without any intention to pressure China. Moreover, there was no tension in the background.

Now, however, the freedom-of-navigation operation is a move to supplement US trade war attacks at China. China has to send its warship to conduct dangerous move to drive away US warship. It succeeded in driving US warship away but the US was seriously upset. Routers says in its report “Pence to tell China: We will not be intimidated in South China Sea” that US Vice President Pence will give a speech today to denounce China. He will tell China that the US will not be intimidated in the South China Sea.

Then what?

US navy can dominate the oceans but not the South China Sea as China has geographical advantages there. What if the US warship carrying out a freedom-of-navigation operation is damaged in a collision with Chinese warship? Other US warships and aircrafts have to go a long way to rescue it while China can send its aircrafts, helicopters, ship and boats nearby to control the US warship and tow it to a nearby dock. Even if there are US warships nearby, they cannot contend with the swarm of Chinese fishing boats filled with Chinese militia.

Then US warship will be captured by China and its crew will be China’s hostages. The US has to conduct tough negotiation to get them back.

I don’t think that Pence is so stupid as to be ignorant of such a potential scenario. I believe when he says the US will not be intimidated in the South China Sea, he must be aware that the US has made a decision that it will conduct naval war with China when its warship conducting freedom-of-navigation operation has been captured by China.

A military war will be unavoidable if the US contends with China for the South China Sea.

Previously, the US said that it did not take side in the disputes between China and other claimants over the South China Sea. Now, the US gives the impression that it is a party of the disputes over the sea as it denies China’s claim over the sea areas and regards the areas as international waters. China will certainly do its best to protect its rights and interests in the South China Sea and may even fight a war for its rights and interests.

Therefore, if the US has decided to fight a war there, China will certainly fight back. I do not know what decision Trump has made but I am mentally prepared that there may be a war as Thucydides trap mostly leads to war.

Article by Chan Kai Yee.


Pence to tell China: We will not be intimidated in South China Sea


Roberta Rampton October 4, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, sharpening U.S. criticism of Chinese policies around the globe, will give China a blunt warning on Thursday that the United States will not back down from what Washington sees as Chinese intimidation in the South China Sea.

Pence will deliver an 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) address at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington likely to increase tensions between the United States and China beyond trade disputes that have dominated President Donald Trump’s time in office.

In excerpts of his speech seen by Reuters, Pence will call attention to an incident in which a destroyer, the USS Decatur, traveled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands on Sunday.

Pence will say a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards (meters) of the USS Decatur “as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision.”

“Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated. We will not stand down,” Pence will say.

The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate.

China’s Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval ship had been sent to warn the U.S. vessel to leave and that Beijing had irrefutable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and the waters around them.

Pence will also accuse the Chinese Communist Party of convincing three Latin American nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize China.

“These actions threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait – and the United States of America condemns them. And while our administration will continue to respect our One China Policy, as reflected in the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, let me also say that Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people,” Pence will say.

The United States and China are embroiled in a trade war, sparked by Trump’s accusations that China has long sought to steal U.S. intellectual property, limit access to its own market and unfairly subsidize state-owned companies. The two countries have imposed increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other’s imports.

Despite the tensions, Trump has said Chinese President Xi Jinping is a friend. But at a news conference but last week in New York, he said: “Maybe he’s not any more, I’ll be honest with you.”

In New York, Trump accused China of attempting to meddle in the U.S. congressional elections coming up next month, while offering little in the way of evidence. Beijing rejected the charge.

He cited a Chinese government-run media company’s four-page supplement in the Sunday Des Moines Register of Iowa as an attempt to turn voters in that key state against Trump’s trade policies.

‘DEBT DIPLOMACY’

Pence will say China uses “debt diplomacy” to expand its influence worldwide.

“Today, that country is offering hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa to Europe to even Latin America. Yet the terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing,” he will say.

He will also say that Beijing has extended a lifeline to “the corrupt and incompetent Maduro regime in Venezuela,” pledging $5 billion in loans that can be repaid with oil.

Pence will say the U.S. intelligence community has determined that China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy.

“It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence,” he will say.

The goal, he is to say, is to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies by mobilizing “covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets.”

“As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country,” Pence will say.

Pence will also argue that Chinese officials have tried to influence business leaders to condemn U.S. trade actions, “leveraging their desire to maintain their operations in China.”

“In one recent example, they threatened to deny a business license for a major U.S. corporation if it refused to speak out against our administration’s policies,” Pence will say.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney

Source: Reuters “Pence to tell China: We will not be intimidated in South China Sea”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.