Reuters and other Western media are fond of relating the disputes in the South China Sea to navigation stressing the volume of trade through the sea while they are clearly aware that the disputes are about the energy and fishing resources and have nothing to do with navigation there.
Of the four nations contending with China there, Malaysia and Brunei have agreed with China on peaceful cooperation there. The Philippines has an agreement with China for cooperation in energy exploration and exploitation and China has allowed its fishermen to fish in disputed waters.
Vietnam has expressed intention of cooperation with China but still tried to extract oil and gas alone. However, no one dare to provide know how or equipment to cooperate with Vietnam for energy exploitation there against China’s opposition. Its energy exploitation and fishing are restricted by Chinese coast guards.
Moreover, the disputes only concern the special economic zones along the disputing claimants’ coasts. Those claimants have to conduct win-win cooperation with China for energy exploration and exploitation there but if they do not China has the strength, funds, technology and equipment to do so alone.
China can and will explore and exploit oil and gas exclusively in the vast area outside the zones and within China’s nine-dash line.
The US dare not interfere as since China’s construction of artificial islands and deployment of defense military capabilities there, it has no hope to win a war with China there. It sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to nearby area to force China to accept an arbitration award that entirely denies China’s rights and interests there but refrained from fighting when China challenged it with war.
Since then, it has only conducted a few freedom of navigation operations a year there, which are entirely irrelevant as freedom of navigation has never been a problem there. Such operations scare no one nor please anyone. Sorry, it pleases some Westerners perhaps.
Reuters says in its report “Factbox: China’s oil majors tap new discoveries as they step up drilling” yesterday that China’s state-owned oil giant CNOOC has found recoverable gas reserves of 2.5 trillion cubic feet at Lingshui 17-2 block 150 km off the coast of China’s Hainan Island
The average water depth there is 1,450 meters (4,750 feet) but China has the equipment and technology to extract gas there. The report says CNOOC made its final investment decision in March 2018 to make estimated total investment of 20 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) for extraction of the gas there.
Energy exploration and exploitation take time and cost a lot but China is capable of doing so. Its Hai Yang Shi You 981 oil platform can drill at the sea bottom 3,000 meters deep and drill 12,000 meters deep. China has several such platforms now for oil and gas exploration and exploitation there.
The report says, “China’s national oil companies are raising spending on domestic oil and gas drilling to the highest levels since 2016, responding to Beijing’s call to boost national energy security.” I means that China’s energy exploitation will be intensified there in the future.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-oil-exploration-factbox/factbox-chinas-oil-majors-tap-new-discoveries-as-they-step-up-drilling-idUSKCN1PQ3Q2
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.
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.