South China Sea Disputes: Enjoy the Areas Claimed, Occupied


Filipinos living in Philippine occupied (Pagasa) Thitu island, in disputed South China Sea, sing the country’s national anthem with worries in their faces April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The South China Sea disputes are very complicated as each of the claimants has its grounds for its claim. In history, such disputes are usually resolved by war. Now, China is militarily much powerful than other claimants but is wise to refrain from resorting to force in dealing with the disputes.

As a Chinese, I praise Chinese leaders’ wisdom in doing so though quite many of my compatriots disagree. Why shall we share with others what belongs entirely to us?

We have wise reasons:

First, we shall take into our consideration of the patriotism of the peoples in other nations. We have justified grounds to refute their patriotism created by their governments and media, but we cannot eliminate such patriotism by force. On the contrary, military solution will only aggravate their false patriotism and give rise to endless enmity and hatred among their peoples.

In addition, the wars we will fight to recover our islands and reefs will scare other neighbors who have no disputes with us. As a result, we will be isolated among our neighbors.

Second, we shall make efforts to enjoy the areas we claim and occupy. A war, even won, will make it difficult for us to enjoy the areas. Certainly, having the sovereignty over what on claim concerns a country’s national dignity, but obtaining the benefits brought by the areas is much more important. China’s construction of 6 artificial islands there is precisely aimed at enjoying their location as outposts for military control of the area it claims and exploitation of fish, energy and tourism resources.

The Philippines, however, only knows to claim and occupy those barren islands without consideration of the living standards of the people and garrisons there.

In its report “In shadow of China’s reef city, Philippines seeks upgrade for its island patriots”, Reuters shows a photo of some Philippine civilians living on China’s Zhounye Island illegally taken by the Philippines. Those people certainly are Philippine patriots who love their country and believe that island belong to their country. They live their in spite of difficult living conditions in order to maintain their country’s occupation there. They indeed love their country, but their country does not take care of them. You can see the worries in the faces of most of them in the photo.

What is the purpose to take other’s island and have its troops and people living in hardship on the island?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines-idUSKBN17N1ZH.

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Recent Photos of China’s Artificial Islands with Airports Superior to Others’


Airport on Maiji Island

Airport on Meiji Island

China has so far completed and tested three airports on Yongshu (Fire Cross) Reef, Meiji (Mischief) Reef and Subi (Zhubi) Reef, but Vietnam and the Philippines have also built airports on Chinese Islands illegally occupied by them.

The above is a photo of the airport on Meiji Reef 140 kilometers from Chigua (Johnson South) Island and 295 km from Yongshu Island. There is an airport 2,700 meters long completed and tested. More photos of the island are provided below:

Airport on Meiji Island

Airport on Meiji Island

meiji-island-1
meiji-island-2

Zhubi Reef is a large reef good for China to have built an artificial island with airport and port. The following are photos of it and its airport:

Zhubi Island and Its airport

Zhubi Island and Its airport


Airport on Zhubi Island

Airport on Zhubi Island


Airport on Zhubi Island

Airport on Zhubi Island

Yongshu (Fire Cross) Reef is located in the middle of the South China Sea. A big island with a large airport has been built on it due to its strategic value. The following are photos of it and its large airport:

Yongshu Island and its airport

Yongshu Island and its airport


Yongshu Island

Yongshu Island


Yongshu Island airport

Yongshu Island airport

All the three airports China built on its artificial islands are large civil airports though they can be used by warplanes, which have conducted test landing and takeoff there.

Zhongye Island is a Chinese island illegally occupied by the Philippines. It has an area of 0.33 square km. A military airfield with a concrete runway 1,500 meters long and 90 meters wide has been built on it to support the air force and navy stationed there. The following are photos of the airport:

Zhongye Island and its airport

Zhongye Island and its airport


Zhongye Island airport

Zhongye Island airport


airport-on-zhongye-island-3

Nanwei Island is a Chinese Island illegally occupied by Vietnam, where Vietnam has built a military base for its first line military command center in the South China Sea and stationed 550 troops. A concrete runway 600 meters long has been built there. The following are photos of the island and its airfield:
airport-on-nanwei-island
airport-on-nanwei-island-2
airport-on-nanwei-island-3

Danwan Reef is a Chinese reef illegally occupied by Malaysia since 1979. It has been expanded from 0.1 to 0.35 square km. Malaysia has built not only a navy base but also luxurious hotel and airport for prosperous tourism there.

The airport has a runway 1,500 meters long and 100 meters wide with regular civilian flights. The following are photos of the island and its airport:
airport-on-danwan-island

Source: mil.news.sina.com.cn “Comparison of the airports on six major islands and reefs in South China Sea: See how China’s are superior to Vietnam’s, Philippines’ by far” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


Chinese scholar says ‘new evidence in Japan proves Beijing’s sovereignty over South China Sea islands’


Japan-based Chinese scholar claims that he has found new evidence collected in Japan which proves China’s sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, China’s state media reported.

Zhu Jianrong, a professor at Toyo Gakuen University, said that he had found several pieces of evidence – including a telegram and newspaper clippings from the 1920s to 1930s – which could prove that the Japanese government at the time acknowledged China’s sovereignty in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, Xinhua reported.

In a telegram found in the diplomatic archives of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 1933 Japan’s consulate general in Nanjing told Uchida Kosai, Japan’s then-foreign minister, that the nine islets occupied by France, between the Philippine Islands (the name of the Philippines before 1935) and Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), were under China’s sovereignty and under the jurisdiction of the Xisha islands – the Chinese name for the Paracel Islands, Xinhua quoted Zhu as saying.

In 1933, France invaded nine isles of the Nansha Islands, using the Chinese name for the Spratly Islands, Xinhua reported.

Newspapers at that time mistakenly reported that France had seized the Xisha Islands.

After Japan learnt that the islands France had seized at that time were part of the Nansha Islands, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper published an article on July 21, 1933, which cited a report sent by Harukazu Nagaoka, the then Japanese ambassador to France, to Japan’s foreign ministry.

In the report, Nagaoka said that there had always been Chinese people living on Zhongye Island (Thitu Island) in the Nansha Islands, while on one of the nine isles seized by France, there were also signs of Chinese people living there before.

Zhu also found some government archives, which showed that the Japanese government recognised that the Paracel Islands belonged to China, Xinhua reported.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as:

Deep in Japanese archives ‘proof’ China owns islands

Source: SCMP “Chinese scholar says ‘new evidence in Japan proves Beijing’s sovereignty over South China Sea islands’”


With J-20 on Artificial Islands China Will Dominate the South China Sea


In my post “Chinese Troops to Seize Zhongye Island Back from the Philippines in 2014” on January 11, 2014, I said, “Chinese Troops to Seize Zhongye Island Back from the Philippines in 2014”.

In my post two days later, I said, “The world’s largest aircraft carrier, the Ford costs $12.8 billion to build but has only a deck area of 0.026 square km. An air base established on Zhongye Island will be a dozen times larger and cost much less, but it is unsinkable and has a very long service life.” Therefore, I gave the post the title “China & Philippines Battle for Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island Seems Unavoidable”.

As the Philippines has no navy or air force to counter China’s, taking the islands and reefs by military attack from the Philippines needs little effort, but it will do great harm to China’s relations with the US and ASEAN. Chinese leaders did not approve Navy’s plan to attack Zhongye Island.

As an alternative to taking the island to control the South China Sea, China drew up a plan of large-scale reclamation at Fire Cross Reef and Mischief Reef.

I revealed China’s reclamation plan in my post “China to Build USD5 Billion South China Sea Military Base at Fiery Cross Reef” on February 12, 2014.

I said in my post:

The artificial island at Fiery Cross Reef will be an unreplaceable military base with great strategic significance due to its location and size. Such a base will realize the value of the South China Sea for China and ensure China’s status in South East Asia.

It is planned that the military base built through reclamation at Fiery Cross Reef will be 3 meters above sea level and has an area of 5 square kilometers. The construction of the base will cost US$5 billion and take 10 years similar to the construction of a 100,000-ton nuclear aircraft carrier.

If this plan is adopted by the government instead of the plan to seize back the Zhongye Island back from the Philippines, there will be no war at the South China Sea to affect China’s relations with the US and ASEAN.

It turns out that China has a plan of much larger scale to build seven large artificial islands and that it is able to build the islands very quickly. It shows its tremendous financial and technological power.

Reuters report today on China’s construction of artificial islands gives readers a rough idea of what is going on there, but it is wrong to believe that “the new islands won’t overturn U.S. military superiority in the region”.

Military bases on the seven islands will enable China to dominate the air and sea in the South China Sea when China has deployed its fleets of J-20 stealth fighter jets on the islands.

The following is the full text of Reuters report:

China to project power from artificial islands in South China Sea

China’s creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea is happening so fast that Beijing will be able to extend the range of its navy, air force, coastguard and fishing fleets before long, much to the alarm of rival claimants to the contested waters.

Reclamation work is well advanced on six reefs in the Spratly archipelago, according to recently published satellite photographs and Philippine officials. In addition, Manila said this month that Chinese dredgers had started reclaiming a seventh.

While the new islands won’t overturn U.S. military superiority in the region, Chinese workers are building ports and fuel storage depots as well as possibly two airstrips that experts said would allow Beijing to project power deep into the maritime heart of Southeast Asia.

“These reclamations are bigger and more ambitious than we all thought,” said one Western diplomat. “On many different levels it’s going to be exceptionally difficult to counter China in the South China Sea as this develops.”

China claims most of the potentially energy rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

All but Brunei have fortified bases in the Spratlys, which lie roughly 1,300 km (810 miles) from the Chinese mainland but much closer to the Southeast Asian claimants.

Beijing has rejected diplomatic protests by Manila and Hanoi and criticism from Washington over the reclamation, saying the work falls “within the scope of China’s sovereignty”.

The Philippines began expressing growing concern in mid-2014, in particular, accusing Beijing of building an airstrip on Johnson South Reef.

Satellite analysis published by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly this week showed a new installation being built on Hughes Reef. It described a “large facility” having been constructed on 75,000 square meters of sand reclaimed since August.

It also published images of Fiery Cross Reef, which now includes a reclaimed island more than 3 km (1.8 miles) long that experts said would likely become a runway.

Work is also well established on Gaven, Cuarteron and Eldad Reefs, with the new dredging taking place on Mischief Reef.

BOON FOR FISHERMEN

While the prospect of China using the artificial islands to refuel warplanes in any conflict was a possibility, some experts highlighted significant non-military benefits.

China could keep its fishing fleets and coastguard working in Southeast Asia more effectively, with crews able to re-supply and rest, said Carl Thayer, a South China Sea expert at Canberra’s Australian Defence Force Academy. Oil explorers would similarly benefit.

Reuters reported in July that Chinese authorities were encouraging fishermen to sail to the Spratlys, often providing fuel subsidies to help.

Before the reclamation, China’s facilities were limited to squat buildings and radar domes built on rocky outcrops, with limited berthing and storage facilities, a contrast to natural islands occupied by Taiwan and the Philippines.

“Even before you factor in military questions, the expansion of Chinese fishing and coastguard fleets is going to be a strategic shift that is going to be very hard for anyone to counter,” said Thayer.

“And then you will have the navy just over the horizon.”

Thayer noted that while no legal claim could be extended from an artificial island, China would effectively move to force rival countries from the surrounding seas.

Chinese strategic analysts said the build-up was being driven by what Beijing sees as security threats, especially the need to check Vietnam, which has had up until now the most holdings in the Spratlys, with 25 bases on shoals and reefs. Vietnam is also quietly building up its submarine fleet to counter China.

The two Communist Party-ruled neighbors clashed at sea in 1988 when China took its first Spratly holdings, including Fiery Cross Reef, from Vietnam.

Some regional military attaches believe China may eventually use helicopter facilities on the new islands to run anti-submarine operations.

“This is less about politics and legal issues and more about security, from China’s perspective,” said Zhang Baohui, a mainland defense specialist at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University.

STRATEGIC GAP

Gary Li, an independent security analyst in Beijing, said he believed any military pay-off would be relatively small from the new islands, given their distance from the Chinese mainland.

“I suspect these reclamations would only ever have localized tactical uses in military terms,” Li said.

China’s lack of offshore military bases and friendly ports to call on was apparent last year when Chinese naval supply vessels sailed to Australia to replenish warships helping look for a missing Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean.

Naval planners know they will have to fill this strategic gap to meet Beijing’s desire for a fully operational blue-water navy by 2050.

More immediately, some analysts said they believed the islands would give China the reach to create and police an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) above the South China Sea.

China sparked condemnation from Japan and the United States when it imposed an ADIZ, where aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, above the East China Sea in late 2013. China has denied speculation it would follow suit in the South China Sea.

Roilo Golez, a former Philippine national security adviser, predicted China would complete its reclamation work by early next year and announce an ADIZ within three years.

“They are connecting the dots. They’re putting real muscle into this,” Golez said.

Source: Reuters “China to project power from artificial islands in South China Sea”


China to Build USD5 Billion South China Sea Military Base at Fiery Cross Reef


Planned artificial island at Sourh China Sea

Planned artificial island at Sourh China Sea

Sources say due to changes in international situation and the need to resolve South China Sea issues, Chinese military has recently drawn up a plan to conduct reclamation at Mischief and Fiery Cross Reefs. The construction of the two artificial islands there will be equivalent to that for building an aircraft carrier, but the strategic gains will be very big.

Mischief reef will be a fishery center at the South China Sea to provide fishing and fish farming income enough to recover the construction costs so that the construction of the artificial islands will not be a financial burden on the state.

The artificial island at Fiery Cross Reef will be an unreplaceable military base with great strategic significance due to its location and size. Such a base will realize the value of the South China Sea for China and ensure China’s status in South East Asia.

It is planned that the military base built through reclamation at Fiery Cross Reef will be 3 meters above sea level and has an area of 5 square kilometers. The construction of the base will cost US$5 billion and take 10 years similar to the construction of a 100,000-ton nuclear aircraft carrier.

If this plan is adopted by the government instead of the plan to seize the Zhongye Island back from the Philippines, there will be no war at the South China Sea to affect China’s relations with the US and ASEAN.

Source: qianzhan.com “Revelation of China’s plan on US$5 billion ‘super aircraft carrier’, a shocking deployment at South China Sea”

Related posts:

  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • US general criticises Japan, Philippines’ anti-China views dated February 10, 2014/2/12
  • Aquino Desperate in Hinting UN, ASEAN Appeasing China dated February 6, 2014
  • The US Will Be the Biggest Winner if Japan Is Defeated by China in the War dated February 5, 2014

Chinese Troops to Seize Zhongye Island Back from the Philippines in 2014


Chinese Troops to Seize Zhongye Island Back from the Philippines in 2014

Chinese Troops to Seize Zhongye Island Back from the Philippines in 2014

Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it had illegally occupied for years. It will be an intolerable insult to China

According to experts, Chinese navy has drawn detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea. The battle is aimed at recovery of the island stolen by the Philippines from China. There will be no invasion into Filipino territories.

Source: qianzhan.com “Sudden major move of Chinese troops this year to recover Zhongye Island by force” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • China media warns Philippines of ‘counterstrike’ in South China Sea dated June 29, 2013
  • Confrontation over the South China Sea ‘doomed’, China tells claimants dated June 27, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Who Is Bullying Who? dated June 26, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Chinese People’s Obsession dated June 24, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013