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ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Oh look, some economic analysis instead of the usual US-inspired sabre-rattling...

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A recent article in the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, reports that the China Geological Survey has discovered a gigantic resource just off the Pearl River delta near Hong Kong: "fire ice" that amounts to 100 to 150 billion cubic metres of natural gas -- more in one small field than B.C.'s estimated 96 billion cubic metres, much of which the Clark government wants to sell to China. 

"Fire ice" is better known as methane clathrates, a very strange material. It's a kind of ice that forms in the seabed and permafrost of the far north, and in the mud under tropical seas if the pressure is high enough. The ice traps methane, and a lot of it. Released into the atmosphere, methane is 20 to 30 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Clathrates are unstable; the warming atmosphere and ocean tend to melt the ice and free the methane, accelerating the pace of global warming.

A video by the U.S. Geological Survey shows what clathrates look like and how they behave. They hold so much methane that they contain twice the energy in all the other fossil fuels on the planet.

How Fire Ice Could Burn Christy Clark

However ...

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Perhaps still more clathrates are buried under rocks and reefs like the Spratlys and the Paracels, but that's not why China claims the region. Its construction of artificial islands in the Nanhai is chiefly to protect the sea lanes through which most of its imported oil travels -- and according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, that oil is now 60 per cent of all the oil it burns.

P. Escobar has written about this plenty of times. China wants their sea lanes to be safe from US atrocities, acts of war, etc., that would interfere with their economy. Official US doctrine is to smash or destroy any country that could be a rival, now or in the future. So this is a perfectly understandable long term concern of the Chinese, just as NATO "War games" on Russian borders are an ongoing concern of that country. And seeking resources closer at home, as with methane clathrates, also fits into Chinese  plans for economic self-sufficiency ... in case the US decides on Cuban-style blockade to destroy the Chinese economy. The truth is, the whole "pivot to Asia" has at its heart an enormously increased US military and naval presence in the Pacific "theatre" (of war) and this has accompanied, even preceded, Chinese actions in the South "China" Sea. (sarcastic scare quotes added)

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The analysis by C Killian is in remarkable contrast to the Stanford link from NorthReport which seems a remarkable steaming pile of psychological animal droppings. Let's have more poltiical economic analysis and less "Kremlin watching" style blather (or explaining current Chinese policy by references to "hurt feelings" over the 19th century Opium Wars, HTFG!).

ilha formosa

NorthReport wrote:

ilha,

Are you familiar with the author Gordon Chang?

China vs. Philippines: What's at Stake as the Verdict in the Hague Looms

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-vs-philippines-whats-stake-the...

Somewhat familiar with him, I've watched several discussions with him on youtube, but haven't read The Coming Collapse of China. He usually seems quite bearish/pessimistic/cautious about China.

There are a lot of good commentators and I try to give all points of view a chance. I think one has to look at China as a sub-continent size country. Keeping up on China is a lot like listening to the blind men describing the parts of an elephant.

The CCP-endorsed mouthpieces, however, and not surprisingly, sound like they are all reading the same talking points. Examples: Zhang Weiwei and Eric X. Li. Which is not to say they have no valid points to make. 

NorthReport

This appears to be the most informative article about the reasons for the territorial dispute off China's Coast 

The 2009 claims that changed dynamics in the S. China Sea

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-2009-claims-that-changed-dynamic...

ilha formosa

READ: Arbitral court's ruling on Philippines vs China

Press release and ScribD copy of the 500+ page ruling. 

It falls heavily against China. What's important are the ensuing reactions, and actions.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Escobar summarizes:

Pepe Escobar wrote:
BREAKING NEWS: THE PHILIPPINES "WIN" - BUT IT'S WAY MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.

The U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that there is no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to PARTS of the South China Sea encompassed by China’s “nine-dash line.”

The court said China’s historic rights were extinguished with its ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The court also found that none of the Spratly islands are capable of sustaining human habitation in a natural state and thus do not qualify for exclusive economic zones (EEZs). The court said that habitation means a “stable community of people.”

The court also ruled that Taiwan-controlled Itu Aba, the largest and most developed of the disputed high-tide land features in the Spratly archipelago, is likewise only a rock and not entitled to an EEZ.

China, as we all know, rejected the whole thing. The Philippine government said it welcomed the ruling but urged restraint.

and finally ...

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In the end, Beijing and Manila WILL talk. That's the Asian way. The question is under what framework.

Which is pretty well what he's said all along.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

For a contrast to the US-sponsored efforts to turn the South China Sea into another Carribbean, see ...

The Politics Behind the Philippines vs China Court Case

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While the Associated Press portrays the lawsuit as “Philippine,” it is in reality headed not by the Philippines, but by a US legal team led by Paul S. Reichler of the Boston-based law firm Foley Hoag. Inquirer.net in an article titled, “US lawyer for PH expert in maritime boundary cases,” would reveal that not a single lawyer representing the Philippines is actually Filipino:

Now that's what I call a supplicant to the US Empire.

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Part of America’s agenda in the South  China Sea is to provoke and then portray tensions in the region as being solely between China and its neighbors, with the United States feigning the role as peacekeeper – thus justifying its continued military, political, and economic “primacy” over Asia.

Of course, every time this is brought up in this thread, the very idea is treated with contempt by the usual US sycophants. I can't imagine why. lol. 

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...it is also the true reality that underlines US foreign policy in the South China Sea and explains why an American and British, not a Philippine legal team has spent years trying to exact a ruling from the UN and other “international” organizations regarding Beijing.

In this context, it is quite clear why Beijing plans to ignore the ruling.

However, China’s ignoring the ruling was already considered by US policymakers

Noteworthy, then ...

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(China's) ... strategy that is incrementally drawing out Washington’s true agenda in the region and making it increasingly complicated for complicit governments in Asia to continue their cooperation with the West.

Whether or not Washington’s necessity to exert increasing pressure on governments across the region to toe the line in America’s proxy war against Beijing will finally force Asian governments to abandon this risky and costly game remains to be seen. But Beijing is playing a game with home-field advantage – building military capabilities that are backed by logistical networks leading back to the mainland that will match and inevitably exceed US capabilities in the region.

US policy papers make it clear, then, that weakening Asian governments generally, not just China but its current proxies against China as well, is its real, more long term goal. The Empire, is, after all, the Empire.... and divide et impera (divide and rule)  is as old as Ancient Rome as a sacred precept for all such Empires ...

See also ...

South China Sea row: Hague Tribunal rules in favor of Philippines, China to ignore decision

Noteworthy here ...

Quote:
Taiwan has also stated that it does not accept the Tribunal's ruling, insisting on the ‘Republic of China's’ sovereignty over South China Sea islands, Reuters reported.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Perhaps the most "entertaining" aspect of the US case is their insistence that China should respect the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The US itself has never ratified that Convention. Rules are for countries other than the Empire.

US Hegemony is the goal.

The predatory National Interest suggests that the Empire do more than simply "shamefacing" the Chinese government. "Sailing around the South China sea is not an option", they say.  

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Beijing’s new islands and equipment are permanent; while America’s naval excursions are temporary, the vessels destined to float away.

It's not all that difficult to read the hubris of the Empire in the piece, a presumption of US global rule (forever), and a voyeuristic love and affection for war. But in the beltway in and around Washington, they never have to fight the wars they start ...

For the US, Sailing Around the South China Sea Is Not Strategy

So-called intelligence experts seem to be fond of borrowing from US propaganda films for military ideas and concepts. A photo lifted from the movies gets used to claim the death of some "evil doer". Life imitates art.

Hence we have ... Judgement Day.

Maybe Arnold will dress up as the Terminator and give those "dastardly" Chinese a lesson...

 


ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Escobar: Between a rock and a hard (South China) place

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... he [New Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte - a.k.a. 'The Punisher,']  might have a shot at proposing the sharing of natural resources, as in the vast South China Sea wealth of unexplored oil and gas. Yes, because once again the South China Sea is all about energy – much more than the roughly $4.5 trillion of shipping trade that traverses it every year; “freedom of navigation” has always been more than assured for all. For Beijing, the South China Sea is an all-out energy must have, as it would constitute, in the long run, another key factor in the “escape from Malacca” master plan of diversifying energy sources away from a bottleneck that can be easily shut off by the US Navy.

Now, with the US Navy already intruding and over-flying the South China Sea, the stakes cannot but get higher.

In conclusion ...

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So what happens next – apart from endless haggling about the conclusions? Beijing and Manila must talk - in a manner that Beijing saves face; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should step up its game and act as a mediator. That does not mean China will cease to create “facts on the sea” – as in most of the South China Sea. After all, they’ve got the (military) power. With or without a ‘nine-dash line’. And be it over islands, reefs, “low-tide elevations” or a bunch of rocks.

ilha formosa

Yet another Yanqui imperialist running dog speaks his China-bashing drivel:

Let's all remember now that if you oppose China in any way, that makes you a fascist Yanqui. It's black and white.

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Then there is the Arctic Ocean, where China has – so far – respected the fishing and continental shelf rights of the five coastal states. But if China rejects the application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in Asia, can any country rely on it respecting those same promises in the Arctic?

Finally, there is the most important treaty of all: the UN Charter, and its prohibition on the use of force. Russia violated that rule in annexing Crimea. Will China now annex the sparsely populated, resource-rich Russian Far East?

I do not want to be alarmist. The Chinese government understands the importance of long-term relationships of trust and respect. But it will be angry about the judgment on the South China Sea. It will also feel vulnerable domestically, having stoked nationalist sentiments on this issue.

China is at a turning point. Its response to the judgment of the Permanent Court could determine whether it is a partner or pariah state. Should it choose badly, the world will become a less prosperous, more dangerous place.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Radio Sputnik with Brian Becker (from yesterday, before the ruling) with an hour long show about how the dispute in the South China Sea affects the region and the world.

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Brian spends the full hour looking at how the dispute affects the region and the world. He is joined by James Bradley, the author of the book The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia and by author Patrick Lawrence, whose latest book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.

Tensions have been inflamed by the impending ruling on a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China. Last week, Beijing said the US military's buildup in the region constituted a "direct threat to national security".

Despite US assertions of the need for freedom of navigation, Washington is treating the Pacific like its backyard. Is the United States also playing other countries in the region against China for their own benefit?

I promise not to rely on articles extolling the unquestioned virtues of the [US] Empire for major analysis. lol.

ETA: Seriously, the show is brilliant ... if only because the sympathy towards China is in such marked contrast to the venom usual in the US, and Canadian, MSM. And that is the heart of what's wrong with the Empire and its sycophants. There is - simply put - no empathy towards the other (who must obey or die), no willingness to put oneself in the other's shoes, etc.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Mop and Pail wrote:
Then there is the Arctic Ocean, where China has – so far – respected the fishing and continental shelf rights of the five coastal states. But if China rejects the application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in Asia, can any country rely on it respecting those same promises in the Arctic?

bwa ha ha ha. What an example! Russia, for example, supports Canada in protecting what it views as an inland waterway, through Arctic waters. For Canada, it's the NorthWest Passage, for Russia it's the NorthEast Passage, although they call it something else.

Guess what stinking Empire opposes both? BZZZZ! Wrong! Not China. The USA. oh yeah.

Some friend of Canada those shit bag Yanquis are. You're batting O of 1 so far.

Mop and Pail wrote:
Finally, there is the most important treaty of all: the UN Charter, and its prohibition on the use of force. Russia violated that rule in annexing Crimea. Will China now annex the sparsely populated, resource-rich Russian Far East?

BZZZZ! 0 for 2! Why not show us some evidence of the "Russian invasion" so blathered about? A date that this event happened, perhaps? aha ha ha ah. You will be looking a long time. There is no such evidence. The people of Crimea, freely, rejected the murderous Kiev regime and its dreams of ethnic cleansing by about 95-98%. Too fukcing bad, huh?

Russian MSM commentators, e.g., Peter Lavelle of Crosstalk, has had an enormous amount of fun asking the same question for the last year or so. Where's the beef?

Here's the thing. You can't regurgitate the missives of NATO (e.g., that Russia is "the enemy", that China is "the yellow peril" or such such 19th century racism dressed up as "domino theory") today, without exposing yourself to the very sensible view that you're simply parrotting the views of the Empire. E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E is required. Good luck with that.

Mop and Pail wrote:
I do not want to be alarmist. The Chinese government understands the importance of long-term relationships of trust and respect. But it will be angry about the judgment on the South China Sea. It will also feel vulnerable domestically, having stoked nationalist sentiments on this issue.

China is at a turning point. Its response to the judgment of the Permanent Court could determine whether it is a partner or pariah state. Should it choose badly, the world will become a less prosperous, more dangerous place.

Translation: obey the Empire. Even if the US does not respect the UNCLOS, everyone else must. Because freedom.

I really thought you were better than this. C'mon, this is too easy.

NorthReport

David defeats Goliath. 

The first thing China could do to make amends is build a Railroad for the Philippine people as a gift to offset all the grief China has been causing just off the Philippine Coast. 

http://www.rappler.com/nation/137202-philippines-china-ruling-case-west-...

http://www.rappler.com/nation/139527-how-to-enforce-hague-ruling-ph-lead...

NorthReport

No one likes a bully!

South China Sea: Court rules in favor of Philippines over China

Viewed as a decisive win for the Philippines, the ruling could heighten friction in a region already bristling with tension, especially if it unleashes a defiant reaction from China.The United States, which has been at odds with China over freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, urged all parties "to avoid provocative statements and actions."

Other countries could be emboldened

The ruling doesn't just affect China and the Philippines, but other countries that have competing claims with the nation over large areas of the sea.Chinese ship 'shadows' U.S. carrier Chinese ship 'shadows' U.S. carrier

Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia have also taken exception to China's growing presence in the region and could now be emboldened to take further action."If China's nine-dash line is invalid as to the Philippines, it is equally invalid to those States and, indeed, the rest of the international community," the lawyers who led the Philippines' legal team said in a statement. Vietnam, which like China claims the Paracel and Spratly islands, strongly supports Tuesday's ruling, the country's foreign affairs ministry said. The Spratlys in particular are heavily contested, with China, Taiwan and Vietnam claiming all of them, and parts claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei."Vietnam strongly supports the resolution of the disputes ... by peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal processes and refraining from the use or threats to use force, in accordance with international law," ministry representative Le Hai Bình said.

Japan, a key U.S. ally and China's neighbor, issued a statement saying it "strongly expects that the parties' compliance with this ruling will eventually lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea."

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/asia/china-philippines-south-china-sea/

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Mark Mackinnon in The Globe and Mail wrote:
The U.S. has repeatedly sent warships and reconnaissance planes through the region to emphasize its commitment to freedom of navigation there. “The United States strongly supports the rule of law,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said following the publication of Tuesday’s ruling. “The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations.”

Does the US expect China to "comply with their obligations" when they themselves neither acknowledge the authority of the Convention on the Law of the Sea nor have bothered to ratify it? Why should China obey "laws" that the US thumbs its nose at?

How about one of you fukcing geniuses answer that question?

 

Globe and Mail: China Denied

NorthReport
NorthReport

Tonyo Cruz ‏@tonyocruz  12h12 hours ago

Today's fortune cookie says #CHexit:

  116 retweets132 likesReply Retweet 116 Like 132 More

 

NorthReport

These clowns sound like the religious kooks in the USA. They deserve each other.

Beijing engineers coverage of South China Sea ruling

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36774489

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Does the US expect China to "comply with their obligations" when they themselves neither acknowledge the authority of the Convention on the Law of the Sea nor have bothered to ratify it? Why should China obey "laws" that the US thumbs its nose at?

Is there any value to keeping the moral higher ground?

When Canada seems to want to be like the U.S., you've said things that make it look like you think that's a bad thing.

ilha formosa

ikosmos wrote:
Does the US expect China to "comply with their obligations" when they themselves neither acknowledge the authority of the Convention on the Law of the Sea nor have bothered to ratify it? Why should China obey "laws" that the US thumbs its nose at?

More idealizing on my part: Freedom of navigation operations in the SCS/WPS should continue, but using civilian vessels with heavy multilateral (UNCLOS ratifiers only) and zero US involvement. I know people will say it will never happen, and I'll sadly agree 99% with that.

Yet another aspirational ideal of mine with scant hope of coming to fruition: posters such as ikosmos would take the toxicity out of his/her posts, making them more effective.

ilha formosa

ikosmos wrote:
Here's the thing. You can't regurgitate the missives of NATO (e.g., that Russia is "the enemy", that China is "the yellow peril" or such such 19th century racism dressed up as "domino theory") today, without exposing yourself to the very sensible view that you're simply parrotting the views of the Empire. E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E is required. Good  luck with that.

Former NDP candidate (obviously too far right for you, but that's perfectly fine in a democracy) Byers' argument is based on logic and projects future scenarios in a world where rules-based systems have broken down. Future conflicts could but don't have to involve Russia, China or the Arctic - there's an infinity of scenarios.

Evidence of intrusions will be of little use when the legal standards to evaluate it have all been shredded. Evidence of intrusions will be of little use when the painstakingly built - and still very fragile - international legal system that gives reason for even caring about evidence has been fatally undermined. The world will regress to pre-Kellogg Briand Pact (the spirit of it was nice while it lasted), but with nuclear weapons.

Fyi, this isn't a personal argument with you. I'm not sure if you can fathom that, but admittedly I do harbour aspirational ideals. Plenty of evidence of your puerility in your posts, but despite all that, thank you for the links.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Seems like a lot of fuss about not much. If I have it right the decision said that both the Chinese and Taiwanese claims do not hold up but it also did not say who if anyone has a more valid claim. It would seem that this decision merely leads the parties back to the negotiating table.  As for the freedom of navigation issue could someone please post the links to the stories of the Chinese navy preventing shipping from going through the area, I can't seem to find them.

NorthReport

Chinese ships blocking access to disputed atoll, Philippine officials say

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-02/china-blocking-access-to-disputed-...

NorthReport

Beijing blames Philippines for South China Sea trouble

China rejects South China Sea tribunal ruling and says it has right to set up air defence zone if threatened.

 Rolex Dela Pena/Reuters]

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/beijing-blames-philippines-south-c...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Does the US expect China to "comply with their obligations" when they themselves neither acknowledge the authority of the Convention on the Law of the Sea nor have bothered to ratify it? Why should China obey "laws" that the US thumbs its nose at?

Is there any value to keeping the moral higher ground?

When Canada seems to want to be like the U.S., you've said things that make it look like you think that's a bad thing.

It's not a moral argument when it comes to the actions of states. Moral arguments are for the relations between individuals. A different yardstick has to be used wrt International Relations. This should be ABC to anyone interested in these subjects.

Anyway, I don't want to quibble. China is a significant regional power. They are in a different class of states - like Russia and the US - with legitimate interests of their own. Escobar seems to be of the view that the Chinese want to ensure a kind of energy security - in this case, security FROM the machinations of the US regime - and therefore they are determined to "develop" the energy resources in and around the South China Sea. I would expect them to negotiate with neighbouring states over those resources. Which is what I think will happen, ruling on UNCLOS or not, in the future.

A US legal team, without a single Filipino, arguing/winning a case around laws that the US regime has neither ratified nor respects, is a waste of time. They're simply provoking conflict, keeping tensions on the boil, just as NATO recently berated Russia for having their borders so close to the Empire's military bases.

About Canada. We are in no way in the league that the US, China and Russia belong to. Not even close. A junior partner at best - even given the powerful financial interests in the Canadian banking sector, etc. The problem for Canada is the one of being swallowed whole, or absorbtion into the US. Insistence on our own path of development and civilization is critical here.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

ikosmos wrote:
Does the US expect China to "comply with their obligations" when they themselves neither acknowledge the authority of the Convention on the Law of the Sea nor have bothered to ratify it? Why should China obey "laws" that the US thumbs its nose at?

More idealizing on my part: Freedom of navigation operations in the SCS/WPS should continue, but using civilian vessels with heavy multilateral (UNCLOS ratifiers only) and zero US involvement. I know people will say it will never happen, and I'll sadly agree 99% with that.

Yet another aspirational ideal of mine with scant hope of coming to fruition: posters such as ikosmos would take the toxicity out of his/her posts, making them more effective.

If you're idealizing on International Relations, then maybe the perspective is the problem. The relations between states like the US and China are in a completely different class than that of smaller states.

The very bad example that the US sets, as the dominant global hegemon (e.g., the US is fine with terrorism when it harms others like China and Russia and Syria, etc. but expects everyone to jump and say "Yes Sir!" when terrorism visits their shores, etc,) has the effect of disorganizing international relations and makes "law governed" arrangements impossible.

P. Escobar even uses the term, "Empire of Chaos" in a recent book to describe the net effect of the US in the International arena. They create chaos, rather deliberately, keeping tensions ratcheted up, which serves foreign policy interests of continued US dominance.

If we were to ask ourselves what legitimate interests the US has in the South China Sea, what would we say? Navigation. That's it. As babbler Kropotkin noted above, rather sarcastically, he could not seem to find the links showing how China is interfering with shipping in the area.

I'm afraid the best arguments, IMHO, is what Escobar, and others, have been saying. Right now we live in a world in which one country, for the time being, dominates global political economy, military, and social life generally. That country is unwilling to accept that their role is changing, that hegemony does not last forever, and seems rather, instead, determined to keep that role using any and every means - up to and including rushing to the precipice of war with other nuclear powers - to the last possible second.

This is a recipie for disaster and it distracts humanity from shared problems we need to work on.

About toxic posts - I admit that I have a very polemical style. What can I say? Sometimes I fight dirty.

ilha formosa

“China rejects South China Sea tribunal ruling and says it has right to set up air defence zone if threatened.”

The title is enough. It will be easy for the PRC to claim it is being threatened (less so if civilian vessels are used to ascertain freedom of navigation) and it will set up an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the SCS. It has already declared one in the East China Sea over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

Speaking of being swallowed whole or absorbed, these 2 ADIZs are the first stages of a naval pincer forming around Taiwan.

 

ilha formosa

Yes, very good article. All points in the "Theories on China's Actions" section are contributing factors; there are a lot of benefits - positive entries to the ledger - that may make the PRC willing to incur the international reputation costs. I think resource development could be done jointly, but what is critical is that maintaining military bases in the SCS cannot be done jointly. From the list I think this point best explains the level of assertiveness:

Quote:
A third vein of theorising points to Beijing's aspiration to punch a hole through the US' and its allies' geopolitical encirclement of mainland China by establishing a foothold in the South China Sea, which is characterised either as a weak link in the US' containment of China or as the soft underbelly of China's own defences that needs bolstering by the creation of forward positions in the South China Sea.

What applies to the US would also apply to "any potential adversary."

China has always had the Gobi, the Himalayas, and dense jungle on its peripheries. The ocean was once a buffer too, but naval technology has changed that.

Not explicitly pointed out on the list is the fact that the PRC's "salami-slicing" is moving towards encompassing Taiwan. Control of Scarborough Shoal would give the PLA Navy another angle on the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and Luzon. The ADIZ over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands is the preliminary northern arm of a pincer on Taiwan that is now forming bit by bit.

Daniel Schaeffer “Why China Wants the South China Sea For Itself Alone”

 

ilha formosa

Some background to PRC thinking:

Quote:
Liu Huaqing...outlined a three-step process by which China would have a navy of global reach by the second half of the 21st century. In step one, from 2000 to 2010, China would develop a naval force that could operate up to the first island chain. In step two, from 2010 to 2020, China's navy would become a regional force capable of projecting force to the second island chain. In step three, to be achieved by 2040, China would possess a blue-water navy with the aircraft carrier as its centerpiece. He was a strong advocate of the future Chinese aircraft carrier program.

First island chain perimeter (marked in red).jpg

The "first island chain," the portion referred to by Liu being south of Japan.

NorthReport

China may dispute the verdict but it is a huge setback for them

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/china-may-dispute-south-ch...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

NorthReport wrote:
The Guardian: China may dispute the verdict but it is a huge setback for them

Oh, look, The Guardian has a new enemy. I'm so happy for them.

Quote:
Above all, if China refuses to abide by the verdict, it will be openly branded as an outlaw, undermining its longstanding claim to regional leadership as a responsible power.

Unlike the USA, which constituted the entire "Filipino" legal team, has never ratified UNCLOS, does not accept its authority (except for other countries), has already been found guilty of bombing Nicaraguan harbour(s), which conducted predatory wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yugoslavia, (just in recent memory), killing and displacing millions of people and creating a global refugee crisis, which funds terrorists but berates others for not doing "enough" about terrorism, which is so awash in violence and death domestically that it is no longer a surprise when mass slaughters and gun crimes take place by the police, against the police, in an orgy of death ... unlike the USA which is never an outlaw, observes international law as a sacred trust, and snaps photos of kittens in their spare time.

Quote:
...the verdict represents a huge setback for China. First of all, it provides a more robust legal pretext for the US, Japan, Australia and other like-minded naval powers to conduct more extensive and multilateral freedom of navigation operations, which are aimed at challenging China’s claims now flatly rejected by the arbitration body.

Yes, more sabre-rattling and provocations in the South China Sea will help smooth over present conflicts. Why not a few military "exercises" practicing mock invasions of China? What could go wrong with that? Yes, and let's follow that up with Chinese exercises in the Gulf of Mexico. What could possibly go wrong?

.................................................................................................

Despite the carefully worded remarks about the Duterte government, the author admits that the forecast of, e.g., Escobar, is precisely what they expect to take place in the near future.

Clearly, in broad strokes, with the right-wing Japanese appointees making the ruling, the results were probably known in advance, the Chinese response known in advance, and the likely future scenario (bilateral negots) known in advance.

But the tension has been ratcheted up and that means what?

More military spending! O happy days are here again!

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Edited to add: one aspect about the legal case bears closer examination. This was asked, and answered, in the Sputnik USA program hosted by Brian Becker (link upthread for this very, very good show) the day before the ruling came down. 

Quote:
Why did the Philipines agree to bilaternal talks and then ask for international adjudication?

The answer lies in the US State Department. The Philipines has been a very "cooperative" client of the USA.

So "cooperative" in fact, that the entire Filipino legal team in the case had zero Filipinos. Remarkable cooperation indeed.

It's important because bilateral talks are precisely what will happen now. Presumably, US thinking may go, Duterte will have more "leverage" to get a better deal for the Republic of the Philippines. Of course the geo-strategic thinking at the State Department goes beyond any success in bilateral bargaining among Asian countries. Naval vessels, armed to the teeth and cheek by jowl with rival Chinese ships, is a great way to stoke tensions, set up scenarios for war, plumps up military spending, and provides a pretext for the US Navy to move 60% of their assets to ... the Western Pacific. Which they were planning to do anyway.

 

NorthReport

The US appears to be moving a lot more of the Navy to the Pacific specifically because of China's bullying tactics with its smaller neighbours.  

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

NorthReport wrote:
The US appears to be moving a lot more of the Navy to the Pacific specifically because of China's bullying tactics with its smaller neighbours. 

Who is that you're quoting? Time Magazine? Foreign Policy? The State Department? I prefer alternative media sources. You know. Like rabble. ca.

Adam Hudson, Truthout wrote:
... the United States is deeply immersed in a regional chess-game against China’s rising power: The US is expanding its ongoing military presence in the Asia-Pacific, at the expense of national sovereignty, local democracy, human rights and the environment....

Hudson is very critical of China's role here, but is sober-minded enough not to drink the US Koolaid:

Peter Lee wrote:
... as I’ve argued frequently, US planners see “heightened tensions” as a vital driver/competitive advantage for the military-heavy US agenda in Asia and a bulwark against Asian nations wasting their energies by doing something stupid like focusing on regional economic integration and a security architecture that includes China instead of confronting it…

…with the assumption that the costs of any miscalculation will be borne by Asia, and not the US homeland.

Your pivot at work, ladies and gentlemen. Soon to be nuclear.

He's refering to Obama's "Pivot to Asia" from 2011. Excluding China from the TPP, militarizing their links to the states that are part of it, stoking conflict, it's all part of the Empire's agenda. Notice how "wasting their energies" includes, in the barbarous US view, Asian countries working together (i.e., not subservient to the Empire) with China.

So what I've been saying, now substantiated by an least one expert in the field, is that the brutal, monstrous war criminal US regime PLANS on and ACTIVELY STOKES HEIGHTENED TENSIONS since it is an area, with their bloated military spending, they still retain a competitive advantage. Bankrupting other countries (like the Soviets in the Reagan era) into excessive military spending is ... the American way. "Fuck the global problems. Profits are what matter," says Uncle Sam. And profits from military spending are ... through the roof. "Happy days are here again!"

And, as the author says, any serious conflict will be borne by Asians, which the US could give 2 shits about anyway ...

 

US Pivot to Asia Poised to Enter Nuclear Phase

 

ilha formosa

The CCP would be in a much better position now internationally and domestically had it stayed on the track of joint resource development in the SCS instead of trying to claim it all. But it over-reached, most blatantly shown by the oil rig incident with Vietnam and the seizure of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines.

Who asked the PRC to overreach? The profit-minded US military-industrial complex?

That would be a good premise for a bad novel, but I think the situation now is more a matter of groups of knuckledraggers on either side with far too much power, now feeding a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

The CCP would be in a much better position now internationally and domestically had it stayed on the track of joint resource development in the SCS instead of trying to claim it all. But it over-reached, most blatantly shown by the oil rig incident with Vietnam and the seizure of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines.

Who asked the PRC to overreach? The profit-minded US military-industrial complex?

That would be a good premise for a bad novel, but I think the situation now is more a matter of groups of knuckledraggers on either side with far too much power, now feeding a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

As you undoubtedly know very well, China is late to this game. All the other countries (Viet Nam, Republic of the Philippines, Malaysia, etc.) have been doing what China is now doing. That, in a nutshell, is the problem - from the Empire' s point of view. They simply want to EXCLUDE China from such activity. 

They failed. As babbler kropotkin noted, wake us up when China interferes with navigation, or trade between the US regime and is client states, through the Strait of Malacca.

We all know very well that it is the US, and not China, that has well thought out plans for that sort of thing.  You can find official US military doctrine, or read their sabre-rattling missives from NATO, etc. easily enough. China, by developing resources, late to the game or not, is making efforts to ensure energy self-sufficiency in the face of a juggernaut that will threaten any and every state that is a potential rival (at any level - economic, military, political). 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture
ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Supplemental: Crosstalk may do a show on the recent ruling but with all the events today (terrorism in Nice, France; Kerry in Moscow with Lavrov; Turkish coup d'etat) they seem a bit lost, overwhelmed even, and I would hope and/or expect the show to be next week sometime.

ilha formosa

ikosmos wrote:
As you undoubtedly know very well, China is late to this game.

Yes.

ikosmos wrote:
wake us up when China interferes with navigation, or trade between the US regime and is client states, through the Strait of Malacca.

Just saying, don’t fall asleep and remain wary of exactly such things, and subtler ones, for example how the Canada-China FIPA is leveraged. Just because today's PRC is not the US of Atrocities, it does not automatically mean they are angels.

Of course China has every right to defend itself and strive for the well-being of its own people. But do keep in mind that China has a history of empire much longer and richer than that of the upstart USA.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Andrew Korybko, analyst with SputnikUSA, has written a recent book about Hybrid Warfare (that even NATO authors quote - despite the deep criticism of NATO in his book) and has a section here on hybrid warfare against the ASEAN countries.

It's a long read, so I will edit this post to make a few notes.

- First of all, a cursory look suggests that it is not only China that is aimed at (China Containment Coalition) but also the very client states in that Coalition. The US works by some pretty brutal arm-twisting of its "allies".

- includes a detailed investigation of the socio-political vulnerabilities inherent in some of the ASEAN states

- includes:

The Philipines: Bangsamoro basics,  the Mindanao conflict, Mindanao militants and their interplay, etc. ;

Malaysia: historical backgrounder, post independence, Filipino fracas;

etc. Good historical survey of relevant information ...

Hybrid Wars 6 - Trick to Containing China

.....................................

 

There's really an enormous amount of reading here.

NorthReport

Fantastic!

Taiwan web users join "Apologise to China" contest

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-36825781

NorthReport
NorthReport

Mailman Turned Math-Whiz Is the Chinese Equivalent of Good Will Hunting

http://time.com/4413249/good-will-hunting-chinese-mailman-math/?xid=home...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

China's Response to the South China Sea Arbitration Ruling

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai at think-tank CSIS in Washington, D.C.

~ 40 minutes.

NorthReport

Chinese Consumers Aren’t Chicken Over the South China Sea Dispute

KFC has served in China as a convenient symbol of American cultural dominance—along with caloric poultry pleasure. But none of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s panel members were American. The South China Sea case itself was lodged by the Philippines. However, the U.S. has called for China to respect the ruling, and the American military is treaty bound to protect the Philippines during certain conflicts. Thus Chinese state media blame the U.S. for somehow orchestrating the tribunal’s sweeping dismissal of Beijing’s claims to the contested waterway.

In the wake of the international panel’s judgment, which Beijing has vowed to ignore, China announced military drills in the South China Sea. The head of the nation’s navy also vowed that China would continue building artificial islands in disputed waters. But so far, the award has not catalyzed the kind of organized mass protests that occurred during previous conflicts with the U.S. and Japan. Since such demonstrations in China cannot take place without the consent of local authorities, it appears that Beijing doesn’t want negative public opinion to spill out onto the streets.


http://time.com/4412245/chinese-consumers-south-china-sea-kfc/

ilha formosa

NorthReport wrote:
But so far, the award has not catalyzed the kind of organized mass protests that occurred during previous conflicts with the U.S. and Japan. Since such demonstrations in China cannot take place without the consent of local authorities, it appears that Beijing doesn’t want negative public opinion to spill out onto the streets.

Like anywhere, control over the domestic "audience" is important in China. The CCP needs room to back out without appearing to China's citizens that it has over-reached, or that it's being pushed back.

 

ilha formosa

The Death of a Liberal Chinese Magazine

Quote:
Yanhuang Chunqiu (China Through the Ages) made a name for being a rare platform for liberal voices among intellectuals and pro-reform retired party elders, many of whom joined the party in the 1930s and 1940s as teenagers, attracted by the party’s then democratic aspirations...Du always thought his pro-reformist journal would manage to survive, having reached an agreement with the authorities to steer clear of a number of sensitive issues, including the Tiananmen crackdown, multi-party democracy, separation of powers, Tibet, Xinjiang, and religious issues.
...
Since Xi [Jinping] assumed power in 2012, official ideology has taken a conservative turn and his government launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent. Hundreds of activists, rights lawyers, journalists, and social commentators have been detained or arrested on subversion or public security charges.
...
Public discussion and publication on the dark side of party history such as the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the anti-rightist movement in 1957 that sent intellectuals to hard labor, and the Great Famine (1958-1961) remain mostly banned in China, but Yanhuang Chunqiu repeatedly carried articles on historical issues like these, believing that reflections on past mistakes would help steer the country back on the reformist path.
...
Analysts say the death of Yanhuang Chunqiu marks a new height in the intensified crackdown on freedom of speech in China. The journal’s demise has effectively snuffed out the already weak liberal and pro-reform voice in China.
...“Now there is only one voice and political noises cannot be tolerated,” ... "but the party doesn’t want to be helped...When you’re mighty and powerful, you don’t need people to nag you.”

NorthReport

Exclusive: Top Obama aide to take call for South China Sea calm to Beijing

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-usa-exclusive-idUSKCN10210Z

ilha formosa

Larung Gar: China ‘destroys buildings’ at Tibetan Buddhist academy

Quote:
“If the only way to solve the overpopulation is destroying the houses, then why is the same policy not implemented in the Chinese cities and towns where the population is overcrowded?

“Where is the equality, rule by law, public welfare, religious freedom and equal rights of all nationalities (as they say) if you crush down the houses of innocent religious practitioners who are living simple lives?”

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ASEAN meets and ...

P. Escobar wrote:
...at a summit in Vientiane, Laos, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China finally settled for that household mantra - defusing tensions”.

They agreed to stop sending people to currently uninhabited “islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features” after ASEAN declared itself worried about land reclamation and “escalations of activities in the area”.

And all this without even naming China - or referring to the ruling in The Hague.

China and ASEAN also pledged to respect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (which Washington insists is in danger); solve territorial disputes peacefully, through negotiations (that happens to be the official Chinese position), also taking into consideration the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and work hard to come up with a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (that’s been going on for years; optimistically, a binding text will be ready by the first half of 2017).

So, problem solved? Not really. At first, it was Deadlock City. Things only started moving when the Philippines desisted to mention The Hague in the final statement; Cambodia – allied with China – had prevented it from the start.

And that’s the heart of the matter when it comes to ASEAN negotiating with China. It’s a Sisyphean task to reach consensus among the 10 members – even as ASEAN spins its role as the perfect negotiation conduit. China for its part prefers bilaterals – and has applied Divide and Rule to get what it wants, seducing mostly Laos and Cambodia as allies.

Escobar goes over some history, US ongoing hegemonic plans, etc., and concludes:

Quote:
But make no mistake; at some point in the future, there will be a serious confrontation between the US and China over “access" to the South China Sea.

Pepe Escobar: Is war inevitable in the South China Sea?

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