Friday, September 16, 2016

Is Beijing Waiting For The Perfect Time To Strike In The South China Sea?

Chinese and U.S. ships on June 25, 2016. Chinese Ministry of Defense Photo

Harry Kazianis, Asia Times: Beijing may be waiting for the perfect timing to strike in South China Sea

Reports suggest China may seize Scarborough Shoal during the final weeks of the US presidential election as America’s gaze turns inward. President Obama has already warned China about the consequences and he should remind its leaders that such an attempt would constitute a challenge to the peace and stability of Asia and would force Washington to rethink many areas of cooperation with Beijing.

The People’s Republic of China is headed on a tragic trajectory that should be familiar to anyone with even cursory exposure to history. Due to a complex composition of factors – a century of torment at the hands of western powers and Japan as well as a toxic brew of nationalism – the PRC is not content with its place as the world’s second largest economy, or even largest when using purchasing-parity power, or PPP, as the benchmark. Nor is China happy with its standing as the planet’s second largest military armed with advanced weapons like “carrier-killer” missiles, a budding hypersonic weapons program and other top-tier offensive platforms. Beijing doesn’t even seem to regard its undertaking of major initiatives like the “One Belt, One Road” project and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank as signs of its rise to global superpower stature.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Will the Chinese strike .... I doubt it. But if they were to strike, I would say that two or three weeks before the U.S. election would be the perfect time for China to launch such an operation (i.e. seizing the Scarborough Shoal). The U.S. public will be distracted (even though this will be a major news story on the evening news for a few days), and the perception is that President Obama will go out of his way to not intervene forcefully for the simple reason that he does not want his legacy to be remembered as the President who started a conflict with China. And then there is the Russians .... Why Russia and China's Combat Drills in the South China Sea Matter (National Interest).


Anonymous said...

Why can't the Philippines build their own artificial islands? Too busy executing drug users I guess...

B.Poster said...


You may be quite right. In any event, this seems to be a problem for the Chinese and those in the region to work out.

Our only real interest in this right now is twofold. 1.)Ensure that "made in China" can reach the US. This is going to mean the shipping lanes need to be open and secure. While I do expect President Trump to renegotiate this trade agreement to one more less unfavorable to us, this will take time to negotiate and it will take time to build up our manufacturing. In the mean time, we need "made in China" far more than China needs "sold in USA." This is abundantly clear and policy makers need to act accordingly. 2.)The US dollar is going to lose its role as world reserve currency during the first term of the next POTUS. This cannot be prevented. As such, the goal needs to be a "soft landing" rather than a "hard landing" for the US and its economy. In order to ensure a "soft landing" we are going to need the assistance of both Russia and China far more than they are going to need to assist us.

As such, it would seem overwhelmingly in our interest to do things like support China's position in the South China Sea and to support Russia's position on Ukraine. We are going to need good relations with those countries or, at the very least, cordial relations with Russia and China. As such, countries like those in the region of the South China Sea and Ukraine cannot be allowed to screw this up for us.