Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Chinese Military Buildup in S. China Sea Raises Alarm

HONG KONG — When the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis and four other American warships sailed into the South China Sea last week for what were described as routine exercises, the message was clear: The United States is the dominant military power in the region and plans to keep it that way.
But numerous Chinese naval ships were operating nearby, the United States Navy said, noticeably more than in past years. A Chinese officer told the state-run news media that the ships were there to “monitor, identify, follow and expel” foreign vessels and aircraft, depending on how close they came “to our islands.”
The encounter, which passed without incident, was the latest episode in a wary standoff between the United States and China over two contested island chains known as the Paracels and the Spratlys.

Since taking office three years ago, President Xi Jinping has used the isles to expand China’s military footprint in the region, taking one step after another to build and equip outposts far from the Chinese mainland over protests from its neighbors and from Washington.

Read the rest here.


rabidgandhi said...

Why is there this "alarm" when the Chinese (with a military budget 1/4th of the US military budget) deploy war ships in their adjacent waters, but no such "alarm" at the US ships being in the same waters, over 10,000 km away? And which of those two countries has a penchant for starting wars every year? (hint: not China)

John (Ad Orientem) said...

An excellent response.

Stephen said...

Ah, so there is some ratio that exists that informs of things being better than otherwise and proximity to one's own borders? I'm trying to find something in realpolitik that will give me some comfort as to being on higher moral ground, but I don't see it here. Expansion and growth, as well as contraction and decline, can all equally lead to conflict; the hated Manchus ruled the Han for centuries, but before that it was somewhat reversed - was either better? American expanded west at the expense of the Indians, the natives of New Zealand didn't stand a chance against Victoria's British subjects, and after the Time of Troubles the Russians ruled so far to the east as overwhelm the earlier impact of the Mongolians since Genghis Khan.
The only difference between all that went before and post WWII - and biggest - is the potential lack of any conflict's self-containment. That nature abhors a vacuum, which power should fill that vacuum, given the opportunity cost of NOT having some other power do so? Riddle me that, Batman!