US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

China Plans Base in South China Sea to Launch Deep-Diving Drones

Further militarization under the guise of ‘science’:

 

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Just after the likely next head of US Pacific Command told Congress China’s undersea warfare capability is one of the most pressing threats to the US, a new report says Beijing is establishing another base in the South China Sea for deploying manned and unmanned submersible vehicles.

The base would be located in Sanya, a city on the southern edge of China’s Hainan island, Asia Times reported Friday. Continue reading