Passivity in the Face of Big-Power Aggression

  • The West has developed reasonable-sounding rationales for not acting in the face of what is clearly aggression by big powers. That inaction has bought peace, but the peace has never been more than temporary.
  • Officials in Beijing and Moscow believe their countries should be bigger than they are today. Faced with little or no resistance, China and Russia are succeeding in redrawing their borders by force.
  • Should we be concerned by a nuclear-armed, hostile state falling apart? Of course, but we should be more worried by a hostile state launching nuclear attacks on the Baltics, as the Kremlin has repeatedly threatened to do.
  • The Chinese and Russians may be villains, but it is we, through inaction, who have permitted them to be villainous. The choice is no longer risk versus no risk. The choice is which awful risk to assume.

Speaking in April at the Aspen Security Forum in London, Douglas Lute, Washington’s permanent representative to NATO, said:

“So essentially there is a sense that, yes, there is a new more assertive, maybe even more aggressive Russia, but that fundamentally Russia is a state in decline. We have conversations in NATO headquarters about states in decline and arrive at two fundamental models: states in rapid decline which typically lead to chaos and breakdown, and states in gradual decline. Then we ask ourselves: Which of these two tracks would we rather have our nearest, most militarily capable neighbor, with thousands of nuclear weapons, move along? To many, trying to manage Russia’s decline seems more attractive than a failed state of that size and magnitude right on the border of NATO.”

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PLA capable of removing Philippines military base in disputed area of South China Sea, warns Communist Party mouthpiece

https://i0.wp.com/cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980x551/public/images/methode/2016/06/27/2c24a66a-3c20-11e6-8294-3afaa7dcda6c_1280x720.jpg

The Philippines military vessel grounded on the shoal in 1999 and used a base. Photo: SCMP Pictures

 

China has shown patience, but it is committed to defending its territory, says commentary in the People’s Daily ahead of tribunal ruling on maritime disputes in the region

China is fully capable of removing a Philippine naval vessel set up as a permanent base in a disputed atoll in the South China Sea, but has so far shown restraint, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece said on Monday.

The commentary in the People’s Daily comes ahead of an imminent ruling from a international court in The Hague on China’s claims to territory in the region’s disputed waters. The case was bought by the Philippines. Continue reading

China Pres Urges Military To Expand, Strengthen

As China becomes a superpower, so with it comes the need for a stronger military.

President Xi Jinping told the Navy this weekend that he wants his military to train harder, strengthen their defense capabilities and protect the country’s “sovereignty, security and development.”

Last week, President Xi was at the Shenyang military theater of operations where he visited a training session aboard China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Continue reading

Philippines deploys marines to disputed shoal in strategic sea

MANILA–The Philippines has deployed a fresh batch of marines and supplies to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea, where a Chinese warship and surveillance vessels appeared last month and triggered a new standoff in the strategic waters, the Philippine defense secretary said Wednesday.

The new contingent of Filipino marines replaced troops at the Second Thomas Shoal, where the arrival last month of Chinese ships sparked diplomatic protests from the Philippines. Continue reading

PLA Navy’s three fleets meet in South China Sea for rare show of force

China’s navy has carried out a rare joint exercise, involving its three fleets, in the South China Sea as regional tensions over territorial disputes mount.

The combined drill was carried out in southern waters by warships, submarines and the naval air force from the People’s Liberation Army’s North Sea, East Sea and South Sea fleets, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday. Continue reading