Short of War, China Now Controls South China Sea

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and fighter jets take part in a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

Tensions in the South China Sea are on the boil again amid new reports that China has deployed advanced missiles to land features in the disputed maritime area.

According to new reports, China has installed several Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Anti-Cruise Ballistic Missiles (ACBMs) systems across the Paracel and Spratly island chains, parts of which are claimed by multiple regional states including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Weeks earlier, China also deployed electronic jamming equipment to the maritime area, giving it the ability to disrupt the command-and-control communications of rival states’ military assets operating in the South China Sea. Continue reading

China ‘crosses threshold’ with missiles at South China Sea outposts

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PLA soldiers march near a sign on the Spratly Islands. China lays claim to almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. Photo: Reuters

 

Anti-ship missiles reportedly allow China to strike vessels within a 295 nautical mile radius of man-made islands

The news comes less than a month after The Wall Street Journal reported that “military jamming equipment” had been installed on the Spratly Islands, one of the locations also identified in the report this week.

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Taiwan Livid After China Secretly Installs Cruise Missiles On Contested Spratly Islands

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Tensions continue to flare up in the South China Sea, as Beijing has reportedly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the region, as reported by CNBC on Wednesday, which cited sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports. The missiles have reportedly been installed on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.

The land-based anti-ship cruise missiles, designated as YJ-12B, allow China to strike surface vessels within 295 nautical miles of the reefs. Meanwhile, the long-range surface-to-air missiles designated as HQ-9B, have an expected range of targeting aircraft, drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles. –CNBC

As we’ve documented again and again (and again and again), China’s military buildup in the Pacific, particularly surrounding the Spratly Islands, a collection of small islands, cays and atolls in the South China Sea, is one of the greatest long-term risks to peace and stability in the US and many of China’s neighbors, who have territorial claims in the region that may conflict with China’s. Continue reading

Pacom Nominee: China Military Islands Now Control South China Sea

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

 

Admiral urges rapid U.S. buildup of hypersonic and medium-range missiles to counter China threat

China has deployed electronic attack systems and other military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and is now capable of controlling the strategic waterway, according to the admiral slated to be the next Pacific Command chief.

Additionally, the command nominee Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement this week that the military urgently needs hypersonic and other advanced weaponry to defeat China’s People’s Liberation Army in a future conflict. Continue reading

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

Airstrips and military facilities on China’s Subi Reef as seen from a Philippine military transport plane on April 21, 2017. China has renewed its militarization efforts in the South China Sea while attention has been focused on North Korea. (Bullit Marquez/AP/File)

 

While the world has turned its focus to North Korea, satellite images show new Chinese high-frequency radar facilities on its controversial man-made outposts in the Spratly and Parcel Islands. China has been pressured to halt its militarization of the contested land.

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think-tank said on Thursday. Continue reading

Vietnam Bends the Knee to China

Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanies President Tran Dai Quang of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to view a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on May 11, 2017 in Beijing, China. GETTY IMAGES

 

More proof that in the South China Sea, Beijing is king.

In recent decades, Vietnam has distinguished itself several times as a nation not afraid to stand up to its larger and far more powerful neighbor to the North. From the border conflicts of the 1970s and ’80s to the passage in 2012 of the “Law on the Sea” resolution, Hanoi has demonstrated its willingness to resist Beijing. But last month, in a sign of the shifting power balance between China and the United States, Vietnam yielded to Beijing’s intimidation. Continue reading

China Sends Warships, Fighter Jets to Intercept U.S. Destroyer in South China Sea

 

Just days before Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president in Hamburg later this week for the G-20 summit, the Trump administration sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, a move “which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.”

According to an anonymous official cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, passing through the contested waters on the basis of “innocent passage.” Continue reading

Pentagon report: China advances in taking military control of strategic Pacific sea lanes

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers patrol Woody Island in the Paracel Archipelago. / Reuters

 

China is using non-military “coercion” in an effort to gain control of strategic waters in the Asian Pacific, the Pentagon said in its annual report to Congress released on June 6.

“China continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims in the East and South China Seas,” the report said, adding that Beijing’s tactic involves the use of “timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase effective control over disputed areas and avoid escalation to military conflict.” Continue reading

In first under Trump, U.S. warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey prepares for a replenishment-at-sea in the South China Sea May 19, 2017. Picture taken May 19, 2017. Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

 

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

The so-called freedom of navigation operation, which is sure to anger China, comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Continue reading

Philippine forces call Beijing’s bluff in South China Sea

Philippines-controlled Thitu Island, also known as Pagasa, in the Spratly chain of islands in the disputed South China Sea. | REUTERS

 

The Philippines has begun moving military forces to the disputed Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea

(WASHINGTON, DC) Pag-asa Island is claimed by both Manila and Beijing and according to a Philippine general the pacific U.S. ally has plan to build infrastructure and lengthen the airstrip on the island.

The troops and initial supplies arrived at Pag-asa Island last week, Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, head of the Philippine military’s Western Command, said as quoted by AP. Continue reading

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

China already moving to test Trump

Threatening to penalize US automaker, fortifying South China Sea islets

BEIJING — Eager to see how Donald Trump backs up his hard-line rhetoric, the Chinese government is taking steps to elicit responses from the U.S. president-elect on the economic and foreign policy fronts.

An official of the National Development and Reform Commission has revealed that an unnamed U.S. automaker is to be fined for instructing dealerships in China to fix prices, according to the English-language newspaper China Daily. Trump has responded by meeting with Wilbur Ross, his pick for commerce secretary. Continue reading

Exclusive: China installs weapons systems on artificial islands – U.S. think tank

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A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea in this image released on December 13, 2016. Courtesy CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said its findings come despite statements by the Chinese leadership that Beijing has no intention to militarize the islands in the strategic trade route, where territory is claimed by several countries.

AMTI said it had been tracking construction of hexagonal structures on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi reefs in the Spratly Islands since June and July. China has already built military length airstrips on these islands. Continue reading

Pax China: Manila’s capitulation sets ominous precedent for U.S. allies in Far East

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a signing ceremony in Beijing on Oct. 20. / Ng Han Guan / AP

 

Rodrigo Duterte was reputed as a killer long before his election as president of the Philippines five months ago. He countenanced the slaughter of hundreds of drug addicts and dealers while mayor of Davao, the major port city on the rebel-infested southern island of Mindanao, and has applauded the arbitrary killing of upwards of 2,000 more druggies as president.

Duterte’s brutality, though, doesn’t mean he’s interested in battling China on behalf of his country in the South China Sea. In fact, he’s confounded strategists in Washington by appearing to disavow the historic Philippine-American alliance, aligning with the Chinese while tossing out agreements with the U.S. He’s saying, in effect, “Yankee Go Home.” Continue reading

Chinese Warships Shadow Alaska Amid G20 Fallout

(VERO BEACH, FL) Five Chinese warships have been spotted in international waters off the coast of the Bering Sea near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

The armed flotilla has been under observation by US military elements for several days, TASS reports.

The White House is aware of the Chinese warships, and the Pentagon has not registered any threatening activity, even though the same five Chinese warships came within 12 miles of the US coastline during President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska in September 2015.

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