Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy 2013! War in the Spratleys

From Strategy Page:

     The Chinese announcement that it would begin enforcing new rules, starting January 1st, that will have Chinese naval patrols escorting, or expelling, foreign ships from most of the South China Sea has mobilized a lot of resistance. This should not be surprising as the new rules include offshore areas of the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, and Vietnam that international law does not recognize as Chinese. India and the United States have both announced that they will not obey and that Indian and American warships expect to move unmolested through the South China Sea in 2013.

     China had issued new passports (since last May) which had the new map of China showing the South China Sea as Chinese territory and part of India as part of China. This was ignored until the recent announcement that the Chinese navy would threaten or harass foreign ships in parts of the South China Sea claimed by China. The Philippines and Vietnam have refused to recognize this passport. India is stamping visas for Chinese with the Indian version of the map. Filipinos are also angry at how China has reneged on its agreement to withdraw its warships from Scarborough Shoal (which, according to international law, is Filipino). Both countries agreed to withdraw their warships from the shoal but three Chinese ships remain. The Chinese keep offering excuses of why the ships are still there and the ships show no sign of leaving.

     Not good, the South China Sea has been a powder keg for years, and China continues to piss off her neighbors. In the last few years we've seen a U.S. naval research harassed by Chinese fishermen, ChiComm frigates patrolling Scarborough Shoal, the ChiComms questioning a Indian naval vessel why she was in the South China Sea, amongst other provocative actions. Now we have China showing part of India as China, this isn't new, there have been territorial disputes between China and India since the '60s over parts of the Himalayas, but this is going to ruffle some serious feathers in New Delhi. With Sparky in office and no one in south Asia capable of beating China in a shooting war, this is going to be heck of a ride. A big chunk of Japan and South Korea's oil passes through the area, not to mention the fishing done by Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines in the area. Come 1/1/13 it's going to be interesting to see what happens, because if the U.S. does not come to the aid of our allies in the area, it will show the world the U.S. doesn't have the balls to stand up to her adversaries.

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