The latest provocation by the Chinese was the water-cannon attack on Filipino fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal. The Philippines responded with a display of force- by reassigning this area of responsibility from their Northern Luzon Command to their Western Command. Which means they’ve embodied unity of effort… having one commander controlling their external defense. And the Philippines have stated they will take action if pressed.
China has taken this and other territorial disputes; with Vietnam, Malaysia, and Japan; as the main reason for increasing its military strength in the South China Sea. China has further threatened that it will retaliate against anyone who takes action against “their territories”, further claiming “Chinese government vessels are conducting regular patrols within China’s jurisdiction” and has “indisputable sovereignty” over its territory within the disputed area.
So what does this mean? If Japan attempts to further its hold on the Senkaku islands (which China claims) or the Philippines on the Scarborough reef … China has appeared to make the claim that they will use their military might–not just water cannons–to ensure the offending vessels vacate the area. I take this to mean, they will defend their vessels with air and other sea power.
Even with the United States cutting its military spending, the U.S. budget is still twice the reported (key word) budget of China; however, there is wide speculation between the expenditures that China publicizes and the amount they are actually spending on military spending. The U.S. has global commitments… but what does China have…? Where is the money going, and for what purpose?
In a previous post, I mentioned that China was conducting drills for a “quick strike”, meaning they would take an island by force by destroying other vessels in the area and sending forces to hold the island. The assumed target was the Senkakus, but it doesn’t necessarily limit itself to just those rocks in the middle of the ocean. This training could be used anywhere.
Beijing has been requested numerous times to show more transparency into its defense policies and military expenditures; however, Beijing has refused on several occasions claiming they just a developing nation.
Based on their actions, they seem to be a developing nation keen on solving territorial disputes with force. Where do you see this leading? Will China make the first move, or is this just another attempt to end these disputes bilaterally (i.e. in China’s favor)?
Read more @ http://bloom.bg/1hNFWcJ
More background @ http://bit.ly/1cCW2BA
(photo from philstar.com)