Skip to comments.Is America Up for a Naval War with China?
Posted on 07/17/2020 4:18:35 AM PDT by Kaslin
Is the United States, preoccupied with a pandemic and a depression created by that medical crisis, prepared for a collision with China over Beijing's claims to the rocks, reefs, and resources of the South China Sea?
For that is what Mike Pompeo appeared to threaten this week.
"The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire," thundered the secretary of state.
"America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources ... and [we] reject any push to impose 'might makes right' in the South China Sea."
Thus did Pompeo put Beijing on notice that the U.S. does not recognize its claim to 90% of the South China Sea or to any exclusive Chinese right to its fishing grounds or oil and gas resources.
Rather, in a policy shift, the U.S. now recognizes the rival claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.
To signal the seriousness of Pompeo's stand, the U.S. sent the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz carrier battle groups through the South China Sea. And, this week, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed close by the Spratly Islands.
But what do Mike Pompeo's tough words truly mean?
While we have recognized the claims of the other littoral states of the South China Sea, does Pompeo mean America will use its naval power to defend their claims should China use force against the vessels of those five nations?
Does it mean that if Manila, our lone treaty ally in these disputes, uses force to reclaim what we see as its lawful rights in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy will fight the Chinese navy to validate Manila's claims?
Has Pompeo drawn a red line, which Beijing has been told not to cross at risk of war with the United States?
If so, does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?
Consider what happened to the people of Hong Kong when they thought they had the world's democracies at their back.
For a year, they marched and protested for greater political freedom with some believing they might win independence.
But when Beijing had had enough, it trashed the Basic Law under which Hong Kong had been ceded back to China and began a crackdown.
The democracies protested and imposed economic sanctions. But the bottom line is that Hong Kong's people not only failed to enlarge the sphere of freedom they had, but also they are losing much of what they had.
The Americans, seeing Hong Kong being absorbed into China, are now canceling the special economic privileges we had accorded the city, as the British offer millions of visas to Hong Kong's dissidents who fear what Beijing has in store for them.
In June, Pompeo also charged Beijing with human rights atrocities in Xinjiang: "The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression."
These reports, said Pompeo, "are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity."
China has rejected U.S. protests of its treatment of Uyghurs and Kazakhs and of its handling of Hong Kong as interference in its internal affairs and none of America's business.
As for the South China Sea, China dismissively replied that the U.S. seems to be "throwing its weight around in every sea of the world."
These American warnings, and Beijing's response, call to mind the darker days of the Cold War.
So, again, the question: Is America prepared for a naval clash in the South China Sea if Beijing continues to occupy and fortify islets and reefs she claims as her own? Are we prepared for a Cold War II -- with China?
While China lacks the strategic arsenal the USSR had in the latter years of the Cold War, economically, technologically, and industrially, China is a far greater power than Soviet Russia ever was. And China's population is four times as large.
Can we, should we, begin to assemble a system of alliances similar to what we had during the Cold War -- with NATO in Europe and Asian security pacts with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand? Should we adopt a policy of containment of Communist China, which, says Pompeo, is an expansionist and "imperialist" power?
Should we start issuing war guarantees to China's neighbors? Should we start putting down red lines China will not be allowed to cross?
Before we plunged into our half dozen Middle East wars, we didn't think through where those would end. Have we considered where all our belated bellicosity toward Beijing must invariably lead, and how this all ends?
The US still has a potentially massive coalition that would be compelled to follow.
China would be ended in short order.
The chicoms most certainly exist on borrowed time.
FREE HONG KONG - FREE CHINA!
Is China Up for a Land War with America?
Our navy is fired up and burning with enthusiasm to engage in a hot war with China.
They don’t have shit for a navy! And with COVID 19 gift they gave us, we have more than enough reason to royally kick their asses!
While China lacks the strategic arsenal the USSR had in the latter years of the Cold War, economically, technologically, and industrially, China is a far greater power than Soviet Russia ever was. And China’s population is four times as large.
China has a lot on their domestic plate. The regime is in danger due to its incompetent handling of the Wuhan virus. The regime feels threatened. A symptom of this is their draconian law regarding Hong Kong. If they didn’t feel their survival was at stake, they would have handled the Hong Kong protests with more patience and invisible leverage. The danger to the regime is entirely internal. The ongoing disaster at the world’s largest dam, even if it doesn’t collapse, will affect 200 million Chinese. Therefore, the regime is trying to focus the anger of the Chinese people outward. They tried creating an international incident with India. That backfired in a big way. They have ramped up threats to Taiwan and that isn’t working out well either. Now, they are threatening the other countries near them over the control of a portion of the sea lanes. This all smacks of desperation. Will they actually go to war when their entire country appears to be metaphorically burning down around them? That’s hard to say.
What is certain, if the US cedes control over that area to China then China will indeed become a big player. Their new income will be from tribute paid by shippers over the yearly trillion plus dollars worth of goods that must use that waterway. We are in the situation France was in around 1938/39. They could have stopped Hitler with little effort and no lives lost. By waiting and appeasing, they caused World War II to happen.
There are probably no good, easy decisions to make here. Anything done, or anything not done, will come at a cost. We either pay now or later. The longer we wait, the higher the cost.
Don’t think for a moment that Japan will stand by idly in a US-China conflict.
Is China Up for a Land War with America?
Where? The US will never put troops on mainland China or HK for that matter. And, Taiwan doesnt need US troops to defend itself?
China and Japan hate each other.
China has friends in low places - North Korea, Iran, Russia and Pakistan.
Then you have two of the EUs biggest Marxists, Merkel and Macron, pushing to align with China, since their ideals are much the same. The rotating presidency falls with Berlin this year.
Marxists have no morals, so it will depend on the rest of the EU to keep those two mongrels in line.
All-in-all, I think the world must confront China, Russia and Iran but I believe it could cost us all dearly. As it will absolutely take war and maybe several to do so effectively.
Yes, and the Japs would kick their butts in an ocean war.
You must have missed the fact that if a small child threw a rock a Three Gorges dam it would collapse and wipe out about 40 million downstream.
Does anyone think that a sea war with China will be confined to the China Sea?
There will be some scared folks on the west coast.
Still think we should tremble in fear every time China shoves us and our allies? Or should be we just quit and accept the moves the Chinese are making around the world with their "Belts and Roads Initiative"?
The reason we came out on top with the Cold War is that we accepted battle where we had to (Korea, Vietnam) and confronted where we had to (Berlin, Cuba, etc) and we let the Soviets know that we had the firepower needed if they tried a conventional (Fulda Gap) or nuclear exchange.
We need to oppose all Chinese expansionism and aggression, starting with the South Pacific and develop fighting alliances. We need to encourage the debtholders in Asia and Africa to default on the massive loans the Chinese made and use to control them and their ports.
Time to squeeze them and cut their threat now before they get too capable.
Sorry your "reactive arthritis" made you a 4F and you missed out on our war, buddy.
Consider the author.
At the current situation if the Three Gorges dam destroys itself China will have a whole lot less people,
Well, let me say this.. If such a thing would happen then what we need to do immediately is start a draft.! That way, a very large portion of the left, the PJ wearing, feminized, do nothing scumbags would run off to Canada. Just like they did in the 60's.. It sure would solve some big problems we're having in our country right now and just may save our future...
I’m not going to attack Buchanan for asking some good questions, however, the recent actions the United States have taken were not done in a vacuum.
I would challenge Buchanan this way... What, Pat is the alternative?
What question should we ask if we do nothing and China continues to grow and throw its weight around? Are they or are they not belligerent when it comes to any of their disputed claims?
Usually, when two or more countries have disputes over territorial claims, they hash things out by talking, seeking mediation, appealing to the UN, allies that type of stuff.
Pat, do you think the Chinese actions of building up those islands and placing military bases and weapons on them is NOT a provocation? That the United States should not step in to declare that unfair?
What’s the point then, Pat, when China uses might to make it “right”? We back off?
They get to keep those islands? Mao did say power comes from the barrel of a gun!
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