China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

China voiced a warning to Taiwan, telling them to not declare formal independence. China amps up rhetoric on U.S., Taiwan over American bill poised to be law
China warned Taiwan on Friday it would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to warnings from state media the country could go to war over Taiwan if the United States passes into law a bill promoting closer U.S. ties.
They told Taiwan to "not rely on foreigners to build yourselves up" and that getting caught in the middle could "draw the fire upon you".
"We also sternly warn Taiwan: do not rely on foreigners to build yourselves up, or it will only draw the fire upon you," it said in a short statement.
This is related to new legislation being considered in the US which would upgrade US relations with Taiwan.

An editorial in the newspaper China Daily said that declaring independence would trigger China's Anti-Secession Law, under which China would use force to prevent secession.
In a strongly-worded editorial, the official China Daily said if the bill becomes law it will only encourage Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to further assert the island's sovereignty.

"Which, if she persisted, would lead to the inevitable consequence of triggering the Anti-Secession Law that allows Beijing to use force to prevent the island from seceding," the paper said, referring to a Chinese law passed in 2005.

"Since the U.S. is bound by domestic law to act on behalf of the island in that instance, it would only give substance to the observation that the descent into hell is easy."
 
At the start of the annual Chinese Communist Party congress, a 8% increase in defence spending to 1 trillion Yuan is announced,


Chinese military spending has increased by 10% or more annually for most of the last 30 years.
 
Not specifically about Asia but rather the Arctic: this week's New Statesman has as its cover story a piece by Kristina Spohr entitled 'The scramble for the Arctic'. Her three headline points are as follows:

China calls itself a 'near-Arctic nation', even though its northernmost point is 900 miles south of the Arctic Circle

The region holds 13 per cent of the world's undiscovered oil

In 2015, Moscow conducted the largest full-scale military readiness exercise in the Arctic since the collapse of the USSR

Her conclusion is chilling and worth reproducing here in full:

The Arctic has been described as the world's 'last frontier', the 'last white dot on the map'. Now it is beginning to be coloured in. As the climate changes, its ice-scape will become a seascape. And a region that did not belong to anybody will be divided up - through co-operation or conflict, or perhaps a mixture of both. What may prove to the new world order - a new multipolar system of international politics - is taking shape there, as Russia and China seek to challenge an American hegemony that, in their view, has lasted for too long.

Both think big. But Xi's China has far deeper pockets and operates with much greater diplomatic shrewdness than Putin's Russia. This combination of vision, money and finesse is nowhere to be seen in the Western world - certainly not in Trump's Washington. As for Brexit Britain, supposedly entering a new global era, it seems barely able to raise its eyes beyond the power politics of Westminster.


Dr Aino Rosa Kristina Spohr
 
Not specifically about Asia but rather the Arctic: this week's New Statesman has as its cover story a piece by Kristina Spohr entitled 'The scramble for the Arctic'.
Well, Asia does have a long Arctic Ocean coastline. The Arctic Ocean may be a forgotten ocean for many people, but there is nothing about this thread which restricts discussion to just the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Her three headline points are as follows:

China calls itself a 'near-Arctic nation', even though its northernmost point is 900 miles south of the Arctic Circle

The region holds 13 per cent of the world's undiscovered oil

In 2015, Moscow conducted the largest full-scale military readiness exercise in the Arctic since the collapse of the USSR

Her conclusion is chilling and worth reproducing here in full:

The Arctic has been described as the world's 'last frontier', the 'last white dot on the map'. Now it is beginning to be coloured in. As the climate changes, its ice-scape will become a seascape. And a region that did not belong to anybody will be divided up - through co-operation or conflict, or perhaps a mixture of both. What may prove to the new world order - a new multipolar system of international politics - is taking shape there, as Russia and China seek to challenge an American hegemony that, in their view, has lasted for too long.

Both think big. But Xi's China has far deeper pockets and operates with much greater diplomatic shrewdness than Putin's Russia. This combination of vision, money and finesse is nowhere to be seen in the Western world - certainly not in Trump's Washington. As for Brexit Britain, supposedly entering a new global era, it seems barely able to raise its eyes beyond the power politics of Westminster.

Dr Aino Rosa Kristina Spohr
We've discussed this subject before quite a few times. Here's a couple of recent examples with links to CBC stories on this same topic which may be relevant to those interested in additional perspectives.
https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...rous-drift-to-war-in-asia.196602/post-8387164
https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...rous-drift-to-war-in-asia.196602/post-8388954

In one of those posts I said the following:
I suspect that China see the Arctic as too important to ignore. Their main interest at this point appears to be shipping. The five countries around the Arctic Ocean (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, the USA) have been attempting to establish a set of norms which essentially divide up control of the Arctic amongst themselves while effectively excluding other countries from what would normally be international waters. Meanwhile, this is complicated by disputes between each of the Arctic countries (Russia versus Norway, Canada versus the US).

I suspect that China's main interest is ensuring that they have a place at the table if and when any deals amongst Arctic countries are struck.
I think the New Statesman story however suffers from focusing too narrowly on Arctic disputes involving Russia and not addressing those between the US and Canada, or Canada and Greenland (Denmark). I suspect the US-Canada dispute in particular is something that China could leverage to their advantage, as following along with the US maximalist navigation agenda could be used by China to gain access to pretty much any part of the Arctic they desire.
 
The Chinese are reportedly conducting tests at sea of their new electromagnetic rail gun. Reports reveal major achievements in Chinese naval weaponry - Global Times

There's not a lot of actual news about the rail gun itself, but one of the engineers on the project has received awards for her contribution to the project.

The power supply will be one of the key components of any such system. The Chinese are saying their power supply is more advanced than that used by the US in their own project.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy indirectly confirmed tests of electromagnetic railguns on a warship through a profile of a female scientist on its official website, experts said.

On Thursday, navy.81.cn published a report about Zhang Xiao, an associate research fellow at the PLA Naval University of Engineering. The report mentioned that Zhang is a key figure in China's research into "electromagnetic launching technology," and she is also a core member of the team led by Rear Admiral Ma Weiming, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Ma's team is responsible for research into the most significant areas for the Chinese navy, including nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, and Zhang has also made her own contributions to the navy.

"After hundreds of failures and more than 50,000 tests," Zhang has successfully developed the largest "repeating power supply system" in the world, the report said.

"The repeating power supply system is the power source of an electromagnetic railgun. The US started developing it earlier than China and has carried out more experiments and tests, and both the US and China's railguns run on the same operating principle. But thanks to the repeating power supply system, China's railgun has a more stable and continuous power supply," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.
Here's her photo, from another news site.

 
Exclusive - Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy...



Enforcing their claims presumably and marrying up two groups, including one which contains a carrier:
Sailing in a line formation more suited to visual propaganda than hard military manoeuvres, the flotilla was headed by what appeared to be submarines, with aircraft above.

Jeffrey Lewis, a security expert at the California-based based Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies, said the images showed the first confirmation that the carrier was joining the drills.

“It’s an incredible picture,” he said. “That’s the big news to me. Confirmation that, yes, the carrier participated in the exercise.”

While the Liaoning has previously entered the South China Sea as part of drills in uncontested training grounds south of Hainan, its annual exercises are closely watched by regional and international powers eyeing Beijing’s growing military might.
Inter-fleet interoperability is one such thought as well. Looks abit like one of those old 'spithead reviews'
Collin Koh, a security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, described the deployment as unusual for its size and scope.

“Judging by the images, it does seem they are keen to show that elements of the South Sea Fleet are able to routinely join up with the carrier strike group from Dalian in the north,” he said.

“It does seem they want to show inter-fleet interoperability - something the (Chinese) navy has been quietly working on for some time.”
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Vanuatu (wuz the New Hebrides) in the frame now.
 

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