Confronting China at Sea

One for @alfred_the_great and other deep blue types.

If SDSR takes an anticipated turn to rebalancing the armed forces to better match a post Brexit island nation status (ditch the Armoured division*, invest in lighter Strike option, more hooligans and lots of grey sea & air platforms), then at some time or another China's domination of the south china sea and encroachment into surrounding areas is going to become a bit interesting.

Punching about one's weight is sort of inevitable when facing China, so where to start?

Some recent food for thought:
A. Ditch Mahan (US naval strategist proposing domination through force concentration & decisive battle) and shift to Corbett (UK thinker who proposed securing one's own sea routes, disrupt enemies and dominating through logistics/targeting subsequent over-extensions vigorously)**

b. taking down Chineses IADS will mean co-operation with the US

c. Greater use of un-manned systesm for logisitics and payload delivery

d. Better integration of force capabilities over a wider variety of platforms


All a bit US focused, however with the 21st century rise of India and China, the future is either co-operation and alliances with allies, or assimilation.....







*unless the EU offers to underwrite it in a White Company Condottieri-esque reboot.....
**though who knows how this all pans out as the UK/US vulnerabilities highlighted by Mackinder's pivot theory have come to fruition
 
E. Have nothing to do with it.
 

Yokel

LE
F. Concentrate on the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arabian Sea/Gulf. These are the places of immediate interest to us. Why does everyone seem to think we have to fight the PRC?

For example talk of CSG21 and the deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and a task group to the Far East as her 'first operational deployment' next year detracts from the fast she will be doing operational things this year.
 
F. Concentrate on the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arabian Sea/Gulf. These are the places of immediate interest to us. Why does everyone seem to think we have to fight the PRC?

For example talk of CSG21 and the deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and a task group to the Far East as her 'first operational deployment' next year detracts from the fast she will be doing operational things this year.
Er, the SCS is of immediate interest to us; and should we forget HK?
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Surely the first port of call would be to attract, recruit and retain more 'Born in Blythe, made in the Royal Navy' types?
 
F. Concentrate on the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arabian Sea/Gulf. These are the places of immediate interest to us. Why does everyone seem to think we have to fight the PRC?

For example talk of CSG21 and the deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and a task group to the Far East as her 'first operational deployment' next year detracts from the fast she will be doing operational things this year.
In part because of moves to re-engage with Africa and other areas of world trade.


China has spent the last 15 years building up its presence in Africa, mostly through finance and construction.
It has slowly encroachment on the northern and western reaches of the Somali Basin, with naval bases in Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Pakistan.
Stand by for East African ports to be more and more dominated.

The Eastern Med is about to be carved up by Turkey, the Arabian Gulf is accessed via the SB and the Atlantic will remain a US pond.

Increased Commerce in Africa will need protection at some stage and unless you are expecting no further brinkmanship from the Chinese a la Paracels/Sprateleys/9 dash line (China accuses UK warship of 'provocation'), having some ideas up ones sleeve seems prudent?
 
Surely the first port of call would be to attract, recruit and retain more 'Born in Blythe, made in the Royal Navy' types?
[flippant]
press gangs are always quicker than ship building.
You need enough vessels to hustle them on to though
[/flippant]
 
All a bit US focused, however with the 21st century rise of India and China, the future is either co-operation and alliances with allies, or assimilation.....
The U.S. is currently "courting" India hard, like a first Tinder date, to deter China a bit in that part of the world and take a little bit of pressure from the already stretched U.S. mil..

No wonder they are supplying so much U.S. equipment and conducting regular joint exercises.

 
In part because of moves to re-engage with Africa and other areas of world trade.


China has spent the last 15 years building up its presence in Africa, mostly through finance and construction.
It has slowly encroachment on the northern and western reaches of the Somali Basin, with naval bases in Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Pakistan.
Stand by for East African ports to be more and more dominated.

The Eastern Med is about to be carved up by Turkey, the Arabian Gulf is accessed via the SB and the Atlantic will remain a US pond.

Increased Commerce in Africa will need protection at some stage and unless you are expecting no further brinkmanship from the Chinese a la Paracels/Sprateleys/9 dash line (China accuses UK warship of 'provocation'), having some ideas up ones sleeve seems prudent?
And we need to accept we can do f*ck all about that unilaterally, and quite likely, multi-laterally.

The big fight over the next 20 years is between the US and China, and we don’t count.
 
The U.S. is currently "courting" India hard, like a first Tinder date, to deter China a bit in that part of the world and take a little bit of pressure from the already stretched U.S. mil..

No wonder they are supplying so much U.S. equipment and conducting regular joint exercises.

Also look at in terms of nuclear backing across the Pakistan India Frontier.
China is behind Pakistan due to CPEC China–Pakistan Economic Corridor - Wikipedia
India having the US behind it helps if things get a little mutually tetchy/twitchy near red buttons

Chabahar/Gwadar ports parallel development looks to be interesting and sets up an Indian/Chinese maritime trade flashpoint in the eastern Arabian gulf
,
 
And the sort of (at least seems like it) hatred from a few countries like Vietnam, Cambodia etc in SE-Asia against China, only seems to drive India and a few others a bit closer together. No wonder the U.S renamed their largest command from PACOM to USINDOPACOM a couple of years ago, to cover the Indian ocean as well.
 
And the sort of (at least seems like it) hatred from a few countries like Vietnam, Cambodia etc in SE-Asia against China, only seems to drive India and a few others a bit closer together. No wonder the U.S renamed their largest command from PACOM to USINDOPACOM a couple of years ago, to cover the Indian ocean as well.
ASEAN is a complex beast. The latest State of Southeast Asia Survey had clear majorities in ASEAN member states preferring the US over China only in Vietnam and the Philippines, probably due to the tense maritime disputes with these two countries.

Tellingly, these two plus Singapore are the only ones willing to align with the US in a Great Power struggle.

1579264953720.png

Diagram taken from the Nikkei Asian Review.
 

Yokel

LE
Er, the SCS is of immediate interest to us; and should we forget HK?
Hong Kong no longer belongs to the UK. The South China Sea is less important to us that the Atlantic or the Arabian Sea/Gulf.

In part because of moves to re-engage with Africa and other areas of world trade.


China has spent the last 15 years building up its presence in Africa, mostly through finance and construction.
It has slowly encroachment on the northern and western reaches of the Somali Basin, with naval bases in Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Pakistan.
Stand by for East African ports to be more and more dominated.

The Eastern Med is about to be carved up by Turkey, the Arabian Gulf is accessed via the SB and the Atlantic will remain a US pond.

Increased Commerce in Africa will need protection at some stage and unless you are expecting no further brinkmanship from the Chinese a la Paracels/Sprateleys/9 dash line (China accuses UK warship of 'provocation'), having some ideas up ones sleeve seems prudent?
Acting as part of the international community is not quite the same as what some suggest. As for African engagement, Africa does not have a Pacific coast. My post mentioned the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and the area of operations associated with the Arabian Sea includes areas of the Indian Ocean that borders African countries.
 
What’s the endgame here? Are you looking to get China in your hand?

It’s a fragile state of affairs and a bone idea to think we could match China should they cup the idea of projecting power at sea.
 

Majorpain

War Hero
ASEAN is a complex beast. The latest State of Southeast Asia Survey had clear majorities in ASEAN member states preferring the US over China only in Vietnam and the Philippines, probably due to the tense maritime disputes with these two countries.

Tellingly, these two plus Singapore are the only ones willing to align with the US in a Great Power struggle.

View attachment 444250
Diagram taken from the Nikkei Asian Review.
Interesting, if China can turn Malaysia and Indonesia to their team it solves one of their smaller problems in the short/medium term. They have a lot less further to go than I first thought.
 
And we need to accept we can do f*ck all about that unilaterally, and quite likely, multi-laterally.

The big fight over the next 20 years is between the US and China, and we don’t count.
Quite right, we don't - in that particular pagga. More likely we'll have to beware of that nice Mr Putin (or his proxies) taking advantage of US pre-occupation in the IO/Pac area and misbehaving closer to home.
 

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