RN HMS Sutherland to sail through the south China seas disputed water

Couldn’t agree more. However, in this case, I’d argue that China is behaving like the great power that it is (re)developing into. I’ve encountered the Chinese military quite a bit during the course of my career, particularly in the last decade. I’ve also studied many of the historical constructs modern norms are built upon and always find it useful to project my appreciation of issues from the other side’s perspective.

While I am not naive enough to suggest that the West is not being hypocritical in certain regards, Beijing’s ambitions concern me greatly.

Indeed, I’d go so far as saying that there are worrying parallels with the 1920s and 30s. That saw a resurgence of nationalism in, rearming and gradual expansion of one former European great power. This was due to having its nose rubbed in the dirt economically and militarily by the West after its defeat in WWI and subsequent loss of status. All this occurred against a background of disarmament and appeasement in Western Europe.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, a resurgent, former empire was seeking to reassert its access to the Pacific and natural resources across SE Asia. That meant challenging a dominant US that was displaying isolationist policies towards Europe.

As ever, there are rights, wrongs, naivety and ignorance on both sides. However, I find the parallels between modern day Russia and China worrying. China’s militarisation and slow encroachment of the SCS remind me of the small steps that both Germany and Japan took which cumulatively led in only one direction.

Regards,
MM
In so far as UNCLOS is concerned, the US and Russia have closely aligned interests in terms of a maximalist navigation agenda. In Russia's case this is due to their geographic position where many of their best routes to the high seas run past the coastal waters of other countries. In the case of the US, this is due to their seeing themselves as "owning" the high seas. There are some exceptions with respect to Russia being sensitive about certain waters close to their shores, but I think you would see the same reaction if the Chinese navy started routinely transiting through the islands of southern Florida.

In the case of China, I suspect their position will evolve along with the rise of their navy and overall global power to favour the navigation agenda, as noted in the quote in a previous post, if it hasn't already. The artificial islands themselves are capable of serving either agenda. They're a stake in the ground intended to force the coastal states in the region to come to the table - that being China's table, not the one belonging to the US.

As a country with the world's longest coastline and extensive archipelagic waters and large bays, Canada is firmly in the coastal states' camp. The US on the other hand has been aggressive in pursuing their interests at Canada's expense in the Arctic. Obama and Canada came to an agreement which would put some of this on the back burner, but Trump has committed himself to positions which could lead to him tearing up this agreement.

This has been a long existing problem (the problem of American expansionism has existed in one form or another for a couple of hundred years), and Canada's diplomatic strategy has revolved around delaying things until a more advantageous opportunity has arisen. There have been some suggestions lately that Russian or Chinese naval vessels nosing around the area could lead the US to reassess where their interests lie in this area and cause them to back off with respect to Canada.

The issue isn't all black and white if you are prepared to look at things from the perspective of others.
 
The Japanese push came as their reaction to the shock of being forcibly opened up to foreign trade. This was particularly true because they had built up a conceit of divine descent that made the shock of foreign intervention even more intense.

China's been through multiple shock reactions to being forced open, has always been a multiethnic entity with a dominant high culture and endless local variations. It's also primarily been a land power with access to huge resources from internal and regional trade that can't be choked off the way Japan's could.

One parallel that might stand is that the Japanese started out attempting to work within the existing system, trying to become a modern Imperial power along European lines. Their militarist faction seized power precisely because the existing powers weren't willing to accommodate the new reality within the existing system, so Japan set out to create a new one more to its own liking.
Keeping in mind in all this that the core of the dispute between all the colonial powers, including Japan, was with respect to who got what in the colonial carve-up of east Asia, I don't think any of them were occupying the moral high ground there. The best that could be said of any of them is that some were less ruthless in their treatment of the locals than others. Britain acquired much of their colonial empire by bludgeoning the previous colonial overlords and rifling their pockets for valuables.

Up until the second half of the 20th century the world very much revolved around a colonial order. Japan attempting to relieve some temporarily inconvenienced colonial powers of their colonies was very much within the world system established by the western powers. The thing that did make the Japanese stand out was the degree of rapacity and thuggishness with which they went about it.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
.. always find it useful to project my appreciation of issues from the other side’s perspective. ..
Indeedy. In any negotiation or conflict situation ALWAYS role play the other guy.
 
Indeedy. In any negotiation or conflict situation ALWAYS role play the other guy.
The crucial point is to role play what the other guy would do in that situation and not what you'd do in his position.

If you don't realise they have a different set of priorities, you'll not understand what they're looking to come away with.
 
The crucial point is to role play what the other guy would do in that situation and not what you'd do in his position.

If you don't realise they have a different set of priorities, you'll not understand what they're looking to come away with.
Or to put it another way
Sun Tzu said:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
The crucial point is to role play what the other guy would do in that situation and not what you'd do in his position.

If you don't realise they have a different set of priorities, you'll not understand what they're looking to come away with.
The key to this is to do it in two stages. The first is to figure out his aim, what is he wanting as a core essential and what of his demands are there to be a cushion. The second is to figure out how he will likely set about trying to achieve this, taking into account his assets for the task.

The Spratly stuff is now a fait accompli and vapouring about it has no ultimate effect. So the qn is what does China want to do next there? Not a lot is I think the answer, just mature what they have done into a permanent setup.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Britain acquired much of their colonial empire by bludgeoning the previous colonial overlords and rifling their pockets for valuables.
:thumright:
some odd ones:
Jamaica -from Spain
Minorca - -- " ---
Gibraltar -- " ---

Canada and numerous Caribbean islands - from the French ( we let them keep Louisiana)


Sri Lanka/South Efrika - from the Dutch

Tanganyka, South West Efrika - from der Chermans (post WW1) - oh and some islands off the Northern German coast - Syldt,Borkum etc

Sudan, Palestine and..er..Somalia from the Ottomans
 
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Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
1704 ...I expect someone will be along shortly to take issue with me over Somaliland and Tanzania - it's all a bit broadbrush to be honest

- and before the Dons got hold of it , the Moors called it Djebel Tarik :)

(every day a school day on Arrse - LINK )
 
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It is recognised internationally that China is illegally reclaiming or creating maritime features for military purposes, causing immense and irreparable environmental damage, conducting dangerous and unprofessional interceptions of aircraft, and trying to intimidate its neighbours into ceding large areas of the South China Sea (and let's not even mention Chinese Antarctic activity).

Personally, I would argue that ignoring such behaviour on the basis that it may be economically damaging to the UK would be akin to allowing a local thug to live in your rented accommodation because he pays you more than most other tenants.

Regards,
MM
Mmmm, so very unlike what our governments of the last 30 years have been doing? We are a weak island nation just outside Europe, get used to it!
 
Mmmm, so very unlike what our governments of the last 30 years have been doing? We are a weak island nation just outside Europe, get used to it!
Really? Please feel free to list examples where the UK has engaged in the following:

1. Illegal land reclamation to create maritime features for military purposes.
2. Systematic environmental damage.
3. Dangerous and unprofessional interceptions of aircraft.

Regards,
MM
 
Really? Please feel free to list examples where the UK has engaged in the following:

1. Illegal land reclamation to create maritime features for military purposes.
2. Systematic environmental damage.
3. Dangerous and unprofessional interceptions of aircraft.

Regards,
MM
Really? Please feel free to list examples where the UK has engaged in the following:

1. Illegal land reclamation to create maritime features for military purposes.
2. Systematic environmental damage.
3. Dangerous and unprofessional interceptions of aircraft.

Regards,
MM
So, I’m not sure I said we had done any of those things? Burning Cadiz probably wasn’t militarily justified or particularly green though, thoughts?

Do you know many Chinese? I guess the interceptions, unacceptable to a knight of the air, seem pretty ‘kin effective to them?
 
So, I’m not sure I said we had done any of those things? Burning Cadiz probably wasn’t militarily justified or particularly green though, thoughts?...
My apologies, I thought you were being facetious.

...Do you know many Chinese?...
As said previously, yes. Including military guys.

...I guess the interceptions, unacceptable to a knight of the air, seem pretty ‘kin effective to them?
Read the thread. It’s not just ‘knights of the air’ Who find them unprofessional. Ironically, what they practice on a routine basis is far from effective. Quite aside from the loss of one aircraft and its pilot in 2000, show boating prevents them making detailed inspections of our aircraft and taking photographs for intelligence purposes.

Regards,
MM
 
Mmmm, so very unlike what our governments of the last 30 years have been doing? We are a weak island nation just outside Europe, get used to it!
So, I’m not sure I said we had done any of those things? Burning Cadiz probably wasn’t militarily justified or particularly green though, thoughts?
My thoughts are that it was over 300 years ago not thirty and we were at war with Spain. PRC isn't tmk at war with anybody who has a claim on islands in the South China Sea.
 
My apologies, I thought you were being facetious.



As said previously, yes. Including military guys.



Read the thread. It’s not just ‘knights of the air’ Who find them unprofessional. Ironically, what they practice on a routine basis is far from effective. Quite aside from the loss of one aircraft and its pilot in 2000, show boating prevents them making detailed inspections of our aircraft and taking photographs for intelligence purposes.

Regards,
MM
MM, I lurk on here and post rarely, never without purpose. Normally I find yourposts educational, you are looking at all of this from a Western perspective.
I have worked in China, I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to profess to understand the culture, I do know enough to understand that they may have a somewhat different interpretation on “unprofessional”, they will have been told it was very professional!
Foxconn or Huawei made my IPad and probably yours, between them they employ nearing 2m people and build our nuclear power stations............the world has changed!
 
...you are looking at all of this from a Western perspective...
No. I hope that I’m looking at it from a international legal, practical and common sense perspective. China has actually signed up to the legal aspects via ICAO which is of course a UN body.

...I do know enough to understand that they may have a somewhat different interpretation on “unprofessional”, they will have been told it was very professional!...
I’ve met PLAAF and PLAN aircrew and they’re actually taught very little regarding interception protocols and very rarely practice the techniques involved. Instead its left up to individuals to decide what they do. It’s this poor training which results in breaches of international norms.

Moreover, when you raise the issue of unintended consequences (eg the fatal mid-air collision with the USN EP-3E), explain our procedures, and let them watch videos of the same, most go away realising that what they do is neither sensible or professional.

There’s a reason China is asking to learn about how the UK manages its airspace and sends representatives on visits or requests visits to them.

...the world has changed!
And continues to do so, very rapidly. Common sense and good airmanship do not however.

Regards,
MM
 
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Really? Please feel free to list examples where the UK has engaged in the following:

1. Illegal land reclamation to create maritime features for military purposes.
2. Systematic environmental damage.
3. Dangerous and unprofessional interceptions of aircraft.

Regards,
MM
1. Whale Island.
2. Gaseous emissions from those who have to get the PAYD menu there.
3. Errrr.....
 
No. I hope that I’m looking at it from a international legal, practical and common sense perspective. China has actually signed up to the legal aspects via ICAO which is of course a UN body.



I’ve met PLAAF and PLAN aircrew and they’re actually taught very little regarding interception protocols and very rarely practice the techniques involved. Instead its left up to individuals to decide what they do. It’s this poor training which results in breaches of international norms.

Moreover, when you raise the issue of unintended consequences (eg the fatal mid-air collision with the USN EP-3E), explain our procedures, and let them watch videos of the same, most go away realising that what they do is neither sensible or professional.

There’s a reason China is asking to learn about how the UK manages its airspace and sends representatives on visits or requests visits to them.



And continues to do so, very rapidly. Common sense and good airmanship do not however.

Regards,
MM
Really interesting and informative. I think my issue was with your local thug/rented house analogy, my response was that our government have done similar, F111’s from Greenham to Libya?

Personally I regard China as a far greater, and considerably more insidious, long term threat than Russia.

I simply don’t believe our military and political masters look at the real risks and unintended consequences of provoking a country soon to be the second great military power on the planet.
 
Really interesting and informative. I think my issue was with your local thug/rented house analogy, my response was that our government have done similar, F111’s from Greenham to Libya?...
I'm not sure I'd agree that your analogy is entirely relevant to what the Chinese are doing but I see where you're coming from; I'd offer our involvement in the invasion of Iraq as a far better example of hypocrisy.

...Personally I regard China as a far greater, and considerably more insidious, long term threat than Russia...
Agreed.

...I simply don’t believe our military and political masters look at the real risks and unintended consequences of provoking a country soon to be the second great military power on the planet.
No action like this will have been sanctioned without very careful political and military analysis and I think it's important Beijing's unprecedented activity in the SCS is not allowed to go unchallenged. Moreover, I'm sure that HMS Sutherland's deployment will be carefully coordinated with Regional allies.

Regards,
MM
 

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