Yet Another Foreign Policy Hotspot

#2
#3
Spent many years in the region, but let us ask our French best friends whether Indo-China is a 'goer' for military adventures. Additionally, we could ask our American allies for their view.

Whatever, I just hope the twerp Cameron has ideas other than to emulate the grinning spiv Blair in the 'stupid military adventures stakes'.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
As I have mentioned frequently before, the South China Sea, with its oil and gas resources on the one hand and its ill-defined and disputed boundary claims on the other, is certainly one to watch, particularly with China as a participant and her navy (PLA(N)) being grown to suit her ambitions there. Whether we will be any use there after the Royal Navy has been cut to pieces is another matter. Malaysia and Singapore may well expect Commonwealth support but I suppose we shall have to stand impotently by as Oz & NZ help as best they can and the US is slowly dragged in until it is head to head with China.

And Oh! happy memories .. but long ago.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
It's been done before...

Indo-China that is, not the thread.
Well it might just be the gift that keeps on giving....
 
#8
As I have mentioned frequently before, the South China Sea, with its oil and gas resources on the one hand and its ill-defined and disputed boundary claims on the other, is certainly one to watch, particularly with China as a participant and her navy (PLA(N)) being grown to suit her ambitions there. Whether we will be any use there after the Royal Navy has been cut to pieces is another matter. Malaysia and Singapore may well expect Commonwealth support but I suppose we shall have to stand impotently by as Oz & NZ help as best they can and the US is slowly dragged in until it is head to head with China.

And Oh! happy memories .. but long ago.
With any sense we will pull out of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements which tie us to the defence of Malaysia and Singapore (Along with Oz and New Zealand). Either that or we develop the strength to back up our convictions. Personally I would rather the former- the Empires over and we withdrew East of the Suez a long time ago. What could we possibly gain from some far flung war in the South China sea?

Of course 'sense' doesn't really enter into British foreign policy (Or politics in general it seems)
 
#9
Whatever happens UKwise, it will be interesting to see a Vn - China spat. Last time it happened Vn gave China a bloody good seeing to and sent them packing, tail between their legs. Vn has been very busy re arming and modernising their armed forces over the last 4 years too.
 
#10
Whatever happens UKwise, it will be interesting to see a Vn - China spat. Last time it happened Vn gave China a bloody good seeing to and sent them packing, tail between their legs. Vn has been very busy re arming and modernising their armed forces over the last 4 years too.


And now Vietnam is friendly with the USA as well

However, I think any conflict in the area would be mostly naval based in which China has the clear advantage (Unless the USA decided to get involved). I doubt we would see any more Chinese forays into the jungles of Vietnam
 
#11
Quite possibly. However Vn is also re equipping with Russian Kilo Class submarines and during the last conflict, the Chinese simply didnt have the stomach for a fight - and it wasnt all in the steamy jungles. As I said, it will be interesting.
 
#12
A few years ago I spoke to a NVA sergeant who was captured by the Chinese. He seemed to think that his side inflicted heavier casualties but the Chinese left when they decided to. He said something along the lines of ,'There are sixty million of us, there are six hundred million of them, you know who is going to win'.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
yeah but the border is narrow and the ally nva had been fighting continuous for thousands of years long before the vietnamese emperor split from china and formed their own mini me chinese empire based in Hue.

I seem to remember some statistic that they have been fighting with the chinese since the americans left.

the problem would be where would their arms come from if not by train through china as with the great war of unification? I guess india would help as they have had a few fight with china over the years as well.
 
#14
#15
Whatever happens UKwise, it will be interesting to see a Vn - China spat. Last time it happened Vn gave China a bloody good seeing to and sent them packing, tail between their legs. Vn has been very busy re arming and modernising their armed forces over the last 4 years too.
The last, last time it happened (84-89), the PAVN was left feeling cheap and used despite local numerical superiority of 9-7 while the PLA sniffed its collective fingers and grinned. The last, last, last time it happened, VPN lost the three ships it sent to the Spratlys and it's underwear as well.

This is deja vu, it's happened every 2-3 years for the last 2 decades at least and it's a useful way for both governments to vent some steam from their respective populations while signing deals behind closed doors.

Incidentally, an interesting read I came across recently is 'Chinese Energy Security: The Myth of the PLAN's Frontline Status' by Dr. Ryan Clark. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but the synopsis is interesting in terms of this thread.

This report argues that it is domestic market inefficiencies and poor management practices that pose the greatest threat to China’s energy security. Further, less and less of Chinese energy imports are making their way to the country by sea, and as such, the PLAN actually has a minimal role to play. Given these realities, Chinese fears of a naval blockade that deprives it of energy supplies, and American confidence that this is a realistic strategic option in the event of hostilities are implausible. In addition, Beijing’s desire to develop aircraft carriers and other high-tech naval capabilities, combined with its contribution to the anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, have led many analysts to erroneously conclude that China seeks to engage in global power projection like the United States.
 
#16
The last, last time it happened (84-89), the PAVN was left feeling cheap and used despite local numerical superiority of 9-7 while the PLA sniffed its collective fingers and grinned. The last, last, last time it happened, VPN lost the three ships it sent to the Spratlys and it's underwear as well.
I remember the 78-80 battles the Chinese were nominally successful but the butcher's bill was quite high vis-a-vis the Vietnamese.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#17

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
the US has allways wanted Cam Rahn Bay Bay back which could be a move.

we did rather well there actually better than the rest until we gave it back to the french. mind you we would need the japs to invade first and be rather harsh about it.
 
#19
I remember the 78-80 battles the Chinese were nominally successful but the butcher's bill was quite high vis-a-vis the Vietnamese.
The first of the modern Sino-Vietnamese Wars is a tough one to call depending on what success criteria you apply.

On the one hand, the stated Chinese war aim was to punish the Vietnamese for mistreating Han Chinese on the Vietnamese side by ejecting the PAVN and trashing Vietnamese infrastructure down to a set Northing. They actually did achieve this, withdrawing straight after announcing the achievement of the goal.

The more likely geopolitical aims behind the war were to punish the Vietnamese for invading the PRC surrogate in Cambodia and to demonstrate to them that the Soviet Union wasn't about to rush to their aid in a war with China. It was an interesting demonstration of their 'punitive war' strategy where they announced in advance limited objectives and kept to them in order to prevent escalation of the war (particularly, to avoid involving a nuclear-armed opponent like the USSR).

If you believe those as the aims, then they succeeded at the strategic level - although the 'success' was both counter-productive to the original causus belli by encouraging the Viets to disperse the Chinese march population elsewhere; and gained at appalling cost. The PLA had deliberately chosen to go in light (presumably as part of the anti-escalation posture) with little indirect fire or air support and they suffered casualties accordingly. It was also a shadow of its former self, with few experienced commanders and a force-structure built more around revolutionary than high-intensity war.

Their reputation not least in China itself took a helluva bash as a result and there was a wholesale restructuring accompanied by mass sackings and retirements over the 5 years which it emerge as a much more competent force - professional training and a formal rank structure that included NCOs and Officers were the most immediate results.

I personally think the Vietnamese were the winners on points: they kept their hold on Cambodia, fought off the PLA with second-string and militia forces, maintained their territorial integrity and were able to carry on persecuting the ethnic minorities to their heart's content.
 
#20
Intersting tit-bit about the ex-Varyag. According to 'unspecified sources' it's just finished fitting out the electronics kit and yet they still haven't officially decided on a name. The front runner was 'Shi Lang' after the Chinese admiral under the Manchus who crushed Ming loyalists on Taiwan. With the Taiwanese pointing out that there were only a very few interpretations that could be put on naming it after the conqueror of Taiwan, the decision seems to have been postponed.
 

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