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Old 09-03-2009, 12:21   #1
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China - US Tension in S. China Sea

I don't understand the motivation here. Anyone in that part of the world with any insight on this confrontation? (And I understand that "unarmed U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship" means electronic surveillance spyboat, but still!)

U.S. says Chinese vessels harassed Navy ship | Politics | Reuters
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Old 09-03-2009, 13:08   #2
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Self-defence, as perceived by the Chinese? They might view the US's forward projection of power as an aggressive provocation, in their territorial waters.

A Chinese intelligence collection ship challenged USNS Impeccable, over bridge-to-bridge radio, calling her operations illegal and directing Impeccable to leave the area.

China views almost the entirety of the South China Sea as its territory. China’s claims to the South China Sea are based on the EEZ and continental shelf principle, as well as historical records of the Han (110 AD) and Ming (1403-1433 AD) Dynasties.

Ocean surveillance ships, like “Impeccable”, directly support the Navy by using both passive and active low frequency sonar arrays (SURTASS) to detect and track undersea threats.

Impeccable is a player in a very large architecture of the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare. The data collected by Impeccable gives the fleet commanders the ability to put together a larger plan for other operational forces. The mission that Impeccable, and other ocean surveillance ships do falls in line with the Sea Shield* initiative, and contributes to extending the U.S. homeland defence via forward presence and networked intelligence.

* Sea Shield exploits control of the seas and forward-deployed defensive capabilities to defeat area-denial strategies, enabling joint forces to project and sustain power. The ability to extend a protective umbrella far forward will assure access, reassure allies, and protect our homeland while dissuading and deterring potential adversaries. The increasing ability of naval forces to project network centric defenses in support of the joint force
generates operational freedom of action, provides full spectrum dominance, and enhances strategic stability.

Goto:

http://www.iwar.org.uk/rma/resources...sformation.pdf
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Old 09-03-2009, 13:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
China’s claims to the South China Sea are based on the EEZ and continental shelf principle, as well as historical records of the Han (110 AD) and Ming (1403-1433 AD) Dynasties.
Gord

What is the EEZ principle? Specifically is in what in the historical records of the Han and Ming Dynasty that laid the foundation for claiming the South Sea as China's territory? Must have been something mighty potent in the Han Dynasty to cross 1300 years to join the Ming and now cross another 600 years to be used today.


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Old 09-03-2009, 13:50   #4
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EEZ = Exclusive Economic Zone.

I'll leave the Han and Ming Dynasty stuff up to Gord...
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:56   #5
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Not sure about the dates, but Gord is correct. It’s really just a subset of classic Chinese concepts of suzerainty and hegemony. As for the timing - dunno. There is saber rattling between the two Koreas, a crackdown in Tibet, so ..........
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:57   #6
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The South China Sea issue appears complicated because of the competing claims of six different governments (the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei), the arcane nature of the various historical claims, and the impotence caused by voluntary enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS). None of the claimants has what would amount to an irrefutable case, at least in terms of modern international law, and so the dispute persists.

The Chinese and Vietnamese claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea are both based on historical claims of discovery and occupation. The Chinese case is better documented, but the extent of the Chinese claims (and particularly the PRC's expansive and undefined "nine-dashed line" claim, which as shown on some maps includes waters, such as Natuna, not generally considered by others to be in the South China Sea) remains ambiguous and contradictory.

The PRC claims all of the Spratly (Nansha) Islands on the basis of its discovery and presence from the period of the Han dynasty (2nd century BC). The PRC made its first official claim to the Spratly Islands in 1950, less than a year after its foundation, in response to the Philippine claims. The PRC maintains a claim to a U-shaped 'traditional sea boundary line', a broken or dashed line encompassing the majority of the South China Sea. It is unclear precisely what this U-shaped line represents, but it does not appear to be a jurisdictional limit marking the extent of the PRC's claimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or a claim to historic waters as some analysts have suggested. Instead it seems to be designed to illustrate which islands are claimed by the PRC; that is, all the Spratlys and Paracels

Little attention had been given to sovereignty in the South China Sea, until the 1960s and 1970s, when international oil companies began prospecting in the region. As speculation about possible hydrocarbon resources has grown, the claimants have scrambled to reinforce their claims, leading to heightened tensions and periodic conflict. Although hydrocarbon potential has been the main focus of the disputants until now, fisheries and other marine resources, navigational safety, and strategic and environmental concerns are becoming equally critical issues.

The position of the Chinese government has direct implications for the freedom of navigation of America's Navy and Air Force vessels. China's insistence that any warship traversing the South China Sea must first gain permission nullifies the rights of foreign warships to conduct innocent passage*. Furthermore, warships that do traverse territorial waters have severe restrictions applied to their operations.

According to UNCLOS, an EEZ extends 200 nautical miles from the low-water line on a country's coast.

The following are some examples as outlined in Article 19 of UNCLOS:
a) Any threat or use of force.
b) Any exercise or practice with weapons of any kind
c) Any act aimed at collecting information.
d) Any act of propaganda
e) The launching, landing or taking on board of any aircraft.
f) The launching, landing or taking on board of any military device.
g) The carrying out of research or survey activities.

Accordingly (C, F, & G - & perhaps A), the Impeccable would not (in my view) have been engaged in "innocent passage".

Then again, maybe they're (PRC) just trouble-making paranoidal maniacs.
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Old 09-03-2009, 16:42   #7
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Spratly Islands = Oil.

Thats really all that needs to be said. Every one wants it, China intends to be the one who does.

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Old 09-03-2009, 17:07   #8
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Spratly Islands = Oil.

Thats really all that needs to be said. Every one wants it, China intends to be the one who does.
Well, yeah, that's probably the 'why' but not the 'when'. The Spratly islands are hundreds of miles to the south of this incident. Obviously, the U.S. has frequently had surveillance vessels within 75 miles of the Hainan coast in the past. In fact, the Tonkin Gulf incident was probably within 75 miles of Hainan. So, the question is still one of timing.
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Old 09-03-2009, 17:36   #9
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Here you go, read the book a few years back which has kept my interest in the Spratlys going PLUS, I plan in cruising around the Sabah area which is nearby

Quote:
Tom Clancy's SSN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Clancy's SSN is a simulation of the 688i (Los Angeles-class) nuclear hunter/killer submarine. The game player is in command of USS Cheyenne in a limited war against China over the Spratly Islands.
Google Earth has some good images and interesting comments between Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Phillipine posters as well

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Old 09-03-2009, 18:58   #10
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The ship is an acoustic survey (ie surveillance ship_ with very advanced passive sonar. They run close to it and harass it to hide something they dont want us to hear underwater. Like a new submarine leaving port.

Just a guess
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Old 09-03-2009, 21:25   #11
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It's all part of the ongoing cat-and-mouse game that's been played out here since China started modernizing thier Navy at least 10 years ago. Anyone remember the EP-3 that crashed on Hainan Island, supposedly due to aggressive Chinese fighter pilots actually touching the EP-3? I do, I was on the 1st Navy ship to get there. We got the word as we were leaving Hong Kong of all places (Post-China rule). That was exciting! My very humble opinion is Sanya, Hainan, being home to the tip of the Chinese spear being built (a "super-secret" nuclear sub base......that everyone knows about- see wiki), has something to do with both the Impeccable's location and the Chinese aggression.....
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Old 10-03-2009, 00:41   #12
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We don't have to look too far back in time to see China constantly makes up all kinds of excuses (lies) to claim territory that is not theirs. I would bet they are hiding something and that's why the “Impeccable”, is there in the first place. Geeez...we keep giving in to these guys!
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:37   #13
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We don't have to look too far back in time to see China constantly makes up all kinds of excuses (lies) to claim territory that is not theirs. I would bet they are hiding something and that's why the “Impeccable”, is there in the first place. Geeez...we keep giving in to these guys!
Sounds like your talking about America!
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Old 10-03-2009, 18:31   #14
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I nailed it, somethings never change in US Naval operations.

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US ship in China spat was hunting subs.
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Old 10-03-2009, 19:13   #15
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Sounds like your talking about America!
Dude. What planet are you living on?


Sheesh.
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