• Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Deceit and hypocrisy in the South China Sea

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Aepsilons, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    @TaiShang @Arryn @vostok @senheiser @Hamartia Antidote @bbccdd1470 @retaxis @Blue Marlin @Steve781 @Tiqiu @PARIKRAMA @Armstrong @waz et al.

    A great read!

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    Deceit and hypocrisy in the South China Sea

    An old joke has it that there are three common disingenuous statements: “Of course I will respect you in the morning,” “The check is in the mail” and “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

    For countries with security interests in the South China Sea, there are now several similar whoppers that appear frequently in relevant countries’ rhetoric regarding those issues — all shaped by and having implications for the political domain. Indeed, one factor complicating and confusing the issues there is the deceit and hypocrisy of nearly all the claimants and major actors.

    Omissions and commissions in their proselytizing range from misinformation or “white lies” to disinformation to glaring gaps between what a nation says and does. The ASEAN leaders will gather this week at a “special” summit with President Barack Obama in California to discuss among others the South China Sea situation. They may wish to seek agreement on the meaning of some of the key words and concepts regarding the issues and check to see if they are on the same page — or not.

    Many key words have become political tools and their meanings have been intentionally muddled. It is “reclamation” (of submerged features!), not “island creation;” “freedom of navigation,” not “provocative intelligence probes” or “gunboat diplomacy;” “defensive” weapons, not “offensive” or simply “weapons” (even though many if not most can be used for both); “places,” not “bases;” “international waters” not “exclusive economic zone,” and so on.

    For example, the U.S. accuses China of “militarizing” the South China Sea but fails to define the term. China claims it is not “militarizing” — and will not “militarize” — the features it occupies. Indeed, during his visit last September to the United States, China’s President Xi Jinping said publicly that regarding the Spratlys, “China does not intend to pursue militarization.” China also argues that “militarization” is essentially “in the eye of the beholder.”

    However it is clear that the features that China has built up and upon can and will harbor military as well as civilian assets and personnel. ‘Defensive’ weapons have already been placed on some of its occupied features. So what does “militarize” mean to the protagonists? Critics of China’s actions like Vietnam and the Philippines reclaimed features and “militarized” them years ago — albeit on a lesser scale. However one of the most egregious examples of hypocrisy is perpetrated by the U.S., which clearly has “militarized” and continues to “militarize” the whole region with its forward deployed troops, assets and patrols, bolstered by its “rebalance” of its defense forces.

    Similar deceit and hypocrisy surround the controversy over “freedom of navigation.” The U.S. claims its “freedom of navigation operations” (FONOPs) in the South China Sea are intended to preserve and protect freedom of commercial navigation for itself and others that is threatened by China’s claims and actions. Indeed, the official historical background to the FONOP Program states that “since the founding of the nation, the United States has asserted a vital national interest in preserving the freedom of the seas and necessarily called upon its military forces to preserve that interest. One of the first missions of a young U.S. Navy was to protect the safe shipping of U.S. commercial vessels through the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and adjoining seas, against pirates and other maritime threats.”

    But as this narrative hints, the U.S. has over time deftly conflated freedom of commercial navigation with its real priority — freedom of navigation for its warships and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) vessels and aircraft. In so doing it makes frequent reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which it has not ratified but claims to be enforcing.

    In ironic contrast China has ratified the convention but regularly violates its provisions — or at least the U.S.’ interpretation thereof. Since the U.S. has not ratified UNCLOS it has no standing to have its concerns arbitrated and little credibility to unilaterally interpret it to its benefit.

    Vietnam supported the recent U.S. FONOP by the USS Curtis Wilbur, proclaiming piously that it “respects the right of innocent passage through its territorial seas conducted in accordance with the relevant rules of the international community.” But Vietnam has both a territorial sea baseline and a prior notification regime that have been the targets of U.S. FONOPs in the past.

    India also supported the U.S. position. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “countries must “respect and ensure freedom of navigation. …” But India has also been the target of U.S. FONOPs challenging its ban on military activities and maneuvers in its EEZ without its permission.

    Malaysia has a similar restrictive regime for its EEZ but quietly supports U.S. “militarization” of the region by providing refueling facilities for U.S. ISR planes. And on it goes.

    The Philippines accused China of wanton environmental damage in the Spratlys. According to Philippines Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose, “China’s massive reclamation activities are causing irreversible and widespread damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.”

    China denies the accusation and argues that it undertook environmental impact assessments before the construction and that any damage was minimal. This boggles the mind as visual evidence from satellite photos appears to support the Philippines’ position.

    But all claimants, including the Philippines, have undertaken “reclamation” and construction on features they now occupy that must have damaged coral reefs and the ecosystem they support. Moreover the Philippine government was relatively silent for years in the face of destructive “muro-ami” fishing in the Spratlys by Filipino boats and crews.

    These are just some examples of how the South China Sea has become a maelstrom of deceit and hypocrisy. Policymakers and analysts must separate the “wheat from the chaff” when addressing the South China Sea disputes.


    Deceit and hypocrisy in the South China Sea | The Japan Times
     
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  2. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    Obviously, we need to take several step back from the issue and look at it from a fresh angle as a region. However, this is not really possible because there are lots of foreign interests and meddling.

    International politics cannot be moral altogether; it only needs to be manageable. In SCS, we are not seeking morality (as in other parts of the world), we are seeking fairness and manageability.
     
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  3. Zero_wing

    Zero_wing SENIOR MEMBER

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    China needs to talk to all following the international standard otherwise it will not end
     
  4. Tiqiu

    Tiqiu FULL MEMBER

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    I think all countries already knew this, that is why when coming into dealing with China and America, they all chose the strategy of "look China for Economy, look America for security", a "double dealing" act which will be the norm for a while until the balance under status quo is tipped and new equilibrium is emerged. I think there are several reasons leading to this: 1) Militarily China is still not on par with the US, so it is safe for others to do so; 2) China needs to do more and better works to convince others its model is better off for them; 3) the islands disputes in ECS and SCS; 4) Chinese public image issue resulted from lacking of her own voice in the International medias.

    This "double dealing" attitude was at its best display in the Mar. 7 seminar held by the US influential think tank EAST-WEST CENTER, in which all ASEAN experts participants except Philippine and Vietnam, made it clear that ASEAN countries do not want the US-Japan cruise the South China Sea.

    East-West Center's Public Library | Diigo
    专家:东盟国家不希望美日共同巡航南中国海

    Now let look at Australia, arguably the closest US ally in the region, about the US request to station the B1 bomber in Darwin Port. Unknown to the Aussie government, with the aims to put pressure on the Aussie govt to cancel the 99-year-500 million- leasing agreement to lease part of the Darwin port to a Chinese co, the US secretly conducted a poll among the Aussies about the Chinese treat of this deal. But this back fires as the NT chief minister Adam Giles openly said:" claims company has Communist Party links is a joke." Other high ranking Malcolm Turnbull' s cabinet members even criticized the US being acting in the way like it does in the third world countries like Iraq or Afghanistan. So clearly the Australians are also very strategic in her action between China and America.

    Nocookies | The Australian
    Port of Darwin: Claims company has Communist Party links 'a joke', NT chief minister Adam Giles says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
    Darwin Port lease: Australia has 'nothing to fear' says Chinese Government - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


    [​IMG]
    An agreement to lease Darwin's port to a Chinese company has created controversy. Supplied: NT Government

    Perhaps Japan should take a few notes from all these countries' action and think hard about what is best for its national interest and act accordingly.
     
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  5. retaxis

    retaxis FULL MEMBER

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    The South China Sea situation is very complex with too many actors in place. The historic model for such approach is to simply wait for the times to change the situation. The world is ever changing and stances will change according to the climate. The steady and appropriate approach is to simply 'wait it out' if you are China and see what other nations grieviences with each other and with America are. E.g. America and Muslims are not getting along very well so relations between a growing Islamic Indonesia/Malaysia may not fair well down the line. Meanwhile a Catholic nation like Phillipines may be in America good graces for the forseeable future but they are a relatively weak country who has an Islamic insurgency in the South which may expand depending on the nature and flow of feelings across Malaysia/Indonesia. Vietnam you see could be a country which can easily be played by a fool by both China and America. Americans Liberals support freedom/democratic institutions around Vietnam and China may just edge the situation a bit more to create instability. The approach for China at present in Vietnam and Phillipines and the solution to counter actual 'aggression' would be a direct approach to Phillipines and create instability in Vietnam. Meanwhile America knows it can not support a human right communist abuser in Vietnam when they see the officials attacking/killing their own citizens. The price to pay in foreign diplomacy when you sit in the moral highchair.
     
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  6. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    Yes, it is multi-actor as well as multilateral, meaning that it is not simply delimitation (which is the easiest part, in fact) but ownership and entitlement issues that need to be resolved.

    That's why I am arguing for the management of the dispute, rather than a solution of it, which is not realistic.
     
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  7. Viet

    Viet ELITE MEMBER

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    you have very interesting observation:
    The South China Sea situation is very complex with too many actors in place.

    followed by the statement:
    Vietnam you see could be a country which can easily be played by a fool by both China and America.

    your conclusion:
    The approach for China at present is to create instability in Vietnam.

    respect. you should deserve a seat in the CCP strategic department. where is Xi Jinping?
     
  8. jhungary

    jhungary MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

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    Well, what do you expect in a thread like this? Rubbish thread would naturally attract rubbish comment......If I am to start a thread about Donald Trump, would you expect people will actually talk about the presidential election? Or his antics??

    A thread about deceit and hypocrisy. yes, it's all about Military Intelligence gathering (Even tho most US intelligence collection does not depend on actually flying and sailing of Navy or Air Force vessel), it's all about Military Asset transition. It have nothing to do with China, nor have it always be about China lol.

    If what the US does is deceit and hypocrisy. Then what should we call the Chinese action in South China Seas?

    Self-Defence? Maybe? From the big bad American wolf?? I don't know. In fact, I don't even know what the Chinese was doing in SCS lol. Maybe this is all just a big lies from the US whom people like you and me are actually gullible enough to believe? Who knows?

    lol. to think something like this can actually flow thru and have play a fool for all of us is nothing more than insult the intelligence for a common man. It's all a big lies, nothing happened in SCS, there were no claim, no conflict, no threat. It's all made up by America so that they can sail thru an ocean that does not belong to everybody.
     
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  9. Viet

    Viet ELITE MEMBER

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    Well said. And if I am allowed to add, chinese posters talk as if China has Russia under her control, that's the reason I created a thread about Russia drilling in the SC Sea. Enjoy.
     
  10. Kiss_of_the_Dragon

    Kiss_of_the_Dragon ELITE MEMBER

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    Who is the first hypocrite stirring up trouble in SCS?
     
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  11. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    Exactly? Who are the early island grabbers and builders in SCS? Who started it first in the 1970s?

    Hint (Whispering): It was not China.
     
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  12. dichoi

    dichoi BANNED

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    Who is here in SCS in 1970s ? :smokin:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dungeness

    Dungeness SENIOR MEMBER

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    Interesting article. Every country involved is looking after its own National Interest, and NO ONE is the saint. Some are more hypocritical than others.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  14. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    P r e c i s e l y!

    Management requires China's prudence ; and military development. There is no other way. Yield an inch and expect to yield an entire kilometer afterward. Especially when dealing with multiple partners here. Only through bilateral channels can China expect compromise , however for that to occur requires certain leadership at the helm in Manila and Hanoi.

    *smirking and whispers* : it must be a pro Beijing camp.
     
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  15. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    :D

    You are die-hard realist, my friend。 I am just trying to cut some slack but, I believe you are right and Beijing seems to be going that direction. Altruism is impractical. Seeking a modus vivendi and emphasizing areas of cooperation appears to be the short term to mid-term solution.
     
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