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Thread: China threatens U.S. Congress for crossing its ‘red line’ on Taiwan

  1. #181
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    11 Sep 10
    Its been clarified that the US doesn't take any position on these disputes otherwise they'd be embroiled in them all over the globe. Point is countries in the region see no alternative to Chinese assertions here. This policy of what is Chinese territory is theirs and what is some one else's territory is negotiable.

    Vietnam has stood up to China back in 2014 and the Chinese backed away with their rig.

    I'm just surprised to see this particular concession being made. Its out of character unless there is more going on in the background. Like they cut a deal or something
    Last edited by Double Edge; 17 Apr 18, at 22:57.

  2. #182
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    11 Sep 10
    Informative summary on the Spratlys. I'm not sure I agree with his concluding remarks though. That is China will replicate its aggressive behaviour in the Maldives and by extension the Indian ocean like they have in the South China sea. He advocates India should prevent China from doing any island reclamation in the Maldives. The long and short of it is no Chinese naval bases in the Maldives

    Last edited by Double Edge; 18 Apr 18, at 16:07.

  3. #183
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    11 Sep 10
    Articulating what the quad has to do

    The New Great Game: China And The Intense Maritime Contest In Indo-Pacific Region | Swarajya | Apr 09 2018

    The Chinese challenge to the maritime architecture comes in the form of reclamation of islands and features, and in many cases artificially rebuilding them. This activity has so far been in the South China Sea, though there are emerging reports that suggest that China could build artificial islands near the Maldives as well. Beijing has gone on to instal weapons systems and build runways to land military aircraft in some of them. Recall that these militarised islands are in a sea that sees $3.4 trillion of global trade pass through ever year. Coupled with an “active defence strategy” by which Beijing seeks control over the South China Sea as well as the ability to push foreign navies out of the region if there is a need for that, it is effectively creating an exclusive sphere of influence in that part of the western Pacific. Beijing’s South China Sea strategy is — as American strategist Robert Kaplan is fond of reminding — similar to how the United States sought to control the greater Caribbean through the Monroe Doctrine, first enunciated in 1823.

    The Rebirth Of The Quad

    The Indo-Pacific is explicitly about norms of freedom, openness and prosperity. Nevertheless, talking up norms and values alone has limited utility. Upholding and promoting norms have to have a hard concrete edge, backed by economic and military muscle that rewards states that adhere to them and punish ones that do not. Going forward, the quadrilateral grouping of the US, Japan, Australia and India — reborn after a 10-year hiatus — could be the vehicle that sustains the normative Indo-Pacific in two concrete ways.

    One, it could offer alternatives to China’s “debt diplomacy” (to use a phrase of Indian strategist Brahma Chellaney). Two, it could clearly signal to Beijing militarily that the quad states will not tolerate Chinese hegemony over the Indo-Pacific maritime commons. As of now, the first proposal is gaining traction though it is unavoidable — given China’s own muscle flexing in the region — that the second will become part of the agenda at some point in the future.

    The political-military agenda of the quad remains nascent at this stage. However, dissuasion, deterrence and defence (the “3Ds”) in face of Chinese intransigence should be key objectives for the quadrilateral. The four countries should dissuade China from pursuing its active defence strategy. They should deter China from trying to meet its strategic objectives by cleverly avoiding crossing the threshold for a shooting war. Finally, the quad should defend sea lines of communication in the event that dissuasion and deterrence fail.

    These objectives can be achieved by the four countries through the development of shared logistics networks, interoperability between the four navies, and shared intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The quad in its military avatar should meet the 3D ends by means of joint exercises and defence diplomacy, patrolling and presence operations, and freedom of navigation and overflight maintenance. It goes without saying that many political differences between the four states have to be ironed out before this strategy can be put in place, including India’s obsession with “strategic autonomy” (whatever that means in practice). That said, for the quad to have any real teeth, a robust military component is a necessity.

    A Three-Dimensional Battlespace

    What is the future of the Indo-Pacific, given China’s revisionism and the attendant pushback from liberal democracies of the region, quad or no quad? To understand this, it is best to conceive of the ongoing tussle in terms of a three-dimensional chessboard (to modify a well-known metaphor of the American scholar-practitioner Joseph Nye). In three-dimensional chess, all the layers are related to one another. In a similar game that is expected to unfold in the Indo-Pacific between China and democratic powers unwilling to cede to Beijing’s hegemony, the geopolitical layer will be linked to the geoeconomic layer. These layers, in turn, would be linked to — using a notion from global strategist Parag Khanna — a third “geotechnological” layer.

    I conclude this essay with a few remarks on what that means.

    That technology and statecraft are intimately linked is an old and somewhat obvious idea: countries that possess superior technology often — though not always — tend to have, ceteris paribus, decisive advantage over their peers. But, possession of superior technology is also a good marker of a nation’s comprehensive national strength, the possession of a vibrant and innovative economy included.

    For a long time, China’s indigenous technical base was weak as it relied on stolen technology from the West. All that has dramatically changed in recent years, as the Chinese economy has moved away from a manufacturing-for-exports model to one based on services and innovation. China also makes no permanent distinction between civilian and military use of technology, as it has moved to what it calls “civil-military fusion”. Xi, in January 2017, created a new Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development, which is tasked with synthesising civilian and military research efforts and spin-offs from the former for the latter. Through civil-military fusion efforts, China has made spectacular strides in national security-related applications of artificial intelligence and quantum technology.

    While the US does not have a similar state-structured model to interface civilian and military technology, its military-industrial complex has long worked to bridge the gap between the two. Indeed, the US’ “third offset” defence strategy relies heavily of cyber, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies long considered the monopoly of the Silicon Valley. Australia and Japan too are technology hubs, and Indian technical expertise is well-known. So, the new Asian battlespace will be as much about traditional geopolitical outmanoeuvring and geoeconomic jostling as it will be about technical competition as each side tries to obtain a decisive advantage over the other.

    This interrelated dynamics of geopolitics, geoeconomics and geotechnology will ultimately determine the future of Asia. In other words, along with a commercial maritime Indo-Pacific shaped by new connectivity models and a geopolitical Indo-Pacific that would see intense naval competition, there would be an ethereal Indo-Pacific of disruptive technological ideas and a multiverse of norms that shape the use of technology. One suspects that at the end of the day, it is the latter that would determine the trajectory of the former two.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Apr 18, at 13:53.

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