[ Note: The South China Sea spat is going to be with us for a long time. China is not backing off, and neither will the US. It really can’t give an inch on the antiquated freedom of navigation protocol, which is totally out of date.
Why? It’s because it should not apply to armed warships that can carry preemptive-strike weapons arsenals, which will soon include hypersonic cruise missiles, robotic torpedoes, and nuclear ones at that, which can decapitate a target’s border defenses when the attackers fire first.
Hence warships should be kept way outside the 12-mile limit zone. The US of course would say hell no, so China’s only remaining play was to fortify these islands as early warning trip-wires in a future conflict with the US.
An aircraft carrier is a floating island and goes wherever it wants and carries a big stick. The Chinese stationary islands currently have nowhere near the firepower, but they are much less expensive to capitalize and operate. And when they have modern hypersonic anti-ship missiles and the ability to base some combat planes, they would give the US Navy a more complex situation to deal with, in the event it went over to offense.
That said, one well-placed, mini-nuke armed stealth cruise missile could turn one of these fortified islands into glass, from even a submarine-launched platform. But that would put China’s nuclear retaliatory force on full alert, and it would be “game on”. But can China be blamed for doing this when the US has used an in-their-faces military posture to intimidate whoever and whenever it pleased? … JD ]
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– First aired … September 02, 2017 –
The US is planning to conduct more regular patrols in the South China Sea amid growing tensions with China over its control of the disputed waterway. The Pentagon says it wants to stage the so-called Freedom of Navigation Operations as many as two to three times a month. U-S officials have failed to disclose the exact timing or location of the new patrols.
Reports say the future patrols may include U-S military aircraft as well as warships. The South China Sea is the subject of territorial disputes between China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. China says the U-S is meddling in regional disputes and is deliberately escalating the situation in the waters.