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Thread: South China Seas

  1. #101
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    Default Re: South China Seas

    Well.... this might just get dicey
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: South China Seas

    It's China vs. Everyone Else in the South China Seas... and it seems they're pretty OK with pushing the limits, kicking them over, and stomping on them. At some point someone is going to get pissed off enough to pull the trigger on some kind of retaliation. And I think China is just waiting for that.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    Satellite Images Show China May Be Building Powerful Radar On Disputed Islands

    February 22, 2016


    A satellite photograph of Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a possible high frequency radar installation being constructed by China on January 24, 2016. A radar system of this nature would dramatically enhance China's ability to monitor vital shipping lanes, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies

    Satellite images show China may be building a powerful new radar system on a disputed island in the South China Sea, which could have worrisome military uses in monitoring -- and potentially trying to control -- a strategically vital waterway, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    Gregory Poling, head of the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at CSIS, said the images appear to show a high-frequency radar installation being built on Cuarteron Reef, one of seven islands China has recently expanded through a massive land reclamation program in the Spratly chain.

    "If it is an HF radar, then it would enormously boost China’s capacity to monitor ships and aircraft in the South China Sea," Poling wrote by email. "Cuarteron is the logical place for such an installation because it is the southernmost of China’s features in the Spratlys, meaning that it would be the best place if you wanted early warning radar to give notice of ships or planes coming up from the Strait of Malacca and other areas to the south such as Singapore.

    "This would be very important in a Chinese anti-access area denial strategy that sought to reduce the ability of the U.S. to operate freely in the South China Sea, including bringing forces up through the South China Sea in case of any future crisis in Northeast Asia," Poling wrote.

    The Strait of Malacca passes between Malaysia and Indonesia and is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, while a third of the world's shipping, and much of Asia's oil, passes through the South China Sea.


    A satellite photograph of Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a possible high-frequency radar installation being constructed by China on January 24, 2016.

    China has built up seven islands in the South China Sea, and is in the process of constructing three runways on those islands. The United States says it is concerned about the growing militarization of the South China Sea, Secretary of State John F. Kerry expressed "serious concern" last week when other satellite images showed what appeared to be surface-to-air missile batteries deployed by China on Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain, also in the South China Sea.

    China says its construction program in the South China Sea is mainly for civilian use, adding that it is only building limited and necessary defensive facilities on what it considers to be its sovereign territory. It points out that other nations have also reclaimed land and built runways in the past, although not on anything like this scale.

    "It is certainly possible to claim a civilian purpose, and China will," Poling wrote. "But just like you don’t need a 3,000-meter runway to land civilian planes, you don’t need a high-frequency radar (assuming that is what this is) to give early warning of commercial traffic. Radar is inherently dual-use, but just like its other “dual-use” infrastructure in the Spratlys, the real value is military. More limited radar, like China has at every other feature in the Spratlys, is more than sufficient to monitor and ensure the safety of civilian traffic near the features."

    China points to lighthouses it has constructed on two islands, as well as meteorological stations and shelter and rescue facilities, to highlight the civilian nature of its construction program. One of the new lighthouses sits on Cuarteron Reef.


    A satellite photograph of Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a lighthouse, probable communications and radar towers, a probable bunker, and a possible observation post constructed by China. The photo was taken on January 24, 2016.

    On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the United States of "sensationalizing the South China Sea issue" and "hyping up tensions."

    "Islands in the South China Sea have been part of China since ancient times," she said at a daily news conference. "The Chinese side is entitled to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. China conducts construction on relevant islands and reefs mainly for civilian purposes of providing better public services and goods for the international community. China's deployment of limited defense facilities on its own territory is its exercise of self-defense right to which a sovereign state is entitled under international law. It has nothing to do with militarization. It is something that comes naturally, and is completely justified and lawful. The U.S. should view that correctly instead of making an issue of that with deliberate sensationalization."

    Other photographs supplied to The Washington Post by CSIS also show radar facilities being built on other islands in the Spratlys, which are also claimed in full or in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.


    A satellite photograph of Gaven Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a possible radar tower being constructed by China on February 12, 2016.


    A satellite photograph of Hughes Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a probable radar tower being constructed by China on February 7, 2016.


    A satellite photograph of Johnson South Reef in the South China Sea's Spratly islands, showing a probable radar tower being constructed by China on February 9, 2016.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    China Deploys Fighter Jets To Contested Island In S. China Sea

    February 24, 2016

    China has deployed fighter jets to the same contested island in the South China Sea to which it also has sent surface-to-air missiles, US officials said.

    Citing two unnamed US officials, Fox News said US intelligence services had spotted Chinese Shenyang J-11 and Xian JH-7 warplanes on Woody Island in the disputed Paracel Islands chain over the past few days.

    Navy Captain Darryn James, a spokesman for US Pacific Command, confirmed the report but noted that Chinese fighter jets have previously used the island.

    Woody Island, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, has had an operational airfield since the 1990s but it was upgraded last year to accommodate the J-11.

    "We are still concerned that the Chinese continue to put advanced arms systems on this disputed territory," James said Tuesday.

    Asked about the jets at a regular briefing Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying neither confirmed nor denied their existence.

    Hua said only that China's activities in the Paracels all fell within the scope of its sovereign territory and were therefore "in accordance with the principles of heaven and earth, and beyond reproach".

    "While you're paying attention to China, have you also paid attention to all the other coastal countries that have occupied China’s islands and reefs in the past decades and deployed radar and advanced weapons there?" she asked.

    The deployment was reported as US Secretary of State John Kerry hosted his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in Washington.

    Last week China confirmed it had placed "weapons" on Woody Island, defending what it said was its sovereign right to do so.

    A US official told AFP that Beijing has deployed surface-to-air missiles on the island, apparently HQ-9s which have a range of about 125 miles (200 kilometers.)

    Wang had been scheduled to visit the Pentagon earlier Tuesday but the visit was canceled due to a "scheduling conflict," officials said.

    On Monday the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies released satellite imagery showing what appeared to be a high-frequency radar installation under construction on an artificial island on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratlys, a group of islands south of the Paracels which is also the subject of territorial disputes.

    China's land reclamation and military buildup in the South China Sea have drawn international condemnation and the United States has said it will continue to sail through waters claimed by Beijing.

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    Default Re: South China Seas

    Chinese HAARP. LOL
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    Default Re: South China Seas


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    Default Re: South China Seas

    OMG they are gonna change the WEATHER... and shit...
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    Default Re: South China Seas

    Even if they could change the weather, an hour later, you'd still need more.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: South China Seas

    lol
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    Default Re: South China Seas


    Russia And China To Hold Joint Naval Drills In The South China Sea As Tensions Escalate

    The drills come weeks after a UN-backed tribunal ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the hotly contested waters

    July 28, 2016

    Russia is to hold joint naval exercises with China in the South China Sea in September as tensions escalate over the fiercely contested islands.

    China’s Defence Ministry insisted the “routine” drills were aimed at strengthening their co-operation and were not aimed at any other country.

    But they come at a time of heightened tensions in the region after a UN-backed tribunal ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the waters.

    China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case.

    “This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China’s defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference.

    “The exercise is not directed against third parties.”

    China and Russia are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council and have held similar views on many major issues such as the crisis in Syria, putting them at odds with the United States and Western Europe.

    Last year, they held joint military drills in the Sea of Japan and the Mediterranean.

    China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

    China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stoking tension in the region through its military patrols, and of taking sides in the dispute.

    The United States has sought to assert its right to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea with its patrols and denies taking sides in the territorial disputes.

    Russia has been a strong backer of China’s stance on the arbitration case, that was brought by the Philippines.

    Yang said China and Russia were comprehensive strategic partners and had already held many exercises this year.

    “These drills deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation, raise the ability to jointly deal with security threats, and benefit the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability,” he said.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    New Satellite Imagery Shows Chinese Drone On Contested Island

    May 26, 2016

    New satellite imagery obtained by Fox News shows that China, for the first time, has deployed a drone with stealth technology to a contested island in the South China Sea, in another sign of escalating tensions in the region.

    The new development comes as President Obama visits Japan. He lifted an arms embargo against Vietnam while visiting Hanoi earlier this week, drawing criticism from the Chinese government about stoking tensions in the region.

    The newly obtained satellite images from ImageSat International (ISI) show a Chinese Harbin BZK-005 long range reconnaissance drone on Woody Island in the South China Sea.

    The drone can remain airborne for up to 40 hours.

    The Chinese drone did not appear armed in the satellite image taken last month. For the time being, the BZK-005 does not have the capability to fire missiles, unlike other drones in China’s inventory.

    Other satellite images show some of the recently deployed HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island transferred from one cluster on the northern part of the island to other locations in a move most likely to make them more difficult to destroy in a potential air strike.

    In February, Fox News first reported the deployment of the missiles to Woody Island as President Obama hosted leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations in Palm Springs, California.

    The Chinese HQ-9 is similar in design to the Russian S-300 missile system according to U.S. defense officials and has a range of 125 miles.

    Asked about the deployment of the Chinese drone to the island, a senior Pentagon official said he could not comment on intelligence matters.

    When asked about the increasing drone threat by China in the South China Sea at a press briefing Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook did not address the issue directly, but acknowledged the Pentagon had “concerns” about China’s behavior in the region along with other countries.

    “You've heard us talk at length [about] our concerns about militarization in the South China Sea, not just by China,” said Cook. "There are concerns about what's happening.”

    The Chinese first built a runway on Woody Island in the 1990s. Located in the Paracel chain of islands in the South China Sea, Woody Island is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam in addition to China.

    Separately, China has constructed 3,200 acres of artificial islands atop former rocks and reefs farther south in the Spratly Islands according to a recent Pentagon report to Congress.

    Over $5 trillion in cargo and natural resources pass through the South China Sea each year.

    The LA Times recently reported that China has sold its armed drone, the CH-4, to Nigeria, Pakistan and Iraq, raising concerns about the proliferation of this type of technology. In December, Iraq claimed to have successfully used a CH-4 against ISIS.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy sailed a guided-missile destroyer near Fiery Cross Reef, one of China’s man-made islands in the South China Sea.

    The “freedom of navigation” operation as the Pentagon calls them, took the U.S. Navy warship within 12 nautical miles of the Chinese island, sending a message to China that the United States does not recognize China’s territory.

    In response, China launched fighter jets. Early this year, China tested commercial airliners on a new runway on Fiery Cross Reef. Defense officials tell Fox News, that China has sent fighter jets and other military equipment there recently.

    A week after the U.S. destroyer sailed near Fiery Cross Reef, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets buzzed a Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying 50 miles east of Hainan Island where a large Chinese submarine base is located.

    The Pentagon called China’s action “unsafe” and claimed the Navy EP-3 was flying in international airspace.

    Chinese officials were quoted Thursday as saying China is ready to deploy nuclear-armed submarines in the Pacific, as a result of the United States moving more weapons to the region.

    China has said previous freedom of navigation operations by the Navy “violated Chinese law” and called the actions “provocative.” A Chinese military spokesman vowed “dangerous consequences” if similar operations from the American warships continue in the future.

    When China’s President Xi visited the White House in September, he vowed not to militarize the South China Sea.

    China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, reiterated that pledge when Secretary of State John F. Kerry visited Beijing in February, but said some “self-defense” weapons were necessary to protect the Chinese islands.

    Last month, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter visited the Philippines, where U.S. military forces have returned for the first time since the Subic Bay naval base was closed in 1992.

    After Carter’s visit, a flight of U.S. Air Force A-10 attack planes flew near Scarborough Shoal, located only 200 miles from Manila, where U.S. defense officials have seen Chinese ships surveying the area for another potential dredging operation.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    China's Air Force Flies Combat Patrol Over Disputed Islands

    August 6, 2016

    China's air force said Saturday that it has conducted a combat air patrol over disputed areas of the South China Sea to improve its fighting ability.

    The announcement comes after Beijing said it wanted to tamp down tensions following its strong rejection of an international tribunal that ruled that its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea has no legal basis.

    China refused to take part in the case taken by the Philippines to the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and continues to assert that islands in the South China Sea are its territory.

    The air force didn't say when the exercises took place. Last month, after the July 12 ruling, the air force said that it had conducted patrols over the South China Sea and would make it "a regular practice."

    Air force spokesman Senior Col. Shen Jinke said in an online statement that the patrol was "to enhance combat capabilities to deal with various security threats" and to safeguard the country's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

    Shen said bomber and fighter aircraft, early warning aircraft, reconnaissance planes and planes that can refuel in flight patrolled the airspace around the Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal and surrounding areas.

    The Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal are claimed by both China and the Philippines. Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the Spratlys.

    Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the U.S., Japan and Australia were "fanning the flames" of regional tensions after they released a joint statement urging China not to construct military outposts or reclaim land in disputed waters.

    On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that "China stands ready to continue its efforts to peacefully resolve relevant disputes in the South China Sea."

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    Vietnam Deploys Precision-Guided Rocket Artillery in South China Sea

    Hanoi has purportedly moved new mobile rocket launchers on bases in the disputed Spratly Islands.

    August 10, 2016

    Vietnam has quietly expanded its military capabilities in the South China Sea by purportedly deploying new Israel-made long-range mobile rocket launchers on five bases in the Spratly Islands in recent months, Reuters revealed on August 10.

    Three unidentified sources claim that the so-called Extended Range Artillery Rocket (EXTRA) system has yet to be armed and has been carefully hidden from aerial surveillance on the disputed islands. The weapon systems, nevertheless, could be made operational within two to three days.

    The EXTRA rocket launchers have purportedly been moved to the Vietnamese possessions in the Spratlys in anticipation of heightened tensions following the July ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on maritime entitlements and the status of features in the South China Sea.

    “It is within our legitimate right to self-defense to move any of our weapons to any area at any time within our sovereign territory,” Vietnam’s deputy defense minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, told Reuters in June. However, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said that the information about the stationing of mobile rocket launchers in the Spratlys was “inaccurate.”

    The EXTRA is a highly mobile weapon system and can be installed on either a truck or in a fixed installation. Vietnam procured the new mobile rocket launchers specifically with the Spratlys in mind given that it requires little logistical support—e.g., it only uses a small lightweight radar system—and has very low maintenance costs (EXTRA rounds come in disposable sealed canisters).

    An EXTRA round, fitted with a GPS-based inertial navigation system, has a range of up to 130 kilometers (81 miles) and can carry a 125-kilogram (275 pounds) warhead. This would put Chinese installations in the Spratlys such as Subi, Fiery Cross, and Mischief Reefs within range of the weapon system. EXTRA is “effective against a wide range of high payoff targets across the tactical battlefield (Command & Communication Centers, logistic installations, transportation infrastructures and more),” according to the manufacturer’s website. It can be accurate within ten meters, GlobalSecurity.org claims.

    Despite the deployment of the mobile rocket launchers, it will not fundamentally alter the military balance between Vietnam and China in the South China Sea. Chinese installations in the South China Sea have been within range of Vietnamese weapon systems for some time. Among other things, Vietnam procured Russian-made long-range K-300P Bastion coastal missile systems in 2011 and S-300 PMU-2 long-range surface-to-air missile systems in 2012. Vietnam has also been acquiring a number of new anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles, including the 3M-14E Klub supersonic cruise missile, which is capable of hitting mainland China. Consequently the EXTRA deployment should first and foremost be seen as a move by Hanoi to signal resolve to Beijing. As I noted previously:

    Vietnam’s military planning vis-à-vis China is defensive in nature and built around A2/AD—or anti-access and areal denial strategies, exploiting asymmetrical advantages by, for example, fielding new diesel-electric submarines to exploit China’s known weakness in anti-submarine warfare.

    Fuerthermore, I explained:

    Vietnam’s ultimate goal is to deter China from deploying People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels in so-called gray zone coercion scenarios, which involves the use of China Coast Guard (CCG) and maritime militia vessels to blockade Vietnamese-held islands and features in the South China Sea while avoiding open military conflict.

    According to Reuters, China has already condemned the EXTRA deployment on the Spratlys. “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly islands and nearby waters,” the ChineseForeign Ministry said in a faxed statement on August 10. “China resolutely opposes the relevant country illegally occupying parts of China’s Spratly islands and reefs and on these illegally occupied Spratly islands and reefs belonging to China carrying out illegal construction and military deployments.”

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    Default Re: South China Seas

    Posted some stuff today about this area. Apparently Japan and China are at odds with each other.
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    Default Re: South China Seas


    US to Move Mobile Land Artillery Weapons to South China Sea

    August 21, 2016

    Senior Army and Pentagon strategists and planners are considering ways to fire existing weapons platforms in new ways around the globe – including the possible placement of mobile artillery units in areas of the South China Sea to, if necessary, function as air-defense weapons to knock incoming rockets and cruise missiles out of the sky, senior Pentagon and Army officials told Scout Warrior.

    Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, has said he thinks the U.S. should think about new ways of using land-based rockets and howitzer systems as offensive and defensive weapons in areas of the South China Sea.

    Such a move would better ensure access and maneuverability for U.S. and allied ships, assets and weapons in contested or tense areas, he explained.

    Howitzers or Paladins could be used as a mobile, direct countermeasures to incoming rockets, he said. A key advantage to using a Paladin is that it is a mobile platform which could adjust to moving or fast-changing approaching enemy fire.

    “We could use existing Howitzers and that type of munition (155m shells) to knock out incoming threats when people try to hit us from the air at long ranges using rockets and cruise missiles,” a senior Army official told Scout Warrior in an interview.

    This consideration comes not long after Pentagon officials confirmed that satellite pictures show the Chinese have placed weapons such as Surface to Air Missiles in areas of the South China Sea.

    Having land-based rockets or artillery could give US and allied forces both strategic and tactical assistance.

    “A Howitzer can go where it has to go. It is a way of changing an offensive weapon and using it in dual capacity,” the official explained. “This opens the door to opportunities and options we have not had before with mobile defensive platforms and offensive capabilities."

    Mobile air defenses such as an Army M777 or Paladin Howitzer weapon could use precision rounds and advancing fire-control technology to destroy threatening air assets such as enemy aircraft, drones or incoming artillery fire.

    Alongside the South China Sea, more mobile artillery weapons used for air defense could also prove useful in areas such as the Middle East and Eastern Europe, officials said. Having mobile counter-air weapons such as the M109 Paladin, able to fire 155m precision rounds on-the-move, could prove to be an effective air-defense deterrent against Russian missiles, aircraft and rockets in Eastern Europe, the senior Army official told Scout Warrior.

    Regarding the South China Sea, the U.S. has a nuanced or complicated relationship with China involving both rivalry and cooperation; the recent Chinese move to put surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets on claimed territory in the South China Sea has escalated tensions and led Pentagon planners to consider various options.

    Officials are clear to emphasize that no decisions have been made along these lines, yet it is one of the things being considered. Pentagon officials have opposed further militarization of the area and emphasized that the territorial disputes in the South China Sea need to be resolved peacefully and diplomatically.

    At the same time, Pentagon officials have publically stated the U.S. will continue “freedom of navigation” exercises wherein Navy ships sail within 12 miles of territory claimed by the Chinese - and tensions are clearly on the rise. In addition to these activities, it is entirely possible the U.S. could also find ways to deploy more offensive and defensive weapons to the region.

    Naturally, a move of this kind would need to involve close coordination with U.S. allies in the region, as the U.S. claims no territory in the South China Sea. However, this would involve the deployment of a weapons system which has historically been used for offensive attacks on land. The effort could use an M777 Howitzer or Paladin, weapons able to fire 155m rounds.

    They would bring a mobile tactical advantage to existing Army air defenses such as the Patriot and Theater High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which primarily function as fixed-defense locations, the senior Army official said.

    The M777 artillery weapon, often used over the years in Iraq and Afghanistan, can fire the precision GPS-guided Excalibur artillery round able to destroy targets within one meter from up to 30-kilometers or more away. Naturally, given this technology, it could potentially be applied as an air-defense weapon as well.

    Using a Howitzer or Paladin could also decrease expenses, officials said.

    “Can a munition itself be cheaper so we are not making million dollar missiles to shoot down $100,000 dollar incoming weapons,” the Army official said.

    While Pentagon officials have not formally confirmed the prospect of working with allies to place weapons, such as Howitzers, in the South China Sea, they did say the U.S. was stepping up its coordination with allies in the region.

    Strategic Capabilities Office

    The potential use of existing weapons in new ways is entirely consistent with an existing Pentagon office which was, for the first time, recently announced publically. It is called the Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO, stood up to look at integrating innovating technologies with existing weapons platforms – or simply adapting or modifying existing weapons for a wider range of applications.

    “I created the SCO in 2012 when I was deputy secretary of defense to help us to re-imagine existing DOD and intelligence community and commercial systems by giving them new roles and game-changing capabilities to confound potential enemies -- the emphasis here was on rapidity of fielding, not 10 and 15-year programs. Getting stuff in the field quickly,” Carter said.

    Senior Army officials say the SCO office is a key part of what provides the conceptual framework for the ongoing considerations of placing new weaponry in different locations throughout the Pacific theater. An Army consideration to place Paladin artillery weapons in the South China Sea would be one example of how to execute this strategic framework.

    In fact, the Pentagon is vigorously stepping up its support to allies in the Pacific theater. A 2016 defense law, called the Southeast Asia Maritme Security Initiative, provides new funding to authorize a Department of Defense effort to train, equip, and provide other support to the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, Urban explained.

    "The Secretary (Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter) has committed $425M over Fiscal Years 2016-2020 for MSI (Maritime Security Initiative), with an initial investment of $50M available in fiscal year 2016 toward this effort," a Pentagon official said.

    Army Rebalance to the Pacific

    While the Army is naturally immersed in activities with NATO to deter Russian movements in Eastern Europe and maintaining missions in Iraq and Afghanistan – the service has not forsaken its commitment to pursuing a substantial Army component to the Pentagon’s Pacific rebalance.

    Among other things, this involves stepped up military-to-military activities with allies in the region, coordinating with other leaders and land armies, and efforts to move or re-posture some weapons in the area.“The re-balance to the Pacific is more than military, it is an economic question. the Army has its hands full with the Middle East and with Europe and is dealing with a resurgent problem in Europe and North Africa,” an Army official said. “We have been able to cycle multiple units through different countries,” the senior official said.

    Also, the pentagon has made the Commander of Army Pacific a 4-star General, a move which enables him to have direct one-to-one correspondence with his Chinese counterpart and other leaders in the region, he added.

    As of several years ago, the Army had 18,500 Soldier stationed in Korea, 2,400 in Japan, 2,000 in Guam, 480 in the Philippines, 22,300 in Hawaii and 13,500 in Alaska. The service continues to support the national defense strategy by strengthening partnerships with existing allies in the region and conduction numerous joint exercises, service officials said.

    “The ground element of the Pacific rebalance is important to ensure the stability in the region," senior officials have said. Many of the world's largest ground armies are based in the Pacific.

    Also, in recent years Army documents have emphasized the need for the service to increase fire power in the Pacific to increased fielding of THAAD, Patriot and the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS in the Pacific region. ATACMS is a technology which delivers precision fires against stationary or slow-moving targets at ranges up to 300 km., Army officials have said. In 2013, the Army did deploy THAAD missile systems to Guam.

    Army officials have also called for the development of a land-based anti-ship ballistic missile, directed energy capability, and additional land-based anti-ship fires capabilities such as the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System.

    Army officials have also said man support a potential adaptation of the RGM-84 Harpoon and calls for the development of boost-glide entry warheads able to deploy “to hold adversary shipping at risk all without ever striking targets inland.

    Boost-glide weapons use rocket-boosted payload delivery vehicles that glide at hypersonic speeds in the atmosphere. An increase in the Army’s investment in boost-glide technology now could fast track the Army’s impact in the Air-Sea Battle fight in the near term, Army papers have stated.

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    Default Re: South China Seas

    That is... rather.... strange.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: South China Seas


    US Navy Destroyer Conducts Operation In South China Sea

    October 22, 2016


    This image provided by the U.S. Navy, taken Oct. 17, 2016, shows the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur, right, pulling into position behind the Military Sealift Command USNS Matthew Perry, during a replenishment-at-sea, seen from the bridge of the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance, in the South China Sea.

    A U.S. Navy warship on Friday passed through waters claimed by China near disputed islands in the South China Sea, the Defense Department said, drawing Chinese condemnation.

    A department spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the destroyer ship USS Decatur conducted the transit operation near the Paracel Islands. He said it was done "in a routine, lawful manner without ship escorts and without incident."

    A Chinese defense ministry statement called it "a gravely illegal act" and "intentionally provocative." The Chinese navy sent a guided missile destroyer and an escort vessel that "spotted and verified the American ships and warned them to leave," the statement said.

    Ross said there was just one U.S. vessel involved.

    The Paracels, a group of islands and reefs, are occupied by China but are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Ross said the ship passed within an "excessive" claim of territorial waters by China between two land features, although it did not go within 12 nautical miles of them.

    He did not specify where in the Paracels the ship sailed.

    The U.S. Navy has now conducted four freedom-of-navigation operations in the past year in the South China Sea, where China has reclaimed land on a massive scale to assert its claim to disputed features — mostly in the Spratly islands that lie further south.

    China has looked dimly upon the U.S. operations, which it views as meddling in waters where the U.S. does not have territorial claims. Friday's operation comes a day after the leader of the Philippines, one of the six governments with claims in the South China Sea, announced during a visit to Beijing his nation's "separation" from the United States, as it seeks to deepen ties with China.

    Ross said the operation was unrelated to any such event.

    The Chinese statement accused the U.S. of being a "troublemaker" in the South China at a time when "under the joint efforts of countries in this region" the situation is developing positively.

    "Under these circumstances, for the U.S. to deploy ships to violate Chinese territorial waters is to wish for the whole world to be in chaos" and to cause troubles from which the U.S. can profit, the statement said.

    Ross denied the operation was provocative.

    He said the U.S. conducts these operations on a regular basis around the world. He said the operation "demonstrated that coastal states may not unlawfully restrict the navigation rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea" that all states are entitled to exercise under international law.

    "This operation was about challenging excessive maritime claims, not territorial claims to land features. The United States has been clear that we take no position on competing territorial sovereignty claims to naturally formed land features in the South China Sea," he said.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    Defense Board: White House Blocked Navy From South China Sea Warship Passages

    October 26, 2016
    By Bill Gertz

    Senior White House officials blocked the Navy from conducting needed freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea amid growing concerns that China is militarizing newly reclaimed islands, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board.

    A working paper produced in September 2015 by John Hamre, the policy board chairman, called for an immediate resumption of Navy warship passages to prevent China from taking over the strategic Southeast Asian waterway.

    The internal document was disclosed Monday by WikiLeaks as part of its latest batch of hacked emails from the account of John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The Obama administration has accused “Russia’s senior-most officials” of hacking and leaking the emails posted to WikiLeaks and other sites in order to influence the 2016 election.

    The document was labeled “Chairman’s Working Notes of the Defense Policy Board – Chinese Island-Building in the South China Sea.” It was sent to Jake Sullivan, the Clinton campaign’s senior policy adviser, by Stuart Eizenstat, a Defense Policy Board member who was advising the campaign on internal Pentagon deliberations.

    In an email accompanying the notes, Eizenstat said he was providing a summary of the board’s recommendations after a two-day meeting. Eizenstat, a Washington lawyer, said he was sharing the board’s discussion of the South China Sea with the campaign because of the visit to Washington by Chinese leader Xi Jinping at that time, and because “Hillary may be asked to address this question.”

    “There was a recognition that the Chinese will eventually militarize the ‘islands’ they are building ou[t] of rock and coral, and there is little the US can do to stop that,” he stated in the September 25, 2015 email.

    Eizenstat said the board’s main recommendation was for the Obama administration to use a combination of diplomatic, military, economic, and communications strategies to prevent Beijing from taking control of the South China Sea

    “The U.S. Navy should launch freedom of navigation operations as soon as possible, and before China fully militarizes the ‘islands’, to establish the principle that we consider this to be international waters,” Eizenstat said. “We were told that there is a broad consensus to do so, but it is being held-up at the highest levels of the White House.”

    The policy board memo also recommended that China be prevented from deploying military forces on the disputed islands.

    “The U.S. government should outline to Chinese government the responses that will have to come if China militarizes the islands,” the Hamre memo says. “We must communicate that we know China won’t reverse its island-building activities, but that militarizing the islands constitutes as step that will trigger objective and serious U.S. responses.”

    No details were disclosed on who within the White House was holding up the operations.

    According to the memo, Chinese island-building and military activities in the sea “represent a deep, systematic and strategic development, not a tactical response or passing phenomenon.”

    “China has a strategic plan and an operational campaign,” the memo says. “China plans to create ‘facts on the ground’ that establish their strategic interests in controlling the South China Sea for political and economic benefit.”

    The Chinese activities are a “strategic political move designed to establish Chinese dominance and marginalize U.S. influence in the region,” the memo states.

    The Obama administration halted freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea between 2012 and October 2015, then resumed them under pressure from Congress. Such operations involve sailing within 12 miles of disputed islands. They are allowed under international law as a means to declare open seas free to all ships.

    Defense officials said Obama administration officials opposed the ship passages as too provocative and disruptive of U.S.-China relations.

    Hamre, in an email, said he has not spoken to Eizenstat about the two-page summary. He said the document was written to lay out “talking points that we use for our conversation with the Secretary.”

    The Navy’s close-in warship passage operations resumed just over a month after the internal Pentagon report was produced. On October 27, 2015, the warship USS Lassen sailed within 12 miles of a disputed feature in the Spratly Islands. A second naval passage took place in January near the Paracel Islands.

    However, the freedom of navigation operations were again halted from January until last week, when the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur sailed near one of the Parcels.

    Hamre, the board chairman, warned in the working paper that delays in the Navy warship passages had undermined America’s standing and that Chinese militarization of the new islands would pose dangers for resumed warship passages.

    “A delay on ‘freedom of navigation’ operation is hurting U.S. standing in the region,” Hamre stated. “It will become more difficult and confrontational to launch freedom of navigation operations AFTER China has militarized the newly-built islands.”

    “We should launch freedom of navigation operations as soon as practicable and sustain them on an ongoing basis,” Hamre added.

    The Pentagon has said China has reclaimed some 3,200 acres of islands in the Spratlys and Paracels on features that are claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, and other states in the region.

    After quietly building up the new islands, China has begun deploying military forces there, including anti-ship and air-defense missiles and temporary deployments of fighter jets.

    “This is not a crisis, but it is a long term problem that will require a policy consensus that transcends administration’s for years to come,” Hamre said. “The problem is not island-building, but rather unilateral actions by China to redefine political conditions that are designed to marginalize U.S. influence in the region.”

    Hamre said the United States needed a strategy to deal with a “surging China” that is not limited to the island-building problem. In the edited talking points, “surging” was crossed out and “aggressive” was handwritten in its place.

    “The administration needs to set the stage for the next administration to engage China, but confront China’s unilateral actions to intimidate neighbors as counterproductive and out of touch with the 21st Century,” he said.

    The talking points appear to have been the basis for Pentagon policy and included several themes emphasized in public remarks since 2015 by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who has called for China to observe international norms of behavior in the South China Sea and to support the Philippines in its dispute with China.

    A program to provide $400 million in aid to regional states should be increased, the memo said.

    The memo also urged ratification of the controversial United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne declined to comment on the leaked email or internal, interagency discussions.

    “As President Obama has stated, the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” Horne said. “That is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe.”

    Eizenstat, the policy board member, stated in his email that the U.S. government “should speak with one voice about the fact that Chinese activity contravenes rules-based international norms.”

    “They are building this artificial ‘islands’ to then stake out a claim to jurisdiction in the seas abutting them,” he said.

    Eizenstat did not return an email seeking comment.

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    Default Re: South China Seas


    China's 1st Aircraft Carrier Sails Into South China Sea

    December 26, 2016

    China's first aircraft carrier and five other warships passed by Taiwan and sailed into the contested South China Sea on Monday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said.

    The ships, led by the Liaoning, sailed past the Pratas Islands, also known as the Dongsha Islands, a Taiwan-controlled atoll in the northern part of the South China Sea, according to the ministry.

    China's Defense Ministry said Saturday that the Liaoning had set off for a routine open-sea exercise in the Western Pacific as part of its annual training. But its entering into the politically sensitive South China Sea follows rising tensions between Beijing and Taipei over the status of the self-ruled island.

    Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has refused to endorse Beijing's concept that Taiwan is a part of China. Beijing claims the self-governing island as its own territory and says failing to endorse the one-China principle would destabilize relations.

    The Taiwanese ministry said the Liaoning and warships had on Sunday sailed 90 nautical miles south of Taiwan in the Bashi Channel, a waterway between Taiwan and the Philippines.

    Tensions have mounted in the South China Sea, where the U.S. and China accuse each other of engaging in a dangerous military buildup. China claims nearly all of the sea and is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons.

    The U.S.-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative think tank said this month that satellite imagery showed China building large anti-aircraft guns on artificial islands in the contested waters, where China has also laid airstrips, built communications facilities and deployed suspected missiles.

    China has characterized its moves as defensive in nature and accused U.S. warships of making provocative passes through the region.

    The Liaoning, commissioned by the Chinese navy in 2012, first sailed to the South China Sea in 2013, when it docked at a navy base near the Chinese holiday resort of Sanya. The vessel at the time was not outfitted with a full aircraft complement.

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    Default Re: South China Seas

    Russia and China have agreed to stand together against the United States and South Korea's defense plans

    January 13 201705: 54



    China and Russia held bilateral consultations on security in North Asia. Following the meeting, the parties agreed to take action against the US-South Korean agreement to deploy THAAD missile defense system on the territory of South Korea. The participants of the consultations noted that countermeasures are designed to maintain the strategic balance in the region.

    The talks attended by Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Kong Xuan and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov. The final statement of the party called on the US and South Korea to avoid actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions, and demanded to give up the placement of missile defense plans.

    Experts note that the joint statement of China and Russia comes amid tensions between Beijing and Washington in connection with the rhetoric of the US president-elect Donald Trump about US ties and Taiwan. Previously, China has already expressed protest the US, when it became known that the US military budget includes funds for a program of military cooperation with Taiwan. Budget signed by Barack Obama.

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