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Old 06-14-2011   #41
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Beijing (CNN) -- A rash of violent protests in China continued over the weekend as migrant workers and security forces clashed in a rural city about 60 miles northwest of Hong Kong, local government officials and witnesses said.
The protest erupted in Zengcheng over what witnesses described as rough handling of a pregnant street vendor by security guards Friday. Local government officials said the protests involved hundreds, while other unofficial reports estimated tens of thousands of protesters.
The demonstrators hurled bottles and bricks at government officials and marched to the local police station, where they damaged several cars, according to the local government officials. Protests continued Saturday and Sunday, according to local officials.
The situation in Zengcheng remains tense, according to a businessman who asked to be identified only by his surname, Hu, because he was concerned about reprisals from government officials.
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/as...html?hpt=hp_t1
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Old 06-15-2011   #42
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Default China 'will not use force' in South China Sea dispute

A BBC report on the dispute between PRC and Vietnam:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13759253

Ends with the best bit, all speculation of course and the ship maybe going elsewhere:
Quote:
On Sunday, the Japan-based carrier USS George Washington left port for deployment in the region, which is almost certain to include the South China Sea.
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Old 06-15-2011   #43
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Default Threat assessment

Carl,

Taken from your long post:
Quote:
That is why you base your actions upon what they are capable of doing, will be capable of doing and what they are actually doing at the moment.
I prefer to use capability + intention to make an assessment.

In the case of the PRC, let alone the South China disputes, for a long time the PRC has had the capability to exert itself - as shown in the clashes with Vietnam long ago (1979 & 1988).

From faraway it looks like intention has been lacking and for reasons unclear to me this dispute has re-appeared.

A very partial, probably Vietnamese YouTube clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy2ZrFphSmc
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Old 06-15-2011   #44
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I prefer to use capability + intention to make an assessment.

In the case of the PRC, let alone the South China disputes, for a long time the PRC has had the capability to exert itself - as shown in the clashes with Vietnam long ago (1979 & 1988).

From faraway it looks like intention has been lacking and for reasons unclear to me this dispute has re-appeared.
A difference now is they have a naval capability that is, I'm pretty sure, very much greater than they had before.
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Old 06-16-2011   #45
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Read this to the theme from "Gilligan's Island"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfR7qxtgCgY

Quote:
China has sent one of it largest patrol ships through the South China Sea amid heightened tension over the disputed waters. The Haixun-31 sailed on Wednesday and will monitor shipping and "protect maritime security" on its way to Singapore, state media said. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman described the trip as routine.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13796958
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Old 06-18-2011   #46
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Default games without frontiers

The PLAt thickens:

Quote:
Safeguarding sovereignty over the South China Sea is a shared obligation for both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, an official said in Beijing, a statement which may herald an inclination to cooperate with Taiwan on the issue.

"It is a shared obligation for people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to safeguard sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters," Yang Yi, a spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference Tuesday.

Taiwan's army said Tuesday that it would send a fleet of ships to the South China Sea and would station tanks on Taiping, the biggest of the Nansha Islands, at the end of June, the Taipei-based United Evening News reported.
Beijing OKs role of Taiwan in spat - Global Times - June 17, 2011.

***

We don't need no stinkin' cynicism:

Quote:
US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, told a special hearing on Taiwan that she would soon introduce new legislation “to enhance the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA].”

While she gave no details, her intent is to boost US-Taiwanese relations and dramatically improve communications between Washington and Taipei.

She said Taiwan inspired all victims of Beijing’s oppression and struck fear into the hearts of “the cynical old men who still rule Beijing.”

[...]

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, stressed that the US finds its interests and equities on Taiwan significantly reduced — mostly because US policymakers are attempting to calibrate interests with Taiwan on the basis of the US’ China policy.

He said that in the event of a conflict with China, a modernized and capable Republic of China Air Force could play a critical and constructive role in supporting the US.

“Concern over China’s reaction to the sale of F-16C/Ds has spooked the US government into not moving forward on this issue,” Hammond-Chambers said.

“The US has exercised excessive restraint and has given Beijing ample opportunities to reduce its military posture opposite Taiwan,” he added. “The continued US freeze on arms sales risks legitimizing China’s reliance on military coercion to settle disputes.”
US Lawmakers plan TRA enhancement - Taipei Times - June 18, 2011.

***

Honesty is the best policy:

Quote:
With the last F-16s scheduled to roll off the production line in 2013, Mr. Hammond-Chambers warned that new orders might need to come in as early as the end of 2011. Otherwise, he said, the production line might be shut down completely – an outcome, others have pointed out, that would cost the U.S. much needed jobs and lead to even trickier negotiations over the sale of more advanced fighters.

Although he said the potential shutdown of the F-16 line should not dictate whether or not to sell the weapons, Mr. Hammond-Chambers argued it forced a tight timeline on the decision. “It is a consideration for when you make the decision to sell,” he said. “If you leave it too long, the decision is made for you.”
Never Fear, Taiwan - Congress is Here - Wall Street Journal (China Real Time Report) - June 17, 2011.
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Old 06-19-2011   #47
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
A Treaty does not mean that it is activated when any of the signatories are attacked. I would reiterate that if one come to a partner’s assistance when only attacked, it would turn out to be a very costly exercise, in men, matériels and finance when compared to armed warning without a war to blow away a crisis.

I again reiterate that the US strongly supports negotiations, but not from a position of weakness. That is why the naval exercises and the position of warship in the strategic chokepoint
The treaty between the US and the Philippines requires the US to assist the Philippines in the event of an attack on the Philippines. It does not require the US to support Philippine claims in disputed areas. I don't know how much clearer that could possibly be. Of course the US may take steps to support the Philippines in the absence of an attack, but that's an option, it's not a treaty obligation.

A treaty that required a stronger power to come to the aid of a weaker power in any trouble the weaker party got into would be an incentive to the weaker party to get into trouble, knowing they would be supported. For example, the US has made it clear that the defense treaty would not be triggered if the Philippines got into it with Malaysia over the Philippine claim to Sabah. Any other position would encourage adventurism.

Naval exercises and a couple of Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore don't create a position of strength. The relative balance of strength will be as it was before. The idea is to create a perception of commitment, which again really doesn't change much. Both sides will continue to poke and prod as they can, where they will, and see how others react. Nothing new.

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Threat Analysis is an ongoing process and it takes into account every acquisition into account and what could be its effect. For instance, one aircraft carrier, is not that material but slot it in the jigsaw of the various acquisitions of their Navy to include submarines etc and you will find that they are well on their way to transform from a Brown water to a Blue Water Navy. And what can their Blue Water navy do for China's power projection? If that is something to be complacent about, then that would be an interesting viewpoint.

I would consider it naive if one believes that China is rapidly modernising her armed forces to include Stealth aircraft and ships for 'peaceful' purposes. Indeed, a Blue Water Navy is not for defending the shores and instead is for offensive action and power projection. It is also worth noting that China does not posses far flung overseas territories that makes it essential to have a Blue Water Navy for defensive purposes.
The US Navy is larger than all the other navies in the world together. Does the US "possess far flung overseas territories"?

The Chinese have extensive commercial interests in Africa, which could at any time be threatened by insurgency, with or without a bit of stirring up by rival powers. The US maintains the capacity to "do FID" or intervene on behalf of governments it supports, why wouldn't China seek the same capacity? The vast majority of China's energy imports and large amounts of commercial exports pass through the Indian Ocean, where they could be subject to all kinds of interference in time of conflict. Isn't it quite natural for the Chinese to want the capacity to protect its commerce? Isn't that a capacity that virtually every commercial power in history has sought?

Of course the Chinese want the capacity to project power if needed. Isn't that a capacity the US already has? Is it right in one case and wrong in the other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
No exercise by any country, scheduled or unscheduled, is taken as a 'ritual', more so, by those who consider such nations as potential adversaries.

Let me give one example. USSR used to follow NATO naval manoeuvres, even though it was a 'ritual', with spy trawlers and used to 'buzz' the NATO ships for reaction. It is obvious that USSR was interested in NATO tactics and state of operational efficiency.
Observing is part of the ritual. Doesn't change the way things stand between or among the countries involved.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
By your contention that a country can change its defence treaty obligations as and when desired, North Korea is becoming a nuclear state that is delivery capable. China is a 'peace loving' Nation. Should China not drop them like a 'hot potato' because North Korea is not 'peace loving' as China?

If China's friendship is based on perceived self interest, may I suggest that US Defence Treaties in the Pacific is also based on self interest - a contention you seem to wish away in the case of the US, but readily espouse for China!!
All treaties, everywhere, all the time, are based on perceived self interest. What other possible basis could there be?

I didn't say anything about changing defence treaty obligations, I merely pointed out that the current situation does not produce any such obligation for the US... though treaty obligations and how (and if) they are fulfilled will always be assessed according to perceived interests at that time. That is by no means only true of the US, it applies to everyone.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Pakistan is not getting friendly with Chinese or Russia just to get 'something out of the US' or 'getting irritated with the US'.
Here's a suggestion of playing:

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=96627

Quote:
the recent visits to Russia and China by President Zardari and prime minister Gilani have been like silver linings, raising hope that the administrative paralysis, witnessed in the last three years, may take a turn for the good. And beyond any shadow of doubt these visits enabled the Pakistan leaders to adopt a different posture before Hillary Clinton and her aides paying a surprise visit to Islamabad
I suppose there was no intention whatsoever to use a visit to Russia and China as a way of showing the Americans that they weren't the only potential ally in the picture... and of course the Russians and the Chinese were quite willing to play along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
So, morality is never a question?

It is perfect for China to circumvent NPT or NNPT and construct two nuclear plants for Pakistan?

If there is no modicum of morality to be followed or be necessary, then why have these treaties?
The treaties exist because of perceived interests. Why would morality have anything to do with it? China supports N. Korea because they fear the consequences of that regime collapsing. No morality involved.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Corpse to many, but still surviving!

If it were a corpse, the dirge would have sung.
I didn't say Myanmar is a corpse, I said imposing economic sanctions on Myanmar is analogous to banning a corpse from a dance floor. It's pointless to ban a corpse from a dance floor because the corpse can't dance anyway. It's pointless to impose economic sanctions on Myanmar because the Myanmar economy can't dance: they've no exports worthy of the name and little capacirty to import. Economic sanctions will only mean something if a country's economy depends on global linkages. Myanmar's doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The socialist ship had sunk long ago. Mao did not feel so.
It was a slow sink. The rats finally jumped ship, as anyone would... I mean, we talk of rats leaving a sinking ship, but who in his right mind doesn't leave a sinking ship? The Chinese didn't adopt capitalism because the US wanted them to, they did it because they wanted to, for fairly obvious reasons.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
And why are they re-locating?
They see an opportunity to make money.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
A serious contender has to be made to know its station!!
Stations change, and evolve... it is not the right or responsibility of the US to determine anyone else's station or impose any given station on anyone.
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Last edited by Dayuhan; 06-19-2011 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011   #48
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Hat tip to the Australian "think tank" the Lowry Institute that Aileen Baviera, at a Singapore "think tank" is the expert to follow on developments in the South China Sea.

Link to her latest short report:http://www.rsis.edu.sg/publications/...SIS0912011.pdf
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Old 06-24-2011   #49
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US ready to arm Philippines amid China tension - Yahoo! News

Quote:
The United States said Thursday it was ready to provide hardware to modernize the military of the Philippines, which vowed to "stand up to aggressive action" amid rising tension at sea with China.
http://beta.news.yahoo.com/philippin...182220614.html


Speaks volumes!

A clear indication that the US is not abandoning allies 'for US national interests".

Last edited by Ray; 06-24-2011 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 06-24-2011   #50
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It's all just words until something actually changes hands. Given the state of the Philippine Navy and Air Force, a whole lot would have to change hands to make much difference in the balance.

Who ever said the US was "abandoning allies"?
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Old 06-24-2011   #51
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One also does not know the state of the Chinese Navy to take on a joint threat.

Not directly stated that the US was abandoning it allies, but implied that unless attacked, the Mutual Defence Treaty with Philippines was merely an exercise on paper.

Apparently, it is not so.

This could also be read in context;

US lawmakers plan TRA enhancement
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/fron.../18/2003506056

Quote:
US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, told a special hearing on Taiwan that she would soon introduce new legislation “to enhance the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA].”.....\

She said Taiwan inspired all victims of Beijing’s oppression and struck fear into the hearts of “the cynical old men who still rule Beijing.”

Ros-Lehtinen said the hearing, “Why Taiwan Matters,” was especially timely and necessary because “it has come to my attention that there is a new spirit of appeasement in the air.”

“Some in Washington policy circles are suggesting that the time has come to recognize the reality of a rising China and to cut our ties to Taiwan,” she added. “This would be a terrible mistake which would have far-reaching ramifications about how the US treats its democratic allies — its friends.

Ros-Lehtinen said Taiwan needs the means to defend itself from threats and intimidation.
This is a news report dated 28 June 2011.

The US apparently means business.

This is just what I have been repeating to all the appeasement theories that were being stated:
“This would be a terrible mistake which would have far-reaching ramifications about how the US treats its democratic allies — its friends.
and now the US Congressmen have openly subscribed to it!

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Old 06-24-2011   #52
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As I was saying all along, the US aim at containment of China is evident and not merely a will o' the wisp.

Even erstwhile enemies, who should have never approached the US, are approaching the US. It would not have been possible if there were no favourable diplomatic exchanges.

Vietnam seeks US support in China dispute
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/05e83b34-9...#axzz1QB4IplIk

Quote:

The Vietnamese government has ratcheted up its rhetoric in recent weeks amid growing public disquiet over perceived maritime bullying by China, which dominated Vietnam for 1000 years and fought a brief but bloody border war against it in 1979. At the weekend Vietnam’s foreign ministry said that it would “welcome” efforts by the US and other nations to help resolve the South China Sea dispute and maintain peace and stability.

Such sentiments are unlikely to go down well in Beijing, which insists that the long-running row over the South China Sea must be resolved on a purely bilateral basis.

China reacted angrily last July when Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, insisted that the South China Sea was of strategic importance to the US and offered to act as a mediator.....
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Old 06-24-2011   #53
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
One also does not know the state of the Chinese Navy to take on a joint threat.

Not directly stated that the US was abandoning it allies, but implied that unless attacked, the Mutual Defence Treaty with Philippines was merely an exercise on paper.
What does the discussion of providing armament have to do with the Mutual Defense Treaty?

Arms deals are not required by the treaty. They are not a treaty obligation. The US may of course elect to make such an arrangement if it feels that that the arrangement serves its interests, but it's not a treaty obligation.

We'll see what, if anything, comes of it.

I don't think the Chinese have any intention of taking on a joint or individual threat, so the capacity may not be all that important.

US legislators love to look tough on China, particularly given the desire of so many US voters to blame American economic problems on the Chinese. There's a clear political payoff for a US legislator in backing this kind of bill... how it will play out in practice is another story altogether. Most likely it will just fire off yet another round of words and a bit of transitory saber rattling.

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This is just what I have been repeating to all the appeasement theories that were being stated
Where has anyone stated an "appeasement theory"?
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Old 06-24-2011   #54
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Even erstwhile enemies, who should have never approached the US, are approaching the US. It would not have been possible if there were no favourable diplomatic exchanges.
Ray, what do you make of this? The more the merrier?

Quote:
Vietnam and China to conduct a joint patrol in Tonkin Gulf

PANO - Two Vietnamese naval boats, the HQ375 and HQ376 (under Corps M62, Naval Region D), representing Vietnam People’s Navy and Army, on June 18th, departed to take part in a joint patrol with China People’s Liberation Navy’s boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

This is the 11th joint patrol that has been conducted since the two navies signed an agreement on Joint Patrol Status in October 2005.

As scheduled, the joint patrol started at 8am on June 19th and will finish at 10.15am on June 20th (Hanoi time) with a journey of 306 nautical miles.

The joint patrol aims to promote the traditional friendly neighbourhood cooperation relationship between Vietnam and China, as well as enhance the mutual understanding and trust between the two armies and navies.
Vietnam and China to conduct a joint patrol in Tonkin Gulf - China Defense Blog - June 19, 2011.
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Old 06-24-2011   #55
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What does the discussion of providing armament have to do with the Mutual Defense Treaty?

Arms deals are not required by the treaty. They are not a treaty obligation. The US may of course elect to make such an arrangement if it feels that that the arrangement serves its interests, but it's not a treaty obligation.

We'll see what, if anything, comes of it.

I don't think the Chinese have any intention of taking on a joint or individual threat, so the capacity may not be all that important.

US legislators love to look tough on China, particularly given the desire of so many US voters to blame American economic problems on the Chinese. There's a clear political payoff for a US legislator in backing this kind of bill... how it will play out in practice is another story altogether. Most likely it will just fire off yet another round of words and a bit of transitory saber rattling.



Where has anyone stated an "appeasement theory"?
The timing of providing arms is important and not the arms itself.

The timing and the political message is what is loaded.

One does not see geo strategy and geopolitics in isolation or as a case by case issue. It is observe in the overall context. Ms Hillary Clinton pronouncement about the South Sea being of strategic importance to the US sums up the issue beyond any quibbling.

And add to it what you call political rhetoric of US Congresspeople.

Sabre rattling?

I wonder if one is to take the pronouncements in the US Congress lightly as if it was not material.

What may have slipped the observer who has not opened the link is that the statement was not made by any political lightweight.

It was stated by the chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee.

Am I to understand that a Chairman of a House Committee is taken to be a person prone to garrulity and is a flighty light headed person?

I am not too conversant as to how a Chairman of a Committee is selected in the US Congress, but I would be surprised if any old Tom, Di.ck and Harry can be the Chairman and that too who has the propensity to shoot his/ her mouth at the drop of a hat.


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Originally Posted by Backwards Observer View Post
Ray, what do you make of this? The more the merrier?
More the merrier was the aim of President Obama's visit to Asia and the earlier visits to Asia by Ms Hillary Clinton to Asia.


Quote:
Vietnam and China to conduct a joint patrol in Tonkin Gulf - China Defense Blog - June 19, 2011.
It shows that the US strong defence of its allies and others in the South China Seas has sent the message to China, so much so, that instead of bulldozing, it is trying to slow down and show 'maturity'.

China is a very careful country. It will not back down, but will use the prevailing parameters to calm the situation without 'losing face', and then will seek opportunities when it is in a position to seize the initiative.


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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Why shouldn't "erstwhile enemies" approach each other? The US has quite congenial relations with a number of erstwhile enemies, and has been getting on reasonably well with the Vietnamese for some time. Nothing very odd or unusual about it.
The answer is simple.

This enemy - Vietnam - continues to be Communist - the raison d’ętre for the US intervention in Vietnam. Therefore, any rapprochement is not taken to be within the ambit of a day's work done.

I would be surprised if the US would not be the last country to forget Vietnam in a jiffy. Without going into details, suffice it so say that Vietnam does not evoke pleasant memories in the US.

Other enemies of the US have been soundly defeated.

That I presume could be the difference.

Last edited by Ray; 06-24-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011   #56
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It shows that the US strong defence of its allies and others in the South China Seas has sent the message to China, so much so, that instead of bulldozing, it is trying to slow down and show 'maturity'.
Ray, it is trying to slow down and show 'maturity', I like how you seem to combine both optimism and cynicism there.
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Old 06-24-2011   #57
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One does not see geo strategy and geopolitics in isolation or as a case by case issue. It is observe in the overall context. Ms Hillary Clinton pronouncement about the South Sea being of strategic importance to the US sums up the issue beyond any quibbling.
Just repeating what's been said for years. None of this is new.

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I wonder if one is to take the pronouncements in the US Congress lightly as if it was not material.
Not to be taken lightly, exactly.... but understand that they are playing primarily to a domestic audience, not plotting grand strategy. Again, nothing very new there.

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It shows that the US strong defence of its allies and others in the South China Seas has sent the message to China, so much so, that instead of bulldozing, it is trying to slow down and show 'maturity'.
Again, this cycle has run before, many times.

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China is a very careful country. It will not back down, but will use the prevailing parameters to calm the situation without 'losing face', and then will seek opportunities when it is in a position to seize the initiative.
As will everybody else in the picture. Yes, the Chinese asre careful. Is this a bad thing?

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This enemy - Vietnam - continues to be Communist - the raison d’ętre for the US intervention in Vietnam. Therefore, any rapprochement is not taken to be within the ambit of a day's work done.

I would be surprised if the US would not be the last country to forget Vietnam in a jiffy. Without going into details, suffice it so say that Vietnam does not evoke pleasant memories in the US.

Other enemies of the US have been soundly defeated.

That I presume could be the difference.
Nominally Communist, yes. So is China. So what? The Cold War is over. "Communism" per se is not "the enemy", nor is the US reasonably required to avoid relations with nominally communist countries, or vice versa. Relations are based on the perceived interests of today, and both the US and Vietnam have found it expedient to get along. Again, this is not new, it's been going on a while.

Neither is it necessary to see China as an enemy that needs to be contained and deterred... in fact that approach is the fastest way to turn that situation into a reality.

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Carl, you have been a lone voice insisting that the US should not cut Taiwan loose.
Has anyone here proposed that the US should "cut Taiwan loose"?
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Old 06-26-2011   #58
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June 26, 2011

India eyes South China Sea pearl

Vietnam has allowed Indian naval warships to drop anchor at its Nha Trang port in southern Vietnam during naval goodwill visits, well-placed government sources have confirmed.

Sources said the Indian Navy was perhaps the only foreign Navy in recent times to have been given this privilege by the Vietnamese at a port other than Halong Bay, near Hanoi....

The Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Navy, Vice-Admiral and deputy minister Nguyen Van Hien, is scheduled to visit New Delhi, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam during his visit starting Monday to witness Indian naval capabilities. “India could also offer its experience in ship-building to Vietnam, which currently has a small Navy,” said a government source......

Indian government sources caution that the Indo-Vietnamese defence relationship should not be seen to be aimed at China.
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chann...-sea-pearl-772
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Old 06-26-2011   #59
Ken White
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...Americans... In a group though they can get a little... tribal
At a minimum...
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A great nation with (possibly) the worst political system in the world. This through the calamitous effect its foreign policy has had on the world post the 1940's.
I'd go with large and fairly good, not "great." I disagree on the political system, though I fully acknowledge it is terribly cumbersome and produces effects that resonate outside the US, often adversely for others. I agree that our post 1945 foreign policy has been quite poor (that's my weekly understatement)...
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Many Americans accept that their system is fatally flawed but few will take responsibility for the damage they have caused in the past 60 odd years.
Most are aware and would change it if they could but that political system intrudes. They are willing to internally take full responsibility and will and do work to change it albeit very slowly due to the nature of the beast; externally that tribal thing takes over...
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How things have changed from the days of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln where the low point has now been reached where the defining moment in a presidency is making a 50:50 call to send in a small team after a HVT
Function of the times and our pethetic media who are too many with too little to do and thus will grasp any straw to fill the vacuum. Not indicative of the nation at large, really.
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It was not America who handed the country to Mugabe it was Carter. And you need to know that it was all about the possible recognition of Bishop Muzorewa's Zimbabwe Rhodesian government. The Brits would recognise it if Carter would. But Carter owed the Congressional Black Caucus for their support in getting him elected so he refused to recognise Muzorewa and demanded new elections (as what was wanted by the CBC)
All true but in total it was a bit more complicated.
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Of course neither Carter... Happened many times in the last 60 years under different US Presidents.
All true, but I try to eschew US dometic politics on this board. A side benefit from that is that I have to replace fewer keyboard damaged by spluttering.
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The only thing worse than incompetent civilian politicians are soldiers taking over and trying to run a country.

As I have said here before small countries with the usual incompetent politicians have less scope for creating international mayhem than the US does. Here lies the problem. With the US, Russia and China starring in a Charlie Chaplin/Laurel & Hardy/Keystone Cops show the prognosis is not good.
We can agree on all that. The inmates are indeed in charge of the institution(s)...
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Old 06-29-2011   #60
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Vietnam's navy chief and deputy minister Vice Admiral Nguyen Van Hien Monday met his Indian counterpart Admiral Nirmal Verma here when the two sides discussed security challenges in the Indian Ocean region, apart from the scope for expanding defence cooperation between the two countries.

Nguyen, who arrived in India June 24, also discussed possibilities of India's help to build capacities of the Vietnamese naval force, which is small and growing, when compared with the Indian Navy.

The Vietnamese navy chief had already completed his visit to Mumbai, where he visited the Indian Navy's Western Command and defence public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited before reaching New Delhi.
http://news.webindia123.com/news/Art...7/1780924.html

Last edited by Ray; 06-29-2011 at 04:54 AM.
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