Mark Collins – US to Test China’s South China Sea Claims: How Much? Part 2

Further to this post ten days ago, things could get very messy pretty soon–yikes!

1) U.S. Patrols to Test China’s Pledge on South China Sea Islands


2) U.S. Briefing Asian Allies on Plans for Naval Patrols in South China Sea


The head of the United States Pacific Command, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., by a photograph of an island that China is building on the Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press…

And from last May:

Three ways China and the United States could go to war

As one said, yikes!

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


24 thoughts on “Mark Collins – US to Test China’s South China Sea Claims: How Much? Part 2”

  1. Japanese angle–note other countries:

    ‘Japanese Navy Flexes Muscles in Regional Fleet Review
    South Korea takes part in military exercise despite tensions between the two countries

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presided over a show of naval strength on Sunday with Japanese allies and boarded a U.S. aircraft-carrier, a symbolic visit after the passage of widely criticized security legislation in September.

    At a fleet review, the Maritime Self-Defense Force—Japan’s navy—mobilized nearly 40 vessels including the Izumo, Japan’s largest warship since World War II, which went into service in March. Overhead, anti-submarine patrol planes dropped depth bombs and an acrobatic flight team sketched circles in the sky.

    “Threats can easily come by crossing borders. A country can no longer protect itself on its own,” Mr. Abe said in a speech to thousands of servicemen and servicewomen aboard the destroyer Kurama.

    The legislation passed last month would give Japanese forces more leeway to cooperate with the U.S. and other allies in overseas conflicts even if Japan wasn’t itself attacked. Officials say the law can help Japan deter threats from a growing Chinese military…

    Frigates from Australia and India, countries Mr. Abe regards as important partners in Asia, as well as France also took part in the naval procession. Chinese vessels didn’t participate.

    Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Japan will “continue to closely watch China’s activities in the South China Sea with strong interest,” referring to China’s building of artificial islands there.

    Japan is currently participating in an annual U.S.-India joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean for the first time in eight years.’


    “Rising Sun’s Yen for Defence Spending, FY 2016-17 Section”

    Mark Collins

  2. Aussies do own testing:

    ‘South China Sea: Audio reveals RAAF plane issuing warning to Chinese Navy during ‘freedom of navigation’ flight

    A radio recording of a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) surveillance plane conducting a freedom-of-navigation flight over the South China Sea has emerged for the first time.

    The audio has been published by the BBC following a reporting assignment in the disputed Spratly archipelago.

    In the scratchy radio recording, an RAAF pilot is heard speaking to the Chinese Navy.

    Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
    Audio: BBC audio: Australian pilot issues warning to Chinese Navy (ABC News)

    “China Navy, China Navy,” the voice says.

    “We are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the international civil aviation convention, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – over.”

    The BBC said it recorded the flight audio from a RAAF AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft in the early afternoon on November 25.

    According to the BBC, the message was repeated several times by the RAAF pilot, but no response was heard from the Chinese…’

    Mark Collins

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