Saturday, May 23, 2015

Beijing treading dangerously close to its self-destruction

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei spoke before reporters and warned the United States not to send its surveillance planes anymore within the 22 kilometre "airspace" that it "owns" when they built an airstrip in the disputed islands off the Western Philippine sea, which to them, is actually the "South China Sea".

Lei says US actions are dangerous. Well, I dare say, China's actions are more dangerous than what the US is doing.

The US defended its actions saying that it has the right to fly over "international waters." The US government is now using the line that the disputed area belongs to "international waters" since it is part of the commercial routes taken by commercial ships carrying international cargo.

Sources say, the US is considering testing China's resolve to defend its "territory" which is actually that space owned by the Philippines by matter of historical right. But since the Philippines is weak militarily and in other things as well, the US has taken upon itself to defend the rights of the Philippines as well as other ASEAN nations.

Well, I dare say that China must learn history's lessons and never tempt fate; otherwise it could prove to be disastrous in the end.

Yes, China is the world's most prosperous nation. Yes, China has dramatically improved and yes, China has developed its military capability and is in the better position to assert itself against other nations.

The only question is---is it prepared for a possible military encounter with a more experienced and more equipped US military? A follow up question---is China prepared for the eventual consequence of its actions in economic terms?

Best that China read its history and learn from it. For in those times when China grew economically fast, it does not necessarily follow that China also scored good points in terms of military conflicts. Of course, others would tell me that times are different because China is now ruled by a mighty Communist Party unlike imperial times. Well, I'll answer and say that there's no significant difference.

For one, the present Chinese leadership has not experienced war compared with the previous Politburo members. The last war which China took part and lost was during the Korean war. I cannot count its military invasion of Tibet as a "major" one considering that Tibet was weak militarily and wasn't able to really put a stiff resistance.

Somebody would say that the Chinese military has always trained with its allies, namely the Russians and the North Koreans. Putin's Russia is in a very tight fix and the Spratlys is not included in its interests. North Korea, for one, will not aid the Chinese in a possible conflict with the United States because it is still weak economically and it will likewise affect its defense of the 56th parallel with the South. The North is still technically at war with the South.

In a possible South China sea conflict, it would actually be China against the US, aided by Japan, the Philippines and possibly even Vietnam. Remember that this is possibly a naval conflict, not a ground war, so China's superiority in terms of numbers (1 million plus standing army) do not count. Review China's naval strength and it is nowhere near the US.

Meaning, China is in a situation where the US wants it to.

Inexperience in war is a very important factor for me and is my basis for saying that it is best for China not to tempt fate. China is flourishing in trade and history has shown that it is not entirely successful when in war.

In the Opium wars when China was then economically growing, it tried to assert itself against the British and what happened? British ships destroyed the Chinese junks. This is one lesson which I hope China would remember and consider before they issue stupid statements or before they sabre-rattle.