October 16, 2021

China’s Imperialism in the South and East China Seas Continues

china mapChina in violation of international law in claiming islands and reefs which belong to U.S. allies as well as vast portions of the South and East China Seas.

Reuters published an article entitled “China again lands planes on disputed island in South China Sea: Xinhua” on January 6, 2016.

On January 6, 2016, China landed two test flights on an island it has built in the South China Sea, four days after it angered Vietnam with a landing on the same runway in the disputed territory, the Chinese Xinhua state news agency reported. These two flights will initiate further condemnation from Vietnam, which launched a formal diplomatic protest over the weekend, and the Philippines, which said it was planning to do the same. Both countries have claims to the area that overlap with that of China, which claims almost the whole of the South China Sea.

Fiery Cross Reef is claimed by many nations. Now China will be able to land

long-range bombers and transport aircraft as well as China’s best jet fighters,

giving it a military presence deep in Southeast Asia that it has lacked until now.

On January 6, 2016, China landed two test flights on an island it has built in the South China Sea, four days after it angered Vietnam with a landing on the same runway in the disputed territory, the Chinese Xinhua state news agency reported. These two flights will initiate further condemnation from Vietnam, which launched a formal diplomatic protest over the weekend, and the Philippines, which said it was planning to do the same. Both countries have claims to the area that overlap with that of China, which claims almost the whole of the South China Sea.

The Philippines and other allied countries in the region are extremely concerned that China in violation of international law is claiming islands and reefs which belong to them as well as vast portions of the South and East China Seas. These U.S. allies’ nations are fearful that President Barack Obama will not support them in a major confrontation with China.

Xinhua said “The successful test flights proved that the airport has the capacity to ensure the safe operation of large civilian aircraft,” adding that the airport would facilitate the transport of supplies, personnel and medical aid.Bottom of Form Xinhua did not give any more detail about what type of aircraft had landed.

The runway at the Fiery Cross Reef is 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) long and is one of three China has been building for more than a year by dredging sand up onto reefs and atolls in the Spratly archipelago. On January 2, 2016, China landed a civilian plane on the same runway in the Spratlys in its first test, which was also the first time it had used a runway in the area. The runways would be long enough to handle long-range bombers and transport aircraft as well as China’s best jet fighters, giving it a military presence deep in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia that it has lacked until now.

Reuters explained that the United States has criticized China’s construction of the islands in disputed territory and is concerned that it plans to use them for military purposes, even though China has denied that assertion. The United States said after the first landing it was concerned that the flight had exacerbated tension.

The New York Times had reported on November 23, 2014, that IHS Jane’s new satellite imagery from the previous week showed construction of a new island about 9,850 feet long and 985 feet wide at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands. As we now know, the new island would be capable of supporting a runway for the Chinese air force aircraft. The Chinese were also dredging a harbor that would be large enough to dock its navy ships.

The Chinese government’s objective of this project on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, a tiny reef 500 miles from the mainland, would allow China to land aircraft there, expanding its control into the contested chinesse destroyerSouth China Sea. China has been expanding its presence in the Spratly archipelago for several years by adding sand onto reefs and shoals and creating at least three new islands that could serve as bases for Chinese surveillance aircraft and as resupply stations for its navy, according to IHS Jane’s intelligence report. But the report said the dredging operations at Fiery Cross were by far the largest, and were intended to force other claimant countries in the Spratly archipelago, which include Vietnam and the Philippines, to eventually relinquish their possessions. As stated earlier the Philippines is an ally of the United States.

China claims illegally and in violation of international law about 90% of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest trading routes. More than $5 trillion of world trade is shipped through the South China Sea every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.

The New York Times said that Bonnie S. Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington stated that “the plans for an airstrip at Fiery Cross Reef were most likely intended for China to land military aircraft that could monitor an air defense identification zone, known as an ADIZ, that China appears likely to create in the future.”

In November of 2013, China unilaterally announced such a zone over a vast area of the East China Sea, including the airspace over islands that are at the center of a dispute with Japan. United States and Western officials believe that China would soon make a similar announcement concerning the South China Sea.

The People’s Liberation Army held an international conference in Beijing in 2014 to tell the world that President Xi Jinping’s wants a new regional security architecture based on the concept of Asia for Asians, an idea that minimizes the role of the United States. China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, said at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing sponsored by the China Association for Military Science that “Asian countries bear primary responsibility for the security of their region.” In the Beijing forum’s China’s defense minister, General Chang Wanquan, said that China wanted countries to “transcend Cold War thinking,” a reference to the U.S. alliances in the Asia-Pacific region that China believes are used as a containment strategy. Gary Roughead, a retired admiral and former United States chief of naval operations, asked Chinese officials to clarify its claims in the South China Sea, and to ensure that the claims were compatible with international laws allowing freedom of navigation.

China’s territorial and maritime disputes with its neighboring countries

China is implementing a more aggressive and assertive foreign policy since 2010. The People’s Republic of China is engaging in territorial and maritime disputes with its neighboring countries. In addition to claiming all of Taiwan, China has been involved in many other international territorial disputes with India, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. China is claiming ownership of several small islands in the East and South China seas as well as the airspace. In the East China Sea, China is claiming ownership over the Japanese Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu in China).

As it has been stated China has claimed 90% sovereignty of the entire South China Sea, which includes Paracel and the Spratly islands. The waters around these small islands and rocks in the East China Sea and the South China Sea are known to have enormous reserves of oil and gas.

China is violating international law and the United Nations Law of the Seas Treaty which it signed. The U.N. treaty gives nations an “exclusive economic zone” that expands 200 nautical miles from their coastline, with the rights to resources in the water or under the seabed. China is drilling oil and gas close to the coast of Vietnam in violation of the treaty and sending its fishing fleet. It is also harassing Vietnamese ships.

Incredibly, China is claiming ownership of almost the entire maritime and space of the South China Sea. Beijing has seen the response of the United States to its new imperialism–the so-called “pivot” and later known as “rebalancing”–as an attempt to contain Chinese power. China wants to push the United States Navy further out into the Western Pacific.

Geoff Dyer, author of the book The Contest of the Century: the New Era of Competition with China- and How America Can Win (2014) explained that according to a professor at Beijing University, it is a major humiliation to see American warships sailing so close to China’s coasts, especially near to the enormous naval base in Hainan Island. Dyer described how Captain James Fanell, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence for the United States Pacific Fleet, stated the following: “They (Chinese) are taking control of maritime areas that have never before been administered or controlled in the last 5,000 years by any regime called China… China’s conduct is destabilizing the Asian maritime environment.”

Geoff Dyer is the author of the book The Contest of the Century: the New Era of Competition with China- and How America Can Win (2014).

American and Chinese scholars agreed that the United States-Chinese relationship is full of distrust, especially as nationalism in China has increased dramatically. The Chinese debaters believed that the distrust will persist as long as China’s domestic political system remains unchanged. There was complete disagreement among the American and the Chinese scholars with regards to China’s military modernization, human rights, and regional security.

Chinese warships are harassing United States Navy ships in international waters

Dyer explained that in March 2009, the U.S. Navy ship, the Impeccable, a surveillance ship, was sailing around 70 nautical miles from the new submarine base in Hainan Island when it was confronted by 10 different Chinese ships. The Chinese dropped planks into the water and forced the U.S. ship to stop. Chinese sailors using long poles smashed the surveillance instruments that were being towed behind the ship. The Impeccable was harassed for some time until it retreated from the area. To add injury to insult, the Chinese crew of one boat dropped their pants and showed their bare bottoms in the direction of the Americans.

Bill Gertz wrote an article entitled “Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters,” which was published on the Washington Free Beacon on December 13, 2013. The reporter explained that on December 5, 2013, the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens was sailing in international waters in the South China Sea, which China has illegally claimed as its territory. The U.S. warship was following the Chinese aircraft carrier the Liaoning at the time. According to American officials, a Chinese Navy vessel ordered the cruiser USS Cowpens to stop. The cruiser refused the order because it was operating in international waters and continued on its course. Suddenly, a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the cruiser and stopped, forcing the U.S. Naval vessel to abruptly change its course in what became a dangerous maneuver.

This incident is the result of China’s illegal declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and sovereignty over vast portions of the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Both of these seas are called by China the Near Seas. Bill Gertz wrote that General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had stated that China’s new air defense zone was destabilizing and that this increases the risk of a military “miscalculation.”

China has dispatched fighter jets to the ADIZ to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by the United States, South Korea, and Japan surveillance aircraft and ships. The United States, South Korea, and Japan do not recognize China’s air defense identification zone. The United States sent in November 2013 two B-52 bombers, which flew through the ADIZ but not over the disputed islands of Senkaku/Diaoyu. However, the United States informed U.S. commercial airlines to notify China when their airplanes fly over the ADIZ.

This writer believes that this was a serious mistake by President Obama since by doing so, it has acknowledged the legitimacy of the Chinese air defense identification zone. Defense Department officials have said that China’s declaration of the ADIZ is geared primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a “threat to its military secrets.”

Bill Gertz wrote that Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said that it was likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy to pressure the United States. Fisher believes that the encounter with the United States cruiser appears to be part of a pattern of China´s signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence. Fisher stated the following: “In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos.”

The United States and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines. China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that “it can be used to obtain its political objectives.” The reporter said that the United States military has been increasing the surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of “rebalancing forces to the Pacific.”

It is obvious that China is seeking to control illegally large areas of international waters where the ships and airplanes of many nations travel. The United States and its allies need to make sure that these major sea lanes, where an enormous amount of international traffic occurs, remain free. The United States needs to defend freedom of navigation at all cost.

The reporter explained that China’s state-control media reports on a regular basis that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while working with dissidents within China to overthrow the communist regime. The Obama administration has denied the accusations of seeking to “contain” China and has made it clear that he wants to continue close economic and diplomatic relations.

China is conducting cyber warfare and stealing our military and industrial secrets

General Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency, has described the cyber theft from China, and perhaps from other nations, as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” and has estimated our loss to be a trillion dollars. Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, as well as former Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Joe Lieberman, warned us several times of the great danger that the United States is facing of an impending surprise Pearl Harbor-like cyber attack coming from space and that could devastate our electrical grid, banks, financial institutions, water and sewer systems, and military and government computers.

On January 24, 2013, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, speaking at the Wilson Center, a think tank, said that we are facing an impending threat of a cyber attack equivalent to the attack of September 11, 2001. She said that many of our banks have experienced many cyber attacks. Similar other officials, she is concerned that our electrical grid, water and sewer systems, as well as our armed forces are facing a clear and present danger.

Napolitano explained that our Navy is being subjected to 100,000 cyber attacks per hour. She wanted Congress to approve laws on cyber security since cyber attacks are coming from everywhere and are increasing in number and sophistication. China has also penetrated U.S. computer systems that regulate our oil and natural gas pipelines.

China stole the design of the F-35, our most modern aircraft, which cost us $392 billion to develop. Now the Chinese will improve the design of our most modern aircraft and develop one that could be superior to ours.

Only a few years ago, China’s military was extremely weak and did not have a space program or cyber warfare capability. After stealing our military technology, China’s armed forces were modernized rapidly and now they have a great capability to conduct space and cyber warfare. It did not help our national security when many U.S. multinational corporations, such as General Electric, General Motors, and Boeing, established research and development centers in China. The PRC was able to acquire our highly sophisticated technology for free, in addition to the technology that it continues to steal through spying or cyber theft from the United States and other developed Western nations.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration, as well as previous administrations, has been unable to stop China’s increasing cyber warfare against our nation. Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior House of Representatives Intelligence Committee staff, wrote an article called “High-Level Panel Sees Trouble Ahead for China” in the February 2013 issue of Newsmax magazine. He explained that Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and a retired four-star general, warned that China had been trying to catch up with the U.S. military for several years, especially after the first Gulf War. Hayden said the following regarding China: “I stand back in awe about the Chinese espionage effort against the United States. We have a nation-state successfully attempting to steal secrets not just from our nation-state, but from American industry.”

Michael Hayden, Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China and Utah governor, and other experts were also concerned of the growing threat posed by a possible serious downturn of the Chinese economy. Fleitz pointed out in his article that if China´s economy goes into a recession, China may escalate tensions with our nation. Hayden said that the Chinese will put up with the Communist leadership as long as the economy is growing. However, a serious slow down of the Chinese economy could provoke its Communist government to act in an overly nationalistic manner and this could lead to a confrontation with our nation. In fact, Lignet, a national security firm, wrote on June12, 2013 that China is preparing for war.

Richard A. Clarke, who served several presidents in the Security Council of the White House, wrote a book entitled Cyber War (2011). He described how China has sold the United States “chips, routers, and hardware” for our computers and digital networks that have “logic bombs, trapdoors, and Trojan horses.” The Chinese government can press a special button and our Chinese computers and parts will no longer work. Our country purchased 84,000 false electronic parts from China and installed them in airplanes, helicopters, and missiles. General Patrick O’Rielly, director of the Agency of Missile Defense, stated the following: “We do not want that a missile interceptor of $12 million will not function due to a $2 false electronic part.” How could the Obama administration purchased anything from China for our defense when that nation is engaged in cyber warfare and currency warfare against us?

Panic in the United States and other nations over cyber theft from China

Dyer in his book The Contest of the Century (2014) explained that the American business community, which was once the most important supporter of strong ties with China, has become greatly concerned over cyber theft of American multinationals and businesses. Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, who has placed factories and research and development centers in China, is now having regrets. He stated “I am not sure that in the end they (Chinese) want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful.” Some companies, such as the Canadian Nortel, have been subjected to cyber theft for many years. Nortel discovered that it was being hacked in 2004. This company eventually went bankrupt in 2009. When businesses and multinationals are subjected to constant cyber theft over the years, there comes a time when they can no longer compete with Chinese companies.

Mandiant, a U.S. Internet-security company, has stated that it has traced hacking attacks on 141 companies in the United States and 15 other countries to one particularly Chinese military unit based in Shanghai. The hackers are actually part of a People’s Liberation Army group called the unit 61398.

Richard Clarke, who served in the National Security Council of the White House, stated the following: “What has been happening over the course of the last five years is that China-let’s call it for what it is-has been hacking its way into every corporation it can find listed in Dun & Bradstreet. Every corporation in the United States, every corporation in Asia, every corporation in Germany. And is using a vacuum cleaner to suck data out in terabytes and petabytes.”

Dyer wrote that as the result of China’s cyber warfare against the United States, “Congress has started introducing restrictions in some areas for all Chinese information-technology products, from computers to smart phones.” This writer hopes it is not too late for our nation to defend itself from China’s outrageous cyber warfare attacks.

NSA chief warns Chinese cyber attacks could shut U.S. infrastructure

Patricia Zengerle wrote an article with the above title on November 21, 2014, for Reuters . She explained that Admiral Mike Rogers, the new director of the National Security Agency stated that China and “probably one or two” other countries have the ability to shut down computer systems, power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, of our nation. Admiral Mike Rogers testified to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on cyber threats and said digital attackers have been able to penetrate such systems and perform “reconnaissance” missions to determine how the networks are put together. “What concerns us is that access, that capability, can be used by nation-states, groups or individuals to take down that capability,” Rogers said.

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Rogers testifies before a House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on ”Cyber security Threats: The Way Forward” on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 20, 2014.


In this writer’s opinion, China is definitely a gathering threat to our allies in Asia and to our national security. China has now a strong alliance with Russia. Mitt Romney said in 2012 that Russia is a geopolitical enemy of our nation. Both China and Russia see the United States as a superpower in decline.

It was a great mistake for the Obama administration to seriously cut the budget of our Armed Forces, since both China and Russia are increasing the size of their armed forces and modernizing their weapons. It is a policy which sends a message of extreme weakness not only to China, but to Russia, Iran, North Korea and other countries that dislike the United States. It is not helpful that the president has stated more than once that he wishes to abolish the nuclear arsenal of the United States since that also sends a message of weakness.

It is obvious that China would like to change the existing world order and that it will confront and challenge the United States in the near future. The United States needs to improve its alliances with China’s neighbors and strengthen its military force in order to counter any Chinese action that might threaten to undermine the existing world order. As explained earlier, China declared an air defense identification zone in November 2013 that overlaps with those of Japan and South Korea. This has increased the risk of conflict with the United States and its allies. China should not be allowed to get away with claiming most of the South China Sea as its territory in violation of international law.

More importantly, President Barack Obama and Congress need to quickly put our financial house in order. The nation cannot continue to endure enormous annual deficits and growing federal debt. Allowing China to continue to purchase our debt, which now holds between $1.3 trillion and $2 trillion in U.S. treasury bonds, is against our national security. As Hillary Clinton once stated, “how do you deal toughly with your banker?” As China continues to grow stronger, it will seek to modify the existing world order. Both China and Russia have already stated that they want to replace the dollar as an international currency. If they succeed in this endeavor, the United States will be seriously hurt. The United States cannot allow China to continue stealing its most precious military and industrial secrets.

The nation needs to move aggressively and reduce its enormous annual deficits and the ever-growing federal debt, which is now $19 trillion. The value of the dollar needs to be protected. The real national debt, when one includes the debts of the states, counties, and cities as well as the unfunded entitlements, is estimated to be over $150 trillion. Failure to act will create hyperinflation, increased unemployment and a possible economic recession.

Although China’s economic growth is slowing down in 2016, it will surpass the U.S. economy very soon. China is working together with Russia to replace the dollar as the world’s international currency. Our nation needs to act now and reform all entitlement programs since all of them are unsustainable in the long-term. The United States needs start living within its means. It is important to remember that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who served from 2007 to 2011, stated that the greatest threat to our national security is the ever increasing national debt.

The new NSA chief Admiral Mike Rogers stated on November 20, 2014, that China and “probably one or two” other countries have the ability to shut down computer systems, power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, of our nation. As our enemies wage cyber warfare, financial terrorism, and currency warfare against our nation and commit acts of aggression against other countries, this is not the time to appear weak and indecisive. This is not the time to appease our enemies for that will only invite more aggression against our nation and could end in our destruction and enslavement.

President Barack Obama needs to be more forceful in dealing with Russia, China and Islamic terrorists. The president has given too many concessions to both China and Russia. National security is a matter that Democrats, Republicans, and independents must be greatly concerned. This writer is convinced that the United States will continue to decline as a superpower unless the misguided economic and foreign policies of our president are reversed quickly.