...Meanwhile, All Hell Has Broken Loose in the South China Sea

07/21/20166 Comments

US-in-SCS-768x512by James Corbett
July 21, 2016

The failed Turkish coup. The Nice attack. The RNC and DNC. There is no shortage of headline-grabbing news stories to keep you occupied during this summer of rage.

But while your attention is elsewhere, huge moves are afoot in the Asia-Pacific. Specifically, those moves are afoot in the South China Sea, where the Permanent Court of Arbitration handed down a long-awaited ruling last week in favor of the Philippines in their long-running dispute over territorial waters with China. The court, operating under the arbitration provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ruled that China does not have "historical rights" to the waters in question and that their reclamation activity in the area has already caused irreparable environmental damage and should stop immediately. China promptly rejected the ruling exactly as they said they would.

This might sound like dry, legalistic stuff, but it's not. This dispute is a window into the simmering tensions that are ready to boil over in the region if and when the US makes its long-awaited, much-ballyhooed "Asia-Pacific pivot" (i.e. when Clinton is inaugurated by the voting machines this November).

ninedashlineTo get an idea where this is all headed, just ask Dennis Blair. He's the former Director of National Intelligence and retired Navy admiral who just told a Congressional committee that the US needs to be ready for a military confrontation with China over this dispute. That's bold talk in the realm of diplomacy, where people like Hillary campaign advisor Kurt Campbell usually opine mealy-mouthed political doublespeak like "I think over time China will start to adjust its position, because they will realize it's not in their best strategic interests."

The real question here is what, precisely, will trigger the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which calls for a military response to any armed attack "on the island territories under [each member's] jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific." Will the Philippines invoke the treaty if China continues its development of the Spratly islands? And would the US respond? The answer so far is a resounding...silence. No one wants to say, because no one wants to draw that big red line when China shows no signs of abiding by it.

kfcCnoRbIwWIAAj7reIf there is a point of moderation in this potential conflict, it's that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is interested in reviving flagging Sino-Filipino relations, but even there he's hamstrung by his own population. A 2014 Pew poll found fully 93% of Filipinos are worried about China's encroachment on the South China Sea and the possibility of military conflict.

Meanwhile China, for its part, is mulling the creation of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea requiring any air traffic to first notify China before entering the air space over the waters. Oh, and Chinese citizens are smashing their iPhones and protesting outside KFC locations as a backlash against perceived American interference in China's territorial disputes.

To make matters worse, tensions are still high in the East China Sea, where Chinese and Japanese fighter jets are coming perilously close to actual dogfights. Indeed, each year there seems to be a fresh pronouncement that Japan has scrambled a record number of fighters to intercept Chinese jets over their airspace.

japuschi2And now that Prime Minister Abe's coalition has just achieved the supermajority it needs to amend the constitution, many are worried that Japan is about to remove the mask of pacificism and convert its "Self-Defense Force" into the military threat it really is. Such a move would only add more fuel to the fire of military tension between Japan and its regional rival.

So just in case you've forgotten about the Asia-Pacific in the 24/7 news cycle of trauma we've been experiencing lately, don't fret; it's still there, and it's still a tinderbox. Let's just hope no one lights the match.

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  1. andres.c says:

    I think that there’s no better way to put it, this IS the summer of rage. Not only we have to keep a close look at what’s happening in the south china sea, we also have to consider, in my opinion a more pressing matter, the threath of NATO/ RUssia conflict in Europe. And not forget the capability Russia has to respond, wich some experts say, Putin’s military could secure Russia from NATO treath in less than 72 hours. I think all will come down to the November elections. I know is virtually impossible for Hillary’s voting machine to lose, but If by some creppy twist from the elite, Donald “the putin’s friend” Trump got into power, I would be really concern as a Mexican where would that take us. I’m afraid that there’s no encouraging scenario in the horizon where the war engine is not set into motion, It becomes clearer the set of tools that are being employed in order to keep the system going and how the elite could be planning a distraction from the derivatives and bonds bubbles in order to drive the fiat currency a little longer.But that’s just me speculating, if any one can think of a better reason, please do share!



    • phreedomphile says:

      It’s interesting to note, Andres, that the major US and UK establishment media outlets don’t seem to be beating the drums of war or writing much about heightened geopolitical tensions. It’s all pretty straightforward reporting, mostly the occasional article to remind all of us of the ISIS boogeyman. The expressions of a serious threat of war are coming out of the alternative media. Perhaps we’re the object of an operation to paralyze the awake community into a state of fear and over analysis – shades of Karl Rove’s infamous quote about the empire moving on to create new realities while we stay mired in a pattern of “judiciously” examining old crimes and paradigms.

      Something I haven’t seen reported yet in a comprehensive manner is the opposite situation of carrots being wielded instead of sticks, in the form of money printing bribes directed at the US populace. The list includes substantial increases in minimum wages, hints of discharging student loans, free tuition (Hillary), calls for increasing entitlement payouts (White House and a recent Larry Summers WaPo column), pumping the stock market, and state and industry expansions of subsidies for working and some middle class earners.

      Anecdotally, a close friend who is a VA physician told me last week he was very surprised to see a van with VA representatives in the parking lot of a national grocery store chain trying to get passersby to stop and sign up for free benefits. Never seen anything like that before. Looks like what we are being set up for is an inflationary depression and, in his article two weeks ago, top international bankster and pointman Summers said inflation was the way to go outlining several ways to do it.

      • Moxa4 says:

        “Perhaps we’re the object of an operation to paralyze the awake community into a state of fear and over analysis.” Your are right, that has to be considered. I mean especially now when we count the disturbing events in the mass media happening inside of European Countries and the USA nearly on a daily basis with supposedly islamist-racial-lunatic or what have you motives. If you want to get out of this, you’ve got to keep a clear head…

  2. phreedomphile says:

    The good news is, at least according to The Wall Street Journal, China’s political leaders are keeping a tight lid on the issue:

    “Some ordinary Chinese rallied around the flag by picketing U.S. fast-food chains and urging boycotts against American products, but their efforts were quickly shouted down by state media. Others spread warmongering rhetoric on social media, only to be silenced by censors. The Communist Party’s flagship newspaper explained how boycotting U.S. products would ultimately damage Chinese interests, and urged readers to abide by the law.

    “In the age of economic globalization, many products used in daily living, big and small, are ‘hybrids,’” using parts from both the U.S. and China, the People’s Daily said…“You couldn’t boycott them even if you wished. With so many ordinary Chinese folk working in the [fast-food] industry supply chain, are you going to feed them if they lose their jobs?” the newspaper wrote. “The internet was invented by the U.S., so should we boycott the internet and retreat into the pre-internet age?”

    “State-run China Daily, for its part, decried the anti-KFC protests as a show of “jingoism that does a disservice to the spirit of devotion to the nation.”

  3. HomeRemedySupply says:

    I appreciate all the updates on what is going on globally.
    I am here to learn.

  4. VoltaicDude says:

    Just look at China’s modern big cities (built-up over the last forty years) and you can see the root of the problem – they look like big U.S. cities on steroids.

    China has modeled its development and modernization on the worst aspects of American culture, and specifically on the globalist development plans of the elitist banksters, thinking that those plans are designed to promote long-term prosperity for society in general, rather than designed to maintain the control patterns manipulated by the elites, and applied through the utilization of endless permutations of conflict-dialectic scenarios.

    China has built itself up (been built up) and transformed into a twin of the menace, and is now virtually ready to meet, for instance, a China Sea conflict head-on, as a formidable rival to a military-industrial complex that is in constant search for a publically presentable raison d’être.

    The real (underlying) raison d’être of the military-industrial complex is the Orwellian, neo-liberal, fascist, police state necessary to maintain internal order of the Globalist Empire – note the increasing militarization of local police forces across the board in the West as in the East alike.

    The final goal of the Globalists is that one day everything and everyone will be an internal subject of the Empire.

    However, not everyone need be fully aware of that status – in fact, as usual, it’s probably more effective for-the-powers-that-shouldn’t-be that the various factions emphasized and pulled out of the fabric of each region be as unaware of their capture as possible.

    I think that the Chinese have been as deeply fooled by all this deception as we in the West have been, so that now our respective warriors can be thrown at each other.

    Perhaps a more modern structure of war will be utilized, so that civilian massacres from high-tech attacks will perform the population culling desired by the ruling sociopaths.

    A related case in point: large swathes of the civilian population of northwest Syria have been murdered or displaced through a Globalist-constructed conflict propagandized as a civil war President Bashar al Assad provoked.

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