China’s inexplicable policies in the South China Sea

Everyone is making claims to the islands in the South China Sea. China’s 9 dash line claims it meeting overlapping claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Until the dispute is settled, the claimant countries are trying their best to enforce their claims by exerting control of the seas with their patrol boats. No clear cut answers would be appearing in the near horizon.

The biggest teething problem is not land reclamation but the presence of fishing boats in the disputed seas. Chinese fishing boats, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Thais, Malaysians and Indonesians have often been caught by the patrol boats of respective countries, some held for ransom, some blown to pieces.
Chinese fishing boats appear to be a common feature in being arrested by the claimant countries’ patrol boats, impounded or blown up. And other than some protests from the Chinese government, there seemed to be nothing that China could do to protect or demand the release of the fishing boats and the fishermen.

The fact that Chinese fishing boats and fishermen were arrested by claimant countries is an implicit sign that the fishing boats and fishermen were in the wrong, operating in other country’s territorial sea. It must be. If they are operating in Chinese or international waters they would not be arrested. If this is the case, it is simply a legal matter and rightly China cannot and should not be doing anything to protect the wrongs of its fishing boats and fishermen.

What if the fishing boats and fishermen were arrested in disputed seas claimed by China and other claimant countries. The implications, China has be default of its inaction, conceded that the fishing boats were in the claimant countries’ territorial waters. This would weaken China’s claim of the area under the 9 dash lines. The second implication is that China is a weak power, unable to protect its citizens in its own territorial waters. This point is even more damaging to China’s reputation as a sovereign and big power.

What is China’s stand or what would China do to maintain order and respectability in such cases? A straight forward position is for China to protect its fishing boats in the disputed waters and prevent them from being hauled away by claimant patrol boats. This is the least respectable thing for China to do and to uphold its claim to the sea within the 9 dash lines.

If China does not want to enforce its claims in the disputed waters, does not water to use force to protect its fishing boats, China could simply order its fishing boats to avoid the disputed waters. It would save the embarrassment of them being arrested and blown to pieces.  By allowing its fishing boats into disputed waters and be arrested is bad news, bad publicity from all points of view.

Would China take a firm and clear position on this matter to avoid being embarrassed? It is either enforce the claim or keep the fishing boats from trouble waters. The present situation of no policy and no stand is a bad policy.

The bigger question is would China take a stronger stance against the American provocation by sailing warships within the 12 nm of China’s territorial waters? Not doing anything would only encourage the crazy Americans to think China is weak. The latest report said China had scrambled fighter aircraft to intercept the ship. Is that enough or would China have to do like what Putin did in the Baltic Sea by screaming pass the ship at low level or more?


Anonymous said...

The bigger question is would China take a stronger stance against the American provocation by sailing warships within the 12 nm of China’s territorial waters?

China's stance, no matter what, is to make money, not war. The last war fought by China was by attacking Vietnam in 1979, and very briefly too, just to teach the Vietnamese a lesson.

And for more than 35 years since then, China did not have war with other countries. So what are the chances of China having war again?

And for nearly 25 years years since Chee Soon Juan contested his first election in 1992, he did not win any at all. So what are the chances of Chee Soon Juan winning in future elections?

Think along these lines and you will unlikely to go wrong, or rather make the wrong predictions.

Anonymous said...

China's stance, no matter what, is to make money, not war.
Anon 9:18 am

Reminds me of the majority of smart Sinkies. They want to make money too, have good service from their MPs, and not vote, let alone join opposition to make war with PAP.

And if they cannot make money in Sinkeland, they will emigrate to other countries to make money or rather to have a better life (not necessary make lots of money to have better life there).

Only those who can't make money or emigrate will kpkb and vote the loser opposition like Chee Soon Juan. Luckily they are a minority even during a by election, as proven in the BB BE.

Anonymous said...

Actually in Singapore, things are quite straightforward for smart Sinkies.

Want good life? Then go and make money! If cannot, go elsewhere to have a good life without making lots of money.

Only daft Sinkies will think or hope for a good life, or rather improve their living, by voting opposition who are not even ready to govern, let alone give a good life to those who voted for them.

Anonymous said...

I think there are other factors involved perhaps so far not reported.

1) Where exactly are all these fishing spots? how close are the fishing boats relative to the claimant country?
2) How many fishing boats are we talking here?
3) Are these fishing boats government own or private own?
4) Are there fishing boats ocean going type or family type?
5) Are these fishing boats operating in a single or fleet mode?
6) What is the growing trend of fishing boats of china fleet for past 30 years?
7) Who is buying up all the seafood these fishing boat caught?

Everything change ever since China people become affluent and seafood consumption has been increasing tremendously. Just look at the price now.

In my opinion, this is just the same like in HK. China people become affluent and then everybody rush into HK to sweep goods (either for personal or resell purposes) causing a lot of HK residents in local district to protest. These China people not only cause certain goods shortage but jack up the price. In the process also brought in bad habits and jam up the transport network in HK.

Sometimes, 1 or 2 boats. Most people will not mind. But then suddenly 100 boats come in and start to throw anchors... That is where problem starts.

Anonymous said...

The PRC government should learn from Singaporeans.

Keep voting PAP.
Stop disputing that the CPF money is our money.
And over time, more and more PAP MPs will say that CPF money belongs to the PAP government.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You are quite right about China's policy. For the last few decades it was a policy of restraint, not to get into a war, a policy of passive response.

Things are starting to change with Xi. He is taking a new initiative towards a common and shared destiny for Asia by diplomacy but would not offer the other cheek.

Anonymous said...

I think xi is also a weak leader. Did not see him standing up to the Americans.

Anonymous said...

In the old days e.g. before 1800s, any country capturing or blowing up other countrys' ships would be seen as declaration of war, and the aggrieved country will immediately send their own warships to blow up the other country's ships (starting with the easy unarmed civilian cargo ships). If the aggrieved country is too small or weak, they will usually quickly form alliances with other stronger countries which have bad blood with the 1st country, and then they will send their warships out.

Too bad nowadays all countries too timid to practice the above fundamental law --- right of self-defense, right of survival, eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth, life-for-a-life.

This is the original intent of NS like how Israel practices it, but PAP turns it into a propaganda & indoctrination tool to turn Sinkies into obedient subservient unthinking slaves.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

When you are BIG, you have to assert some "authority" even if it means you resort to bullying tactics.

Many pro China pundits like to claim that China has never been an aggressor in its thousands-of-year history. Well, that was in the past. China is now, like it or not, a global power on the verge of becoming a super power---they are not "there" yet, but very much right on track.

As such, China has to flex its muscle and make a few kwai lan kwa si mi lan cheow Asian cuntries shit a bit of blood, and stir the pot of the US and its allies a bit---making them say stupid things and gabrak. This is necessary. And comical.

C'mon lah, I for one don't loudly laugh alone when China gives the Pinoys and the dirty-tactics Vietnamese gooks a few nice slaps for being small-time belligerent assholes. These cunts deserve it lah. I feel shiok when China does it to them ;-)

The days of China as "workshop to the world" are fast diminishing. China needs to reinvent itself and herald their new identity by a bit of sabre rattling.

A little bit of "stand-over" tactics and hostility might just do the job. Never discount the use of "fear" to achieve your objectives, when dealing with the human species.

Anonymous said...

There is no cause for worry in the disputed islands of South China sea under the rule of current Chinese Leader Xi. Use of weapons or war is not Xi style of control. In Chinese strategies to win the opponents without resorting to war or by force that's the utmost importance. Xi strategy is to use diplomacy, meeting or discussion to allay the fears of its opponents, but how long a diplomacy or tolerance can this last??? Forever??? After Xi , what happens nobody knows..the current state of China tend to focus more on economy ( or $$$)..war? They r not interested. If u said that the Chinese r cowards, then u r wrong ( if any country were to start a war with China, then tat country will be in trouble both economically & diplomatically).

Anonymous said...

I wrote about china s reclamation on reefs and challenged if US carriers dare to land at that reef, The post was deleted.

This post by RB is trying to sell the idea that reclamation is not the problem. It is not true.

The Japs did the same: it made reclamation on a reef Okimotorishma, but concrete to make it as big as a king size bed.
Then a Taiwan fishing boat was arrested for fishing there. The captain was locked up at Yokohama jail, while the Jap demand huge sums of money for his return. The Taiwanese paid the money and got the man release. Then the boat back. It happened in END APRIL, last month. Sg msm didnt not report.

Taiwan now sent its top war ship to help fisher men fishing in international water, at the same spot. The Japs avoided the confrontation.

This is the problem of reclamation. The Japs simply expanded its own territory. Hard luck, china is a bit bigger and Taiwan Mayingjeu is pro china. The next Taiwanese govt may back down and give in to the Japs.

Readers must understand the problem.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

The popular blogger and best-selling author Tim Ferriss is o stranger to controversy. People either like him or loath him; there's very little in-between. His hallmark is "human hacking"---how to get the best outcomes, how to disrupt the status quo, how to acquire new skills quickly etc. He is heavily influenced by Seneca The Younger and stoicism.

3 years ago he posted an article on motivation using the "carrot and stick" method, highlighting that lazy, rationalizing human nature requires a bigger "stick" than "carrot" to get human beings to do the damn things they need to get done.

This article nearly broke the internet---people lost their shit and polarized themselves into opposing camps. To this day, there are many who hate Ferriss for sharing his opinion on the basis carrot and stick for effective "motivation".

If not for "carrot and stick", where the stick was BIGGER than the carrot, there will be no awesome, rocking Singapore as we enjoy it now...to the MAX. Ask me again why I support a DICK-TATER SHIP to govern Singapore...BIG STICK, small carrot...because losing is more painful than the experience of "joy and achievement" when winning. The pain of loss lingers on longer. The joy of success is always short-lived.

This is what China is doing: BIG STICK, and a not-so-big-but-still=big-enough "carrot". The carrots are access to China markets via WTO, TPP membership, Asian infrastructure bank, and of course the new and improved Silk Road---i.e. more money making opportunities for the profiteers and opportunists of the world.

So take ten deep breaths and exhale all notions of "morality" or "international law" or "history" or whatever the fuck you mind invented.

Welcome to the world of cognitive and behavioural neuroscience. And remember, to get things DONE---whether for yourself or others whom you need to "motivate", use:

"BIG STICK and small carrot."

"If native Singaporeans are falling behind because "the spurs are not stuck into the hide," that is their problem."---Lee Kuan Yew

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anonymous said...
I wrote about china s reclamation on reefs and challenged if US carriers dare to land at that reef, The post was deleted.

Redbean said.
I only delete offensive racial and religious posts. I don't think your post on reclamation is so sensitive or outrageous to deserve that honour that I have to delete it.

There had been a few commentators claiming that I deleted their posts. Of course not, unless they are hate posts using religion and race.

Please do not mislead anyone that I delete posts that I don't like. There are many posts that ridiculed or threatened me and they are still here.

Anonymous said...

I think on the contrary. Xi is a weak leader.

I think he is the new breed of "scholar" type leader who dont actually understand China's real problem and to a certain extent got deceived by his cabinet and local officials up to the village level. Everybody patting each others backside.

Just look at Taiwan and HK, under his leadership he messed up these areas. Now South China Sea issues got involved with Hague court. Stir up so much shit with US and neighbours at the same time spend so much money.

He just seems so confused as he want to do so many things but in the end i also cannot see what he has achieve so far except stop short of spending more money his previous generation has accumulated.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ 143:

Every (modern, post Deng XP) Chinese leader is temporary. They do their shit, then they move on. What is more important is that the cuntry moves forward.

I've been trying to get this concept thru to whinging Singaporeans: the PROGRESS of the cuntry is the most important thing.

Semua kita berseru, Majulah, you stubborn motherfuckers.

Anonymous said...

@ atilah 2:02 pm

Precisely, now there is a chance that China will get bogged down and then go into turmoil while the other side laugh until drop.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ 209:

China bogged down?

No chance lah. Yes, there'll be challenges and a few fuck ups from everyside here and there. but the TREND will be always moving forward.

No choice lah. If China goes backwards, many people will not survive and the cuntry will deteriorate rapidly.

Moving forward is the ONLY choice. And not every one will like it. Too fucking bad. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ancient chinese prophecy already hinted China will collapse internally under Xi CCP.

It will be a new world then.

ie. if you believe...

Anonymous said...

The comments i put in regarding Fiery Cross Reef occupied by China is not there. In the post, i question the useless sailing of Carrier Lawrence while the island had concert. I questioned why there was no threat of landing?
I guessed the one removed it might thought the post might show US in weaker side among the 2 sides. However, i fully respect the move.
Reclamation will run into conflict when China do it in Scarborough Shoal.

Relax in the fine cool day. Dont bother whatever. Have a beer to look out at the misty rain is more interesting than what happened. Thanks for the space for comments.

Anonymous said...

I apologized to Anon 3:08 pm and RB 1st for interrupting.

There are some technical stuff i like to know:

@ Anon 3:08 pm
1) What do you mean by carrier conduct landing? The carrier can conduct landing anytime if its choppers (including OV-22) can ferry troops within it operational radius? It is already a threat if a carrier (especially if it is a amphibious carrier) armed with OV-22 is nearby.
2) Do you mean by Destroyer lawrence and not carrier lawrence? How does destroyer conduct landing?
3) What type of specific landing are you talking about?
4) I thought it is about freedom of navigation and what has it got to do with landing? something new that we all dun know?

Sorry to RB and Anon 3:08pm for Kaypo.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3:08pm

OV 22 has combat radius of 722km and cruise speed is 446km/hr at sea level and it will take 2 hrs to reach LZ.

The sail of destroyer into 12nm of "sovereign" territory without approval, now this is one level higher than threat.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 3:08, you got a comment removed. I had an article removed.
Sometimes I think it could be system error, or it could hit a raw nerve, something too sensitive or embarrassing that someone must removed it.

Just let it be. You can always post it again if you like.

Anonymous said...

Any country that sends her Destroyers, fully armed, but not in distress,
right into sovereign territory is tantamount to Declaration of War.
It should be seen as an Outright Aggression, Premeditated Provocation,
Provocative Intimidation and the Throwing of the First Punch (similar to spitting into your face),
even though not shots were fired.
Full Stop.

Anonymous said...

God said the USA must repent or face destruction. It has sent Donald Trump to do the job, to get rid of the evil regime in Washington and the Pentagon.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ 249 (you post is missing, but I have the email copy since I'm subscribed to this thread):

It depends, I suppose, on what you mean by "bogged down".

I agree, there are problems in China. There are issues with excess labour capacity, bad loans, business being cash-strapped, and they are embracing robotics which no doubt will impact human labour.

This stuff is happening all over the world, not just China. So for me, sama-sama. Everybody has had to accept lower growth and expectations. But like every good and bad thing, it will pass. It will probably get worse...but it will pass.

Every cuntry is debasing their currency to become more export "competitive", and every cuntry is inflating their money supplies, driving interest rates to zero and beyond (negative)...they're trying to pump-prime and rev up their equity and commodity markets...with little success.

I called up a friend who lives in Iskhandar, Johor. Malaysia is sucking dog's balls. Almost no action there. People are either fucked or scared, and it will get worse...much worse before it gets better.

So I suggested to my mate to just close everything up, and fuck off to Bali/ Lombok/ Ko-whatever in Thailand (small island), live cheap, eat healthy and have dirty sex for a year or so. What for work? Everything is fucked. It costs $1 or more to make $1...what's the point? The party's over...at least for the moment.

Bosses and enterprise owners are paying a price with little or no benefit by essentially running "private welfare states" by keeping their (mostly thankless) people employed. Fuck that shit lah. Drop out. Turn on....21st century "hippie" style. Watch the world collapse and burn from a tropical beach. Not so bad lah.

To many well-heeled PRC kids (fuerdai), Australia is a wonderful playground. They like Los Angeles too. They are having a jolly grand old time---sexy young girls and expensively-dressed handsome guys with their customized cars, bottles of XO and Cordon Bleu... So at least some of the Chinese nationals are having a good time. Can't be all that bad...can it?

Anonymous said...

@ atilah 2:07 am

For me, i am just voicing out my opinion. Whether comments got lost or deleted, i am quite ok with it.

A lot of people they dun understand China in depth as news report from China is controlled. China is so big unlike Singapore. Even the food and dialect is diverse. So compared to Singapore, it is so much challenge for the central to control and manage or even understand the local problem.

To a certain extent, when human factors are involved, a lot of things become variable.

I am not sure whether you agree with me, there is a balance to everything. There is no such thing on earth that you get everything, in life you take some and you have to give up some.

I think it is the same case here where you cannot expect to have peace and stability and growth, on the other hand you want to dominate world trade, expand your territory and so on. The Previous China leaders in a way achieve something but also give up a lot of things.

What i also think, it is irresponsible for the current leader to lead the people to believe it is possible to achieve growth and at the same time to challenge other nations.

So that is why i am pro china people which i believe this people are the ones who is going to pay that price while those rich ones (as you describe above) will be the ones that will be running away in times of trouble. Already running away when there is some smoke already.

Anonymous said...

Why are u guys taking sides, be it with China or US? This is crazy.

Big countries can flip prata faster than your favourite prata stall. And there's nothing we can do about it. Can anyone swear on their parents' graves that China will never flip prata for all eternity if South China Sea goes to them? Can anyone guarantee that freedom of navigation will be enforced without bias if South China Sea goes to China?

If u cannot guarantee, i suggest u guys take a break. Let the international court decide. Let there be rule of law. Without such a system, small countries like SG will have to start paying tributes to China, as they have done for millennial. Please re-read your history books if u think China is a "peaceful" country.

independent individual said...

The individual has rights.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:51, you are just a silly banana who did not know your history and telling people to read history. History is written by an author with his preferences and prejudices, just like the history of Singapore. You need a little brain juice to know what you are reading.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ 1048:

>> i believe this people are the ones who is going to pay that price while those rich ones (as you describe above) will be the ones that will be running away in times of trouble. <<

Chinese people are human (despite opposite insinuations by China detractors), and thus have human nature---with all its quirks and attributes, both positive and negative.

You cannot blame people for protecting their interests. Rich people all over the world will do exactly the same.

As humans are SOCIAL creatures, they will form groups and classes, and given time those groups will compete for dominance, power and influence. We know this as POLITICS, and it is found in offices, organisations, large families and of course, entire nations, and the world. To achieve "political ends" human actors employ various strategies of both cooperation and competition. Relationships with alliances and adversaries are FLUID and change.

Thus those with the power and influence in China (and everywhere else) will use their positions to garner more power and wealth. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent this from happening. It will only change when the CULTURE changes.

The issues you highlight are not "Chinese problems". They are the result of HUMAN nature.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:51pm
When u hear the Hague Tribunal, u thought it was a court? The Philippines argued about its case based on ocean laws to decide the S China seas reefs sovereign rights. The Hague has no power to determine sovereign rights. Are u aware of what the pinoys are doing? It was a funny scheme for which the Hague got themselves involved. The Hague in real head counts are the white, whom the US has influence.
China is smart to ignore the Tribunal.
The sovereign rights of those islands had to trace back to records after second world war. Those time lines, Philippines were ruled by US. Obviously, General Macarthur asked China General Chiangkaisek to take over. Macarthur asked Chiang to take over Okinawa groups of islands, but Chiang declined. That time Macarthur was in charge of Japan.

The only solution is to talk among themselves. China now does not seems to be interested to talk, after US interferes. US Sg wants China to follow a set of code of conduct promoted by Hillary. China of course would not bother what codes set by US. That is the current situation. Based on US report days ago, China is reclaiming the Scarborough Shoal nears the ports where US Jap harbour their fleets.
And Vietnam PM has asked Jap to lead to interfere with China s reclamation.

There is nothing Sg can gain from getting into China s way. Its not wise to be the front for US, because, US will not use force against China. The islands will be China s territories. Like it or not for Asean like Vietnam, Philippines.

This dispute has cut ties of Vietnam, Philippines, Sg and Malaysia with China. It is quite clear, China s high speed rail project has cut off the route from Vietnam to Malaysia. I guess the projects participation will put Sg and Malaysians on the last queue.

In Hong Kong, these few days, they are having big seminar on 1R1B. Here, cannot smell the money.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4:01 pm

I would advise you to go start from the beginning to understand what is UNCLOS( what is it for and why all the idiots sign) and Hague's court jurisdiction and with respect to what Philippines is claiming. Why China ratify and US did not for UNCLOS?

By not participating in international law system (even if it is biased) which you signed for but then telling the whole world that i want to do business with you in today's term is not going to help you in international business trade and contracts. Then how do i know whether you will abide rules set out in other agreements/deals ...etc such as WTO....?
To later business arbitration or sue case later on will be set out in whose court under whose terms and conditions?

Remember how our old man kana the Suzhou trap? Guess what will happen then if we sue Suzhou industrial park? Will contract with China help then? Do you think we will fall into the same type of trap again? That is why they call sinkies are so daft as they forget history so fast.

Smell money, you heard of China is the master of con land. You be lucky if you never kana con liao. Dun be greedy, i rather deal with normal people.

Forget about HK.... it is a gone case. It is China now. HK will need to thank god if China people do not compete with them or cut off gas and water supply.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:44pm
U know the details of UNCLOS and u confirmed it is binding to China. U must show it to reader. I cleanse my ears to listen.
As to Suzhou trap, are u kidding the readers? If It was real trap, why the sg govt got involved in some city in Eco city project? It was initially a Kepple project and the govt took over.
The old cld say anything that someone was not fair to him. U must be smart enough to know what he was saying. That how i see it. If China is a con, why sg govt is the number one investor to China? Is the govt trying to sabo the cpf members?