CHINA’S MEGA-BASE IN THE SPRATLEYS
Japan-Philippines Mutual Defense
eastwind journals 165
By Bernie Lopez
Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification.
Disclaimer – the views in this article are the author’s alone.
they wait for me to stumble and err
so that they can pounce on me
take their vengeance and prevail
but the Lord is with me
my mighty champion
my enemies will not triumph
they will be put to shame
and wallow in confusion forever
A US naval surveillance plane reports 2,000 acres reclaimed by China in just two years at the Fiery Cross Reef. China admits this is a military facility, and says if the US stops them, there will be war. China is working feverishly to put up a mammoth naval base at the core of the Spratley’s before they are pre-empted.
This is a game changer. China will have control of the entire South China on a 2,000-kilometer radius once the base is completed, equipped with the latest missiles, radars, subs, carriers, warplanes, an airport, and a 300-meter deep-sea port. The facility would make the old US naval base at Subic and the old air force base at Clark Field combined look like a backyard operation.
Obama’s dreaded Pivot to Asia will bring a staggering 70% of its naval forces to the Asia Pacific. The 8 defense locations the US wants on Philippine soil, if approved by the Supreme Court under the new mutual defense deal called EDCA, implies 1) rapid military escalation on both sides in the next ten years, not to mention Japan’s participation, 2) the inevitability of a showdown on a large scale, 3) the Philippines, having the nearest most populated areas, may bear the brunt of civilian casualties.
The US is helpless to pre-empt the China mega-base because it cannot afford to go to war over it at this time. All it can do is sit and watch, make threats, continue daredevil surveillance and report progress, while improving its arsenals.
Any US-China confrontation in the South China Sea will essentially be naval – warships, carriers, subs, missiles. The presence of Chinese troops on a massive scale at at Fiery Cross Reef can be a critical factor since the US cannot just send troops, as evident in Syria against the ISIS. Rapid mobilization of troops in strategic reefs and isles can be critical.
China’s reply to a vastly superior US is the use of ‘asymmetric weapons’, cheap intelligent missiles against big armor like carriers. The Philippines can adopt the same asymmetric concept against China, cheap intelligent missiles against China’s carriers and airports at Fiery Cross Reef. The problem is, never has the US given allies such powerful weapons, except perhaps Israel. Another problem is, if the Philippines uses missiles, China may resort to massive retaliation beyond our imagination. Read ‘PH Needs Missiles not Warships vs China’ –
The Eagle and the Bear are now eyeball to eyeball in the Spratleys, two giants about to claw and wrestle with each other. Read Inquirer’s ‘Playing footsy with the Bear’ –
Japan, which has the capability for massive defense spending, is a ‘third force’ that may tip the balance. Read Inquirer’s ‘Philippine-Japan Treaty’ =
The optimists say there will be no war because both sides cannot afford one at this time. True, but for how long? When an energy crisis or a deep recession occurs, will push come to shove? The pessimists say World War III is just a matter of time. Certainly, war will boost economies at the expense of lives. email@example.com
Lord You are the wind against my sail
the ocean against my rudder
in the midst of storms You calm the seas
in the midst of droughts You give gentle rain
in You o Lord i lean on that i may reach my final port
i wander in darkness awaiting Your dawn
Bernie BL/ 0 posters not photos