Friday, September 30, 2011

Chinese analyst calls for war in South China Sea

Beijing should strike the Philippines and Vietnam, the two ‘noisiest troublemakers,’ to strike fear into other claimants, a Chinese academic argues in the influential ‘Huanqiu Shibao’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reaffirmed Taiwan’s sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea and called on all claimants to peacefully resolve the impasse.

The comments came after an editorial published in the Chinese-language edition of the Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times called on the Beijing government to declare war on Vietnam and the Philippines, two countries that have been proactive in defending their claims over the islets.

The op-ed, titled “A good time to take military action in the South China Sea,” was penned by Long Tao (龍韜), a strategic analyst at the non-governmental China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC, 中华能源基金委员会) and also at Zhejiang University’s Non-Traditional Security and Peace Development Research Center.

“Do not worry about small-scale wars; it is the best way to release the potential of war. Play a few small battles and big battles can be avoided,” Long wrote, adding that military action should be focused on striking the Philippines and Vietnam, “the two noisiest troublemakers,” to achieve the effect of killing one chicken to scare the monkeys.

Through military action, he wrote, China could transform the South China Sea into “a sea of fire,” an act made possible by the fact that “of the more than 1,000 oil rigs and four airfields on the Spratly Islands, none belongs to China.”

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here

Interesting facts about the Hong Kong-based CEFC, which also has centers in Shanghai and Beijing. According to its Web site, one of its roles is “pushing forward the notion of world peace” and “achieving international harmony and world peace,” which obviously resonates with calls to create a “sea of flames” in the South China Sea. It gets better. Aside from including former PLA officers, the consultants include James C. Hsiung, a former “instructor” to President Ma Ying-jeou at New York University, and Eric A. McVadon, retired rear admiral in the US Navy.


台啤 said...

The huge claims of the South China Sea were first made while the R.O.C. controlled China. What has the government done to reassure its neighbors that it does not share Beijing's "belligerent" stance?

ALX said...

Funnily enough, nothing. The government under president Ma adheres to the "One Nation, Two Sides" position with regards to the relationship between the R.O.C and P.R.O.C. So any claims by the P.R.O.C side are automatically mirrored by the R.O.C side.

FOARP said...

The article is bizarre. My suspicion is that it is a Galtieri-esque stab at getting people back behind the party after what has not been too great a year for the CCP in the public relations area. Hopefully, unlike General Galtieri, the threat won't actually be carried out.

台啤 said...

Some of the more interesting op-eds in that paper might let us question how seriously we should take what is written in it. If you want a taste, check out the March 7 rant on Charlie Sheen. Hilarious.

台啤 said...

In retrospect, the Sheen rant probably WAS satire and what SHOULD be taken seriously is that the piece about "teaching a lesson to their neighbors" was also published in Chinese the 人民日報。 Then again, how is their readership these days?