Discussion in 'World Events' started by Mind Over Matter, May 11, 2012.
If they can do it to the Philippines, they can bully other countries too.
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They took over Tibet already many years ago and no one did anything.
The destruction of most of Tibet's more than 6,000 monasteries occurred between 1959 and 1961. During the mid-1960s, the monastic estates were broken up and secular education introduced. During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards inflicted a campaign of organized vandalism against cultural sites in the entire PRC, including Tibet's Buddhist heritage. According to at least one Chinese source, only a handful of the religiously or culturally most important monasteries remained without major damage, and thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns were killed, tortured or imprisoned.[not in citation given]
The PRC continues to portray its rule over Tibet as an unalloyed improvement, but a handful of foreign governments continue to make protests about aspects of PRC rule in Tibet as groups such as Human Rights Watch report alleged human rights violations. Most governments, however, recognize the PRC's sovereignty over Tibet today, and none have recognized the Government of Tibet in Exile in India.
Unlike Tibet, the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the USA. US military forces are routinely on the islands, the two countries hold joint military exercises, etc. If China attacks the Philippines, it will lead to a war with the USA.
I know that they are doing it to Vietnam, too.
Vietnamese hydrographic vessels performing what I presume is petroleum exploration in the South China Sea have been harassed repeatedly by Chinese gunboats and have had their cables cut. And I read somewhere that Vietnam has contracted with an Indian oil company to explore and potentially develop some possible fields off the southern Vietnamese coast, and China has expressed extreme displeasure about that and threatened retaliation (presumably commercial and not military at this point).
Malaysia has claims in the South China sea as well, but I've heard less about Chinese confrontations with them. Perhaps Malaysia is less active in exploiting its claims. Or maybe China is still in the process extending its military presence south.
The Philippines are in a situation where confrontations are especially likely, since China claims soverignty over a number of reefs and sand bars located close to the Philippine coast. And the Philippines are fairly weak, militarily, and might appear easy to intimidate.
Will US help Philippines? What advantage would helping Philippines bring to the US?
I think so, yes. Again, the two countries have an explicit mutual defense treaty.
More to the point, the surety of US response means that China is unlikely to ever initiate war against the Philippines.
Same advantages that alliance with the Philippines has been bringing to the US for the past 100+ years, presumably. They're strategically located near east Asia/South China Sea, etc. Preventing any power from dominating either Europe or East Asia is a cornerstone of US foreign policy, and preventing a rising China from dominating the seas in question would potentially be a major part of that.
There have been sporadic shoot-outs at sea in the past few decades—China-Vietnam, China-Philippines, etc. A major clash in 1988 between China and Vietnam killed 64 Vietnamese soldiers. China took over the Philippine-occupied Mischief Reef in a surprise mini-invasion in 1995.
Without the support of the US and other allied countries, it is not a good idea for the Philippines to engage in a military confrontation with China because the country has no military capability to assert its sovereignty.
But the treaty was written at a different time under different conditions.
What do you think would be the stand of the present Commander in Chief and US Congress on this issue considering their present national political situation?
The disputed Scarborough Shoal is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves. Do you think oil and gas could not be a driving point for US to help Philippines?
From: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2931039&postcount=14 - The other China/ Philippines thread which give at least two reasons why US and China will not go to mutual war.
I'm an old fart and have watched the US-Philippine relationship grow more distant over the years. In the 1960's and 70's, memories of when the Philippines were a US territory were still very much alive on both sides. The US maintained huge military facilities in the Philippines (Clark AFB and Subic Bay) that were very active during the Vietnam War years.
As the years went by, the Philippines reacted against that history to some extent, and among other things they asked the US to vacate its bases. And for its part, the US has grown a lot less emotionally attached to the Philippines than it once was.
Up until the last few years though, I was still certain that the US military would still come to the Philippines' aid if they ever asked for our help. Today I'm growing less sure. Things are different now.
The US is a declining power. And it's a country ruled by a group of people who greatly admire post-war European culture and politics, believing them to be more civilized than our own American traditions. (While paradoxically, having less and less feeling of any "special relationship" or any personal ancestral attachment to Europe.) So the US will be backing away from NATO, placing less emphasis on it as the foundation of our policy, and turning its dwindling resources towards the Pacific.
China is a rising power, almost certainly destined to step into the Soviet Union's vacated position of rough military parity with the United States. And unlike the Cold War, this will be happening as the US becomes more and more dependent on China for cheap manufacturing of ever more strategic products. The US won't be in the position that it was in during World War II, when it could simply out-manufacture its enemies and swamp them with numbers. We're surrendering that high-ground as we speak.
So if and when a full-frontal confrontation with China occurs, both sides are apt to posture at first. But if it becomes apparent that China isn't backing down, there's an increasingly high probability that the US might.
We won't be in any position to fight a full-scale war with a superior industrial power. And just culturally and politically, our leaderhip will be a lot more interested in preserving the American welfare state here at home than in fighting a bloody, costly and dangerous war to defend the distant Filipinos.
So we will be increasingly likely to behave as good civilized weak countries behave. We will issue sharply-worded condemnations. We will go to the United Nations and push for resolutions. We might impose some sanctions, if we can somehow do it without hurting ourselves more than the Chinese. But fight a roughly equal enemy? I don't think so. Not the way the US is headed. That was the old 20'th century US. This is a new 21'st century US that is adopting the kind of defeatist mindset that a host of declining powers have pioneered before us.
The Chinese are fully aware of this. So I expect them to keep pushing. Testing. But in the short-term they will probably stop short of provoking a full-scale confrontation with the US as they wait for things to evolve more and more unambiguously their way.
So today, if the Chinese and the Filipinos get into a shooting confrontation, the US still might send some warships and the Chinese would likely still back off. In a few years? We might not send the ships, and the Chinese probably wouldn't back off if we did. At which point the South China Sea will indeed become Chinese waters.
don't think they'll intervene... if They were to attack Okinawa or something then it would be a whole different story
To Yazata: I basically agree with your post 10, but want to point out one thing more:
China is a very old society, and quite methodical – content with slow but steady progress towards its goals. It of course wants to enjoy the advantage the US has had for decades of paying for its imports with printed paper, and is making very tiny steps practically every month to make the RMB into the world´s reserve currency.
The CCP leadership will not get sacked because of slow forward progress, only for what in hindsight their internal opponents can call “foolish adventurism.” I.e. they will not deviate from a proven successful path – too risky to their positions.
In their struggle with the US – an economic war – they are clearly winning. They could destroy the purchasing power of the dollar any time they chose* to. They, as you noted, have the US military critically dependent upon China for more than a dozen essential materials.
A hot war with the US would destroy China´s advances and if it went nuclear, reverse all the progress they have made in the last 2500 years. It would, in a word, be extreme “foolish adventurism.”
* And every year they are reducing the price they would pay for doing so. I.e. for more than a year the number of dollars they hold in reserves has been decreasing, despite their continued and often growing trade surplus with the US. They are rapidly increasing their trade with Asian neighbors, both in absolute and relative terms. Trade with US and EU is declining, even in absolute terms some months and for years in relative terms. Many countries that only a few years ago had the US as their main trading partner now have China in that role.
For example, Japan, S. Korea, Brazil, Australia, India (I think)** and several others. Almost all have agreed to either use their newly established currency swaps or just settle trade balance without using the dollar. If all trade with US and EU were to drop to zero the pain in US & EU would be much greater (suddenly higher prices and more inflation) than in China.
Labor costs in China are rapidly increasing and China can no longer make the simple low value added items it once exported to the world. It must import things like fans, electronic components etc they it build into its computers and modern cars, etc. mainly from other low cost Asian producers, like Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. This of course gives these trading partners a rapidly growing supply of RMBs with which to buy an ever growing volume of China´s high value added products.
As I have posted for years the day is soon coming when China can tell the US and EU to:
Go to Hell. We don´t need to sell anything to you. You are too broke to buy if we don´t lend you the funds. We don´t want any more of your declining in value Dollars or Euros, so will no longer accept them. - They are worthless now that oil exporters prefer the appreciating RMBs.
Quite possibly the dollar and euro will have collapse before China wants to destroy them. If they have not, then when the ONE TIME loss China takes of the dollars still in its reserves is less than the EVERY YEAR saving on the cost of its imports with US and EU no longer significant competitive bidders for the raw materials and energy China needs (because with collapsed currencies, US and EU are in their longest lasting and worst ever depression, struggling to control social chaos with martial law) China will destroy the dollar by dumping any it still holds.
Summary: One way or another, China will emerge the undisputed victor in the economic war which is now more than a decade old.
** India about a year ago agreed with China to have a balanced trade with China at the level (if it were in dollars) of 100 billion per year and not to again use dollars for settling their trade differences. India got the the best of this deal as it has always had a trade deficit with China that it paid in Dollars, but China does not want dollars. Instead they want more Indian silks, bicycles, shoes, etc. to make their trade exchanges balance.
The one who asked the US to vacate its bases was the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) NPA. Philippine Senate voted to end US military presence in the Philippines backed up by so called 'nationalist' and 'patriotic' funded by mainland China. Even the AK47 used by the rebels during the 80's were came from China. The communism in the Philippines was revived by Joma Sison. He was trained in China, then reorganized the Communist Party of the Philippines and added elements of Maoism to its philosophy. All in the guise of being nationalist. That's the long planning made by China... to dominate the Asia they need to push the end of US military presence in the Philippines.
To Mind Over Matter: You make an excellent, important point in post 13. As China grows economical stronger and the US weaker, the Philippines will follow the same path / political transformation / that Taiwan has.
I.e. change from being very pro-US to being pro-China. Initially when Chang ki Check (spelling wrong) invaded Formosa (the island´s name back then) and killed all the local leaders and most of the university students, who might lead a resistance to the Chinese occupation, there was zero local support for integration with the mainland communist they had escaped from.
Now there are daily airplane fights between Taiwan and the mainland, huge commercial exchanges, tourists going both ways*, and a growing political movement ON TAIWAN, supporting complete re-integration with the mainland, but like Hong Kong with a more capitalist economic system. - The so called "One China, two systems" approach to political integration. It is not just the economic war with the US that China is winning - China is winning the "Hearts and minds" battle too, especially in resource rich Africa.
A small part of this victory is racial - People of color uniting against the white colonial exploiters who impoverished many countries. China is wisely making huge investment in African infrastructure. Roads, schools, power plants, hospitals, railroads, mines, port facilities and especially dams - half of all the dams now in construction in all the world are being built by Chinese in Africa! There are currently more than a million Chinese workers making these projects in Africa.
In 50 or so years, it is highly likely, IMHO, these economic forces will cause the Philippines to request that China accept it into the political union with China but under the "One China, two systems" approach. That is the only way the Philippines will get to share in the material benefits (oil especially) that development of the natural resources of the South China Sea will bring.
* No longer do mainland tourists only go as part of group with a CCP "minder" escort. - They can just buy an airplane ticket and go!
Of course. Nevertheless, neither side has seen fit to suggest cancelling it.
And military relations between the USA and the Philippines have been growing closer and closer over the past decade, and particularly in recent years with all of China's sabre-rattling in the area.
I think the USA is politically and militarily committed to defense of the Philippines, not just on paper, and that this is a big reason why China will not cross any military red lines vis-a-vis the Philippines.
Certainly doesn't hurt, but the relationship has always been more about geostrategy in general.
Yes, China will not attack the Philippines. There is no need to as, like Taiwan, growing and powerful economic pressures will cause the Philippines to eventually seek political union with China, under the "one China, two systems" approach.
More details of Taiwan´s dramatically changed political POV wrt Chinese mainland in post 14 from which the above quote comes.
That is, frankly, silly. The same logic would imply that much of the Caribbean should have politically unified with the USA many decades ago.
Your take on Taiwanese perspectives is stilted and misleading. As usual, you are cherry-picking things that reinforce your predetermined worldview. Relations between Taiwan and the PRC remain schizophrenic and swing wildly with Taiwanese elections. While they pursue increasing economic integration with one hand, they are pressuring the USA to sell them upgraded air defenses with the other.
That is your opinion, but not supported by the historical trends:
“... Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. … All islands at some point were, and a few still are, colonies of European nations; a few are overseas or dependent territories. …” From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean
As the USA is closer and stronger than the European owners, approximately 40 of the 7000 island have already become politically tied to the US, not to their former European rulers. The transfer to US is a slow process and will take several centuries more before more than half of the Caribbean is politically tied to the US. – I.e. is NOT a silly idea at all as it makes more economic sense than the historic ties to Europe. Already the dollar is almost exclusively the currency used on most of the inhabited Caribbean Islands and the number of US citizens with homes there is increasing.
"Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands)"
Wiki is not fully correct here. I was on Curaçao when they celebrated their first independence day. A great flag raising ceremony, with free goat stew (which was very good) for all in the square. Now the Netherlands is only responsible for their defense and can disapprove treaties they may sign. When people learned I was American, several said they hoped to some day to become like Puerto Rico as Netherland was too far away, weak, and not really interested in them. (Few Dutch visitors spending very little money there compared to the Americans - perhaps less than 1% as much. I did not knowingly see any in the week I was there but assume the Netherlands must have sent a representative or two for the independence day celebration.) There was a lot of political talk - Now that they would have self government, pay for their schools, etc. Frankly, it seemed to me that the Netherlands was happy to see them independent as they could no longer afford them - that will be increasing the case as EU collapses. (I.e. the historic trend to leave European for the US affiliation will accelerate.)
Puerto Rico (commonwealth of the United States)
United States Virgin Islands (territory of the United States) including (but some of these island are not populated):
• Blinders Rocks
• Booby Rock
• Bovoni Cay
• Buck Island - Saint Croix
• Buck Island - Saint Thomas
• Calf Rock
• Capella Islands
• Carval Rock
• Cas Cay
• Cinnamon Cay
• Cockroach Island
• Coculus Rock
• Cololoba Cay
• Congo Cay
• Cow Rock
• Cricket Rock
• Current Rock
• Dog Island
• Dog Rocks
• Domkirk Rock
• Dry Rock
• Durloe Cays
• Dut Cheap Cay
• Fish Cay
• Flanagan Island
• Flat Cays
• Gorret Rock
• Grass Cay
• Great Saint James Island
• Green Cay - Saint Croix
• Green Cay - Saint Thomas
• Hans Lollik Island
• Hans Lollik Rock
• Hassel Island
• Henley Cay
• Inner Brass Island
• Kalkun Cay
• Leduck Island
• Limestone Rock
• Little Hans Lollik Island
• Little Saint James Island
• Lizard Rocks
• Lovango Cay
• Mingo Cay
• Outer Brass Island
• Packet Rock
• Patricia Cay
• Pelican Cay
• Perkins Cay
• Porpoise Rocks
• Protestant Cay
• Ramgoat Cay
• Rata Cay
• Rotto Cay
• Rupert Rock
• Ruth Island
• Saba Island
• Saint Croix
• Saint John
• Saint Thomas
• Salt Cay
• Saltwater Money Rock
• Sandy Point Rock
• Savana Island
• Shark Island
• Skipper Jacob Rock
• Steven Cay
• The Stragglers
• Sula Cay
• Thatch Cay
• Triangle Island
• Trunk Cay
• Turtleback Rock
• Turtledove Cay
• Two Brothers
• Water Island
• Waterlemon Cay
• Welk Rocks
• West Cay
• Whistling Cay
SUMMARY: Not a silly idea at all, but an economically-driven, long-term certainty.
...says the guy who is pathologically unable to evaluate any such trend in an objective, scientifically meaningful fashion.
The USA has been the dominant power in North America since at least the US Civil War - which was 150 years ago. In the intervening time, we've seen 40 out of 7000 islands becomes "politically tied" to the USA. That's 0.57% of the islands, over 150 years. At that rate, it will take about 30,000 more years for the Caribbean to "politically tie" to the USA. That's 5 times longer than recorded history.
By this logic, then, we should expect the Philippines to become "politically tied" (not "unified") with China in roughly... what? 20,000 years from now?
That's not a "historical trend." It's just you desparately cherry-picking a few data points and then insisting that they represent some larger trend. You ignore, for example, the problematic counterexample of the largest, most important, Caribbean island, which has moved away from political integration with the USA in that same time: Cuba.
It obviously makes economic sense for Caribbean countries to have good trade relations with the USA. And so they do, mostly. That isn't the same thing as political integration. Except now you've defined that down to "political ties" which means... what, exactly? Pretty much every country on Earth already has "political ties" with every other. What is it that you think you are arguing?
Yes it is.
No, you were not, because Curacao has never declared independence. You're probably confusing the dissolution of the Netherland Antilles with actual independence. What they did was break apart a previous Dutch colony to become a suzerains of Holland on their own - exactly as you and Wikipedia describe.
Yep, that's suzerainty, not independence.
Meanwhile, are you unaware that you've just provided a direct counter-example to your narrative of a historical trend of integration with the USA, and away from former European powers? These guys are still in bed with the Dutch more than a century after the USA surpassed them as the dominant power in the neighborhood.
"Some" of those are unpopulated? Give me a break. Only a handful of those islands have permanent populations to speak of. The ones named "Rock" or "Cay" are just tiny spits of land. I know this because I've been there.
And even if you take all of the land and people of the USVI combined, it's still only a tiny portion of the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Britain still holds just as many islands right next door, in the British Virgin Islands.
Your argumentation here proves, if anything, the opposite: even after well over a century of undisputed regional dominance, the USA only has political integration with a handful of insignificant states in the Caribbean. None of which have any history of independent governance or much in the way of strong national identity. The major states in the Caribbean - Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, etc. - are the appropriate analogy for the Philippines, and they remain zealously independent. There is every reason to believe that the Philippines will deepen relations with the USA to resist Chinese encroachment - indeed, they've already been doing so for years.
Strong economic ties are not the same thing as political integration. Examples of this abound, if you care to see them.
Frankly, I don't see why you even bother pretending that your predictions are grounded in analysis of history. It's clear that all of your predictions follow from your fantasy of Chinese world dominance and American implosion.
Again that is only your opinion. I showed that the Caribbean is no longer 100% European owned. That the dollar is now the commonly used there, that quite a few Americans now have homes there and their number is growing every year. - These are historical trends, which you are only answering with personal attacks.
I estimated it would be at least a couple of hundred years before the Caribbean was half US linked because the economic forces driving changes in Caribbean state affiliations are weak. Even after the change, the US tourists will not suddenly expand in numbers when there is a US, instead of European affiliation, but their spending there is and will grow as European spending, already much smaller, shrinks. I noted that the strongest economic force driving this change in association (from Europe to US) was that European nations can no longer afford the cost. That is why the Netherlands gladly gave up paying for police and schools, etc. in Curacao.
"Curacao has never declared independence.* You're probably confusing the dissolution of the Netherland Antilles with actual independence...."
No, not the case. I was there watching them lower the Flag of the Netherlands and with great pride, raise their own, new flag. It was called their "First Independence Day," but as I noted in my post, the Netherlands is still responsible for their defenses and has a veto power over any international treaties they want to sign.
But to return to the Philippines: The economic forces slowly (but in well less than 100 years) driving Philippines into China´s arms are quite strong. That affiliation is the ONLY way Philippines will benefit from the oil, etc. in the South China Sea. The Philippines will someday ask China if it can be part of China´s South Sea bonanza, under the same "one China, two system" rule, but I admit Taiwan will probably already have that status first, as Hong Kong, Maacow, and a few others already have.
In less than a decade the aid rich China can and will give the Philippines will far exceed that the US, with a collapsed dollar, can give.
The old saying: "If you can´t lick ´em, join ´em." will apply to the Philippines.
* "... Aruba seceded in 1986 as a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the rest of the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved on 10 October 2010, resulting in two new constituent countries, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, with the other islands joining the Netherlands as "special municipalities"..." - From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_Antilles
Yes there were more than a dozen other tiny, but inhabited islands in the Netherlands Antilles, which did not be come independent countries on 10/8/10. Legally I am almost sure they are cities of the Netherlands still, but just not in the European Netherlands.
BTW, the Heinekens beer in Curaçao is exceptionally good - it is made with distilled sea water. Most of their drinking water comes over from Veneusula every day in a special boat - its only duty except for transport of some fruit sellers. You need to get up early while they are still thee. I learned the trick after first day - show the money you have and ask each vender how many items he will sell you for that amount of money - they really compete then. Curaçao lives from tourists and its oil refinery - they have too little rain to grow much.**
** The laraha citrus fruit developed on Curaço from the sweet Valencia orange transplanted by Spanish explorers. The nutrient-poor soil and arid climate of Curaçao resulting in small bitter fruit but the aromatic peel maintained much of the essence of the Valencia varietal, and the trees were eventually bred into the current laraha cultivar, whose fruits remain inedibly bitter.
The drink was first developed and marketed by the Senior family (an old Caribbean family of Spanish Jewish descent) in the 19th century. To create the liqueur the laraha peel is dried, bringing out the sweetly fragranced oils. After soaking in a still with alcohol and water for several days, the peel is removed and other spices are added.
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