“Nothing in China happens overnight,” Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the director of Asia-Pacific programs at the United States Institute of Peace, said. “Any move you see was planned and prepared for years, if not more. So obviously this maritime issue is very important to China.”
The maritime issue referred here is the contested area in the South China Sea and there is another one with Japan in the East China Sea. These two areas in the region, believed to be likened to a ticking bomb just waiting for a trigger to ignite it and explode into a world war in the process.
It is quite obvious by now that one of the reasons why China and the claimants are restive in the disputed area in the South China Sea is about oil (and natural gas). And maybe the so-called freedom of navigation that Washington has been insisting that China has to abide with, by not bullying its neighbors.
But what about the maritime issue of China with Japan? In an article by Perry Diaz of Global Balita - Xi Jinping’s ‘Pax Sinica’, he wrote : With no economic value that’s worth fighting for, it makes one wonder what do these eight uninhabited small islands and islets have that is making China go gaga over them? Could it be that there is something else that China wants that is of far greater value than these desolate specks of land in the middle of East China Sea?
If China gained control of the Senkaku group of islands, which is 114 nautical miles west of Miyako Island, she would be in a position to control or block the Miyako Strait, which connects the East China Sea to the Philippine Sea… and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
Like in the case of the Luzon Strait – “the most likely route for Chinese submarines into the wider Pacific Ocean is through the Luzon Strait, which is situated between Taiwan and the Philippines. It provides direct access into the Philippine Sea. The Luzon Strait is a safer access point than those that lie north between Taiwan and Japan because the Philippines does not have an anti-submarine warfare capability and Taiwan’s anti-submarine capability is relatively limited, especially when compared to Japan’s. Furthermore, U.S. conventional forces are not stationed in Taiwan or the Philippines like they are in South Korea and Japan.” (PH Sea, Luzon Strait Key to China Nuke Ambitions, Stratfor, re-published @manila times online)
The geostrategic plan of China through its People’s Liberation Army Navy, is to become a naval power in the very near future is being manifested today with Beijing’s relationship with its neighbors and most recently with Japan.
“Last October 31, 2013, China’s state-run Global Times published an article, saying that escalating tensions between China and Japan over territorial claims to the Senkaku Islands could ignite a war. It said that Beijing was preparing for a “worst-case” scenario of military conflict over the disputed islands.
It seems that China’s “worst-case” scenario is a deliberate attempt to fulfill Xi’s “Chinese Dream,” which is the revival of imperial China — or Pax Sinica(Chinese Peace) – that had maintained Chinese hegemony in Asia during the reign of the Ming dynasty. “The great revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese Dream,” Xi said before taking office in November 2012.
Surmise it to say, China’s carefully orchestrated actions in the past two years are leading to war against Japan… and ultimately against the United States, with the goal of ending American hegemony – Pax Americana — in the Pacific.” (Perry Diaz)
Basically all these preparations by China lead to its goal of countering the move by the United States in its pivot to Asia-Pacific.
Although there are other plans like “Operating from the East China Sea, South China Sea or Yellow Sea, Chinese submarines will soon have a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent against Russia and India. But the Chinese submarine fleet will still need to access the open waters beyond the first island chain to maintain a sea-based deterrent against Western Europe and the United States. Until China builds a nuclear submarine fleet (with well-trained crew and support) stealthy enough to routinely attempt access into the Philippine Sea, or submarine-launched ballistic missiles with enough range to target the continental United States, it will have to rely on its land-based strategic nuclear forces as the primary nuclear deterrent against the United States.” (Stratfor)
There seems to be no stopping China’s PLA Navy with its orchestrated moves in the East and South China Sea. It is really a full-speed ahead scenario and anyone caught in the way, might lead to a mutually assured destruction.