Home » Foreign Forces » China » China Sent Uninvited Spy Ship to Russian Vostok 2018 Exercise Alongside Troops, Tanks


China Sent Uninvited Spy Ship to Russian Vostok 2018 Exercise Alongside Troops, Tanks

An undated photo of Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) Tianwangxing (852).

Russia recently concluded the 2018 edition of the massive Vostok exercise series that included Chinese forces for the first time. At Moscow’s invitation, Beijing sent People’s Liberation Army soldiers, helicopters, tanks – and one uninvited Chinese surveillance ship.

A PLA Navy Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) shadowed Russian Navy assets for the length of the at-sea portion of the exercise while Chinese and Mongolian troops exercised ashore, a U.S. official confirmed to USNI News.

The PLA sent about 3,500 troops for the ground portion, but it was unclear if the PLA Navy was invited to send warships to drill with the Russians.

Details from Russia on the exercise have been inconsistent, but Russian state-supported media claimed it was the largest exercise in modern Russian history.

“Taking part in it will be about 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 planes, helicopters and drones, up to 80 combat and logistic ships and up to 36,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles,” Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said in state-controlled media.

The drills come as Moscow and Beijing have made public declarations of increasing cooperation – including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese officials meeting during the exercise.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets a PLAN official during the Vostok 2018 exercise last week.

“[Vostok 2018’s] main political significance comes from the signaling by both Russia and China about the possible emergence of a strategic partnership, aimed at countering the threat that both countries feel from continued U.S. dominance of the international system,” Dmitry Gorenburg wrote for The Washington Post last week.

There is also a practical military technology reason for cooperation, Bryan Clark, a naval analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told USNI News on Monday.

China has a larger military force than Russia, but it is still trailing Russia and the West in terms of the sophistication of its missiles, radar, jet engine and electronic warfare technology. At the same time, Russia has had problems developing modern unmanned aerial vehicle technology, an arena which China has excelled, Clark said. While the military technology cooperation used to be one-way, in terms of UAVs China is “way ahead of the Russians,” he said.

The trade in those technologies has done much to define the new military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.

But despite the increased military cooperation, Clark said the opportunity to absorb lessons from the more technologically sophisticated Russian Navy’s operations was too good an opportunity for the PLAN to pass up.

“The reality is Russia is very good at radar operation and electronic warfare,” Clark said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised that the Chinese would want to harvest that during the Vostok exercise.”

While monitoring an adversaries’ exercises with ships that can collect signals intelligence has been common practice for decades and is legal under international law, surveilling an ally while training alongside that ally in an exercise is an uncommon practice – uncommon, but this won’t be the first time China has deployed an uninvited surveillance ship to a friendly exercise. China was formally invited to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, and Beijing sent four invited PLAN warships plus an uninvited Dongdiao AGI to track the exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    The ChiComs… A nation with a grudge and visions of world domination. Welcome to the modern version of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere…

    • PolicyWonk

      Heh – right you are.

      Everyone knew the ChiComs would start settling old scores once their military build-up got moving. That was as easy as predicting the sun will rise in the morning…

    • muzzleloader

      And the Russians are just playing along while they are totally being played.
      It really started in the early 90’s and the Russian fire sale of pretty much any military hardware the ChiComs wanted to buy short of nukes.
      The ChiComs proceeded to reverse engineer and sell.
      Now the Chinese have an economy rivaling the US while the Russians have one on par with Italy.
      IMHO these joint Sino/Russian exercises are just window dressing.
      The ChiComs are playing the long game with Putin and bidding thier time. Putin’s is preoccupied with his hatred for the USA, and obviously believes that Beijing is his friend.
      He is badly being played.

      • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

        The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that?

        • Centaurus

          mnemeni,homeni, nemenimi

      • E1 Kabong

        The Ruskies NEVER learn.

        Sell the Chicoms T-55’s, MiG-15’s, and MiG-21’s, and look what happened?

        Then do it all again with the Su-27’s…..

        • muzzleloader

          And Kilo class subs.

      • Centaurus

        Who let the Chinese Spy-balls in ?

    • China Supreme

      World berong China since ancient time and we discovered world first!

    • Centaurus

      I have slanted eyes, does that make me a yellow buzzard too ?

      • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

        If you are a Chinese Communist then yes, it does.

    • .Hugo.

      grudge (caused by the west?) or determination to regain its title again?
      .
      and please don’t apply a failed japanese plan to china. 🙂
      .
      the u.s. has achieved world domination, it’s more like the u.s. is trying to force everyone into its co-prosperity sphere instead? no wonder trump was a laughingstock in the u.n., hehe….
      .

  • GHynson

    Kinda sad that Putin is shorter than a Chinaman, says something about his “little man’s” complex.

    • TomD

      He’s taller on a horse.

    • Tom T

      He may be small in stature, but he is big on charisma and a very intelligent man, who is respected by most his countrymen.

  • Tanner Wade

    China plans on taking back the Amur region Russia took in the 1800’s.

    China is imposing it’s will on everyone with Asian countries in fear of returning to the centuries of humiliation they endured from Chinese emperor’s.

    • .Hugo.

      that “centuries of humiliation” among asian countries was brought by the western colonizers, not china.

      the chinese-russian border arrangement has also been settled years ago.

  • Western

    The Chinese military seems to have a well thought out long term plan, and methodically executing it.

  • James Bowen

    China and Russia are not natural partners, let alone allies. They have too many conflicting interests. While we don’t want to be dragged into someone else’s conflict, the U.S. really should use this situation to develop good relations with Russia (and stop trying to pull Ukraine to the West).

    • .Hugo.

      what situation are you talking about when the US is still fighting a proxy war with russia in syria, and the US is not winning? 😀

      • James Bowen

        What I am saying is that China and Russia have more conflicting vital interests than the U.S. and Russia have. The U.S. is choosing to involve itself in Syria, but really has no vital interest there.

        • .Hugo.

          from what we can see since as early as the time of the tsar, the west always has more conflicting vital interest with russia anyway. for china it’s mainly border issues which have been settled.

          the US does not choose to just “involve” in syria, it chooses to start a civil war to topple a legitimate government recognized by the united nations, and creates a refugee crisis that it doesn’t want to care.

          • James Bowen

            The United States has absolutely no conflicting vital interests with Russia. There is nothing that Russia is doing that threatens the fundamental security of the U.S., territorial integrity of the U.S., and economic well being of U.S. citizens.

            On the other hand, China is a rapidly industrializing nation of 1.4 billion people with a voracious appetite for natural resources. Siberia, a gigantic storehouse of natural resources that is part of Russia but thinly populated, borders China. China claims historical hegemony over parts of Siberia. That is a conflicting vital interest.

          • .Hugo.

            after ww2 the anti-communist united states has never left europe and asia with the goal of stopping the soviet expansion and regional domination. and after that, it’s still the russian influence and threat to it’s global hegemony that it wants to stop.

            the land border arrangement between china and russia is long settled, also china is moving to new energy applications instead of relying solely on fossil fuel. fighting a war with russia won’t gain anything at the end, china has always opted for cooperation to achieve mutual wins.

            china can accept multiple leaders, the US cannot… 🙂

          • James Bowen

            What is going on between the U.S. and Russia is a childish spat to be the big stud on the block, but no issue that affects the well-being of the U.S. is at stake here. That is not the case with China and Russia. China has a high demand for resources and Russia has them in a part of the world that is sparsely populated and closer to the heartland of China than Russia. In the long term, that has far more potential for conflict than superficial concerns about American prestige in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

          • .Hugo.

            childish spat doesn’t go all the way to the blink of a nuclear war and keep violating mutual treaties and fight proxy wars all over the world.
            .
            china’s own basic food source is secured, it ranks 13th in oil reserves, it has the largest reserves in recoverable shale gas, china is the leader in renewable energy usage, and it is also stocking up cheap oil from around the world (while the u.s. is selling). russian oil fields in asia are not close to china at all and to invade and hold them is impractical.
            .
            unlike the u.s., china agrees on most russian policies and both are facing the same hegemony from the u.s.
            .
            the u.s. is entering traditional russian sphere of influence, it’s very real and not superficial.
            .

          • James Bowen

            I completely agree that the U.S. is entering a traditional sphere of Russian influence. However, the U.S. is doing this out of pride and arrogance (and do not necessarily have the American public on board), not out of any vital interests to our well being. China, on the other hand, might have the resources you mention, but they also have 1.4 billion people who are striving for a standard of living that their own resources are insufficient to provide over the long term, hence the greater potential for conflict with a nearby Russia that has those resources.

          • .Hugo.

            it’s not out of pride and arrogance at all, the u.s. is deep down anti-ussr (communist) and now anti-russia. global dominance (i.e. hegemony) is america’s vital interest.
            .
            the chinese middle class is wealthy enough to live a good life, and they represent around half of china’s urban population. there is no reason for them to opt for a war, unless their country is being invaded in the first place.
            .
            china’s population has peaked and will likely enter a downward trend, if a huge population is your only argument, then you should look at india which will surpass china soon but in a much worse state.
            .

          • James Bowen

            Global dominance and hegemony is most certainly not in America’s global interest, especially when American industrial output (and therefore military potential) is just a shadow of what it used to be. American armed forces are spread thin, and trying to maintain dominance is likely to get the U.S. into more trouble that simply maintaining the strong alliances it already has.

            Right now, China’s population is too high for it maintain the economic trajectory it is on. China needs resources from elsewhere, as does India.

          • .Hugo.

            global dominance is certainly america’s top global interest, i just don’t see how you can deny that.
            .
            american armed forces are not spread thin in the vital points in the emea regions.
            .
            china’s population has been high for decades, yet it has not failed to maintain its economic trajectory (check china’s gdp growth history).
            .
            don’t underestimate china’s own reserve of natural resources either,
            it ranks 6th in total natural resources by value, and that has supported its growth. right now china is mainly buying just to save its own resources for future use.

          • James Bowen

            Perhaps true global dominance is in America’s best interesting (though I can certainly think of arguments to the contrary as well), but the pretend dominance that the U.S. currently exercises is certainly not. The U.S. Armed Forces are supposed to be for defending the U.S., not maintaining dominance in the emea regions. As of now, they are woefully inadequate and spread too thin for the former. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s land area and a similar proportion of its population, so the idea of even trying to dominate the world is absurd on its face. It’s not 1946 anymore.

            China is drawing heavily on the resources of others right now, and if they do try to keep this economic trajectory they will need to do so more.

          • .Hugo.

            why not just say true dominance is in the best interest for most countries too if they area all thinking just for themselves? 🙂
            .
            the u.s. armed forces are of course defending the u.s., yet they are doing it mostly far away from the american homeland. as for dominating the world, it is not the land nor the population (the u.s. has sufficient population to do that anyway), it’s the firepower of u.s. military and the material and financial resources the u.s. can utilize.
            .
            china is not drawing others’ resources, china is buying from them and to make more things for the world. welcome to the global economy which trump tries to destroy. 😀
            .

          • James Bowen

            Fighting wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. has nothing to do with defending the U.S. They are making us weaker, spreading our forces thin, and costing a lot of money. Fighting a land war outside of the Western Hemisphere rarely has any bearing on U.S. national integrity.

            I really don’t see how the U.S., with a population of 320 million, can dominate the rest of the world that has 7 billion. We no longer have the material resources either as our industrial capacity has been surpassed by China, Japan, India, and Europe.

            China imports oil from the Middle East, food from Africa, and iron ore from Australia. This is been a vital part of their economic transformation.

          • .Hugo.

            that’s not what the u.s. leaders have said though. they said fighting in other people’s land is to protect american lives and interest back home…. 🙂
            .
            you don’t need a super big population to dominate the world with superb military and financial strengths, also with a bit of luck after ww2. if you say you are no longer having the resources to compete with china, then we can clearly see why the u.s. has been trying to stop china’s growth with all means.
            .
            china is buying cheap oil and metal from all over the world before totally relying on its own. chinese iron ore output is 44% of the world’s total, while australia is just half of it. china is 4th in iron ore reserves, and it’s just 34% less than australia (1st). the u.s. is not even in the top 5, now should we be aware of an american invasion to loot iron? 😀
            .
            china is self sufficient with major crops supplies. food from africa is mostly from chinese farms too.

          • James Bowen

            Yes, they have said that, and they’re full of it. Either they have no clue what they are talking about or they take the public for fools. There is absolutely nothing about fighting in the Middle East, Central Asia, or Africa that makes us safer.

            Immediate post-World War II was a unique historical circumstance. All of the major belligerents, not to mention traditional centers of civilization, in Europe and Asia had been devastated. The U.S. was the only major belligerent that had not, so we filled a vacuum for a while. That situation has long ended though.

            At present, we don’t have the industrial might to match China. That kind of says something that with all those resources China still has to import many more. If China grows crops in Africa, those are by definition not Chinese farms, even if Chinese companies own them.

          • .Hugo.

            the chinese farms in africa provide extra options for the chinese consumers, when the farms in the chinese mainland have produced sufficient quantity of all basic crops for years.

          • James Bowen

            Perhaps that is true, but it still shows that China is very interested in acquiring resources from abroad.

          • .Hugo.

            all major countries import from the overseas, japan is self insufficient in fruit, sugar, soybeans, wheat, and eatable oil too, even fish is marginal (surprised?). the u.s. has to import most tropical agricultural products including sugar too. the only difference is that china can import from overseas chinese sources.

          • James Bowen

            The point is that China wants and needs resources from abroad, which raises the specter of competition with other powers, which can be a seed for conflict. Historically, this sort of thing is more likely to cause conflict than ideological issues.

          • .Hugo.

            every country needs resources from abroad, yet china has never started a war to acquire them, japan has, england has, and the u.s. wars in the gulf could be considered as one too
            .

          • James Bowen

            It doesn’t mean they won’t though. Their behavior in the South China Sea is an example.

          • .Hugo.

            the chinese actions in the chinese south china sea territory are to protect china’s sovereignty and interest from further being intruded by surrounding rogue states., i.e. the philippine invasion of the chinese islands and shoals outside of the philippine border from the 1960s to 1999 as defined in the treaty of paris 1898. 🙂

          • James Bowen

            Those interests you speak of mainly mean the oil deposits that are there.

          • .Hugo.

            oil and gas were not discovered when china announced its maritime border in 1947. also no country has protested when china made its announcement until 20 years later when oil and gas were found.

          • James Bowen

            China is interested in acquiring resources in waters that are international under all existing conventions. They are willing to use threatening force to do so as well. China looks out for its interests, and it is certainly not above using force and threats to secure what it sees as vital interests.

          • .Hugo.

            what other conventions but unclos?
            .
            where has unclos defined “international waters” when there is only the high seas? and just where is the high seas in the south china sea when all coastal states have delimited eez which is 200 n.m. wide?
            .
            china is defending its south china sea territory, whereby the philippines and vietnam have invaded when oil and gas were discovered. and territorial defense will always involve military forces.
            .

          • James Bowen

            Just about the whole world abides by UNCLOS (even the U.S. which has not formally ratified the treaty). China is claiming the whole of the South China Sea, most of which is well beyond the 200 nm EEZ. Make no mistake, China wants the resources there, and their throwing their weight around in that area is a relatively recent development. I do not fault China for looking our for their interests. I am just pointing out that they do, and at present those interests involve securing greater access to natural resources.

          • .Hugo.

            so your “other conventions” is still unclos…. 🙂
            .
            the u.s. has refused to sign on unclos iii, not just “not formally ratified it”, but it still wants to enjoy unclos rights.
            .
            china is claiming the 4 major island chains by historical title and that’s not the whole scs. eez is not territorial waters.
            .
            china is defending its resources assigned to it by unclos, while the others are trying take them away by invading the chinese islands and shoals.
            .
            your “recent development” should date back all the way to the qing dynasty when the chinese government has started to counter foreign intrusion of its scs territory.
            .
            resources come natural with territorial ownership, and china enjoys historical rights to own the islands.
            .

          • James Bowen

            UNCLOS is based on strong precedent dating back centuries that the high seas are not any state’s territory. U.S. law requires that the President sign a treaty but that the Senate then ratify it. It is not uncommon for the U.S. to follow treaties that we have signed but our Senate, for various political reasons, has not ratified.

            At least one of those island chains are well outside the 200 mile EEZ, barely rise above the surface of the ocean, and are uninhabited. China is interested in them for resources and is willing to go to efforts to consolidate its control over them.

          • .Hugo.

            we don’t have to care what strong precedents unclos is based on, we only have to care which state has not signed on unclos iii but still wants to enjoy its given rights, and the u.s. has refused to sign on unclos iii. the u.s. has followed the parts of the treaties which will benefit itself.
            .
            you have to order wrong. eez is delimited from the shore of the state, not the other way round. you description fits japan’s okinotorishima very well too (japan has even built massive concrete structure to protect that little rock “barely rise above the surface of the ocean”), and japan got its eez well outside of its eez delimited from the main islands.
            .
            china was to protect its territorial integrity by historical title, resources come second as they were not well known when china first exercised sovereignty on the islands.
            .

          • James Bowen

            There is little point in denying that most of the South China Sea, which China claims, is beyond 200 nm. The observance that waters beyond near coastal areas do not belong to any state long predates UNCLOS. China wants the resources of the South China Sea and is willing to use muscle to get them. I am not necessarily saying that is wrong, but it is a fact.

          • .Hugo.

            distance doesn’t limit a country’s claim of sovereignty, e.g. falklands, south georgia, diego garcia, channel islands, all greek islands off the turkish coast, australian christmas islands off the indonesian coast, indian nicobar islands closer to myanmar, the sinagpore pedra branca closer to malaysia…. the list just goes on…..
            .
            there is no such “observance” in unclos, please don’t twist the convention.
            .
            the 200 n.m. eez is delimited form the shore of the state, as china owns the islands, its eez is delimited from the islands. eez is not territorial waters either, that’s why there is no such thing as claiming “most of the south china sea”.
            .
            fuel resources were discovered 20 years after china announced its maritime border, no state, including the u.s., has protested when china made the announcement.
            .
            china is willing to use muscle to protest its territorial integrity, that’s called rightful national defense, and that’s the fact. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            Why would China be interested in claiming islands that are uninhabited and barely rise above sea level? China is not merely claiming some islands either, they are claiming almost all of the South China Sea. By international custom, this is not Chinese territory. China wants the resources there, and is willing to use muscle to claim them. Again, I am not saying there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but it is dishonest to claim this is not the case.

          • James Bowen

            UNCLOS is based on hundreds of years of precedent that the high seas are not any state’s territory. UNCLOS declares that waters out to 12 nautical miles are state territory, waters out to 200 nautical miles are economically exclusive to that state, and waters beyond that are completely international. Most of what China is claiming in the South China Sea is well beyond 200 miles.

          • .Hugo.

            the high seas is the area outside of the 200 n.m. eez, so let’s look at a map which indicates all claimants’ eez:
            .
            uploadDOTwikimediaDOTorg/wikipedia/commons/
            thumb/d/de/South_China_Sea_claims_map.jpg/
            420px-South_China_Sea_claims_map.jpg
            .
            there is no high seas in the scs as defined by unclos, and based on unclos, foreign vessels have to observe both unclos and the coastal state’s maritime law in that state’s eez.
            .
            china is claiming the islands in the scs, thereby its 12 n.m. territorial waters and 200 n.m. eez, so where the u.s. vessel has operated is well within china’s eez if not just territorial waters.
            .

          • James Bowen

            What claim does China have to those islands? They are uninhabited and China’s claim is generally unrecognized elsewhere.

          • .Hugo.

            the okinotorishima is uninhabited too, so how can japan claim it? many smaller islands in the maldives and the philippines are uninhabited too, how can they be claimed? most of the islands and shoals invaded and occupied by the philippines are uninhabited too, how can the philippines legalize its loot? 🙂
            .
            by the way, china owns the main islands, therefore it has the right to claim all the associated minor islands too. that’s called “res accessoria sequitur rem principalem”.
            .
            also you should read official chinese archives since the yuan dynasty to learn how china has explored, named, developed, and governed the islands and the surrounding seas. that’s why china enjoys historical title of ownership.
            .
            .

          • James Bowen

            I am not denying that other nations make questionable claims. What I am saying is that China would not be so interested in the parts of the South China Sea well beyond 200 nm if it wasn’t for the oil there. Taiwan is a part of China that openly defies and disputes the legitimacy of the government in Beijing, yet I don’t see as much interest being invested in the East China Sea (much of which actually is Chinese territory under UNCLOS) as I do the South China Sea.

          • .Hugo.

            modern china announced its maritime border in 1947, i.e. 20 years before oil and gas were discovered. if you want to include the dynasty time then it was even longer when china exercised sovereignty there. you should say the philippines and other rogue states would not be so interested if oil was not discovered there.
            .
            the chinese eez is 200 n.m. (not beyond) from the shore of the islands. the roc on taiwan has the same chinese claim. if fact, the roc is the original claimer when the republic government started. i don’t see how the the roc government has openly defied and disputed the legitimacy of the prc government either after chiang’s death.
            .
            i guess i don’t have to remind you of the almost daily patrol of the chinese coast guard in the east sea, including the diaoyu waters. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            The claim is generally not recognized internationally, and China did not really start pressing its claim until Vietnam, the Philippines, etc. also became interested in the oil and gas. Again, I am not necessarily saying anything is wrong with Chinese actions. I am simply stating a fact that China is willing to use force and other heavy handed tactics to secure access to natural resources beyond its borders. It is intellectually dishonest to deny this.

          • .Hugo.

            pretty wrong, when the claim was generally recognized internationally through publications and international meetings throughout the mid-20th century after china’s maritime border announcement.
            .
            china has never stopped pressing its claim, that’s why the philippines and vietnam have to invade the islands by force after oil and gas were discovered.
            .
            every nation is willing to use force to defend its territorial integrity. china’s natural resources in its south china sea territory is not beyond its borders either.
            .
            it is rather intellectually dishonest to deny this when there are examples all over the world.
            .

          • James Bowen

            I never said there aren’t examples elsewhere, but to say that China is not willing to use force to secure access to natural resources is simply not true. It is also simply not true to say that the extent of the South China Sea falls within the 200 nm EEZ. Looking at a map of the South China Sea, it is patently obvious that most of it extends beyond the 200 nm EEZ. China’s claim is not recognized under international custom. China might not agree with that and might indeed have the force to exert control over the South China Sea, but by accepted international custom China has no business making such a claim.

          • .Hugo.

            the natural resources some with territorial claim, not the other way round. by protecting its territorial integrity, china is also protecting its resources.
            .
            200 n.m. eez is delimited from the shore a country owns, as china owns the scs islands, its eez is delimited from them instead of the chinese mainland. the same case applies to numerous countries too, e.g. the british falklands, the australian christmas island, the u.s. kingman reef (the u.s. has refused to sign on unclos iii but still wants to enjoy its rights)…
            .
            what is “international custom”? when was it established? would it be earlier than the yuan dynasty when china first created official records of governing the scs islands? china’s claim existed long before your so-called “international custom”, if you say china should recognize it, then it is actually the world which has to recognize the chinese initiated custom first.
            .
            by refusing to sign on unclos ii, the u.s. has no business in the chinese eez. by violating the u.n. charter and unclos, the rogue states in the scs will not gain an extra inch of the chinese scs territory either.
            .

          • James Bowen

            China’s claim to those islands is not recognized internationally, and there is no reason to be interested in those islands other than resources. They were uninhabited and in some cases barely rise out of the sea. I don’t know why it is so hard to admit that China is willing to use muscle to secure access to natural resources. That is not a controversial statement and is typically true of most states that have the ability to do so.

          • .Hugo.

            don’t see how when even the u.s has asked for china’s confirmation on names and ownership, and even seek permission to conduct survey and rescue mission in the area.
            .
            okinotorishima is uninhabited too, and so is the kingman reef. i don’t know why it is so hard to admit that even the u.s. and all other states are willing to use muscle to secure territorial integrity along with the attached natural resources. the u.s. has even gone all the way to secure natural resources not owned by it in iraq using military forces.
            .
            true to most states, especially the u.s. and all other rogue states in the scs. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            I don’t deny that other states use force to secure access to natural resources or territorial integrity. I am not even saying anything is necessarily wrong with what China is doing. I am simply stating that China is willing to use muscle to secure access to natural resources, and that can be a source of conflict just like anywhere else. I am not out to say who is a good guy, who is a bad guy, who is right, who is wrong, etc. I am simply stating facts.

          • .Hugo.

            and i am simply saying that china has not done anything differently in protecting its territorial integrity. history has told us it was mostly china being invaded for natural resources and not the other way round, i see no reason why china will allow that to happen again today. the chinese word for “force” is “武力”, which can be further broken down into “止戈力”, meaning the “power to stop war”. with that i guess i don’t have to explain further of china’s position in its scs territory.
            .

          • James Bowen

            That is not recognized internationally as Chinese territory though. China is interested in the South China Sea for its resources. China is putting considerably more effort into the South China Sea than it is territorial waters that are internationally recognized as Chinese.

          • .Hugo.

            unfortunately for you, most major countries have recognized chinese claim in their publications and international meetings throughout the mid-20th century after the chinese maritime border announcement in 1947.
            .
            no mineral resources were found before and immediately after china made its announcement, china is interested in upholding territorial integrity. when oil and gas were found 20 years later, all surrounding rogue states were interested in the scs for its resources.
            .
            china has islands in the area, and china has not done less in protecting them than the rogue states to protect their chinese loot in the area. you try to avoid mentioning vietnam, i can see why. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            Nobody recognizes that claim. It is well beyond the 12 nm and 200 nm limits. China has only started to press its claim more aggressively since the discovery of resources. I do agree that the claims of the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. are not legitimate either. Remember, an international court ruled against China’s claim not too long ago.

          • .Hugo.

            why don’t you just look back to all the publications and meeting records first? i have some. 🙂
            .
            again, 12 n.m. and 200 n.m. are delimited from the shore of the state, china owns the islands, therefore it is assigned with 12 n.m. and 200 n.m. from the island shore by unclos. the falklands is well beyond 12 n.m and 200 n.m. from the british isles too.
            .
            your “international court”, the pca, is just a paid arbitration service provider, it is not a formal u.n. court nor a formal u.n. agency.
            .
            the icj is the formal international court, and it has published a statement during the arbitration to distinct itself from the pca. the arbitration was rejected by china based on its unclos rights, thereby voiding all proceeding afterwards based on unclos too.
            .
            china has only gotten more determined to defend its sovereignty after the pca fiasco and the escalated u.s. military threats.
            .
            you should remember the actual facts not hype.
            .

          • James Bowen

            The facts are that nobody recognizes China’s claim to the whole of the South China Sea or those islands. An international court ruled against China’s claims using UNCLOS as a legal basis. China wants those islands and control of the South China Sea for resources. Those are the facts. Why is it so hard to admit any of that?

          • .Hugo.

            wrong again.

            as i said i have records from major countries recognizing the chinese sovereignty. you should able to find them too in every good libraries around the world. 🙂

            the pca is not an international court at all, it is only a paid arbitration service provider, and china has never agreed on any form of arbitration, and that is china’s unclos right too.

            china owns the islands long before valuable natural resources were found, and when they were found, the rogue states wanted to control the islands and the south china sea. the philippines has even tried to rename the sea to grab it.

            these are the real facts that you have tried to ignore, unfortunately they just won’t go away just because you pretend they don’t exist. 😀

          • James Bowen

            Almost nobody recognizes China’s claim. China was sued in an international court about this and was found to have violated UNCLOS. No one voluntarily agrees to go to court, they were taken to court. China has only started to press its claim since others have expressed interest in developing the resources there. This is all about resources. You can say China claims these islands and has for a long time all you want, but the reality is that very few if any other nations recognize that claim.

          • .Hugo.

            your “nobody” actually is “many bodies”, including the uk, france, us, germany, and even japan and vietnam. 🙂
            .
            the pca was not an international court, it was a paid arbitration service provider in which all parties involved must agree on arbitration first. china has never agreed on any form of arbitration and it has exercised its unclos rights to reject it.
            .
            correct, no one will go to court voluntarily, that’s why the pca is not a formal u.n. court. 😀
            .
            china has determined to step up the defense of its scs territory when more rogue states are eyeing it, especially after oil and gas were discovered 20 years after china’s maritime announcement.
            .
            it is not what i say, it is what history has said. china owns the 4 island chains in the scs by historical title, and the reality is that many major countries have recognized the chinese claim throughout the mid-20th century.
            .

          • James Bowen

            So it is indeed about resources then.

          • .Hugo.

            no one talked about resources in 1947 and the decade followed.
            .
            but the rogue states certainly wanted to grab resources 20 years later, and china is to defend its territory.
            .
            it is resources for the rogue states, and territorial integrity for china. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            It is about resources, plain and simple. China did not aggressively press its claim until there started to be a competition for resources. These islands are generally uninhabited and some barely stick out of the water. There is practically no habitable territory to defend.

          • .Hugo.

            it is about resources for the rogue states, and it is about territorial integrity for china.
            .
            china has always pressed its claim as early as the qing dynasty when the islands and shoals were being intruded by foreign powers. china “aggressively” pressed its claim when the rogue states escalated their aggression after oil and gas were discovered.
            .
            the rogue states put up shelters and accommodations on stolen chinese islands and shoals , and you say there is no habitable territory to defend. also with that idea, korea should not defend the liancourt rocks with military outpost, japan should not defend okinotorishima with massive concrete structures, and the u.s. should not defend the kingman reef by the u.s. navy too, haha….
            .

          • James Bowen

            It is about resources. China wouldn’t care one bit about these territories if there was nothing value to them. Up until recently, they were uninhabited.

          • .Hugo.

            you should say the rogue states won’t care a bit if oil and gas were not found, when china has cared so much about these territories ever since the qing dynasty when they were first being invaded by foreign powers, and certainly before oil and gas were found. 🙂
            .
            and again, okinotorishima and the kingman reef are always uninhabited too. i am surprised that you can’t even say a word for them. 🙂
            .

          • James Bowen

            No, they won’t, but neither did China. I don’t deny what you are saying about Okinotorishima and Kingman Reef, but they are not the issue at hand. You seem to be trying to get me to make a moral judgement on the actions of China and others. That is not what I am doing. I am simply stating a fact that China in interested in these islands primarily because of resources.

          • .Hugo.

            good, so now we know you can’t use habitation as your excuse anymore, for you and your lapdog state have done the same. 😛
            .
            but wrong again, china has affirmed its claim against foreign intrusion as early as the qing dynasty, and oil and gas were not discovered until the late 1960s and early 1970s. so the rogue states care for oil, china doesn’t in the matter of sovereignty in the chinese scs territory. 🙂
            .
            okinotorishima and the kingman reef share similar geographic features and sovereignty/eez consideration as the chinese nansha islands, of course they are part of the issue.
            .
            i can hardly care what moral judgement you have, for china has all the right to defend its territory in the first place, and resources come next.

          • James Bowen

            I am most assuredly not making a moral judgement against China. I am simply stating that China’s motivations over these islands are for resources. That is a fact. They are uninhabited, and there is no other reason for China to care about them or claim them as territory.

          • .Hugo.

            china’s motivation is always on territorial integrity, which the rogue states are on resources. you can’t change historical facts to back up your point. 🙂

            okinotorishima and the kingman reef have no oil and gas too. 🙂

          • James Bowen

            The historical fact is that China did not press this claim until 1) resources were discovered and 2) neighbors became interested in developing those resources. You keep talking about territorial integrity, but why exactly is that important? China would not care that much about these territories if they did not have resources. It is also out of character for China’s government to get into macho disputes about turf. They are very practical and usually have logically sound underlying reasons for their actions.

          • .Hugo.

            still wrong.

            there were nothing but the islands when qing china pressed its claim.

            rogue states started to steal and invade when oil and gas were discovered at least 20 years after modern china announced its maritime border.

            territorial integrity is important to all countries and not just china. chinese have a strong sense of ancestry, it will of course defend its land passed on by the ancestors.

            you should realize all modern wars that china has fought were about territorial integrity and defence. i don’t see how japanese and americans are not practical and not logically sound either when pressing their claims far from their homeland. 🙂

          • James Bowen

            No, I am not wrong at all here. There is no ancestry to protect on those islands. They are uninhabited and barely stick out of the water. China has even gone as far as to construct artificial islands with landfill in the South China Sea. There is no inhabited territory to protect. 20 years ago China’s claim was just that, a claim. They were not committing forces at that time, and only did so when it became a competition for resources with Vietnam, the Philippines, etc. There are usually underlying reasons for protecting claims and territorial integrity as you put it. Macho drum beating can certainly be one of those reasons, but for China’s government that reason is out of character.

          • James Bowen

            Hegemony is no more in America’s interest than it is in China’s interest. It is a burden, and our post-industrial economy cannot support at present (and I don’ think a full industrial economy could either).

            China does have a lot of resources, yet, but its middle class needs even more to sustain their good life. If China’s population declines, that that might no longer be the case. However, barring some unforseen disaster, that won’t happen in our lifetimes (maybe over 200 years).

            Yes, much of the same applies to India as well.

          • .Hugo.

            hegemony involves direct use of military forces, that’s a u.s. trade not china. china did not invent the term ‘gunboat diplomacy’.
            .
            middle class doesn’t mean wasteful class, good life has more to do with affordability on choices and options.

          • James Bowen

            Given the inherently wasteful nature of war, direct use of military forces is not something that is in our interest unless absolutely necessary to defend ourselves. Trying to spread Western-style democratic capitalism to the Middle East and elsewhere certainly does not qualify.

          • .Hugo.

            i don’t see how it’s not your interest, when you have maintained the largest and most powerful military organization with constant deployment and engagements all over the world — in the name of defending yourselves.
            .
            i agree with your second point though.
            .

          • James Bowen

            It is not in our interest because it accomplishes nothing regarding our self-defense. Of all of the times that the U.S. Armed Forces have seen action since World War II, the only one that qualifies as possibly being necessary to our defense was Korea.

          • .Hugo.

            defense of south korea alright, but not invading north korea though. that’s why china intervened and pushed the u.s. invading forces all the back to the 38th parallel. 🙂

  • Jack D Ripper

    Its got balls

  • Richard Elias

    American style helmet on the basketball player from china, and the spy ballon cover on the Russian! haha

  • Marcd30319

    Nice to see that China is an equal opportunity “offender” when it comes to deploying their at-sea spy assets. I am sure our not so friendly neighborhood amateur and semi-pro trolls will finds some excuse to rationalize this away. They always try.

    • muzzleloader

      Cue Hugo….

      • Marcd30319

        Must we? He is such a party pooper!

  • .Hugo.

    what is “uninvited”? i don’t think either russia or china has to submit to the U.S.a list of participated units at all. yet we can be quite certain that no US vessel of any kind was invited, so guess who was really spying on both chinese and russian vessels during the exercise? 🙂

    it’s a rare large scale joint exercise so close to china, thus china has every reason to observe it and to gather as much information as required even as a participant, unlike the US which is not even an asian country.