Home » Foreign Forces » China » USS McCampbell FONOP Past Paracel Islands Irks China


USS McCampbell FONOP Past Paracel Islands Irks China

USS McCampbell (DDG 85) departs U.S. Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka and transits into Tokyo Bay, May 14, 2018. Navy photo.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) steamed past the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Monday in a freedom of navigation operation that drew the ire of Chinese government officials.

Lu Kang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, was critical of McCampbell’s FONOP during his regularly scheduled briefing with the media.

“The Chinese side immediately sent military vessel and aircraft to conduct verification and identification on the U.S. ship and warned it to leave. We have lodged stern representations with the U.S. side,” Lu said, according to the official English translation of the ministry’s press conference.

McCampbells’ FONOP was first reported by Reuters.

Starting in the 1990s, in a move not recognized by international maritime law, China claimed a straight baseline around the entire Paracel Islands archipelago, which it calls the Xisha Islands. The Chinese government wants foreign warships to ask permission before operating near the islands. Vietnam and Taiwan also claim the chain.

In response, U.S. Navy officials stated McCampbell operated within the standards of international maritime law.

“On Jan. 7 (local time), guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea. McCampbell sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Lt. j.g. Rachel McMarr, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesperson, told USNI News.

Chinese officials typically complain about any U.S. Navy ships transiting near the holdings, stating such operations violate China’s sovereignty.

In May, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) sailed in a two-ship FONOP past the islands.

The May FONOP was called a “serious infringement on China’s sovereignty,” by Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, in a statement released at the time.

The following is the entire statement made Monday by Lu Kang, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson during his regularly scheduled briefing with the media, according to the ministry’s official English translation of the briefing transcript.

 On January 7, the USS McCampbell entered China’s territorial seas around Xisha Islands without permission from the Chinese side. The Chinese side immediately sent military vessel and aircraft to conduct verification and identification on the US ship and warned it to leave. We have lodged stern representations with the US side.

The relevant action by the US vessel violated Chinese laws and relevant international laws, infringed upon China’s sovereignty, and undermined peace, security and order of the relevant waters. The Chinese side firmly opposes the relevant action by the US side and urges the US to immediately stop such provocations. We will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard our national sovereignty and security.

As for how this action will affect the current China-US trade talks, properly resolving all kind of issues between the two sides, including economic and trade issues, are beneficial to the two countries and the whole world. Both China and the US are responsible for creating the necessary positive atmosphere for this.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    China is permanently irked.

    • NavySubNuke

      Uh oh, and now you have irked Hugo the wumao…
      Too bad this Huog isn’t nearly as funny as the last one that was purged a few months ago.

      • .Hugo.

        (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe…)
        .
        china doesn’t need to send its navy to provoke other nations, so who is really permanently irked? 🙂

    • Del_Varner

      And they are always “furious”.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Too much MSG.

    • .Hugo.

      china doesn’t need to send its navy to provoke other nations, so who is really permanently irked? 🙂
      .
      and can’t answer that so you have to hide it? 😀
      .

      • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

        Multiple replies from the same account.

        Do you bots not understand you can have separate comment accounts?

        Fun fact:
        Han are a race of slaves & they like it.

        • .Hugo.

          when you have to do multiple flagging of my replies which you can’t refute, why mind my consistency on re-posting them all? 😀
          .
          and your fun fact actually goes to the filipinos and the indians, not the han. 🙂
          .

  • Ed L

    I rather we send those LCS’s into that area. Be a shame to lose a fine DDG in an altercation in those waters

    • muzzleloader

      These Fonops might have the Chinese chewing nails, but they aren’t going to start a war over it.

      • Hugh

        And they rely on peace (at present) and world trade in more ways than a few.

      • Lord John Whorfin

        China starts war with US- US repudiates Treasury bonds held by China- China loses many billions in wealth and sale to US drop to zero, leading to revolt by the Chinese masses.

        • TomD

          The U.S. can’t repudiate those bonds without repudiating them when they are sold to third countries, and that would likely then require repudiating their bonds. The whole thing would likely cascade.

        • .Hugo.

          u.s t-bills are paying china roughly usd 30 billion interest income every year, and china has stopped buying from the u.s. -> your farmers starve, and your buyers still have to place orders with chinese manufacturers and absorb the tariff cost. meanwhile the same chinese manufacturers are kept busy fulfilling the needs of close to 1.4 billion domestic chinese consumers.
          .
          have you checked the latest 11/11 mega sales records? sure, “leading to revolt” when the chinese consumers can’t buy enough, hehe….

      • .Hugo.

        (i don’t have to hide replies i can’t refute, hehe….)
        .
        no need to chew nails, just happily tell you to leave, and you leave as usual. 🙂

    • Centaurus

      Why not send 3 CSG’s into the area and start combat operations ?
      Xi or some other Chi-Com droid just said to oppose these visits by sinking 2 Carriers in order to stop Taiwan from returning to the fold, killing 10,000 sailors. Then we would have 5,000 left to do the fighting and kill all the remaining Chinese…just check the news.

  • Putin’s Lover

    you are a wumao

    • .Hugo.

      sure, why not prove it first with something more convincing first? 🙂
      .

  • Putin’s Lover

    Cheers to the US Navy upholding international law against an imperialist dictatorship.

    • Centaurus

      Why not send 3 CSG’s into the area and start combat operations ?
      Xi or some other Chi-Com droid just said to oppose these visits by sinking 2 Carriers in order to stop Taiwan from returning to the fold, killing 10,000 sailors. Then we would have 5,000 left to do the fighting and kill all the remaining Chinese…

      • Hugh

        Interesting to note how the various Chinese officials over many years hugely threaten the USA etc, while proclaiming peace, while such rhetoric is not thrown the other way.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe…)
      .
      international law? err…which one may i ask?
      .
      unclos? then care to tell us which part of unclos supports fonops? 🙂

  • CharleyA

    Trigger hugo, $.50

    • Centaurus

      Let’s give them back all their cheapo cell phones. Here’s mine…

      • .Hugo.

        sure, you can stick with your chinese made iphone. 🙂
        .

        • Centaurus

          No, mine is long gone back to z-land

          • .Hugo.

            that’s good, i never buy anything apple since steve jobs returned to the job. 😀
            .

    • .Hugo.

      nice excuse, very handy, hehe….
      .
      (and i don’t have to have other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe….)

  • Centaurus

    Lets’s do a FONOP into all the land-bound nations too, OK ?
    Only, we do it with ground-based equipment, how does that sound ?

    • .Hugo.

      when the u.s. can barely do it to china at sea, it will have no chance to do it on chinese land.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    No one is being “provoke” ….. well, other than the paranoid slave state of China I suppose…. but then, they consider everything a “provocation”.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe…)
      .
      of course no one is being “successfully” provoked, that’s why the u.s. has failed to make up another fake gulf of tonkin incident in the scs. 🙂
      .
      sending armed warships to intrude other’s territorial waters which is not allowed by unclos is certainly a provocation that you don’t want to admit. 🙂

    • .Hugo.

      of course no one is being “successfully” provoked, that’s why the u.s. has failed to make up another fake gulf of tonkin incident in the scs. 🙂
      .
      sending armed warships to intrude other’s territorial waters which is not allowed by unclos is certainly a provocation that you don’t want to admit. 🙂
      .
      and i don’t have t hide replies i can’t refute, hehe….
      .

  • thebard3

    “USS McCampbell FONOP Past Paracel Islands Irks China”. In other words, “Mission Accomplished”.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide replies i cannot refute, hehe….)
      .

      “mission accomplished” on paper, when the uss mccampbell has to leave on chinese demand and when it is china having a permanent naval presence to deal with your intrusion? sure…. 😀

  • JJ

    All of it, my dear Hugo. Freedom of navigation in open seas is the implicit core on UNCLOS, which, as you know, your nation signed.

  • Bubblehead

    USN just did it about a month ago. Sailed a ship right up the straight between Taiwan and China.

    Don’t get your panties in a wad and get used to it.

    • Centaurus

      Hugo’s panties are always in a wad. But today s(he) sniffs them. Just like the cordite from our bombs and guns.

      • .Hugo.

        funny, especially when you just can’t refute properly anymore. 🙂
        .

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i can’t refute, hehe….)
      .
      so you call sailing so much closer to the taiwan side of the strait “right up between taiwan and china”? oh that’s very comforting to yourself, hehe….
      .
      next time don’t just hide there, your ships should said “right up the mainland coast” instead. 😀

  • airider

    The last time we didn’t press matters with FONOPS, a World War occurred. Never again …

    • .Hugo.

      the last time you were not expanding your influence and hegemony, this time you are. 🙂
      .
      and i don’t have to hide reply i cannot refute too, hehe….
      .

  • Curtis Conway

    Building artificial island on coral reefs is not permitted in unclos either.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide messages i can’t refute, hehe….)
      .
      wrong.
      .
      article 60
      1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have the exclusive right to construct and to authorize and regulate the construction, operation and use of:
      .
      (a) artificial islands;
      (b) installations and structures for the purposes provided for in article 56 and other economic purposes;
      (c) installations and structures which may interfere with the exercise of the rights of the coastal State in the zone.
      .
      .
      it is 100% permitted in unclos. have you read unclos before you replied? 😀

      • Curtis Conway

        I don’t either.

        • .Hugo.

          right you don’t, very convincing…. 😛
          .

  • ronwf

    The waters involved are not, in fact, China’s territorial waters.

    • Centaurus

      The real point is to drive china insane. So lets drive them insane with an attack.

  • Deserttrek

    the fortune said, “USN ships give pain in the a**”

    • .Hugo.

      seems like it is “the chinese navy ships give pain in the axx to the usn” more. 🙂
      .
      and i don’t have to hide reply i cannot refute, hehe….
      .

  • publius_maximus_III

    Overheard on PLAN hailing frequency: “Ahoy intruder, get back here and leave. Now.”

  • Kevin Stich

    Stop buying Chinese goods – drive them out of business. There is nothing so sweet as a bankrupt China. Buy Taiwanese.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide messages i cannot refute, hehe….)
      .
      many chinese goods are made for american companies, so just who are you driving out? 🙂
      .
      and you better be sure that no chinese components are used in your beloved taiwanese products too

  • Airedale

    Gun boat diplomacy? No. I thought we had to sail inside 12 NM to challenge a claim.

  • Scott McCloud

    …subjected to national sovereignty (freedom of the seas) was proposed by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius as early as 1609. It did not become an accepted principle of international law, however, until the 19th century. Freedom of the seas was ideologically connected with other 19th-century freedoms, particularly laissez-faire economic…

  • Scott McCloud

    the us has historically forced freedom of the seas. this won’t be any different. As far as I’m concerned, China can treat SCS like the US treats the Gulf of Mexico. As long as trade is unhindered, whatever. Screw with that, every Chinese naval base ceases operations.

    • SDW

      “.Hugo.” has, repeatedly, been replied to citing specific sections/articles/etc. of UNCLOS II and other international law sources. He has never responded with citations supporting his assertions. (They aren’t to be found.) Whether he actually believes in the fantasies he claims to be law or is being deliberately obtuse for recreation doesn’t really matter.

      Unless and until he has real citations to back him up then read his posts for whatever entertainment you get.

      .Hugo. can go on and on but the high seas still start 12nmi away from land including high-tide elevations that are naturally occurring islands capable of sustaining human habitability and economic life.

      • muzzleloader

        Hugo is a Chinese troll.
        It is his full time occupation.

        • SDW

          Other possibilities include having a perverse sense of humor, delirium, or some behaviorist experiment substituting profound annoyment for electric shocks.

          • .Hugo.

            and other possibilities include empty accusation when you can’t refute properly? got it. 🙂
            .

      • .Hugo.

        (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe….)
        .
        wrong info.
        .
        it’s unclos iii, not unclos ii, that i am citing, which the u.s. has refused to sign but wants to enjoy its rights, and wants the others to follow.
        .
        unclos itself is the convention, i.e. the law, it doesn’t require citations.
        .
        by unclos definition, the high seas is the area outside of the eez, so care to show us where that exists in the south china sea? 😀

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe…)
      .
      by using dash lines to indicate its maritime border has shown that china is not going to treat the scs like the gulf of mexico. freedom of navigation is supported by china all the time. the only nation which has hindered that in the past was, again, the u.s.
      .
      and i don’t see how every chinese naval base will cease operations so easily. don’t mix up china with the smaller and weaker countries which the u.s. has always (or can only) bullied. 🙂

  • SDW

    Context means a lot. Article 60 pertains to Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). The last two items in the list are:

    7. Artificial islands, installations and structures and the safety zones around them may not be established where interference may be caused to the use of recognized sea lanes essential to international navigation.
    8. Artificial islands, installations and structures do not possess the status of islands They have no territorial sea of their own, and their presence does not affect the delimitation of the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf.

    • tteng

      Why do you bring up UNCLOS? The US has not ratified UNCLOS. Though the US recognizes or even voluntarily complies with UNCLOS, but a law that depends on voluntary compliance is no law at all.

      • Duane

        All foreign treaties depend upon voluntary compliance … otherwise signatories give up their sovereignty.

        • tteng

          Except, UNCLOS is a treaty the US is not a part of. It’s like: there is a contract between party A and B, and party C (in this case the US) is interceding on behalf of one of parties (A or B), when that contract stipulates no role or any binding force on party C. In other words, the US is outside the contract, therefore, there is no issue of compliance, voluntary or otherwise.

          • Duane

            The US signed UNCLOS III, but objecting to the seabed minerals portion (Part XI) of the treaty, did not ratify it. The US accepts all other portions of UNCLOS which deals with the parts that affect freedom of navigation and disputes over EEZs – and China actually did ratify UNCLOS but refuses to comply.

          • tteng

            ‘Ratification’ is a legal term.

            Definition of ‘Ratification’ per google
            “the action of signing or giving formal consent to a treaty, contract, or agreement, making it officially valid.”

            A contract can have many portions, if the party only pick & choose which portions they want to sign and skip some, then I don’t think the whole thing is valid as is. Any contractual agreements I’ve signed, not only I need to signed (or initial) all the intermediary signatures, I also need to sign the final page. If I left out any portion unsigned (or un-initialed), the whole thing is not valid.

            Therefore, without ratifying UNCLOS, the US is not obligated to UNCLOS, and UNCLOS is null and void to the US legally. Therefore, in this case, none of UNCLOS terms (e.g. 12nm territorial water, 200nm EEZ, real or fake islands definition) matter.

            As for China’s non-compliance of UNCLOS, which party(ies) can hold China to the fire and said ” you violate the contract “? Presumably only other signatories on the same contract, of which the US is not one of them. Therefore, the US can get involved in SCS on geopolitical ground, but not on legal base.

        • .Hugo.

          but the u.s. has refused to sign on it, and only wants the others to follow. 🙂
          .

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide other’s messages i cannot refute, hehe…)
      .
      wrong again.
      .
      7. the islands are enlarged or built on existing geographic features where no ship will actually sail right through it. the area has been referred to as dangerous waters for centuries, that’s why china has built lighthouses on them. 🙂
      .
      8. china is not using the islands to make any claim, china builds in territory it already owns. only the philippines is trying to use eez to make illegal territorial claims. 🙂

  • SDW

    Of course they left sometime after the Chinese government unlawfully insisted that they leave. You were thinking that the US maritime patrol aircraft was going to land on the newly-built runways? That a US DDG was going to tie up at these new military piers? Was Monty Python popular in China? No, I think not since it is so subversive.

    • .Hugo.

      by unclos and by the maritime law of a legitimate country and a permanent member of the u.n. security council, it is very much lawful for the chinese navy to drive away the u.s. navy vessel intruding chinese water without pre-approval. 🙂
      .
      and i am not thinking any u.s. patrol landing on any chinese runways unless being approved. i don’t have to care about monty python either as it has nothing to do with chinese sovereignty in the chinese scs territory. 🙂

  • SDW

    I would prefer that journalists used the correct terms rather than getting creative but “freedom” and “freedom of navigation” shows up all over the UNCLOS. Articles 86 through 115 spell out what freedom of navigation is on the high seas and I think one article in particular lays it out clearly.

    PART VII, HIGH SEAS, Section 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
    Article 86, Application of the provisions of this Part
    The provisions of this part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or on the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58. [Part V, EEZ, is very clear that the EEZ doesn’t bring with it any right to treat an EEZ as some sort of pseudo-territorial sea.]

    Article 87, Freedom of the high seas
    1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:
    (a) freedom of navigation;
    (b) freedom of overflight;
    (c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI [CONTINENTAL SHELF];
    (d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;
    (d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;
    (e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2[CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE LIVING RESOURCES OF THE HIGH SEAS];
    (f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII [MARINE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH];
    2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

  • Wrong Hugo. China’s illegal reef damage and fake island construction occurred outside both its 12-mile territorial waters AND 200-mile EEZ. These waters begin from mainland China and Hainan Island. Practically all other islands and features in the SCS are disputed among multiple nations, thus UNCLOS considers the vast majority of the SCS to NOT be territorial of any nation.

    Allied naval vessels and aircraft have and will continue to sail and fly through the SCS, as the Nine Dash Line (extending an inconceivable 900 miles south) is recognized by no nation. China has no allies and is left to watch U.S., Indian, Australian, Japanese, British and other nations sail wherever international law allows. It’s up to PLAN and PLAAF to fire or shrink again.

    • .Hugo.

      wrong, and i don’t have to hide messages i cannot refute, hehe….
      .
      china owns the 4 major island chains in the scs by historical title. this is out of unclos authorization .
      and chinese eez is delimited from the shores of the islands it owns. 🙂
      .
      with or without allies, it won’t affect chinese sovereignty. maybe it will affect yours, hehe…

  • Actually those U.S. vessels are merely passing through, not caring about China’s illegal claims. The SCS is along the way to the Indian Ocean, so practically every allied vessel going to/from the I.O. passes through China’s unrecognized Nine Dash Line without caring what Beijing thinks. It’s an allied doormat. USN and USAF transit the SCS daily. It’s this simple: if those waters are Chinese, then why does China shrink from protecting it? Why is China afraid to fire?

    • .Hugo.

      actually that “merely passing through” was a planned military operation called fonops by the u.s. government, and it was always conducted by military vessels with the aim to intimate and challenge the sovereignty of the coastal state. so why not tell me which part of unclos has allowed such operation? 😀
      .

      • First, most allied FONOPS sailings in the SCS near these fake islands are merely a byproduct of sailings transiting the broader SCS, such as visits to allies like Singapore, Australia, etc., while others are sailing to/from the I.O. and Persian Gulf. You can’t comprehend this because PLA boot camp doesn’t mention the concept of allies or an allied global reach. You didn’t know, I understand.

        Second, the entire purpose of UNCLOS is to ensure freedom of navigation through non-territorial waters which each USN sailing is doing. UNCLOS exists to prevent one-party dictatorships like China from declaring non-territorial waters to be their own kiddy pond. It’s the USN that protects UNCLOS, a treaty the U.S. has signed, just not with Senate ratification. This is why PLAN and PLAAF shrink from firing on USN and USAF movements.

        • .Hugo.

          again, fonops are planned military operation conducted by military vessels, it is not a byproduct of sailings and transiting just the broader scs but to specifically challenge china’s sovereignty.
          .
          don’t mix up port calls to singapore and australia. the u.s. fleet will make port calls to hong kong and other chinese ports too, with pre-approval granted by the chinese authorities.
          .
          i don’t need any boot camp to tell me what a u.s. “ally” means –> you have to pay your “protection money” or else. we all know it, hehe….
          .
          although such term is not defined in unclos, innocent passage (closest to your so-called “freedom of navigation”) inside other’s eez is regulated by unclos and the maritime law of the coastal states. using a military vessel to intrude other’s eez and territorial waters is not innocent passage at all.
          .
          china runs, and has succeeded, with a one-party system has nothing to do with its sovereignty. after all, it was the multi-party roc government which first announced the chinese maritime border in 1947. is that why the u.s. didn’t protest? haha…. 😀
          .
          and wrong, the u.s. is never considered as an unclos signatory, so don’t just pretend you really have unclos rights. knowing it has no ground at all, that’s why the usn and usaf have always left the chinese territory when demanded by the chinese authorities and didn’t dare to fire a single shot when challenged.

          • We already know that USN vessels will include “planned” FONOPS in their transits to and from the Indian Ocean and port calls to allies, of which China still has none. The USN doesn’t just dispatch vessels over a 1,000 miles from Japan or Guam to sail past illegal dredgings and then turn back; they continue on to allies and the I.O. You just won’t see that mentioned in China’s dictatorship talking points. Poor sources, you see

            “using a military vessel to intrude other’s eez and territorial waters is not innocent passage at all.”
            Fortunately, all USN and USAF movements did not intrude because waters of all the SCS features in question are not territorial, and EEZ’s do not require anyone’s permission under UNCLOS. They are only declared PRC-owned by a dictatorship, along with the illegal Nine Dash Line, all disputed across Asia and the world. China is isolated.

            Lastly, if all these disputed and fake islands were China’s sovereignty, then clearly it’s the obligation of PLAN and PLAAF to defend them by initiating hostilities, and yet China shrinks under UNCLOS pressure. By Beijing’s own admission, the onus is on China to fire. Why the cowardice?

            USN and USAF are merely operating where international law allows (not territorial waters) and have no interest in firing on Chinese forces who have equal (not superior) maritime rights as do all nations sailing that area. The USN keeps returning and always will, so why is China failing to defend with weapons what it claims is solely Chinese? Explanation?

  • Scott McCloud

    nukes are wonderful things for ending oppression

    • .Hugo.

      and counter nuke is the respond to your “wonderful things” too. 🙂

  • Duane

    It’s not like you think. You’re forgetting that China has available plenty of ICBMs and SLBMs to nuke every large city in the USA. And we do not have sufficient missile defenses to take out but a very small fraction of them even if they work perfectly, which they don’t.

    It is entirely conceivable that China could launch a nuke BM at a CSG, completely wipe it out, and expect that our response may be less than overwhelming. An all out war with China would be a devastating situation for both nations.

    You should read David Poyer’s series on war with China, his most recent “Dan Lenson” series of novels. He lays out precisely that scenario of a war between China and her regional IndoPac neighbors that quickly escalates into a nuclear attack on a CSG.

    Contrary to what most people tend to think, a war with China would likely NOT be a quick affair over in weeks. It’s not like taking on Saddam Hussein. They are a first world military and economic power that can match up with the US in many, perhaps most respects. All it takes if for a Chinese leader, like today’s Xi, to seize total power in China – exactly as he is doing today – and starts taking the same actions that China has threatened to take since 1949.

    We’d better be prepared for that.

    • publius_maximus_III

      So the only question for me is this, do you wait for the Death Star to become fully operational?

      • Duane

        There is and should be no “waiting” – but constant preparation, advancement, and bolstering of all manner of military assets – ships, aircraft, weapons, sensors, logistics (especially – since the IndoPac is a very long way from CONUS) .. and particularly cultivation of our alliances, which happens to be the exact opposite of what Trump has been doing since he entered office.

        There is no way, I repeat, no way for the US to prevail against China unless we have the full and unwavering support of our longtime allies – Japan, ROK, ROC, Australia, Singapors – and our new found defense partners – India, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. The idiot in the White House thinks that the US can deal with China all on our own.

        • muzzleloader

          Prove your last sentence.

          • Duane

            The proof is his stupid talking and tweeting and his stupid actions since he took office. Everything from withdrawing the US from TPP, to threatening to withdraw from NATO, to insulting our Australian ally over the phone, to his divulging state secrets to Russian ministers in the oval office that gave away human intelligence sources belonging to our allies, to his constant lies stating that our allies take the US for chumps and get us to pay for their defense, to his underpinning “America First” doctrine that tells all of our allies that they’re on their own .. he literally stated that over and over and over again. Then there was Trump launching trade wars AGAINST OUR ALLIES, not just against China. Trump making excuses for Putin’s Russia, including his fantastic claim last week that Russia was fully justified in invading Afghanistan in 1979 because they were supposedly fighting off Afghan terror attacks.

            That is why Mattis finally had to quit – he simply could no longer paper over Trump’s idiosy and constant stream of insults against our allies.

            But other than that?

            SMH squared!

        • Jason

          I have been saying we needed to strike for a while now. Before they achieve parity. We can still counter them at sea if we act quickly. Then we will need to buy time for India and ASEAN to bolster their navies and coordination. Then its just a matter of time for economic and social forces to erode the base out from under the dragon and bear’s bloody thrones!

          • Duane

            I certainly don’t favor a preemptive strike. War with China will be a hugely costly affair with a non-zero risk that we would lose it. We could easily be forced to sustain hundreds of thousands of casualties, and risk bankrupting the country, just in order to win … to lose it could be vastly worse.

            What I favor is ensuring that our military capabilities, and the state of our alliances in the region, are such that even a semi-mad power hungry despot in charge of China would not dare attack us, but instead would decide to peacefully coexist with us.

    • Jason

      I think you are in the minority on this. People are not aware enough of this possibility to factor it into their worldview.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Looked up and saw a commercial jet overhead. Shouted at it, “Get out of my sky!” It eventually complied. I, on the other hand, stood my ground.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide messages i can’t refute, hehe…)
      .
      doesn’t matter what you heard, only matters what we have seen. the u.s. navy left every single time as demanded by the chinese navy, while the chinese navy always stayed behind. 🙂

  • Jason

    Never thought I’d live to see the day when Winnie the Pooh and Piglet become caricatures of people like Xi and Kim. More like Yama and the Monkey King.

  • Scott McCloud

    but there is no question. the us would prevail.

    • .Hugo.

      prevail with what? nuclear wasteland, 1/3 of the population, and a collapsed economy? china has a massive overseas population and wealth. 🙂
      .
      …and i don’t have to hide messages i cannot refute, hehe….
      .

  • Scott McCloud

    i was warned you were deluded.

    • Centaurus

      He’s one demented zip. Send him back with all the crappy cell phones

    • .Hugo.

      good excuse when you can’t refute…. 🙂
      .
      the difference is that i don’t have to be warned to know the quality of most active posters here. 😀
      .

  • Scott McCloud

    no. you’re not talking about US v. USSR and 20,000 nukes. you’re talking 40-50 nukes and the end of the chinese navy.

    • .Hugo.

      there will be an end to at least 2 major u.s. fleets, hawaii, guam, the u.s. east coast, the mid-west wheat belt and industrial centers, the financial centers in the east coast too. and thanks sooooo much for underestimating the chinese arsenal. 🙂
      .

      • Scott McCloud

        so you think they will sit idly in port? and that would be a fair trade, btw.

        • .Hugo.

          only you say idly in port, i say in battles or in transit to one. 🙂
          .

  • “china owns the 4 major island chains in the scs by historical title. this is out of unclos authorization.”

    False. Show me where in UNCLOS those four groups of features (not islands) are specifically listed. China’s latest defeat by the UNCLOS tribunal does not even recognize those features and fake dredge-ups as territorial to any one nation. UNCLOS also invalidated the illegal Nine Dash Line. This is why PLAN and PLAAF chicken out and do not fire on USN and USAF movements in those non-territorial and non-EEZ waters. Shoot, even Taiwan/ROC ignores the PRC with its own control of Taiping Island in the SCS. But do keep up the PLA boot camp talking points.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide messages i cannot refute, hehe….)
      .

      wrong use of unclos, as it is a convention to regulate the usage of maritime resources only. it is not authorized to judge ownership, especially when historical title is involved. you should read unclos before you try to refer to it. 🙂
      .
      there was no defeat at all, when your so-called “tribunal” was not even a valid one after china rejected it by its unclos rights. the so-called “tribunal” was not even conducted by an official u.n. court but a paid arbitration service provider.
      .
      don’t see any fake dredge-ups either when the islands and facilities are all very real, hehe….
      .
      only usn and usaf have chickened out when every time they were the ones which have left, while the plan and the plaaf have left behind. 🙂
      .
      the roc government is a chinese government, therefore the taiping island belongs to china (both the prc and roc), and the prc has no issue with it. it has really sent a strong signal to vietnam which has been eyeing the taiping island for so long, knowing that by attacking the weak roc coast guard garrison there will lead to a full scale counterattack from china. you really think the roc is that unwise to scale down the defense level on the taiping island? haha…. 😀

  • Centaurus

    We’ll denude the universities of all the zip spies, so our IP is safe from zip cheaters.

    • .Hugo.

      then better find a way to compensate the universities first. 🙂
      .
      also find better ways to refute than to to hide replies too powerful for you, hehe….

  • SDW

    1. Right, I meant UNCLOS III.
    2. You refer to the entire Convention. I am asking you to cite (make a specific reference) to the article(s) you believe support the official Chinese narrative that sovereign rights apply to the EEZ beyond those specified within the Convention. If you can do it there might be great fame and even fortune come your way since no other State has, so-far, come to the same conclusion. (The DPRK may officially agree with the PRC but their opinions generally rank down there with flat earth theories.)

    The EEZ carries with it certain rights that the ordinary high seas do not. See Part V and especially note article 56. The same for the contiguous zone. These enumerated rights have a narrow scope and purpose. In spite of Chinese claims made with a straight face, an accomplishment that deserves some respect, China has no right to limit who or what sails around and through the South China Sea EEZs–including both the legitimate and the illegitimate claims.

    Until you can quote the text in UNCLOS III that defines “the high seas [as an]area outside of the eez” or otherwise equates an EEZ with territorial seas, then ask for reassignment to a topic about which the official narrative has some credibility.

    • .Hugo.

      (i don’t have to hide reply i cannot reply, hehe….)
      .
      1. ok, now you mean unclos iii…. 😀
      .
      2. why don’t you read unclos part v about eez rights and duties?
      .
      by the way, there is no “chinese narrative”, there is only black and white unclos articles printed in 6 official u.n. work languages.
      .
      actually all states have come to the same conclusion before oil and gas were discovered, and that was at least 20 years after modern china announced its maritime border. 🙂
      .
      there is no mention of “narrow scope and purpose” in article 56. it is your own narrative rather.
      .
      based on unclos, china has the exact right to regulate activities in its eez and territorial waters in the chinese scs territory. and likely because of that (with no ground to claim anything in the scs), the u.s. has refused to sign on unclos. 😀
      .
      the unclos definition of the high seas is right at the beginning of part vii in article 86. i am really surprised that you have missed that, haha…
      .
      “The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State….”
      .
      in case you still don’t understand or still try to argue without any solid substance, here is a diagram to explain:
      .
      mainelaw. maine. edu/faculty/wp-content/
      uploads/sites/4/Maritime-Zones.png
      .
      😀

  • publius_maximus_III

    You know, you strike me as a pretty sharp kid, .Hugo. But what baffles me is how you could stifle yourself so by living under such a repressive regime. Might as well move to North Korea. Why, your very next keystroke might piss some PLAN potentate off, and you’d suddenly find yourself about as welcome as a Falon Gong.

    • .Hugo.

      sharp kid? maybe i am older than you instead?. 😀
      .
      and a great thinking you have, i can do what i do simply because i am not living in your so-called “repressive regime”. i prefer law and order and a stable social and economic environment so everyone can strive for success.
      .
      why should i move to north korea when its social and economic development is way behind china?
      .
      falongong is a cult with the aim to overthrow the chinese government, its leader has escaped to the u.s. and the u.s. is harboring a chinese fugitive (as usual). hey but please don’t just take the leader, take them all in. china is more than happy to offload thousands of these sweet falongong followers to the u.s., just ask the chinese rep in your next meetings! 😀

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      The only way he could be here is with explicit authorization from is masters. He is just our local PLAN troll. He is the USNI web version of Tokyo Rose.

  • airider

    So here’s the score card as I see it today …

    Hugo = Assigned Chinese Troll
    Duane = Assigned LCS Troll

    Who else am I missing ???

    Note: Trolls by definition are here to be Trolls, so they may Troll other topics as well.

    Reminder to all … don’t feed the Trolls

    • .Hugo.

      or you just can’t refute properly? good excuse…. 🙂
      .

  • “there was no defeat at all, when your so-called “tribunal” was not even a valid one after china rejected it…”

    As expected, you fell into the trap. Attempting to cite UNCLOS out one side of your mouth while rejecting its rulings out the other side is a double standard. Either sign on to UNCLOS as the U.S. has or reject it. Make up your mind. UNCLOS has invalidated China’s fake islands and held China responsible for environmental damage in it’s ruling. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

    • .Hugo.

      as expected, you can only use the word “trap” as your excuse, and hide replies you cannot refute, hehe…
      .
      i cited unclos to support china’s right to reject the arbitration, which has only one standard, while you provided nothing from the convention to support your point. 🙂
      .
      by applying double standards on issues is mainly a u.s. practice too. just look at how it has sanctioned chinese officials but not the indian ones when both china and india have brought russian weapons. 😀
      .
      my mind is always made up, i don’t know you though, hehe….
      .
      unclos has not, as it cannot, invalidate chinese claim. unclos is a convention to regulate the usage of maritime resources, it cannot judge island ownership, especially by historical title. but unclos has given china the right to reject any form of arbitration, thereby effectively voiding all proceeding. care to tell me have you really read unclos before you replied, say like part v and the country declaration section? 😀
      .
      the grounding of u.s.vessels have damaged the environment, so is the intentional grounding of philippine vessel and let it to rust (and lied as an accident for 15 years) is still damaging the environment. chinese island building mimics the natural phenomenon of a storm, the sand from the same seabed was used to cover the layer of dead coral. new plantation was also added on the islands to attract sea birds to further enhance the eco system.
      .
      sure, when you lose, don’t lose the lesson. 😛

  • publius_maximus_III

    So who DOES get to decide what is “stable” over there in Mao-land anyway? German authorities in WW-II determined that the Jews were very unstable for their society, so sent them in railroad livestock cars to state-run stables, known as concentration camps, for permanent stabilization. Seems like the Chinese have similar proclivities when it comes to dealing with destabilizing social elements like Falon Gong.

    And nobody’s older than dirt, kid, except me.

    • .Hugo.

      Hugo. publius_maximus_III 8 days ago
      .
      the country leadership gets to decide what is stable in china. mao had died for almost 60 years now, so what mao-land are you referring to?
      .
      the u.s. authorities now has determined who are terrorists and who are “moderate rebels” too, then send the ones they don’t like to concentration camps all over the world. seems like the u.s. has similar proclivities when it comes to dealing with “homeland security” too, hehe….
      .
      and i don’t see how nobody is not older than you either. 🙂
      .

  • Tom Herrick

    Sell your trinkets elsewhere son, no one is buying it

    • .Hugo.

      i don’t sell things like that, i am only watching world events being unfold, and i could see u.s. vessels sailing close to the taiwanese coast only, hehe….

  • 2nd trap: the Damage Environment To Save It excuse. The international community could not believe even a dictatorship would try to pull that one. The UNCLOS tribunal was so insulted by Beijing’s excuse, they directly rebuked the dictatorship in their recent ruling against the PRC.

    Imagine the magical power of environmental rejuvenation you’ve just discovered. To believe such a lie is to believe the Great Barrier Reef off Australia could be rejuvenated if only we dredge it all up, make a 1,000-mile sand bar out of it and pave it with a military runway. The world is laughing while PRC propagandists actually believe this.

    • .Hugo.

      that’s you own trap you have fallen into. u.s. warship grounded on live coral and damaged the environment, china used the same sand from the same seabed to cover the dead coral layer. 🙂
      .
      your so-called “unclos tribunal” (in fact, there’s no such thing but an arbitration service hired by the philippines) was rejected by china right from day 1 using its unclos rights. 🙂
      .
      australia has not appointed chinese environmental engineering experts to save the great barrier reef, it died of courses like global warming and human activities. the gbr is mainly killed by the australians themselves. 🙂

  • Scott McCloud

    they don’t have enough to effectively counter if things went south. They’d be dead and a couple of American cities might go missing.

    • .Hugo.

      i am afraid it’s the u.s. itself doesn’t have enough effective counter if things went south (e.g. the fake alarm in hawaii, everyone could just wait and expect to be hit), there are far more american cities as targets and you can’t stop the fallout radiation. so both sides will be dead, but china has far more people living overseas, and russia will prevail after all that, no more america to call the shots. wiping out 4.3% of the world population is far easier to wipe out 20%. 🙂
      .

      • Scott McCloud

        additionally no body drops nukes to maximize fallout. you go with airbursts, they don’t cause fallout.

        • .Hugo.

          no body drops nukes to maximize fallout, as it will just occur. 🙂
          .
          airbursts will be used in much closer targets like andersen and kadena. 🙂
          .

          • Scott McCloud

            no. fallout is caused by the superheated dirt and debris being sucked up into the fireball. If the fireball doesn’t touch the earth, the radioactive material is limited to the bomb minus the tons of radioactive debris an dust

          • .Hugo.

            instead of relying on quora, let’s read from the atomic archives instead:
            .
            “Fallout is the radioactive particles that fall to earth as a result of a nuclear explosion. It consists of weapon debris, fission products, and, in the case of a ground burst, radiated soil. Fallout particles vary in size from thousandths of a millimeter to several millimeters. Much of this material falls directly back down close to ground zero within several minutes after the explosion, but some travels high into the atmosphere. This material will be dispersed over the earth during the following hours, days (and) months. Fallout is defined as one of two types: early fallout, within the first 24 hours after an explosion, or delayed fallout, which occurs days or years later.”
            .
            and before you can ensure that the “fireball will not touch the ground or even just near the earth surface”, you will still have a fallout big time. 🙂
            .

          • Scott McCloud

            a ton vs many tons.

            I’ll go with a ton, it’s why we’re not all dead from all the nukes exploded from 1945 until 1964. only a few where the fireball touched the ground and they were tiny.

          • .Hugo.

            comparing controlled nuclear tests with an uncontrolled nuclear war? you are very logical. 🙂
            .

          • Scott McCloud

            fallout from air burst <<<< ground burst. Much less. Orders upon orders of magnitude less.

          • .Hugo.

            that’s controlled, nuclear war is uncontrolled. your “much less” is almost a lab assumption. 🙂
            .

  • .Hugo.

    i never got any, maybe that’s for you instead? 😀

  • .Hugo.

    why will the 5000-man usn carrier be a target anyway? when it is there launching attacks against chinese lives and properties? who is provoking whom in that case? 🙂
    .
    and so again, a u.s. nuclear threat when its carrier is sunk by conventional weapons? that’s really very american, hehe….
    .
    oh by the way, china has many things not above the surface of the sea too. 😀

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      We know, your mighty navy will destroy the evil Americans and the Chinese people will liberate the world by imposing a dictatorial tyranny on the masses. Give it a rest. Your government is a complete joke. You spy on everything, you steal information, you disrupt the systems of websites outside of China that might allow your people to actually see what a farce your government is.

      Isn’t it food for thought that freedom never need be imposed, only defended but tyranny has to be imposed by force? Government is a lousy servant and a fearful master. Now go serve your masters and troll somewhere else.

      • .Hugo.

        mighty? far from it. only it is just sufficient to deter u.s. intrusion . 🙂
        .
        only the u.s. tries to “liberate the world” by imposing u.s. hegemony.
        .
        don’t see how the chinese government is a complete joke when even trump has to talk to it. 😀
        .
        the u.s. spies on everything too. go ask edward snowden for details.
        .
        look at any cyberattack map, we will see china is the 5th most attacked country in the world while the u.s. is 6th. and numerous attacks are launched from the u.s. and its so-called “allies” to china too. the “hub” of these attacks is also not china but the netherlands. 😛
        .
        you can lecture me on “freedom” when you have 1.4 billion people in your country to manage and the risk margin is so thin, or until your public workers can get paid too, hehe….
        .

        • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

          Risk margin? Tyranny is a risk mitigation strategy?

          • .Hugo.

            risk margin of massive social unrest impacting millions of people.
            .
            don’t tell me your riot police are there just to watch the show when riots broke out in u.s. cities…. 🙂
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Why would riots break out in the Workers Paradise?

          • .Hugo.

            workers paradise where? detroit with no jobs? hehe….
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Detroit is actually enjoying a resurgence as Ford purchased the old train station fornandesign center.

            I didn’t suggest the US has no issues but at least we can openly complain without retribution from the almighty state? Now go mow some of your citizens down with tanks again.

          • .Hugo.

            openly complain, then still being met with riot police, sure…. 🙂
            .
            and there’re numerous workers protests in china, so where’s the “retribution from the almighty state” too? have you read chinese labor laws to learn chinese workers’ rights? guess now…. 😛
            .
            why should citizens be mowed down with tank guns? are you mixing up violent rioters who have disrupted public peace, attacked and burned law enforcement agents with ordinary law abiding citizens? hehe….
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            What’s with the hehe? Did your propaganda class teach you Saul Alinsky or something? I follow Chinese internal politics, policy and economics closely. It should be interesting to watch the central government tighten control as the economy contracts.

            Government is a ever fearful master.

          • .Hugo.

            “hehe” when i found your reply funny, hehe…. 🙂
            .
            will the u.s. not tighten control when economy contracts? do you know why the fed bankers have to meet to decide the interest rates? do you know the purpose of quantity easing? guess not, hehe….
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Glad you have such a shallow sense of humor Comrade.

          • .Hugo.

            right, shallow when you can do nothing about, hehe….
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Do something about? Why would I? I find you amusing, little else.

          • .Hugo.

            that’s exactly the point, you just can’t do anything when you can’t make valid reply. 🙂
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Valid reply to what? Your incessant whining about the FONOPS the USN conducts? We all know you are a PLAN troll. A mere shill for your dictator Xi. You remind me of Berlin radio in 1945 proclaiming victory is near as the Soviets entered the city. Coffee done, time to take a Xi Ping Dump and go to work.

          • .Hugo.

            doesn’t matter when you can’t even understand what was posted 2 days ago, hehe….
            .
            you remind me of the u.s. hegemony and framing tactics everywhere too. 😀
            .

        • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

          LOL, deter? A refurbed Russian POS?

          • .Hugo.

            of course it’s DETER, care to tell me just a single occasion where the u.s. navy could stay in chinese waters? LOL…… 😀
            .

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            We don’t travel in Chinese waters. We travel in international shipping lanes. That China thinks they can simply “claim” that region?

          • .Hugo.

            actually you did, that’s why you left as told by the chinese navy, while the chinese navy stayed behind. 🙂
            .
            international shipping lanes do not get that close to the chinese waters which was marked as dangerous waters for decades.
            .
            china makes its claim by historical title, not just by “thinking”. 🙂
            .

  • .Hugo.

    correction: everyone “says” i am a plan troll, and i say “proof please”. 🙂
    .
    instead of telling me to get a life, why not tell yourself to give good and valid replies instead? hehe….
    .
    cheap junk is made to order from your buyers to supply your consumer market, so blame your own buyers and not the chinese manufacturers. 🙂
    .
    and you stole so much IP to get to where you are, go ask the british and the germans. 😀
    .

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      Proof? So your government allows you through the Great FireWall to troll us on USNI news but you are not a PLAN troll. OK, you win, you are a Ministry of Truth troll?

      Why do you suppress Christianity? Why do you suppress the Dali Lama? Why the endless saber rattling over Taiwan?

      • .Hugo.

        yes, proof, i.e. something you don’t have. 🙂
        .
        and chinese online defense is your “proof”? wow care to elaborate more to make it more convincing? haha….
        .
        and suppress what christianity? i just went to church yesterday. or are you referring to the unregulated gatherings?
        .
        who is “dali” lama? i only know dalai, and he was appointed by the central government too, just like every other dalai before him since the qing dynasty.
        .
        the roc has always threatened to retake the mainland before the balance of power tilted to the mainland side, and you don’t call that saber rattling, great.
        .
        the roc government is no longer recognized as the official representative of china in the world, meaning a renegade government is now ruling the chinese province of taiwan, and it is the chinese government’s responsibility to maintain country integrity and to deal with matter of reunification. military option cannot be ruled out as the taiwanese authority has never stopped military exchanges with foreign powers. and if the taiwan province is invaded by a non-chinese foreign power, then the chinese government will have to respond accordingly. that’s the red line everyone knows about. 🙂
        .

        .

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    You flagged me too.

    • Andy Ferguson

      If I did, oops!

  • .Hugo.

    “obvious” but no proof, great american logic and certainly amusing too. 🙂

  • .Hugo.

    oh so it is a “threat” even if you said that online.
    .
    great thanks for supporting online national security with me too. 😀
    .