It’s On: Obama Sends Destroyer To Chinese Islands, China Vows Military Response

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Lassen_0

For anyone who might still be somehow unaware, the US is currently in a superpower staring match with both Russia and China. The conflict in Syria has put Moscow back on the geopolitical map (so to speak), creating an enormous amount of tension with Washington whose regional allies have been left to look on in horror as Russian airstrikes and an Iranian ground incursion dash hopes of ousting President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, in The South China Sea, Beijing has built 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory atop reefs in the Spratlys and although the reclamation effort itself isn’t unique, the scope of it most certainly is and Washington’s friends in the South Pacific are crying foul.

Beijing has continually insisted that it doesn’t intend to use the islands as military outposts, but the construction of runways and ports seems to tell a different story and so, Washington felt compelled to check things out over the summer by sending a Poseidon spy plane complete with a CNN crew to the area. Once the PLA spotted the plane the situation escalated quickly with the Chinese Navy telling US pilots to “Go Now!”

After that, an intense war of words developed with Defense Secretary Ash Carter insisting that the US would sail and fly anywhere it pleased and Beijing assuring the US that sailing within 12 nautical miles of the islands would prompt a harsh response from the PLA.

For weeks, the US was rumored to have been planning a freedom of navigation exercise in the Spratlys which, as we’ve pointed out several times this month, amounts to sailing by the islands just to see if China will shoot.

Now, according to CNN, Obama has given the green light and the ships may sail within 24 hours:

And more from FT:

The US navy is poised to start freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea in a high-stakes effort to push back against Chinese territorial claims over artificial islands in the disputed waters.

In a move that will enrage Beijing, the USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, will sail inside the 12-nautical mile zones of two man-made islands — Subi and Mischief reefs — that China has built in the contested Spratly Island chain. A senior US defence official said it would sail through the area in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

China has repeatedly warned that it would not tolerate any effort to violate what it considers its territory. Earlier this month, a senior Chinese naval officer said the People’s Liberation Army would hand a “head-on blow” to any foreign forces that violated Chinese sovereignty. His comments came after the Financial Times reported that the US was poised to launch its operations.

The manoeuvre will mark the first time since 2012 that the US navy has sailed through the 12-nautical mile zone surrounding any islands claimed by China. It is aimed at demonstrating that Washington does not recognise any territorial claims over artificial islands in the South China Sea.

It’s also worth noting that should the US manage to get away with this without sparking a shooting war with the Chinese, it now looks as though Washington is leaning toward making this a regular patrol. Here’s a bit of color from Reuters out over the weekend:

A range of security experts said Washington’s so-called freedom of navigation patrols would have to be regular to be effective, given Chinese ambitions to project power deep into maritime Southeast Asia and beyond.

“This cannot be a one-off,” said Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

“The U.S. navy will have to conduct these kinds of patrols on a regular basis to reinforce their message.”

But China would likely resist attempts to make such U.S. actions routine, some said, raising the political and military stakes. China’s navy could for example try to block or attempt to surround U.S. vessels, they said, risking an escalation.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this borders on the insane. Here we have both Washington and Beijing risking an outright military confrontation over what amount to a couple of sandcastles and while there’s probably some truth to the contention that China has plans for the islands that go beyond growing plants, building lighthouses, and raising pigs, it’s not as though the PLA is going to invade The Philippines so at the end of the day, this looks like another example of what Vladimir Putin recently suggested is evidence that the world is losing its collective mind.

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  • ccambridge

    Is our clown in chief now attempting to have China or Russia send a nuke to us so the idiot can remain king indefinitely? Most incompetent administration ever.

    • NonYo Business

      Its all going according to plan… all this war pandering is a play. They all work for the same people.

      • The military-intelligence complexes of all countries play the same games to insure their profitability. It is highly unlikely that rattling sabres will lead to nuclear exchanges as long as there are profits to be made, which would end with the world in its thermonuclear grave.

        • bozotoo

          It’s kind of like a virus, it doesn’t want to kill the host, at least not for awhile?

          • Viruses don’t want to do anything, being merely a piece of DNA or RNA with no metabolism to show.

  • CONNIEKETCHUP

    yep it sure it

  • CONNIEKETCHUP

    that’s a good one! clown in chief

    • Mark

      Kenyan bathhouse boy is equally fitting.

  • Rick E.

    Well if they really believe in global warming, they’d just wait until the rising sea levels inundate the islands! So what are they worried about, don’t they really believe in global warming??
    No? I didn’t think so, so now they’re trying to ensure WW3! Get a rope and hang them all-democrats and republicans!

    • Smarty

      We’re gonna need a LOT of rope…

  • 223 L&L

    All running in tandem with the impending US and global financial colapse! Russia and China are hard at work putting an end to the petrodollar while we are hard at work trying to prevent it.

  • jim_robert

    I truly wish we could resolve all our differences anywhere and everywhere in peace….

    • As long as human greed exists that ain’t happening.

  • Gearmoe

    China has a choice as they do not need to be an aggressor either. Two was street. When the SHTF, grab your guns, cans of spam and antibiotics. If you see a MSM journalist string them up, and don’t be as nice to a politician.

  • breakawaymotorsports .

    If Obozo wants to send a ship into harms way..let him command it personally!

  • Infidel51

    Our government is being run by school children with no practical experience in the real world and who exist inside of a self congratulatory bubble.

  • bozotoo

    This seems a long way from home.

  • Jim

    Lest we forget, we fought the Chinese during the Korean War, and they kind of whipped our asses.

  • Mark

    Perhaps Putin has already provided Red China with the Khibiny (Хибины) weapon that disabled the USS Donald Cook. http://www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html

    What the US media reported as the crew being “demoralized” was more like a mutiny. After limping to Romania, the crew refused orders to return to the Black Sea, then 27 officers of the crew filed a letter of resignation.

    http://judaism101.proboards.com

    • sunshine

      Wow!!! This is all news to me, thanks!

    • Frank

      The Russians have, effectively, “fired a shot across our bow” by demonstrating such a weapon – and it is a weapon. I can’t imagine the feeling of utter helplessness of those guys on the Cook, to have all of their whiz-bang, high-dollar, ultra-super computers and radar systems rendered impotent while a Russian plane runs numerous missile attack profiles against them…and all they can do is sit and watch the show. I suspect that the letter of resignation by the crew members probably doesn’t have so much to do with the failure/incapacitation of the onboard systems, but with the commanding officer’s response or behavior during the incident

      • Mark

        Certainly the military has a vested interest in suppressing both the news of US technological inadequacy and also the news of a mutiny. Plain and simply the officers refused orders to return to their assignment in the Black Sea, so a mere mention of them being “demoralized” (interesting choice of terms) was far more acceptable than admitting that US naval officers said “Hell, no!”

  • Infidel51

    Either they will sink it or they wont. I have been discussing with others who make a study of geopolitics and we all agree that the Chinese have little to lose by throwing a missile into the side of this sacrificial destroyer. What options would commander in chief mom jeans actually have following the incident? No good ones that we can come up with. Anyone?

    • Frank

      I don’t think the Chinese senior leadership would be so stupid as to authorize an attack on a US war ship for cruising through international waters adjacent to the site of their expansionist land grab. If you remember, before they came up with the plan to build islands, they had ships and oil rigs out there that were encroaching on other countries’ territorial waters – to find and claim (i.e.: steal) oil and other minerals. However, an overzealous field commander who is not clear on what the leadership wants….may pop a cap. Obama doesn’t have the stones or the competence to respond in a righteous manner – although he may use the occasion to declare war, declare martial law in the US, and suspend elections while the nation is in a state of war – the martial law being his goal to further implement his agenda for Socialist rule of the US.

  • way2inform

    Lusitania II ? Or in hopes of….?

  • Enough is enough

    Obama is pushing hard for the start of WW3. Let us all prey for the sacrafitcal lambs on that boat.

  • WM

    Major wars have started over a sinking of a ship. If they truly wanted a war by any means, we could wake up to breaking news of an Imperial Navy warship (USS Class) attacked and went to the bottom. And it’d be blamed on China.

  • Frank

    We’re ALREADY at war with China, or at least they are conducting warfare against us while we sit dumb and happy and let them do it – from industrial espionage and theft to cyber warfare and economic warfare. If a shot is fired, the outcome is highly unpredictable – and I expect that Obama, the Imposter in Chief, would bend over and let China get away with its bullying. The peaceniks that are enamored with Obama’s benevolence would hail him as a Diplomat, while he demonstrates impotence and submissiveness – while China continues to destroy the US economy. If China sinks a US war ship, a more appropriate response would be for us to sink every Chinese PLAN vessel in the Pacific Ocean that is further than 12 NM from the Chinese mainland and then blockade their coast and allow no loaded merchant vessels to leave Chinese ports. China needs to be contained, or they will keep up with their imperialist expansion, colonizing, and theft of land from less capable or less war-ready countries.

  • Obama is ratcheting up tensions as he has pledged military aid to the area and is sailing his ships into a potential war zone as did FDR before him. Obama has pledged support for America’s Asian allies. Obama is clearly intent on militarizing the area. Obama wants to and needs to start WW III with China. The motivations for his actions are described here: http://osnetdaily.com/2015/10/obamas-south-china-sea-syndrome-another-nail-in-americas-coffin/

    • anna miller

      People who continue to use the name of Obama, without reference to the people who control Obama, set up a false whipping boy. All of our “elected officials” are unfortunately at this point, mere puppets.
      Is it the same for Putin and Xi Jinping? Most likely.
      This could all be just another money-maker for the banksters and their criminal friends. Just like the previous world wars. But the spin is it looks like a fight between the money changers in the West VS the East.
      and the cattle will do the killing for them.