China and Vietnam gearing up to fight over the Spratly Islands

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Attila the Hung, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Attila the Hung

    Attila the Hung Active Member

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    It's almost official: China and Vietnam are going to fight over the Spratlys. Blood will be shed. Turf and bragging rights are at stake. Economic control over the South China Sea will be determined.

    Who will win? Will China be too much for little Vietnam, or will the little guy whip the big bully?

    Article below:

    HANOI: The prime minister of Vietnam has signed an order on eligibility for military conscription, at a time of high maritime tension with China, the official army newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    The decree is not a mobilisation order but clarifies who will be exempt from military service in the event of war, including key government officials and men with no siblings, Quan Doi Nhan Dan said. It will take effect on August 1.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed the document on Monday, the same day Vietnam's navy said it conducted about nine hours of live-fire artillery training in the tense South China Sea.

    Hanoi is sending a message to China that Vietnam "has significantly upped the ante in this dispute," said Ian Storey, a security analyst with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

    "Tensions have never been higher in the South China Sea," he said.

    Relations between Vietnam and fellow communist China have sunk to their lowest point in years following recent sea confrontations which reignited a row over sovereignty of the potentially oil-rich Paracel and Spratly archipelagos.

    In comments published last week, Dung said Vietnam was determined to protect the "incontestable" sovereignty of the islands.

    Analysts believe the possibility of a clash between the two sides has risen, although Beijing said on Tuesday that it would not use or threaten force in the South China Sea.

    Vietnam has said it wants to see a peaceful resolution and adherence to international laws.

    The situation escalated in late May after Vietnam accused China of violating its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

    Hanoi said three Chinese marine surveillance vessels severed the exploration cables of a Vietnamese oil survey ship, allegedly violating the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Last week Vietnam accused a Chinese fishing boat of deliberately ramming the cables of another oil survey ship in the zone.

    Beijing has warned Vietnam to halt all activities that it says violate China's sovereignty in the disputed area.

    Vietnamese bitterly recall 1,000 years of Chinese occupation and, more recently, a 1979 border war - the last time Hanoi ordered a general military mobilisation for people aged 18-45.

    According to Vietnam's 2009 defence white paper, the latest available, the country of about 86 million has 450,000 active military personnel and a reserve of five million.

    More than 70 Vietnamese sailors were killed in 1988 in a brief naval battle with China off the Spratlys.


    Anyone care to chime in on this? Methinks that the Chinese are gearing up for a show of force and are going to go all out to let the world know they are a military force to be reckoned with. This will be a war where China can bring her might to the battlefield. China cannot project power overseas very well, not until they get a few aircraft carriers one of which is already almost complete, but with a land route into nearby nations, she can flood the battlefield with division after division, like she did in Korea.

    Vietnam never could defeat the US on the battlefield, even with the USA having a huge logistics tail during that fight and the US lacking the political will to cut loose on North Vietnam for many years. Against China, Vietnam is well fucked. China can move in a LOT of manpower, and I doubt China will show the same restraint you Americans did. China will suffer staggering losses and never even blink. Also, Vietnam no longer has the USSR to beef up her military. She must be quite a bit leaner these days.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Drifterwood

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    Tensions have been rising for some time and I don't think that Vietnam has helped by holding live fire training in the area before making the conscription announcement above. China has said that they won't get dragged into military brinkmanship and action, but there is clearly a dispute that needs to be resolved.
     
  3. Jason

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    The area is an oil and gas field, so plenty of reason for China, Vietnam and others (Taiwan, Malaysia, Phillipines) to make claims. China is flexing military muscles, and a dispute in the area may be seen by China as showing the world what she can do. It may play well to the Chinese domestic audience. It also underlines China's policy of involvement in Indo-China, which China sees as its sphere of influence.

    I'm far from clear what Vietnam is getting out of this.
     
  4. Attila the Hung

    Attila the Hung Active Member

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    The Chinese attacked in 1974 and 1988, and recently they demonstrated a lot of aggressive potential in their confrontation with Japan. Evidence is that the Chinese leadership is raising China's international profile, in terms of military ability and the will to use it. Hence, the Chinese will respond to Vietnam's live-fire wargamming in the Spratlys with some action of their own.
     
  5. Attila the Hung

    Attila the Hung Active Member

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    As I stated in my previous post Vietnam and China already had some skirmishes in the not too distant past, so Vietnam isn`t taking any chances and is planning ahead and letting China know that if there will be war that they will be fully prepared for it. Here is an article on it that I found:



    HANOI: The prime minister of Vietnam has signed an order on eligibility for military conscription, at a time of high maritime tension with China, the official army newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    The decree is not a mobilisation order but clarifies who will be exempt from military service in the event of war, including key government officials and men with no siblings, Quan Doi Nhan Dan said. It will take effect on August 1.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed the document on Monday, the same day Vietnam's navy said it conducted about nine hours of live-fire artillery training in the tense South China Sea.

    Hanoi is sending a message to China that Vietnam "has significantly upped the ante in this dispute," said Ian Storey, a security analyst with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

    "Tensions have never been higher in the South China Sea," he said.

    Relations between Vietnam and fellow communist China have sunk to their lowest point in years following recent sea confrontations which reignited a row over sovereignty of the potentially oil-rich Paracel and Spratly archipelagos.

    In comments published last week, Dung said Vietnam was determined to protect the "incontestable" sovereignty of the islands.

    Analysts believe the possibility of a clash between the two sides has risen, although Beijing said on Tuesday that it would not use or threaten force in the South China Sea.

    Vietnam has said it wants to see a peaceful resolution and adherence to international laws.

    The situation escalated in late May after Vietnam accused China of violating its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

    Hanoi said three Chinese marine surveillance vessels severed the exploration cables of a Vietnamese oil survey ship, allegedly violating the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Last week Vietnam accused a Chinese fishing boat of deliberately ramming the cables of another oil survey ship in the zone.

    Beijing has warned Vietnam to halt all activities that it says violate China's sovereignty in the disputed area.

    Vietnamese bitterly recall 1,000 years of Chinese occupation and, more recently, a 1979 border war - the last time Hanoi ordered a general military mobilisation for people aged 18-45.

    According to Vietnam's 2009 defence white paper, the latest available, the country of about 86 million has 450,000 active military personnel and a reserve of five million.

    More than 70 Vietnamese sailors were killed in 1988 in a brief naval battle with China off the Spratlys.
     
  6. arkfarmbear

    arkfarmbear New Member

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    You said the majic word that means we will be drug into yet another conflict. OIL. If US oil companies aren't getting their "fair share" our military will be enlisted to protect our strategic concerns.
     
  7. B_Jordan85

    B_Jordan85 New Member

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    personally I am routing for Viet Nam. They have a very proud fighting culture of under-dogs. The Chinese are like Americans, bullies. I mean, come on, they got pissed that the NVA ousted Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge! WTF? This lead to a conflict back in the 80's and another bloated fascist military pulling out of their country. These two have always hated each other, and I am hoping the Vietnamese will fuck up the Chinese like they did to us. Ironic that Vietnam will use Chinese weapons against them. Another classic lesson. "GI go home!"


    * they should unleash those beautiful female cong that were so quick, squirrelly, deadly, and gave the Americans so many problems back then. In memory of Uncle Ho!
     
    #7 B_Jordan85, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  8. hsarge

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    Being a Vietnam era veteran, I find this so ironic. Shortly after our intervention ended the Chinese attacked Vietnam's northern border. So much for the domino theory. I remember the documentary done by Robert McNamara in the 90's. he met with the Defense Minister of Vietnam who chastised him. In essence he said 'Don't you study history. How could you believe we would be subservient to China. They have been our enemy for a thousand years. You were our enemy for only 20 years. Why would we kowtow to China in our fight with you. We could both have been allies against China.'
    And so, for not knowing history and filling France's colonial void 50,000 of my comrades died. Hindsight is a bitch.
     
  9. JulieInNaplesFL

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    Crap, there goes the price of pork fried rice.
     
  10. hsarge

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    China has done some saber rattling with the Phillipines over the same problem, territorial waters. China owns so much of our debt that we have to be very careful. China could pur our interest rates and our economy into free fall by dumping our bonds on the world market. It wouldn't be in there economic interest but neither was the 'cultural revolution'.

    t
     
  11. TomCat84

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    China can go fuck themselves. If people thought the USA was aggressive as a superpower, wait until they see China.
     
  12. TomCat84

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    You nailed it on the head, actually. China didn't like Vietnam, Vietnam didn't like China. AT the same time, the Soviet Union wasn't so keen on China, or vice versa. So instead of playing all 3 against each other, our fearless leaders lumped them altogether.
     
  13. Drifterwood

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    Well, China is becoming a Superpower and will be as dominant in its own immediate sphere as the US is/was in the Americas. Whether they will be invading countries in the Middle East for a while yet is open to debate.

    I don't see how any of the other claimants would be able to stop China taking and defending offshore territory.
     
  14. Jason

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    Yes I think China is saber rattling over this present state of affairs. China now has the capability to engage in economic warfare with the world. For example China has bought so much Spanish and other eurozone debt that China could very easily damage the eurozone, and therefore the world economy. China has real power, but IMO the Chinese house is built on sand.

    China's sovereign debt position is one of the best in the world - in contrast with the UK, Eurozone, Japan and USA. China is not over-leveraged in terms of sovereign debt. However China has a major problem with non-sovereign debt borrowed by the regions and cities of China. The communist system is that this debt is not transparent - we don't know how much there is or who has bought it - but we do know that it is huge and much is within China. This is the debt that has brought about the transformation of China's cities and such symbols as the amazing ultra-modern look of Shanghai. The non-sovereign debt is outside of the framework of developed secondary markets or CDS insurance - it is in effect still within the communist system. It is ultimately backed by the nation state of China, and is therefore akin to sovereign debt, though not so called. Once this is factired in it is probable that the ombined sovereign and near-sovereign debt position of China is the worst in the world.

    If this is correct, then China is left with only one option. In order to sustain this level of debt its economy must expand very quickly indeed with substantial cash flows where wealth is skimmed off from (say) western China and pumped into the east. Yet even this is unlikely to be enough - if China is to remain prosperous then China must become an empire. Ideas like a Chinese take-over of Taiwan, Indo-China, Korea and Central Asia are essential if China is to remain prosperous.

    I'm back to not understanding what Vietnam is doing. The obvious strategy is to avoid picking a fight - in the end China is their neighbour. Maybe Vietnam wants to say to China "take us on and it will be a big fight - so go elsewhere". But I think China does need a fight and needs it soon. :mad:
     
  15. B_Jordan85

    B_Jordan85 New Member

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    You can't stop these people. This is why two Nukes were offered by the US to the French to "cure" their Vietnamese problem in the 1950's, but then pulled back on the idea when China tested their first A-bomb in '64. We feared they would get involved. "Little did we know" there was no "communist conspiracy" and all Vietnam wanted was a communist VIETNAM, not to be a puppet state for Red China or the Soviets. We should of did our research and listened to Ho Chi Minh when he pleaded to the States to help him with his goal for an Independent Vietnam back in the late 40's. We brushed him off because it had more to do with Capitalism than stopping Communism. Notice how Bell, General Electric, Coca-cola, and many car manufactures made out big because of that war. We are a dirty country. Our leaders pump us full of propaganda and then make off with a highway robbery. Thousands of Americans dead, they don't care because it's all about the money. Sort of sounds familiar? It's exactly the same thing we did in Iraq. This country has not fought a just war since WWII.

    The Vietnamese will keep coming and coming and are willing to fight until they all die for the cause. You cannot beat people like that. It was quoted by Ho that "Americans only have a few years, we can dedicate many years and many deaths." Chances are this pride has not changed, China is in for some trouble.
     
  16. Jason

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    This makes sense. I think the logical conclusion is that China will go after someone other than Vietnamt. My thought is that this dispute will go off the boil, and China's expansionist ambitions will be directed elsewhere.
     
  17. TomCat84

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    Let's not forget the huge disparities within Chinese society. While the cities may or may not be on par with some in the developed world- the countryside is desperately poor- and local officials are incredibly corrupt in these small villages. I remain unconvinced that China has dealt properly with this problem. Sure, their economy has been expanding rapidly the last couple of decades, but this kind of rapid growth cannot go on forever, and when the first big recession hits, how will the Chinese government deal with the repercussions. It is my understanding that the communist social safety net has been greatly reduced. The effects of this have been papered over by a rapidly expanding economy.
     
  18. hsarge

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    John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State for IKE, unfortunately was under the impression that the the pre war colonialism after WWII should continue, unlike the Brits who were forced to let the Empire dissolve. Actually Eisenhauer had to put the breaks on the nukes that Dulles was willing to give France to use against the Vietnamese. In the treaty that ended the French occupation free elections were set to unite Vietnam in 1956. It was the US that stopped the elections because Ho Chi Minh would have won. Ironically Ho had petitioned Washington in 1946 to support Vietnamese freedom from France in 1946, but the French were our allies and we were more concerned with post was Europe. History is such a puzzle of ifs.
     
  19. hsarge

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    I am beginning to wonder if China will be hamstrung by all the Western debt they own. Thierr economic growth is depended upon purchasing by the west, much funded by that debt. A vicious circle. China is hoping that its own people will become the driving force in the future but that is to be seen. Right now china has the economic reins; but sometimes the horse throws the rider.
     
  20. TomCat84

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    Very apt analogy...
     
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