World View: China Denies Preparing for War with Philippines

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • World View will resume on Thursday
  • China blames Philippines for escalating tensions and endangering Chinese nationals
  • China denies preparing for war with the Philippines
  • China repudiates international arbitration
  • It's 'strategic pivot' to Asia brings America and Philippines closer
  • China increasingly resembles late 1930s Nazi Germany

World View will resume on Thursday

I will be out of town for a couple of days. World View will resume on Thursday. I request of world leaders that they not make any major news until then.

China blames Philippines for escalating tensions and endangering Chinese nationals

After demonstrations by hundreds of people in front of the Chinese embassy in Manila, China has warned the Philippines not to allow harm to come to Chinese nationals in the Philippines. China has also ordered travel agencies to suspend travel services to the Philippines. Xinhua

China denies preparing for war with the Philippines

On Friday, the following news story appeared in the state-run Xinhua news service:

"The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, on Thursday warned the Philippines about the Huangyan Island incident, saying the country's armed forces will not allow anyone to take the sovereignty of the island away from China.

"We want to say that anyone's attempt to take away China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces," the newspaper said in a signed article titled "Don't Attempt to Take Away Half an Inch of China's Territory."

Instead, it is wise to give up such attempts and abide by international rules to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese people and the pardon of the international community.

China has exercised restraint on the Huangyan Island incident. "If one mistakes China's kindness for weakness and regards China as a 'paper dragon' as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong," the article added."

This statement led to excited rumors on Chinese internet sites that that the navy was preparing for war. So late on Friday, China's Defense Ministry issued a brief statement that it wasn't preparing for war:

"Reports that the Guangzhou military region, the South China Sea fleet and other units have entered a state of war preparedness are untrue."

Xinhua and BBC

China repudiates international arbitration

A dispute last month over fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal (called Huangyan Island by the Chinese) was the event that triggered the confrontation between China and the Philippines, and led to China's threats of war. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has asked China to submit the dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). China has refused, claiming that its sovereignty over the island is an "indisputable fact," and that submitting the disputed to ITLOS would only "complicate the situation." China News Agency

'Strategic pivot' to Asia brings America and Philippines closer

The Philippines used to be an American colony, but there was a complete break in 1992 when the Philippines, when America was forced to close its Subic Bay naval base and Clark Air Base. But China's increasing warlike belligerence is causing the two countries to move closer together again. The Philippines' navy is decrepit, but the U.S. is trying to help. The U.S. last year supplied a 45-year-old Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines, and plans to send a second one this fall. Also, the U.S. is helping the Philippines develop its "Coast Watch" system - a network of about 20 radar stations tied to a central database in Luzon that is meant to help the island nation monitor its whole coastline. AP

China increasingly resembles late 1930s Nazi Germany

I'm not maritime lawyer, but everything I've read outside of China indicates that Scarborough Shoal is Philippines territory. As one web site reader put it, "Scarborough Shoal is near the main Philippine island of Luzon. If China claims it -- it is basically claiming the entire Philippines coastline."

And China itself must know this. Otherwise they would be willing to have the dispute settled by the appropriate international tribunal, and they wouldn't be issuing repeated threats of war. Furthermore, if this were the only dispute in the region, one might be willing to believe that there was an honest different of opinion. But China is similarly claiming, with similar threats of war, vast regions of the Pacific Ocean, as well as territory in central Asia. China knows very well that they might win some of these cases in a lawful tribunal, but would lose others, but they want everything, and are willing to use vastly superior military force to get it.

China's warning to the Philippines to protect China's nationals is also ominous. China will be looking for a pretext to use military force. Sooner or later, some Chinese citizen will be hurt, and that will provide the pretext China needs for a military invasion.

Here's one online description of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938:

"Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions. New and extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were also located in the same area.

Following the Anschluss of Nazi Germany and Austria, in March 1938, the conquest of Czechoslovakia became Hitler's next ambition. The incorporation of the Sudetenland into Nazi Germany left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak and it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation. On 16 March 1939, the German Wehrmacht moved into the remainder of Czechoslovakia and, from Prague Castle, Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The occupation ended with the surrender of Germany following World War II."

The West did not have to will to fight Nazi Germany after the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and instead "appeased" Germany, receiving the now famous promise from Hitler of "peace in our time." It was only when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 that Britain reluctantly realized that it had no choice but to go to war. And America stayed out of the war for another two years, until the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

China is looking more and more like Nazi Germany every day. Right now, it's beginning to look like the Philippines will be China's first military target, though obviously that could change. Would a Chinese invasion of the Philippines trigger a military response from America? It's hard to say, but it's quite possible that an appeasement strategy would be used. But if that strategy were used, it would be used only once. A Chinese attack on Taiwan or Japan would come soon after that, and then America would be forced into a full scale crisis war, whether it wanted it or not.

Today's top leadership -- Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao -- would not want this to happen. But they're in their last days now. Within months, a younger, far more dangerous and highly nationalistic generation, similar to America's Generation-X, will be taking over. And like Germany's Lost Generation of the 1930s, China's new leadership will not hesitate to use China's vast and growing military power to create a new Holocaust and World War. Many of them will live to regret their decisions, just as many Nazi survivors did, but only after a few hundred million people have been killed.