China sending nuclear subs

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Yes, Yes We Could be Wrong  Military historian Jose Antonio Custodio (left) gestures as he stresses a point to journalists at Saturday’s media forum in Quezon city as former Beijing bureau chief of ABC News Chito Sta. Romana listens. Photo By Mike De Juan

Yes, Yes We Could be Wrong
Military historian Jose Antonio Custodio (left) gestures as he stresses a point to journalists at Saturday’s media forum in Quezon city as former Beijing bureau chief of ABC News Chito Sta. Romana listens. Photo By Mike De Juan

Undersea patrols in West Philippine Sea may roll out by yearend

China is reportedly aiming to secure air superiority over the West Philippine Sea to enhance its ability to thwart military maneuvers, especially surveillance flights by the US Navy, in the disputed areas, a Japanese newspaper report quoting security experts say.

According to a Yomiuri Shimbun report quoting Hideaki Kaneda, director of the Okazaki Institute and a former admiral in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), China will deploy at least two Jin-class nuclear-powered submarines on patrol missions to the West Philippine Sea from its base in the Hainan island in mainland China before the end of the year.

The Chinese submarines are armed with JL-2 ballistic missiles which are estimated to have a range of 7,000 kilometers.


Yoji Koda, a former commander in chief of the JMSDF, said: the US will try to contain the Chinese submarines within the West Philippine Sea but if the entire South China Sea totally comes under Chinese control, it will dramatically change the military balance in the area.

The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted security experts as saying China’s “covert purpose” is for it to be able to advance its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines from the West Philippine Sea into the Pacific Ocean in the future.

“China will establish an ADIZ (air defense identification zone) along the area it claims as its territory and call for the aircraft of other countries to comply with its directives when flying in the ADIZ, as it does in the case of the East China Sea,” a Japanese defense ministry official said.

Raw nerve
In a media forum in Quezon City in the Philippines on Saturday, a Filipino expert on China affairs said Beijing touched a “raw nerve” when it embarked on a massive island-building in occupied territories in the West Philippine Sea.

“China’s island-building was to just undermine the arbitration case filed by the Philippines and circumvent the future UN ruling, but they have now touched on a raw nerve, a strategic nerve that greatly affected the US,” Chito Sta. Romana told journalists.

“If they finish their various protective structures in the islands and put military facilities there, how will we drive them out even if we win the UN case?”

Sta. Romana, former chief of the Beijing bureau of the American network giant ABC news, said China “miscalculated” Washington’s reaction on the massive land reclamation.

He said the Chinese were only expecting another diplomatic protest from Manila – which they could easily brush aside — but the discovery of the massive land expansion sounded alarm bells in Washington.

“The were not expecting the US would react this way. So the Chinese made a tactical and strategic miscalculation,” Sta Romana said.

The Pentagon is expecting the Chinese to complete its island-building by 2017 or 2018. When completed, Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, which will feature a 3,000 meter runway, would serve as a forward operation and supply base of the Chinese military.

The Kagitingan installation could also serve as an air detachment where mid-to-long range bombers and fighter jets would be pre-positioned.
“Possessing a 3,000-meter-class runway in the vast South China Sea would be very significant. If operated in combination with port and fuel storage facilities, the runway could serve as an operation and supply base for bombers.

“The entire area of the South China Sea could be covered by operating China’s military mainstay Su-30 fighters and H-6 bombers, which have operational ranges of about 1,500 kilometers and 1,800 kilometers respectively. This would make it easier to secure air superiority. If the artificial island were to become a base for fighter jets, China would be able to increase pressure on the US military, among others,” the Yomiuri Shimbun report said.

Topographical reasons
The report added that aside from being an important sea-lane, Beijing gives more importance to the West Philippine Sea because of topographical reasons, in addition to its interest in securing natural gas and other resources.

“The South China Sea is characterized by its depth. In contrast to the East China Sea, which has a depth of about 200 meters up to the Okinawa trough, the South China Sea has a complicated topographical formation with a maximum depth of about 4,000 meters. This helps enhance ‘the degree of freedom of action’ for submarines, indispensable for offshore military operations when seeking to evade the enemy,” the report said.

Hideaki Kaneda, director of the Okazaki Institute and a former admiral in the Japanese Self-Defense Maritime Force, said topographical conditions in the West Philippine Sea make it a ‘sanctuary’ from possible military attacks.

“Submarines on a mission can quickly submerge in deep waters,” he said.

The US Navy has been conducting surveillance missions in the West Philippine Sea using various means including the use of P-8A Poseidon aircraft which is equipped with state-of-the-art undersea detection systems. The aircraft gained prominence when it recently allowed a CNN news crew to join a surveillance mission that was repeatedly challenged by the Chinese navy. The same aircraft was spotted on a low-level flight when the Chinese coast guard attempted to block a Philippine supply boat with journalists on board that was on its way to the Ayungin Shoal to bring supplies and provisions to the nine Philippine Marine troopers stationed in a grounded navy ship in 2014
Both incidents escalated tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

Security experts said that because of this, the Chinese aims to secure air superiority to interrupt aerial surveillance activities by US forces as well as resupply and reprovisioning flights conducted by the Philippine Air Force.

Caught in a bind
Sta. Romana said the elevation of the dispute from a purely Manila-Beijing issue into a Washington-Beijing concern has made China furious.

“They are caught in a bind. China will continue with the reclamation but they might moderate their moves because if the Chinese would bring in anti-ship missiles or anti-air missiles, this would be a different story,” he said.

Sta. Romana said China is not seeking full-blown confrontation with the US because the Chinese —which is yet to attain a middle-income country status— does not have the capability to beat the Americans militarily.

“If China will go on a full-scale confrontation over the West Philippine Sea now, they will lose, and a defeat could take them another century to overcome. What they are really doing is like slicing salami in small pieces…a short and sharp conflict. But the problem is, they sliced it too big this time with an airstrip and huge infrastructure and the US was ready to retaliate,” he pointed out.

Military capabilities
Jose Custodio, a military historian, agreed, noting that Chinese military would really be pale in comparison with that of the United States and that Beijing’s actions are only determined by its capabilities.

“China’s military is not really powerful. In fact, it’s so far from the US.
We saw that they were building structures. They are making a push, but their military capabilities are not yet there. They won’t push it too hard.
There are limitations on what they can do for the time being,” he said.

“There is only one country that gets confused with China’s military capabilities, and that is the Philippines. The Americans are battle tested, while China’s military reputation is just hype—a hype that could also be created by the Americans to justify their actions in the West Philippine Sea,” Custodio added.

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20 Comments

  1. Mathew daniel on

    Philippine is more on politics those politicians running for higher position are busy preparing for political campaign.their not mindful of whats going on in the country today. that we are in serous threat of invassion by other conutry like china.Not like what the taiwanese did in the past when china want to own taiwan as one of their privince.Where all the rich people esp politician gave part of thier money to the govt to buy sophisticated ammunitions to depend thier country.do you thing these rich politician / filipinos will do the same.When war erupted they are the first one to leave with their private plane or helicopter.shame to them.

  2. It is a well known fact that the bulk of the good Chinese citizens in China do not share the political ideology of a handful of corrupt communist political leaders there.
    This is truly the doings of a few bigoted, bullish, and resource hungry leaders who thinks they represent the rest of China.
    The Communist has muted all the opinions of their citizens, in regards to their Governments actions and doings.
    The government censors all communications that goes out of China.
    Corruption is rampart too in China. There is a lot of political protest going on in China that we will never hear about. believe it!
    We should be thankful for the Americans who is always faithful in bailing as out all the time.
    Remember the second world war. Mac Arthur’s ever faithful promise
    to the Filipinos of ” I shall return”. He returned indeed! to Liberate us from the oppressions of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the second world war.
    Watch out The allies will return and are stronger and bigger too! Remember the story of David and Goliath. We have a bigger and fiercer Tiger in our tank too!
    No Godless Nation ever prevailed on earth! But was destroyed by the Almighty!
    Remember the History of the second world war!
    Remember always. No Government is perfect no matter what
    country. Only the countries that still allows freedom of speech matters.

  3. Why don’t the two superpowers China and United States stop the “MILITARIZATION OF THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA” as in now or today (June 14, 2015)… Based on the UN Law of the Seas, the Philippines has the nearest proximity of any country in the world. If the Philippines has just celebrated its independence day, then we can also ask all countries of the world to make the West Philippine Sea free of miitary sea conflicts as a form of its independence from the future plans of the two superpowers. There is a difficult problem here that the two superpowers are planning to gain control on the real islands in the South Pacific, the whole Philippines? The oil and gas in our seas, the minerals all over the Philippines and as a move to lessen harmful emissions in the atmosphere the use of deuterium or liquid hydrogen – liquid hydrogen cars will be introduced in 2017 (Toyota, Honda and Hyundai) that can be found abundantly in the Philippine deep off the coast of Surigao. The Philippines will suffer the most with continued militarization of the West Philippine Sea – it has been a peaceful shipping route before or ever since but why has these threats surfaced and how can these two superpowers stop this non-sense as if there was no solution. The solution was to go back to the 1980’s up to the year 2010 and maintain that kind of easy and peaceful access to all sea trade routes. Are the superpowers using their common sense or their minds are already twisted and focused on a military build-up that would benefit their military industries which is well understood as part of their economy or GDP? Whatever the reasons the status quo of peace in the navigation of the West Philippine Sea should be the obligation of all countries but the Philippines will be at the losing end if any military conflict (low intensity conflict or whatever). Investments in the country will diminish due to military instability in the area, tourism, manufacturing industries, business process outsourcing companies. Does our country deserve such a risk just because we are situated in a critical area now but has been a peaceful area ever since? Fools really create expensive and foolish military theaters in an area of relative calm and peace.The leaders of the two superpowers better lay all their cards on the table and call for peace because they are responsible for this situation… they need to act now as in June 2015. No excuses, just lay down the facts and solve it.

  4. joseph st john on

    God save the Philippines. That’s what we are facing now for driving the Americans in 1992. So, what will the militants do now that we are facing invasion by the Chinese? Beg America to come to our rescue? Shame on us.

  5. Filipinino politician is part of NATO (No Action Talk Only) They wish were train like Jihadist to patriotically sacrifice the lives of Filipino by attacking the Chinese island’s facilities. It is an egg against rocks.

  6. China sending “NU”clear submarines on patrol to the West Philippines Sea.
    The Philippines has “NO”clear idea what to send

  7. Our leaders most of whom come from elite families with big businesses in danger of being lost should war between the U.S. and China could not be avoided have ignored the danger of Chinese incursions into our territory. They would rather give up Spratly Islands & Scarborough Shoal than confront China with what arms we have. To deter further Chinese aggression, we should buy nuclear arms/missiles to be stored in silos and pointed to the heart of China and North Korea. We can do nothing less. This should be part of the EDCA and other bilateral treaties we make with Japan and India who could provide us the nuclear missilles. Should there be shooting war our AFP could not be relied upon to deter Chineses invasion. It lacks the necessary military hardware and will to fight to the last man. We should be building nuclear shelters for our leaders and bureaucrats so that we would not be headless and leaderless. The Americans have already done these kinds of preparation. Perhaps even the Japanese. Nobody can predict the Chinese ultimate objective and means of attaining such objective. But they are surreptitiously taking over the vacuum that the Americans have left open in their preoccupation of protecting Israel and of neutralizibg Putin”s moves of reasserting Russian control of Eastern Europe. Germany & France & Britain could not be blind to the danger of Chinese aggression in Asia. India, Australia and Indonesia must be mobilized to deter or stop Chinese expansionism.

  8. There are four amusing scenarios with this looming conflict.
    The Americans being a first world country is dealing with the problem with a first world mentality.
    China is an economic giant with a nitwit mentality. Paranoia haunts them militarily after looming shadows of Uncle Sam’s own battle-hardened military starts to confront them in their newly “encroached-on” turfs. The ghosts of their miscalculations are now haunting them putting them in a rather funny defensive posture.
    Japan is a first world/warrior class country but with a constitutionally-mandated pacifist policy. But the Japs are ready to fight like the samurais of old.
    Meanwhile, the Philippines is a third world country lost in our own debacle of never-ending corruptions and multi-billion scandals. We neither have the muscle, the mentality, nor the policy to confront China as a sovereign state. Election 2016 hoopla and political posturing are the present immediate concerns which makes for the military being as weak and as useless as the civilian leadership.

  9. brandogandanghari on

    That’s the result of Edsa Yellow People Power in 1986. Philippine military defense became pathetically weak, while the Oligarchs became stronger and wealthier.

  10. The next president will inherit this problem of the south China sea and except for binay and bong bong who have expressed their position of bilateral talks to resolve the issue the rest of the wannabes seem to be unaware of this critical matter confronting us. I suspect that pnoy even wishes that the matter escalates for two reasons, it will sidetrack plans to make him accountable after his term and it could give him the excuse to cancel the elections and remain in power (heaven forbid) which could be worse next to an invasion of our shores. What a bunch of morons this dumb and dumber gang I agree with escudero telling catapang to shut up (“dakdak ng dakdak”) he is so shallow as much as the rest of them with statements like “what is ours is ours” of del Rosario and we will defend our rights “to the last man” of gazmin. Send these idiots to the front line now to see how they will fare before the Chinese I would like to see their bravado and better yet with pnoy in the lead shouting “sugod mga kapatid patay kung patay!”

  11. genesisbughaw on

    “Russia and China have actively advocated establishing a new security and sustainable development architecture in the Asia-Pacific. It should be based on the principles of equality, respect for international law, indivisibility of security, non-use of force or threat of force. Today this task is becoming increasingly important…”
    click:
    http://larouchepac.com/node/30824

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
    click:
    http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm

    PART V
    EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE

    Article57
    Breadth of the exclusive economic zone

    The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
    click:
    http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part5.htm

    Philippines, we know we’re we stand.

    China’s activities in the Philippines West Sea is now in the international sphere of concern of civilized nations.

    US expressed the freedom of commerce and navigation in the area and China reacted not to militarized the area.

    So where are we? Stand up and use our position strenght that right is might and we are morally bounded to assert our sovereign rights.

    It’s all exploratory and don’t be succumb to military pychosis.

    What our dear Republic of the Philippines real problem is the present wang bonizing of yellow bird ugly governance.

    You can do it Philippines!
    Mabuhay!

  12. donn masangkay on

    chine / over populated so they needs more resources like naturals gas sea product

  13. chthonic monster on

    no problem! this tuwid na gobyerno is more concerned of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant! it’s too dangerous daw!

  14. Hence, it is imperative that we start building our naval assets and purchasing aerial hardware. At this point, simyon should convene the National Security Council immediately if only to make a policy decision regarding a new defense posture viz our military, police and other armed services. Further procrastination may hasten his downfall because the military will never allow the dismemberment of the republic nor allow further tsaynis disrespect to our national pride and honor. For if I am the president, I will immediately create all the fiscal incentives to entice business ventures into manufacture and assembly of military hardware. Not only will that create no less than two million jobs but it will provide the hardware that we badly need for our national and biological survival.

    • The millions of stolen public funds in the bank deposits of EBENG BALOLOY,GERRY LIMLINGAN,Nognog and Kuhol Binay could have been used to improve the military capabilities of the AFP but sad to say these money are still with the fugitives Baloloy and Limlingan.

  15. Felimon A. Soria on

    World War 111 seems inevitable. Here comes a historian Mr. Custodio who thinks otherwise. Instead I think we Filipinos should be prepared.

  16. sonny dela cruz on

    The Philippines has no capability to block China’s militarism in the West Philippine sea. The Philippine leader is not doing anything except talks about politics, he is not disturb of what’s happening, maybe it is not his priority or he doesn’t know what to do except leave everything to UNCLE SAM. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is totally USELESS. THEY DON’T HAVE ANY PLANS ON WHAT TO DO EITHER, while China has built his defense forces to defend their sovereignty, that every nation is supposed to do but not the Philippines. Is the Philippines that POOR that they don’t have MONEY to spend to upgrade the AFP to defend the country’s sovereignty from external threats like China? Billions of pesos has been given to Lawmakers as bribes, billions of pesos has loss through stealing from the government coffers, even those people working in the lower ranks as clerks are corrupt. What kind of a government is the Philippines then. The Filipinos must to do something to fix the leadership right now or they will be sorry soon. They don’t have to wait for the election 2016. Their action is now because China has already occupied the West Philippine sea, inside of its jurisdiction and the President is doing nothing except FILE A PROTEST. That’s not gonna help, China will be just laughing at the Philippines because they can’t do nothing except FILE A PROTEST. The United States is there to protect their interest and not the Philippines. The Philippines has to do their share to protect their sovereignty but I don’t see any movement in the Philippine side except talking more about who’s gonna be the candidates that the President will be endorsed. VERY FUNNY.

  17. Pete GAbriel on

    China is not a friend of the Philippines. If the Philippine people have not waken up to the reality that we are again in the middle of two big countries in the midst of imposing their will to gain military and economic clout, this can get ugly. We only have two choices, which side do we choose, just remember this, “beggars can’t be choosy”. We are a democracy, and a member of the free world, our choice is obvious. China is a communist based economy, they don’t even care about their own people, all they care about is the agenda of the party. No amount of protest, diplomacy, and taking them to court will not work, they only know one thing, the employment of force. We are no match to China call on Uncle Sam (US), and our new friend in arms Japan. Let us pray it does not come to a war between this powerful countries.