A peaceful rise

You have to go read Jame Fallows’ alarming piece on a crazy threat by Hainan officials, who claim sovereignty over a vast swath of the South China Sea reaching almost all the way down to Brunei (!).

If you’re worn out worrying about Syria, Gaza, Iran, you name it, I give you: the announcement today by police on China’s large southern island of Hainan that, starting on January 1, they will assert a right to stop and board any vessel they consider to have violated China’s very expansive claim of territorial waters in the South China Sea.

….For months, Chinese patrol boats and other craft have scuffled with foreign vessels, mainly from the Philippines and most often over contested fishing grounds. But an assertion from officials in Hainan that they can stop and board any vessel passing through these waters is something quite different. The US Navy has had a lot of different missions over the centuries, but one of its elemental purposes has been defending freedom-of-navigation on the high seas. The Seventh Fleet is the regnant military power in this area. I am usually in the “oh calm down” camp about frictions, especially military, between China and America. But it is easy to imagine things becoming dangerous, quickly, if the new Chinese administration actually tries to carry out this order.

You have to see the map of China’s territorial claims to believe it. Let’s hope Xi shows us early on that he’s a reasonable leader devoted to China’s peaceful rise by scrapping this idiotic plan.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 59 Comments

…Walter Trout…..Bwahahahahaha (think evil scientist laugh)

India seems to be doing some sabre rattling about the South China Sea. Not sure they have the ability to project any real kind of force there and India is backpedalling on the threats. Seems some Chinese fishing vessels are accused of cutting cables on a Vietnamese vessel doing hydrographic exploration of the sea floor.

December 6, 2012 @ 11:28 am | Comment

@Goju. I’m not sure if I want to be known as an old blues dog, as I haven’t played a blues LP for years with the exception of some Blind Willie McTell. Nowdays, I subsist on a diet of trashy 60s garage music (see my Garage land site), stuff from Mali and Italian opera. Oh yes, someone recently downloaded two terrabyles of music for me, but I’ve only dipped into the soul stuff. Not that I haven’t influenced others in the blues department in the distant past when I was a very young sprout eg. http://kingtubby1.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/book-alert-and-stuff-for-homies/

In other posts, I advance the argument that the sonic possibilities of the guitar have now been totally exhausted and that it should be put aside for other instruments, namely the Kora and various gourd based instruments from the Sahel. This is the new locus of musical creativity, not some all star blues festival with all the usual suspects who would positively bore me to tears.
However, if I had the energy to explore the guitar today, it would probably be some of Jack White’s stuff.

Thnx Richard.

December 7, 2012 @ 5:23 am | Comment

KT, have been rediscovering John Prine lately. Also Bessie Smith, Beethoven, Led Zepplin, and Billie Holiday. My daughter has left her high school teachers speechless just by mentioning Billie and Bessie, much less knowing who they were and their music. She loves strolling into class playing some unknown legend and having the tacher take up half the class asking her how she knows about these people. The upside is the other kids are finding out where their music came from. Her latest gambit was Etta James doing a live version of I’d rather go blind with Dr John. Left one girl crying – really.

December 9, 2012 @ 8:23 am | Comment

Etta’s I’d rather go blind has brass riffs (my big weakness) to die for.
Led Zeps BBC sessions and forget the rest. Time is on my side – Irma Thomas.

Anyway, Goju, I sold myself to the devil years ago.

Want to put a serious musical post on my site? Had guest music correspondent on my site before.

Hear from ya: mail add on site.

Many thnx Richard.

December 9, 2012 @ 8:40 am | Comment

“It would not be totally suprising if all the countries with territorial disputes with China were to form a loose alliance. Even if they have disputes with each other, the threat from China is greater. Facing off alone with China is problematic and relying on the US is not a sure thing. This would require the other countries to put aside their disputes with each other, at least temporarily. It would be ironic if China’s attempt to lay claim to this area ended up unifying the opposition to all of China’s claims.

KT thnx for the link. Loved it.”

Too bad all of them have bloodier disputes with well … all of their neighbors. Vietnam with Cambodia, Philippines, and every single other SCS claimant, Japan with Korea and Russia, India and Pakistan.

China on the other hand managed to settle almost all of its territorial disputes peacefully, yet is called the bully. Hmm, I wonder why.

Unfortunately for many of you, Taiwan also makes the same “9-dotted line” claim. I guess it’s ridiculous because Richard says so, history be damned.

SK Cheung
I believe Belgrade was an accident

HAHAHA, based on what evidence? Pretty sure the people involved in the US side have more or less admitted it was deliberate.

December 18, 2012 @ 11:24 am | Comment

cookie: I guess it’s ridiculous because Richard says so, history be damned.

You had better show me the quote you’re referring to. Watch your step.

December 18, 2012 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

You have to see the map of China’s territorial claims to believe it

December 18, 2012 @ 12:09 pm | Comment

The maps are patently absurd and you know it, and have no historical basis in fact. Do you really believe China has claims to all the territory depicted on the map, going down almost to Brunei? Anyway, you are very late to the party on this thread and I don’t want to get into a shouting match about it.

December 18, 2012 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

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