Thursday, June 15, 2023

"US aircraft carrier enters South China Sea in show of strength while Chinese naval ship visits Southeast Asian countries for friendship"

From China's outwardly-facing propaganda organ, Global Times, June 15:

A US Navy aircraft carrier group is reportedly operating in the South China Sea in an obvious demonstration of US strength that aims to raise tensions in the region against China, while a Chinese naval training ship is on a goodwill tour of building the peace and friendship in Southeast Asia.

Based on the flight tracks of two C-2A Greyhound carrier-based transport aircraft, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan made a transit through the Bashi Channel and sailed into the South China Sea on Wednesday, according to open-source monitoring by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank.

The flight tracks show that the US aircraft flew between the aircraft carrier and the Philippines, a country the US has recently been roping in to militarily confront China. The US gained access to four additional military bases in the Philippines in addition to holding joint naval and coast guard exercises with the country this year.

"The US aircraft carrier is anticipated to hold exercises and show off its strength in the South China Sea," Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

As a force from outside the region, the US has been rallying up gangs in the South China Sea - now the Philippines in particular - to gain footholds for its naval and aviation forces and hold provocative joint exercises that negatively impact peace and stability in the region, Wei said....


The Chinese Coast Guard has been  low-key confrontational with the Philippines recently in part to enforce their  "Nine-Dash-Line" claim (shown here with many more dashes):

the Philippines Star

Also March 2021: "Philippines President Duterte Threatened Beijing with Military Action"
When the Chinese stopped laughing they reflected and gave thanks it wasn't Vietnam making the threat.*

The New York Times had a story on June 12, 2023 that said "Beijing’s patrol vessels often resemble warships." No kidding. here's a post from January 2016:

"Beijing Builds ‘Monster’ Ship for Patrolling the South China Sea"
From The Diplomat:

According to Chinese state media, the ship will be the largest coast guard vessel in the world.

China has finished construction on a second 10,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter destined for patrols in the South China Sea, Chinese state media reports. The ship, designated CCG 3901, “has been completed recently and is ready to start protecting China’s maritime rights,” The Global Times announced. A sister ship, the CCG2901, already deployed to the East China Sea in 2015.

The CCG 3901, constructed at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard, has been dubbed the ‘monster’ by the media due to its unusual large size for a coast guard vessel. According to some sources, the vessel could have a displacement 12,000 to 15,000 metric tons once all systems have been installed aboard. In comparison, the China Coast Guard ship outsizes a the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser by about 50 percent, and is also bigger than an Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyer (e.g., the USS Lassen), which displaces around 9,700 tons. In addition, it also outclasses Japan’s 6,500-ton Shikishima-class coast guard cutters....

Regarding the size differential between the ships in the first picture I am reminded of the charge of Captain Evans off Samar

That thing is bigger than U.S. Navy guided missile cruisers.