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China's Oil Rig Gambit: South China Sea Game-Changer?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Carl Thayer via The Diplomat,

China’s placement of the giant state-owned oil rig HD-981 in Block 143 inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on May 2 was unexpected, provocative and illegal.

This incident marks the first time China has placed one of its oil rigs in the EEZ of another state without prior permission. This was an unexpected move because China-Vietnam relations have been on an upward trajectory since the visit to Hanoi by Premier Li Keqiang in October. At that time, both sides indicated they had reached agreement to carry forward discussions on maritime issues. China’s move was also unexpected because Vietnam has not undertaken any discernible provocative action that would justify China’s unprecedented actions.

China’s deployment of the rig was provocative because the oil rig was accompanied by as many as 80 ships, including seven People’s Liberation Army Navy warships. When Vietnam dispatched Coast Guard vessels to defend its sovereign jurisdiction, China responded by ordering its ships to use water cannons and to deliberately ram the Vietnamese vessels. These actions were not only highly dangerous, but caused injuries to the Vietnamese crew.

China’s actions are illegal under international law. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying justified China’s actions by claiming the rig’s operations were in Chinese “territorial waters” and had nothing to do with Vietnam. In other words, China has adopted a position similar to Japan with regard to the Senkaku Islands by declaring there is no dispute with Vietnam.

China has placed itself in an inconsistent position. China has been provocative in using paramilitary ships and aircraft to challenge Japan’s assertion of administrative control over the Senkakus. China seeks to get Tokyo to admit that the Senkaku Islands are disputed. Yet Beijing has adopted Japan’s stance with respect to Block 143 by refusing to acknowledge that there is a legal dispute between China and Vietnam.

Chinese spokesperson  Hua Chunying only presented a general statement, not a detailed legal argument in support of China’s actions. Her claim that the oil rig is in Chinese “territorial waters” lacks any foundation because there is no Chinese land feature within twelve nautical miles of Block 143 on which to base this assertion. Chinese statements refer to the Paracel Islands – and not Hainan Island – as the basis for its claim.

China’s lack of clarity has led academic specialists and regional analysts to speculate about the possible legal basis of China’s claim. In 1996 China issued baselines around the Paracel Islands, including Triton Island. Specialists argue that China’s claim could be based on the proximity of Triton, and its entitlement to a continental shelf and EEZ.

Other specialists point out that the 1996 baselines do not conform to Article 8 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and cannot be used to advance a legal claim over Block 143.

If the former line of argument is accepted, China’s hypothetical EEZ would overlap with the EEZ promulgated by Vietnam. This would constitute a legal dispute. International law requires the two parties to enter into provisional arrangement, refrain from the use of force or the threat of force, and take no action to upset the status quo. Clearly China’s placement of the oil rig and its 80 escorts in Block 143 constitutes a violation of international law.

Analysts are divided on the motivations and objectives of China’s current bout of aggressiveness. Three main interpretations have been put forth.

The first interpretation views the placement of the HD-981 rig in Block 143 as the inevitable response by China to Vietnam’s promulgation of the Law of the Sea in mid-2012. Prior to the adoption of this law by Vietnam’s National Assembly, China unsuccessfully brought intense diplomatic pressure on Hanoi not to proceed. Immediately after the law was adopted, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) issued a tender for blocks in the South China Sea that overlapped with blocks issued by Vietnam within its EEZ.

According to this interpretation, the current controversy is the result of a decision by CNOOC to follow through and begin exploring these blocks. In CNOOC’s view, Block 143 fell within Chinese jurisdiction. In China’s view, commercial exploration activities in Block 143 would undercut Vietnam’s claims to sovereign jurisdiction.

The first interpretation is questionable given the sheer size and composition of the fleet of 80 ships and vessels that accompanied the oil rig. This was clearly no ordinary commercial venture but a pre-emptive move to prevent Vietnam from defending its EEZ.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing also report that CNOOC officials revealed they were ordered to place the rig in Block 143 despite their misgivings on commercial grounds. CNOOC officials pointed to the costs of keeping the rig on station until mid-August when oil exploration is scheduled to cease. Other observers point out that the prospects of finding commercial reserves of oil and gas in this area are quite low.

A second interpretation posits that China’s actions were in response to the operations by ExxonMobil in nearby blocks..

This interpretation seems unlikely. ExxonMobil has been operating in Block 119 from 2011. While China protested the award of an oil exploration contract to ExxonMobil, China has not stepped up its objections in recent months. It is also unclear how the placement of a Chinese oil rig in Block 143 would deter ExxonMobil from operating elsewhere.

Finally, China’s actions appear to be disproportional and very likely counterproductive. Block 143 does not directly affect U.S. interests. Chinese interference with ExxonMobil would be a direct challenge to the Obama administration’s statement that U.S. national interests included “unimpeded lawful commerce.”

The third interpretation, first publicized by The Nelson Report (May 6, 2014), argues that China’s actions were pre-planned in response to President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. During his visit, President Obama publicly opposed the settlement of territorial disputes by intimidation and coercion.

China was angered by the Obama administration’s prior criticism of China’s nine-dash line claim to the South China Sea and U.S. support for the Philippines’ decision to request international arbitration to settle its territorial dispute with China. In addition, China was outraged by President Obama’s public declaration of support of Japan and its administration of the Senkaku islands as well as President Obama’s declaration that U.S. alliance commitment to the Philippines were ironclad.

In sum, the third interpretation argues that China chose to directly confront the main premises of the Obama administration’s rebalance to Asia. China chose to expose the gap between Obama’s rhetoric and U.S. capability to respond to China’s assertion of its sovereignty claims.

Some analysts who support the third interpretation argue that China has taken heart from President Obama’s inability to respond effectively to the crises in Syria and the Ukraine. Therefore China manufactured the oil rig crisis to demonstrate to regional states that the United States is a “paper tiger.”

The third interpretation has plausibility. But it begs the question of why Vietnam was the focus for this crisis. Also, China’s actions could prove counter-productive, coming on the eve of a summit meeting in Myanmar of the heads of government of the ten states comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

On March 18, China and ASEAN held the tenth joint working group meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in Singapore. This was followed up by the seventh ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC in Pattaya, Thailand on April 21. While progress has been slow, there were some encouraging signs that confidence building projects under the DOC might be developed. As one ASEAN diplomat put it to the author, “the journey [consultations with China] is more important than the destination [achieving a binding COC].”

China’s deployment of the oil rig and accompanying fleet ensured that the South China Sea would be a hot button issue at the ASEAN Summit. ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a stand alone statement on May 10 expressing “their serious concerns over the on-gong developments in the South China Sea, which increased tensions in the area.” It is significant that a separate statement was issued on the South China Sea. This statement implicitly expresses support for Vietnam and lays the foundation for a similar statement by ASEAN heads of government/state.

The Foreign Ministers’ statement did not specifically mention China by name but it reiterated ASEAN standard policy on the South China Sea. The statement urged the parties concerned to act in accord with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to exercise self-restraint, avoid actions that could undermine peace and stability, and to resolve disputes by peaceful means without resorting to the threat or use of force.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement called on all parties to fully and effectively implement the DOC. The Statement also called for the need for “expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.”

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement did not mention China by name in deference to Beijing. But the Statement may be read as a shift in the views by individual members of ASEAN that territorial disputes involving the Paracel Islands and its surrounding waters are a bilateral matter between China and Vietnam.

An endorsement of the Statement by the Foreign Ministers on the South China Sea by the ASEAN Summit will provide political and diplomatic cover for the United States and other maritime nations to express their concern.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already come out in public in support of Vietnam. The U.S. State Department issued a statement characterizing Chinese actions “provocative.” More importantly, Assistant Secretary of State Danny Russel just visited Vietnam on a scheduled trip. He will be able to take his first-hand assessment back to Washington to shape the Obama Administration’s response.

Beneath the ASEAN diplomatic surface, however, China’s actions are likely to stoke anxieties already held by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. These states will seek to shore up their own maritime capabilities and to seek reassurance of support from the United States and other maritime powers such as Japan, Australia, and India.

Vietnam has reiterated its determination to respond to Chinese tactics of ramming its vessels. The current stand-off between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels in the waters around the CNOOC oil rig therefore holds the potential for an accident, a miscalculation, or the use of deadly force.

It is more likely that China and Vietnam will manage this affair by preventing matters from escalating to the extent that armed force is used. As of May 2, China and Vietnam have held six face-to-face diplomatic meetings in Beijing and three meetings in Hanoi between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Embassy officials.

Vietnam has requested that China receive a high-level special envoy. Diplomatic rumor has it that the special envoy will be a member of the Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) Politburo. Vietnam has resorted to sending special envoys to Beijing on two occasions in recent years and both visits resulted in a lowering of tension.

On May 8, the VCP Central Committee opened a long-planned executive session. This will provide Vietnam’s leaders with an opportunity to review the current crisis and to work out an effective political and diplomatic strategy to deal with China. Consensus on this issue will give the special envoy authority to speak on behalf of the Hanoi leadership.

When China first announced the deployment of its oil rig, it stated that its operations would terminate on August 15. This provides plenty of time for both sides to orchestrate and manage the confrontation in Block 143 and provide a face saving means for ending the confrontation.


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Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:13 | 4753214 dirtyfiles
dirtyfiles's picture

to big to fail..

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:20 | 4753236 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

"China’s placement of the giant state-owned oil rig HD-981 in Block 143 inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on May 2 was unexpected, provocative and illegal."

I wonder where they learned those manners from...

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:24 | 4753251 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Well yes, but the issue here is perspective.  These Diplomat people want to sit at their keyboards and pontificate about sophisticated maneuverings and imagined pressures applied via this choice or that choice and they FORGET THE PROBLEM WHICH IS RIGHT HERE:

Scroll down the dropdown and select China and look at the fucking black line.

Low odds of commercial amounts of oil there? So the fuck what?  That black line bespeaks desperation.  You start drilling anywhere there is ANY chance of oil.  They ain't going to sell it.  They're going to burn it.

This is not 20 years ago.  People HAVE to have oil and they will do whatever it takes to get it.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:30 | 4753277 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Truly, CrashisOptimistic. And I love these analysts who seem so befuddled by violations of pretend rules that countries temporarily follow for pretend reasons. The world just moved a step closer to truth now that Russia stopped playing games on one level. So now the actual rules they play by are easier to see. Get over it.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:35 | 4753291 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I blame the EU.  Their song and dance of 2011 where they had these 2 AM meetings and came out and announced their big breakthrough successful agreement to . . . delay the problem and not deal with it AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

In the end?  The EU taxpayer sent money to Greece.  Again and again and again.  Swaps?  Nope.  Disallowed.  So much for contract law.

I know the ZH people sit on the edge of their seats waiting for the magical moment when someone demands gold for oil, but of course this will never happen.  The moment is coming when paper won't buy oil, but neither will something else that has no function.

It will be labor.  Or food.  Or some other hard asset that has modern function.  When THAT happens, that's when wars would have to start.  Frankly, it's probably why Russia is still playing that game.  They are bleeding their enemies dry as it is.  They may want to bleed them further before they take the step of "keeping the oil for our grandchildren."

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:37 | 4753297 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

I would comment on the EU, but Nigel Farage has said it all better than I can (and with a witty English accent to boot).

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:41 | 4753504 So What
So What's picture

IMHO: The Chinese will regret what they ask for. Vietnam is the only that's not included under US umbrella. South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have seen US actions protecting them or have outright contractual treaties; one recalled Clinton sending carriers to the Taiwan strait.
Vietnam is the odd man out and thus paradoxically it should be the one China should fear most, because it is the only that Japan and USA can use to fight a proxy war against China. Once the shooting starts, all the tankers along the coast going up to China are fair game. Even 25% of these tankers from the middle east carrying oil are knocked out, preferably by US drones, China will be in economic collapse within six month. Talking about mass social unrest domestically.
Anyway, at least Tibet will soon be free.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:48 | 4753654 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's a bit deeper.

Japan also gets tankers steaming north around Singapore.  They have no oil.  Zero.  China has about 40% of their daily consumption domestically coming out of the ground in their northeast.

These are third party tankers. 

When one gets hit, Lloyds pulls all insurance.  They ALL stop.  All of them.  Not just those going to China.

Behold . . . the Russian/Chinese pipelines.

Japan is fucked.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:06 | 4753677 newbie vampire
newbie vampire's picture

Japan is fucked.


No......................... they got unlimited power from Fukushima.   Everything's all good.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:08 | 4753675 newbie vampire
newbie vampire's picture

"The moment is coming when paper won't buy oil, but neither will something else that has no function."

It may not have any function but when paper won't buy oil, I will still insist on it before you get any oil.  Or do you expect someone to give you oil for nuthin ?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:03 | 4754832 cocky roach
cocky roach's picture

A lot of us aren't really waiting on the edge of our seat. A lot of us stack very patiently, because we know gold will rise. We know this not because of analysts, but because of history.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:07 | 4753368 813kml
813kml's picture

It's amusing when the pearl clutchers at the Diplomat get their panties in a twist.  Their professors brainwashed them to believe that all countries of the world are more than happy to bend over for their masters, US Empire.  It completely throws them for a loop when the slaves get all uppity.

China, in concert with Russia, is giving the US a taste of its own medicine.  They see the facade of US power starting to crumble, the more they force the US to act the more openings are created by idiotic US moves.  I would say that most nations of the world truly despise the US for its actions over the past 50+ years, this won't end pretty.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:11 | 4753686 newbie vampire
newbie vampire's picture

" I would say that most nations of the world truly despise the US for its actions over the past 50+ years, this won't end pretty."

But we got an unlimited supply of Americans on welfare.  The administration can simply draft the cannon fodder and send them to the front with the blessing of the Nobel Prize Peace winner.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 07:22 | 4753940 August
August's picture

There won't be any "front" for US troopers to defend.  The US will fight its next great war with either 1) bluster, proxies and mercs, or 2) WMDs.  Actual US groud troops will be most useful in maintaining order in The Homeland itself, particularly after the Incoming has come in, and this time it won't just be fire-balloons drifting in from the Pacific.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:31 | 4753279 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Dog pissing on a tree to mark it's territory...

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:37 | 4753491 Telemakhos
Telemakhos's picture

China has a history of cooperating to get natural resources rather than seizing them.  They're partnering with much of sub-Saharan Africa, and they even bought mineral rights in Afghanistan, despite the poor security situation preventing them from being able to access those minerals.  When they want resources, the Chinese tend to cooperate with the locals and, in the process, build good trading relations with them.  And, yes, the Chinese want and need resources, but they aren't so desperate as to send the military out to seize them: they prefer more harmonious strategies for achieving more stable economic outcomes.  When they send military ships somewhere, it's to send a very clear message, and it's not one of desperation.

If they wanted to, they could have held out the carrot instead of the stick to Vietnam and partnered with them to develop the undersea oil reserves jointly.  In fact, in November and February, Hanoi and Beijing were meeting to work on exactly that.  China is already Vietnam's #2 trading partner, and it would have risen to #1 very quickly and won back some love lost in its past dealings with Vietnam (i.e. the 1979 war), love that the US instead has been eagerly trying to gain.

The Chinese suddenly deliberately chose to be assholes about this instead: not just to claim the oil unilaterally, contrary to their own earlier plans, but to send in military ships.  They're doing this at the same time that Russia is demonstrating that the US will not keep Ukraine from being dismembered after supporting the change in government there.  It's a parallel move: China is demonstrating that the US will not intervene to aid Vietnam in a dispute where China's actions are blatantly illegal.  This isn't about the oil, but about making the rest of the world, and especially Asia, question US resolve: it's not an economic move, but a geopolitical one.  

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:53 | 4753661 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You missed the point, too.

Oil is so overwhelming important that nothing else matters.  Oil rigs are tremendously expensive suckers.  You don't go deploying one to make a point or demonstrate someone's resolve or to show a flag.  You can play that game with military ships.  You don't waste an oil rig on that because . . . .

You deploy them for one and only one reason.  To get your lifeblood.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 07:05 | 4753923 ebear
ebear's picture

"You deploy them for one and only one reason.  To get your lifeblood."

In which case, they're wasting their time:


The Paracel island territory does not have significant discovered conventional oil and gas fields and thus has no proved or probable reserves. Geologic evidence suggests the area does not have significant potential in terms of conventional hydrocarbons.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 12:08 | 4755210 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

You're all missing the big difference here: The Chinese military has no presence in sub-Saharan Africa or Afghanistan.

The price of sending a few existing warships to intimidate your neighbor into "donating" resources is much less than buying the rights at fair market value.

You didn't think they were dumping massive amounts of currency into their military without expecting a return on investment, did you?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 04:51 | 4753839 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

China has a history of cooperating to get natural resources rather than seizing them.

You mean, buying people off? They learned that from the US... but yeah China has understood that the US approach was too radical, too much theft involved. So they make it look good. Give the locals MORE than the US would have... and make the locals accept and love the Chinese so chinese people can move there, grow big families and in a few generations, much of Africa will love China/be part Chinese. China is playing the long game... the US policy makers and businesses are only thinking about the short term.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 06:49 | 4753903 verum quod lies
verum quod lies's picture

A country deploying a large floating oil rig and 80 ships into someone else's territorial waters is hardly the 'long game'.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:19 | 4754934 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture







Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:05 | 4754194 ptolemy_newit
ptolemy_newit's picture

the placement looks to be more than 200 miles of the coast of vietnam?


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:06 | 4754199 ptolemy_newit
ptolemy_newit's picture

the placement looks to be more than 200 miles of the coast of vietnam?


Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:16 | 4753227 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Where does an 800lb gorilla sit?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:21 | 4753241 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Male or female?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:30 | 4753272 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

With dentures or without?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:55 | 4753345 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Big red bulbous, tumour laden ass or regular ass ???

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:22 | 4753239 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"Vietnam has not undertaken any discernible provocative action that would justify China’s unprecedented actions."

Yes they did.  They had to audacity to be sitting on top of resources China wants.  That's more than enough provocation.

"China’s actions are illegal under international law."

Yeah, so?  Who's gonna stop them?

"China has placed itself in an inconsistent position."

Oh, please.  Like everybody else is pure as the driven snow.

Another quality pile of intellectual crap from The Diplomat.  Doing their little circle jerk about "international law" which isn't stopping and has never stopped anyone from following a more basic law, and one that's making a spectacular comeback in recent years:  If you're strong enough to take it and hold it, it's yours.  There is no cavalry coming to save the day.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:26 | 4753246 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

When there is no real rule of international law other than the threat or use of overwhelming force this is what you get.

They have learned the game well from the best government money could buy.

This shit has to stop.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:41 | 4753312 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Agree completely, obviously.  But who's gonna stop them?  Nobody wants or trusts the US to do the right thing, at least not any more (and our capacity to do so wanes by the day).  So what's left?  Nothing.  Exactly as you said.  Might makes right is all that's left.  Take it, hold it, it's yours.


Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:54 | 4753341 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Possession is 9/10ths of the law.

Unless it's drugs of course... in which case it's 10/10ths.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:26 | 4753443 intric8
intric8's picture

Any problem in the world can be remedied with the careful application of high explosives

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:24 | 4753705 newbie vampire
newbie vampire's picture

"This shit has to stop."

Yep.............. and the Nobel Prize Peace award winner and POTUS welcomes the opportunity to show who's the boss.  Americans in their millions are ever ready to die for Japan and the Philippines, so why exclude Vietnam on the technicality of not having a defence agreement. 

Someone should apologise to the families of Americans who died unnecessarily in Vietnam. How are we to know they were our allies ?/sarc

Yes like, the POTUS and Lurch could hardly wait to put boots on the ground in Syria.  Death and Injury ?  Hell, what difference does that make ? 

American lives have so little value.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:38 | 4753299 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

IIRC, Shortly after the US military departed Viet Nam the Viet Namese were feeling very frisky and told the Chinese to clear out of a strip of disputed border land that belonged to Viet Nam.

China quickly dispatched troops and pushed the NVA out of the disputed land... a short lived but bloody battle.

Chinese army is pretty good at sweep and clear ops... But I don't know how good their navy is.




Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:53 | 4753549 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Illegal"?  Good one.  Ever heard of "Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law"?  Why do you think we got the MIC, DOD, CIA and NSA?  Nothing to do with forcing the USD onto everyone is it?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:27 | 4753258 mrblah
mrblah's picture

"The third interpretation has plausibility. But it begs the question of why Vietnam was the focus for this crisis"

Well Damn, I wonder why they would choose VIETNAM of all places to demonstrate that the U.S. is a "paper-tiger"? Whos promise to "defend" asian countries is bullshit?

Did the author miss history class? From first grade to graduation, and then continue to not bother reading anything up until the present day?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:27 | 4753260 JJdog
JJdog's picture

Will Michelle Obama hold up a sign "# Give our ocean back" for the poor Vietnamese people?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:29 | 4753267 mrblah
mrblah's picture

No shes too busy trying to lobby for air-time to hold up a "#droneskillkids" sign...

.....oh wait a minute.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:08 | 4754209 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

WTF does the first lady has to do with China oil rigs??? 


Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:28 | 4753264 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Act first, seek permission later.

Who funded and armed Vietnam when they were fighting the U.S.?  China.

Who kicked Vietnam's butt in the late 70's for fiddling in Cambodia?  China.

Who is going to come to Vietnam's rescue when China takes what it wants, the U.S.?

Good luck with that, Vietnam.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 04:59 | 4753841 Treason Season
Treason Season's picture

...Who funded and armed Vietnam when they were fighting the U.S.?  China....

I believe it was Rockefeller via Russia that funded Uncle Ho, not the Chinese though it's all good for the NWO.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:07 | 4754203 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Cite sources and explain please......

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:30 | 4753273 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Hey left hand, what's that right hand doing?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:30 | 4753275 yogibear
yogibear's picture

So when does China get the keys to the White house?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:29 | 4753712 newbie vampire
newbie vampire's picture

"So when does China get the keys to the White house?"

The Chinese know better than to fuck around with Wall Street and the Banksters. 


Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:30 | 4753276 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Illegal?  Thanks for being such a role model and showing everyone how to do it US.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:33 | 4753282 Guitarbill
Guitarbill's picture

Funny how we don't hear anything in the MSM about those "Chinese terrorist"...

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:38 | 4753298 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Chinese terrorists + Most Favored Nation status = Most Favored Terrorists?

I almost chuckled at the thought but then I realized.... yes, they might actually call them that.  With a straight face.  I put NOTHING past these bought-and-paid-for politicians.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:42 | 4753315 Schacht Mat
Schacht Mat's picture

What is China doing?  Why, they are following the American playbook.  Which one, you may ask?  Well, the one that the US wrote when, about 140 years ago, we started asserting our influence over the Caribbean Sea.  We certainly taught them well - wait until the rest of the world is occupied with their own issues (for us it was Bismarck and the rise of Prussian power in continental Europe, followed by the German Dreadnought challenge to British naval supremacy), such as is the case with us and Europe squaring off with Russia in far Eastern Europe and the MENA region, and then start to chip away at foreign spheres of influence in the particular body of water - in this case the South and East China seas.  We may currently be lousy at effectively managing our foreign affairs, but we certainly have been excellent teachers for our adversaries.

BTW - how do you say "Manifest Destiny" in mandarin.....

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:38 | 4753493 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Actually, the US was spreading democracy in Asia in the 1850s.  Commodore Perry planted the American flag on Okinawa in 1853 and essentially invaded Japan, forcing it to accept the so-called Treaty of Friendship which ceded to the US the ability to set economic policy for Japan and the right to private property in Japan among other benefits to the Americans. The Japanese received in return a promise from the Americans not to make Japan an outright colony through military occupation (since accomplished).

Obama's pivot is nothing new.  Unfortunately, modern China is not feudal Japan.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 05:01 | 4753843 Treason Season
Treason Season's picture

...Commodore Perry planted the American flag on Okinawa in 1853...

and Japan has been an Illuminati puppet ever since.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 03:39 | 4753784 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

@ Schacht Mat

The [Doctrine of] Manifest Destiny in Chinese (pinyin) is "tian dìng mìngyùn [lùn]"


Btw, for those who aren't yet familiar, Manifest Destiny was the 19th-century doctrine or belief that the expansion of the US throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable.

At the heart of Manifest Destiny was the pervasive belief in American cultural and racial superiority. Native Americans had long been perceived as inferior, and efforts to "civilize" them had been widespread since the days of John Smith and Miles Standish. The Hispanics who ruled Texas and the lucrative ports of California were also seen as "backward."

Expanding the boundaries of the United States was in many ways a cultural war as well. The desire of southerners to find more lands suitable for cotton cultivation would eventually spread slavery to these regions. North of the Mason-Dixon line, many citizens were deeply concerned about adding any more slave states. Manifest Destiny touched on issues of religion, money, race, patriotism, and morality. These clashed in the 1840s as a truly great drama of regional conflict began to unfold.


From American Heritage Dictionary:

A policy of imperialistic expansion defended as necessary or benevolent.

The 19th-century doctrine that the United States had the right and duty to expand throughout the North American continent.


From Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

Concept of U.S. territorial expansion westward to the Pacific Ocean. The phrase was coined in 1845 by the editor John L. O'Sullivan, who described the U.S. annexation of Texas and, by extension, the occupation of the rest of the continent as a divine right of the American people. The term was used to justify the U.S. annexation of Oregon, New Mexico, and California and later U.S. involvement in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines.


From Gale Encyclopedia of US History:

In 1845 John L. O'Sullivan coined the term "manifest destiny" in reference to a growing conviction that the United States was preordained by God to expand throughout North America and exercise hegemony over its neighbors. In the United States Magazine and Democratic Review (July–August 1845, p. 5) he argued for "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." Around the time of O'Sullivan's writing, the United States saw an extraordinary territorial growth of 1.2 million square miles, an enlargement of more than 60 percent. Most of this growth occurred at the expense of the newly independent Mexico and the Native American nations. The expansion happened at such an accelerated pace that people like O'Sullivan thought that even larger expansions were inevitable, necessary, and desirable—hence the origin of the concept of manifest destiny.

Manifest destiny was obviously a defense of what is now called Imperialism. It was a complex set of beliefs that incorporated a variety of ideas about race, religion, culture, and economic necessity. Some people, like the land speculators that settled in Florida, Texas, and Native American lands, wanted more land to get rich. Some fled poverty in Europe and eastern metropolitan centers. Some assumed that without spreading out to fresh lands the nation would languish. Some sought to perpetuate the institution of slavery by expanding it to new territories. Some believed that expansion into "uncivilized" regions would spread progress and democracy. It was convenient for all to think that they had the divine right to acquire and dominate because they had the proper economic system and the most developed culture and belonged to the most advanced race.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 22:51 | 4753335 napper
napper's picture

"The Diplomat" is a US sponsored anti-China and anti-Russia propaganda apparatus operating in Japan. I followed their site a while back. The amount of lies, nonsense, distortions and biased arguments was on a par with FOX, CNN and the likes in the US. Some US "professors" teaching in South Korea and Japan wrote like ignorant school dropouts. I still vividly remember how one American "professor" argued a few months back that the US was growing stronger economically, politically and militarily rather than experiencing decline.


"The Diplomat" is a pure garbage / propaganda cesspool.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:25 | 4753438 sangell
sangell's picture

And you are a neutral unbiased observer we should listen to. I rather think not given your over top inflammatory rhetoric. More like an idiot who takes no time to study anything but backs any position that is harmful to the United States. If you hate this country so much why do you live here? I'm not saying love it or leave it but why live in a nation you despise.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:05 | 4754181 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

I believe that previous point, while made crudely, has validity.

The Diplomat has formal partnerships with a K Street Washington Think Tank called Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the funding for this think tank comes for these sources,

For Fiscal Year 2012, CSIS had an operating revenue of US $33.2 million. The sources were: 27% corporate, 27% foundation, 21% government, 11% individuals, 4% endowment, 10% other. CSIS had operating expenses of US $33.1 million for 2012, 77% for programs, 17% for administration, and 6% for development.

The goal of CSIS is "Since its founding, CSIS “has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world," according to its website."

And while I enjoyed reading the insights in the article (just like I enjoy reading some of the insights expressed in the Russian Time) it is important to keep in mind the biases of the author.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:43 | 4757949 napper
napper's picture

sangell, seems that you lack basic reading comprehension and analytic reasoning skills. Where did you draw your premises from? 

And you want to talk about idiocy! Irony.

Do you read "The Diplomat"? I don't think so. I did, however, for over 8 months. And I didn't see a single piece of neutral, factual or logical writing from any of the so-called assistant/associate/chief/etc editors or other guest contributors. Propaganda, plenty of it every day. Negative reporting and false accusations against countries like China, Russia, N.Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia etc, non-stop. 

I'd think that even idiots could tell that "The Diplomat" was a US propaganda outlet. But I guess I was wrong, coz you can't. But then you don't read much, do you? You just call anyone who posts unfavorable comments "an Anti-American Idiot".

Your country is going down the toilet partly because of ignorant, foolish people like yourself.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:43 | 4757950 napper
napper's picture

sangell, seems that you lack basic reading comprehension and analytic reasoning skills. Where did you draw your premises from? 

And you want to talk about idiocy! Irony.

Do you read "The Diplomat"? I don't think so. I did, however, for over 8 months. And I didn't see a single piece of neutral, factual or logical writing from any of the so-called assistant/associate/chief/etc editors or other guest contributors. Propaganda, plenty of it every day. Negative reporting and false accusations against countries like China, Russia, N.Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia etc, non-stop. 

I'd think that even idiots could tell that "The Diplomat" was a US propaganda outlet. But I guess I was wrong, coz you can't. But then you don't read much, do you? You just call anyone who posts unfavorable comments "an Anti-American Idiot".

Your country is going down the toilet partly because of ignorant, foolish people like yourself.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:16 | 4753399 Spungo
Spungo's picture

China drilling for oil? Oh god. How many days until they completely fuck it up and it's 100x worse than any oil disaster in history?

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:19 | 4753408 sangell
sangell's picture

Yes China is the bigger power but Vietnam and the Philippines are not banana republics. They are substantial, if poor, nations of 100 million people each. If China's foreign policy goal is to remove US influence from the region this does not advance that objective. Already the US military is back in the Philippines and Cam Ranh Bay may once again see the US Navy in port.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:09 | 4753581 The Chief
The Chief's picture

China's goal is to obtain the necessary resources to keep her economy afloat. She is doing so in the exact same manner in which we obtain our resources, sans the drones, murderous muslim Al-CIA-da support (see Syria), or destabilizing NGOs, NFPs, think tanks and paid propogandizers being unleashed upon people that are just trying to survive. Those same people would eventually come to the conclusion that they are being ruined by a nationless cabal and break from it, thus requiring US "help" to cure their financial problems.

Further, China must obtain these resources for OUR tissue paper economy to function. Get it?

It's quite simple. As of yet, China hasn't resorted to murdering the Vietnamese people or supporting a coup. Yet. I don't see that ever happening. They are skipping that step and just going for the black stuff without all the horrible nastiness that certain US politicos and their gang of hired henchmen have successfully been issued billions of tax free fiat for....the murder business.

And they say that treason doth not prosper.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:48 | 4754125 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Nope... not on this one.  The Geologist reports have come back and indicted that the probability of find "commercially developable" reserves in this area is extremely small, further there are better areas to explore that would give you more return for your "exploration capital".  This is not a rational economic exploration business decision, there are other factors at play.... "THE GAME IS A FOOT"

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:47 | 4754390 sangell
sangell's picture

Yeah I get it. You're another Ron Paul lunatic

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 02:06 | 4757981 napper
napper's picture


Ron Paul is one of a handful in Washington who are rational, conscientious, and knowledgeable. He and the few like him have been the reason people say 90% or 95% of US politicians on Capitol Hill are corrupt and stupid. Otherwise, people would have said 100%.


You are 100% ignorant, uneducated, and brainwashed. You can take that to the bank.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:25 | 4753442 septicshock
septicshock's picture

This is just another front opened up by the Chinese Russian alliance to distract.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:43 | 4754101 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Not to distract but to "up the ante" in the game.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:40 | 4753503 donpaulo
donpaulo's picture

China's foreign policy is driven by an elite who are fearful of domestic uprisings, so to that end they will do whatever they can to delay, obfuscate, deny, seize, claim anything that meets the goal of domestic "tranquility" err revolution mitigation err avoidation. Anyone who thinks the US Navy is going to do anything about the current state of affairs needs to seriously get their arse out of the 80's and open their eyes. Does anyone realistically believe that the Chinese Communist Party is going to be deterred by a number of aircraft carrier task forces ? If anything the presence of US naval assets in the region makes it safer for Chinese vessels to trade with South America and Africa, while at the same time continue to export plastic crap to stock the shelves at Walmart.

This is a Chinese test case likely to be repeated numerous times in the near future. Burning oil rigs in the South China Sea may be a direct result but it won't be the Chinese who fire first, they are simply grabbing resources backed by powerful political forces in Beijing. They learned their lessons well from the neocons.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:41 | 4754088 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

do you have any doubt that their will be a price to pay for this???  China has vulnerability that can be exploited by the US, this is a dangerous game that is being played.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 02:50 | 4758013 napper
napper's picture

A test case? Probably not the right term. I believe leaders of China are serious about enforcing China's territorial claims, regardless of conflicts with other countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, and (especially) Japan.

The more the US tries to stir and plot in Asia, the faster and more determined China will be in deploying its rapidly expanding navy to the disputed waters.

The entire  US navy has fewer than 300 major surface vessels. They are no match for thousands upon thousands of various modern anti-ship missiles China can dispatch at moment's notice.

If the US hasn't dared use its navy against the "No-US-dollar" Iran, I'd say a naval war with China is off the play book.

The neo-con lunatics in the US may try to stir up a war between China and Japan in an attempt to exhaust China. But even that will have a long way to go because the number of smart, knowledgeable anti-US Japanese is far higher than the propaganda apparatus in the US is willing to admit.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:48 | 4753528 q99x2
q99x2's picture

On Planet Q99X2 we've given everyone a nuclear bomb equivalent. In fact we are born with them. Our evolutionary processes, after many failed type 2 civilization attempts finally gave us communication capabilities that allow us to turn everyone else including ourselves off; merely by thinking about pushing the button. But another part of the process gave us the ability to migrate from the planet in case we should ever think of pushing the button. That's why I'm here. But back on the planet we don't have any problem with property ownership disputes, because over time, and since we might have been tempted to kill everyone over such issues, nobody owns property and nobody ever chooses to own property. Our worst fear is that we should take a drink of alcohol.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:51 | 4753544 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Similar here.  Owning a nuclear weapons seem to be the height of human achievement.  Unfortunately, we can't simply leave.  And being drunk on alcohol is less of a problem than being drunk on power.

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 23:52 | 4753546 Arthur
Arthur's picture

Sink the damm thing.

Just do not claim credit.

oops where did it go?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:00 | 4753566 boeing747
boeing747's picture

When does US follows 'international laws' when dealing with other countries? 0-hedge has an agenda.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:17 | 4753598 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

They're just being jerks.

I'd criticize further but then I remembered what the US has been doing lately and decided not to go throwing any stones.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 00:20 | 4753604 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

While the US is occupied in Ukraine, China is using that distraction to make it's oil move. You have to admit, if they are going to make a move, now is the best time. The USA is preparing for war with a well armed nation who will be defending their home soil with an array of modern weapons designed for defense of Russia. When the civil war in going full guns in a few weeks, Washington will be ill prepared for a major crisis in the South China sea with the worlds largets economy, one flush with cash reserves to finance new defense outlays, while Washington must borrow and print money to fund 500 billion a year of the 1 trillion dollar military and spy budget. Like I said, Washington has it's hands full on the biggest European crisis since 1945, China knows that they are playing at the right moment. Expect this to grow into a deeper crisis.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:37 | 4754074 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Aren't those cash reserves in US dollars?  what exposure does China have to assets in the USA??  not so cut and dry.

If this occurs what happens to the Chinese economy and the resulting political unrest???

(I did not junk you)  just what to point out it is not as cut and dry as your statement implies.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 14:03 | 4755738 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

I take your point of course. I did not mean it to imply cut and dry, if you have read much of what I post, you will know I don't often go for cut and dry. I was meaning simply that China has a better position to move on now than say 12 months ago. The USA really has gone all in on this attempt to move Ukraine into the US NATO military alliance.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 02:29 | 4757995 napper
napper's picture

What would the US have done against China in the South China Sea if the Ukrainian plot and chaos hadn't started? Nothing, I'd say.

While I'm no expert in history, I do know that the entire Vietnam had been a tributory state of China for about 1000 years.  While the grossly corrupt and incompetent CHing court expressly lost control of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and many other South East Asian states, no express agreement had ever been made about boundaries in the South China Sea.

The ignorant boneheads in Washington may consider US the sole "superpower" capable of dictating policies around the globe. Leaders in Asia know better. In fact the Vietnamese, the Koreans and the CHinese don't have much respect for US military either. They have met US military on the battlefield before, when their economies  were in the crappers, and their industries, zilch. And they still prevailed.

I don't think the US actually have the guts to meet the Russians in Ukraine. At least I hope US politicians aren't that stupid yet. But I may be wrong.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 01:11 | 4753685 Spungo
Spungo's picture

These are the people dirlling for oil. May god have mercy on us all.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 04:39 | 4753838 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Maybe China can test another SLBM off California for some Lulz.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 05:58 | 4753861 NYPoke
NYPoke's picture

What is unexpected is that it took so long.  The day Obama was elected, The East became open for China's taking.


Unexpected that Taiwan & Japan are still standing.  Going to get worse.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:10 | 4754872 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture




EITHER WAY---conflict tends to naturally ACCELERATE. 





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