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China Deploys Submarine Near Vietnam Oil Rig, 86 Vessels Now Present

Tyler Durden's picture


With the additional deployment of a submarine and a missile ship, there are now 86 Chinese vessels accompanying the oil rig's installation in Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Local news reports that 3 Chinese military ships are surrounding a Vietnamese marine police vessel this morning and water cannon use continues against Vietnamese ships. We addressed the who, what, where, when and how of China’s HD-981 oil rig foray into Vietnamese waters here but, as we discuss below, the enduring question, as with many of China’s recently provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific, remains why?

Via The Diplomat,

Why Did China Set Up an Oil Rig Within Vietnamese Waters?

Why now and why Vietnam?

The enduring question, as with many of China’s provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific, remains why? The opacity of China’s internal decision-making processes makes it rather difficult to conclusively answer that question, but a good amount of evidence suggests that the oil rig crisis with Vietnam was manufactured to test the mettle of ASEAN states and the United States. It gives Beijing an opportunity to gauge the international response to China asserting its maritime territorial claims.

As Carl Thayer points out on this blog and M. Taylor Fravel said in an interview with The New York Times, the China National Offshore Oil Company’s decision to move oil rig HD-981 was a premeditated move of territorial assertion. CNOOC may be a state-owned enterprise but the decision to move this $1 billion asset into an area with questionable hydrocarbon reserves while also inciting a diplomatic crisis speaks to the planned, political nature of this move. The fact that approximately 80 PLAN and Chinese coast guard ships accompanied the rig reinforces the notion that China was making a strategic push to assert its territorial claims in the region.

The question of why China chose to escalate with Vietnam specifically is perhaps slightly easier to answer. Several analysts have already noted that China caught the world off-guard by choosing to escalate its territorial dispute with Vietnam given that relations between the two countries were improving as recently as fall 2013. Additionally, a certain degree of camaraderie exists between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For China to suddenly risk a relatively stable bilateral relationship through an underlying rivalry seemed brazen and irresponsible.

On the contrary, if China had to push any dispute in the South China Sea to test the mettle of the United States and ASEAN, Vietnam was perhaps the most fitting candidate. As Tuong Vu told the New York Times, a political debate exists within Vietnam about whether the country should remain close to China or pursue closer relations with the west, with the former faction wielding considerably more influence. With this in mind, China gambled with a good degree of confidence that despite the oil rig provocation, Vietnam would respond with rhetoric and restraint — not force.

To this end, only Chinese coast guard vessels rammed Vietnamese ships and hit them with water cannons — the PLAN remained in a support function, ensuring that whatever kinetic coercion was used was not explicitly originating from a military vessel (although Vietnam did not entirely buy this interpretation). Furthermore, before China can begin trying its luck with U.S. allies in the region, such the Philippines, which recently signed a ten-year defense facility sharing deal with the United States, it must see if the United States is willing to defend its self-stated interests in the region.

Whereas with the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan the United States is treaty-bound to take action, in the case of other disputes in the South China Sea, particularly the Paracel Islands dispute between Vietnam and China, all the United States has to do is demonstrate that it is willing to stand up for the interests it has identified in the past, including freedom of navigation, the peaceful resolution of all conflicts, and the non-use of coercion and intimidation in disputes. With HD-981, China has challenged the United States on all three. Additionally, given ExxonMobil’s interests in the waters, HD-981 is also impeding U.S. commercial interests in the region. So far, the United States’ response — a statement calling China’s behavior “provocative” — is insufficiently costly to China to deter such behavior in the future.

Finally, China timed this coercive move as U.S. President Barack Obama left Asia and just prior to the meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government/State in Naypyidaw, Myanmar this past weekend. In doing so, China was taking a risk: the move would doubtless draw massive international attention and condemnation. However, as the ASEAN Summit statement demonstrates, China still has an assurance that regional leaders are insufficiently united to put forth a joint front against Chinese coercion in the South China Sea. While it is significant that ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a separate statement, the “internationalization” of disputes that China dreads has not yet come to pass (and likely will not anytime soon).

Similarly, as the United States grows old, weary and underfunded as the global policeman, this oil rig debacle sits in the same category of global crises as Syria and Ukraine — just without the same sort of political urgency. By avoiding a U.S. treaty ally or major partner, China seeks to paint the U.S. as unable to assert its interests in the region. A negative consequence of this is that other states engaged in territorial disputes with China will seek to unilaterally militarize to offset their reliance on U.S. security guarantees, potentially creating a headache for China later in the future.

The decision to move oil rig HD-981 into disputed waters matches China’s decision to impose an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea in terms of signaling China’s appetite to unilaterally pursue its maritime territorial claims. China has said that the oil rig will remain in these waters until August this year. What ultimately sets this episode apart from any other is that it is the first time China has placed an asset this expensive within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of another state. And Vietnam isn’t a pushover of a state either — it has a more-than-modest maritime capacity that could result in an armed altercation with China. Overall, in the past six months, we’ve seen China more assertive than ever in pursuing its claims and, for the moment, it is succeeding.


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Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:51 | 4757467 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Sigh. It's the Dip-lomat.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:09 | 4757516 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Agreed.  Anytime I see 'The Diplomat' I throw up in the back of my mouth a little.  They should just change the name and call it 'The Elitist'.   

These fucking pud-yankers would just be called "food" if they had to live anywhere outside their Ivory Tower.

Hey, Diplomat:  the world ain't fair and it doesn't follow (western) legal constructs.  It's run by the only real rule there has ever been:  If you can take it and hold it, it's yours.  


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:52 | 4757593 Thanatos
Thanatos's picture

The "Diplomat" is an Information Operation, otherwise known as IO.

Information Operations

to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.

Information Operations (IO) are actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems.
or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions

It's a subset of Psy Ops.

Read all about it:

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:00 | 4757675 Mistress Raindrop
Mistress Raindrop's picture

Maybe the Japs could teach the Chinese how to be polite.  Bastards.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:17 | 4757720 markmotive
Wed, 05/14/2014 - 03:57 | 4758045 intric8
intric8's picture

The u.s.'s Illegal meddling and provocations in ukraine has emboldened the chinese to also act in the interests of THEIR sovereignty. Its no different in principle from americas presence in ukraine. Its even MORE justifiable for the chinese because those waters are disputed!

Who gives a crap about defending the vietnamese anyways? Not the u.s., because they have little to offer us. Do they have a gas pipeline running through their country that supplies all of europe? Do they have a board position to offer bidens son? Do they have jews with billions in vietnam who need regime support to protect their money? Is that country a candidate for the IMF to leverage it to the hilt with loans that will take centuries to pay off? No no and no.

Anything goes now, boys! Were back to pre ww1! We'll all be cannon fodder at this rate!

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 06:34 | 4758126 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Maybe it's just a front to get to the cheap food, an army can consume alot of rice, and they live on rice.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:21 | 4758451 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Salvage mission perhaps?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:09 | 4758735 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Central planners are stupid. I see no reason why Chinese central -planners should be any different.

China's choice to bully a country that is not aligned with the US is likely to push its neighbours to deepen ties with the US. For all the US' 'weariness' it still has the most capable military in the world... sure, the US can't invade and hold territory very well. But wiping out another country's conventional forces? No problem. And what will the US' price for this protection be? Why, continue taking payments in USD, obviously. Or maybe allowing the NYFRB hold your gold in custody for 'safe-keeping'.

Traditional Chinese culture was destroyed by a lifetime of idiotic communism. Now they seem to be a nation of junk-producing Statist automatons. All this business about the Chinese thinking in terms of generations/centuries is just bullshit. Try using a typical 'Made in China' product for any length of time you'll see they've become very short-sighted indeed.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:35 | 4758855 intric8
intric8's picture

Militarily, they have no worthy foes in the south china sea. The koreas wont give a rip. That leaves japan, malaysia, philippines, thailand, vietnam, sinapore and indonesia to side with the u.s. What the fuck does america have to offer these countries that will trump their economic dependence on china? Can we replace chinas cheap exports? We will go broke defending the entire region in a drawn out cold war with china, as if things arent worse enough in ukraine with russia.

Reagan outspent russia till they went broke and folded. Russia and china can now do the same to us.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 11:10 | 4759014 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Why now and why Vietnam?

Vietnam has some history with the US.  The US would probably be inclined to help its little brother the Phillipines.  Vietnam?  Karma's a bitch.  And why now?  Because the US has a doofus as president that's why.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:50 | 4758623 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

The Oil War has been going on since before WWII - which was one battle.  What's coming is the final stages of that war - the desperate part.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:46 | 4758569 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

'Polite' like the Anglo-Americans have been in the Middle East since WW 1 ?

But no, that was for 'our' strategic interests.


And as for 'Jap' politeness regarding China . . . . you really don't know anything about history, do you ?   

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 07:23 | 4758184 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I just scanned down here to see if that is who it was. I am going to go back up and read it anyway.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:52 | 4757469 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

the diplomat.....check please..

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:06 | 4757502 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Yup, fast approaching as the source of the most pretentiously banal articles on ZH.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:15 | 4757526 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

They're just so monumentally full of themselves.

The damn thing cost between 500million and a billion dollars.  Why do you deploy it?  Anywhere?

To find oil, you fucking morons.  China imports 6 million bpd. Jesus.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:44 | 4757618 Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

Why are we even worried about this. Aren't both countries our enemies?  

As we say in Canada == let em do each other in....

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:56 | 4757888 jaxville
jaxville's picture

Both countries are enemies to each other since Vietnam kicked over the Kmer Rouge in Cambodia some years back. Chinese troops invaded but were driven back with heavy losses by the Vietnamese Army.

  China, as are most Western nations; is on the brink of a total collapse of the credit based money system. Great privation is coming. War gets peoples minds off that privation and focuses blame on the enemy.

  We live in very dangerous times.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 07:29 | 4758196 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

That is exactly what I was thinking.

Haha, let the 2 go at each other. They did quite a few years back, too.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:53 | 4757471 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Wi Ni Dat

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 03:53 | 4758043 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture


Wed, 05/14/2014 - 04:42 | 4758065 Mark Urbo
Mark Urbo's picture

Good one !


Vietnam needs to get its warships out there and threaten the oil rig - they need to grow a set...

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 07:31 | 4758197 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Yeah, the mighty Phan-Tom boats used in the Tonkin Incident.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:00 | 4758671 youngman
youngman's picture

Its just a good thing they did not set up the rig in the Gulf of Tonkin....that could start something..

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:53 | 4757472 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Hmm, one gets the impression that Oil is very important to China..

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:58 | 4757484 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Crony communist chinese, the world is upside down  ;-)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:13 | 4757522 Hulk
Hulk's picture

As someone has already stated months past, we are no longer fighting over political ideals, but real, tangible things like oil and reserve currency status...

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:22 | 4757551 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture


Scroll down the dropdown to China.  Look at that black line.

Do it for India too, while it's handy.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:28 | 4757563 Hulk
Hulk's picture

explains much. coal imports to china are up huge. Thanks !

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:47 | 4757638 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture


China is the number 1 coal producer in the world.

In fact, number 2 is the US and number 3 is India, and if you add India and the US together, China's production is over 2X more than that sum.

And despite this, they import.  That's what all that population does.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:53 | 4758620 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

It was never about 'political ideas'

That's just bullshit to fool the 18 yr old cannon fodder.

(18 year olds have been brainwashed to be impressed by waving flags. They also think the new uniform will wow the girls and get them laid - since now they are 'men'.)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:55 | 4757477 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture
We Are Going To Kill The Dollar

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:56 | 4757478 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Wau, wot a target-rich environment!  I think it's a challenge: wipe out all 86 in a time-on-target attack of less than three seconds.  For extra credit blind all unfriendly terrestrial and space views of the proceedings.  For double-secret extra credit use a neuralyzer so nobody remembers the 86 ships were ever there.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:22 | 4757549 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

Hilarious :) Neuralizer lol

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:28 | 4757849 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Did you use yours on yourself, again?  Yeah, everybody's got one.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:56 | 4757481 RacerX
RacerX's picture

I wonder if Vietnam's Dong is having shrinkage problems now.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:52 | 4757784 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

Wobust as ever

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 03:39 | 4758038 intric8
intric8's picture

Oopsie. I entertained the idea that a few vietnamese could improvise a bunch of old landmines, cast off in a boat disguised as fishermen and blow the rig to smithereens.

I doubt they would get within ten miles of the rig before that dinghy full of gooks gets blown sky high out of the water. Back up plan?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 07:49 | 4758222 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Flogmen with rimpet mines.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:59 | 4757489 JJdog
JJdog's picture

The US is not stupid enough to send troops to Vietnam again, oh but we have a clueless clown for president, he will send the ObamaCare website crew to Vietnam soon as the website is working. :)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:48 | 4757643 ObamaDepression
ObamaDepression's picture

Maybe his wife will start abother Twitter campaign?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:04 | 4757499 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

There are clearly some major global geo-political changes occurring.  The West's years of debt, overspending, welfare-warfare economy and a corrupted financial system was inevitably going to lead to changes.  However, it is also unfortunate that such a weak narcissist is running the nation during the transition.  The situation becomes more open to a major mistake with a regime like we have in DC now.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:21 | 4757545 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

A very dangerous situation thamnosma,that's for sure.


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:07 | 4757510 suteibu
suteibu's picture

It's a game between Putin and Xi to see who can make Obama look more like a mom's-jeans-wearing pussy.  The first one to incite a public temper tantrum wins.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:08 | 4757512 Jugdish
Jugdish's picture

Send John Kerry to sort it out. He served in Vietnam.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:23 | 4757552 Tanz der Lemminge
Tanz der Lemminge's picture

Got purple hearts too.


If you forget, he'll be more than glad to remind you.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:53 | 4757659 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

If you want to see shit get really interesting, send Joe "the Clown" Biden.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:19 | 4757732 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Nah, his son's already busy.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:16 | 4757825 Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan's picture

Yes, and send Pelosi and Reid with him.  That should scare the hell out of 'em.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:10 | 4757517 mendigo
mendigo's picture

It this point what could obama really say in response to a blatant disregard for the rights of another sovereign nation. Basically its time for the big boys to simply agree on how to divide up the world. I suspect that obama was advised of intent to proceed and he did not object too strenuously. 

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:35 | 4757856 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

"We fully support Vietnam's right to defense of their stuff.  We would prefer that all the involved nations just chill while this is all worked out peacefully at the negotiating table.  However, in the event of war we will certainly be happy to sell the Cong any weapons they need to take on the big bad bully China because if it wasn't for China using blatant smash and grab tactics this drama would not be happening."

He coulda said something like that but written by a pro.  Isn't it funny that the people with the best speech writers never have anything deep or important to say when things like this happen?


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:14 | 4757528 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Dip Lo Mat is an expert on these matters.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:20 | 4757538 mrblah
mrblah's picture

I didn't bother reading it following "via the diplomat"

I knew it would be either bullshit, half-educated opinions or yet more "Why Vietnam to show the region Americas a paper tiger?"

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:25 | 4757559 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Well the Vietnamese gave the Chinese a good thrashing in their 1979 Border clash.

Maybe the Chinese want to even the score????

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:30 | 4757569 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Since Ukraine is loosing our interests here's another sidetrack for 6 months. LOL.  Kinda like the bed mattress store that's going out of  buisness for 10 years.  We're slashing prices! Everything must go!

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:30 | 4757571 border dog
border dog's picture

Kerry will be coming soon!!!!

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:11 | 4757706 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Kerry will be coming soon!!!!

But I thought he was a gelding.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:39 | 4757594 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

"No one saw this coming...."

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:42 | 4757610 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And what is the U.S. going to do, threaten "sanctions"?

Yeah right, as if Apple or any of the other members of the corporatocracy would allow that.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 23:12 | 4757711 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


And what is the U.S. going to do, threaten "sanctions"?

Even worse. A sternly worded letter will be sent to the mayor of China.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 05:27 | 4758095 intric8
intric8's picture

Thats the next sanction - apple wont ship any products to the kremlin

I cant wait for putins killer counter-sanction of no gas to all of europe. that one will be da bomb.

sure, it will cost russia dearly, but boy will it send a message

Putin can quote Nuland herself! 'fuck the EU'

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:43 | 4757622 ObamaDepression
ObamaDepression's picture

Great analysis

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:59 | 4757672 prains
prains's picture

...if you like propoganda

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:43 | 4757623 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

While the US is consumed with Ukraine, the Chinese plop down an oil rig in someone elses back yard. It looks like a global land and asset grab and there is not much we can do about it. Putin probably has plans on the table to do the same in the North Pole. Meanwhile, we are looking for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean and children in Nigeria. Things are starting to slip away.....

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:46 | 4757635 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

Maybe they are taking the release of the Godzilla movie a little too literally. 

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:47 | 4757639 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

An oil rig is inherently indefensible against a missile attack. It is NOT there to look for oil.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:18 | 4757917 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

It's insured; what's the problem?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:04 | 4757805 Spungo
Spungo's picture

Wait until workers are on the rig then drop white phosphorus on them. Don't worry, it's apparently not a war crime to use chemical weapons against civilians.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:05 | 4757807 joego1
joego1's picture

My underwater drone can take out that oil platform no problem. What happened? I dunno.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:11 | 4757820 Spectre
Spectre's picture

Little does anyone know that the oil rig houses anew Chinese laser cannon, that was first used on MA370.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 05:18 | 4758092 napper
napper's picture

LOL. I'm more inclined to believe that it was an American plot to take down MA370. In fact, I'm quite confident of it.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 05:18 | 4758093 napper
napper's picture

LOL. I'm more inclined to believe that it was an American plot to take down MA370. In fact, I'm quite confident of it.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:40 | 4757864 Fred123
Fred123's picture

I'm sure everyone knows about the message that Commander Zero gave Medvedev on being more flexible after the election. Now, what kind of message did he give the Chinese that we do not know about? President 0bama is a traitor.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 00:42 | 4757871 NeverForgetSilver
NeverForgetSilver's picture

This seems to be a coordinated action to help Russia. It is one of the ancient tactics. To save your ally by attacking your enemy at a new place. If your enemy does not react, you win. If he acts, you win as well.

I think Russia could be convinced that China means business. Otherwise, how can Russia sign 20 year gas contract for free.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:22 | 4757919 kurt
kurt's picture

China is not a "baby" nation. USA is not a "daddy" nation. When the USA declared their "pivot" policy, what is an adult nation to do? Does it formulate a response? Basically, "Sit on your pivot and spin!" That's the response.

If your neighbor suddenly announced to the rest of the block that he was, hence forth, keeping an eye on YOU, what would you do? How would you feel?

The placement of the rig, there right in the middle of Viet Nam, is a statement placed IN HISTORY. How successful was the USA in THAT region? 

USA is not the Big Daddy. How soon until we get the message? How stupid does this have to get? Once again we are being mis-advised; or choosing the wrong advise.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:58 | 4758357 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

The US was pretty successful in Vietnam (and Korea) considering how screwed up the logistics were for our side.

How long could the PRC carry on a war in Baja California?

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 00:12 | 4759923 napper
napper's picture

LOL. Is that some hallucinatory history you've written on your own, or some propaganda you've swallowed whole without questioning? In the Korean War, the US had enjoyed absolute financial, economic, industrial and military superiority, and the help of 16 other powerful countries. The North Koreans and the Chinese didn't even have a navy or an air force. China was dirt poor following WWII and a civil war. THe vast majority of Chinese PVA were armed with nothing more than single-shot rifles, plain rice, and thin clothes. The US had all the equipment needed for speedy maneuvers, transport, and firepower deployment. The US controlled the air and the sea in the Korean War.

Similarly, the US had enjoyed absolute financial, industrial, technological, and military superiority in the Vietnam War. What logistics problems are you talking about? Did the aircraft carriers refuse to cooperate? Were those thousands of military planes refusing to fly? The US government poured well over a Trillion dollars (inflation adjusted) to the 10+ year war effort. You wanna rewrite all that? LOL.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:26 | 4757927 boeing747
boeing747's picture

In 10 years war from 1979 to 1989. China lost 22k soldiers and support personnels while vietcom lost 180k soldiers, police-forces and civilians. US provided satellite pictures to china while russia provided arms to vietcom. At the height of that war, vietcom used glass bombs (bombs filled with explosive and glasses) and chemical weapons which will damage one's skin and never heal.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 01:51 | 4757962 boeing747
boeing747's picture

Yes in those ten years china and us were in 'honeymoon' against common enemy 'russia'. You still can order Wiha pliers (made in vietnam) now till 'shortage'.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 02:02 | 4757975 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Why is everyone so anxious to drill for moar earl? I thought the MSM sai dno need to worry, there's plenty of that Black Gold around .. and besides, we're all turning to solar powered this and wind turbine powered that.

So what's the fuss. Let 'm have that earl.

It's same thing with Gold. The Central Bankjers and Fed Chairman says, "It ain't worth anything." Yet the CBs are trippin gover each other to buy as much as possible and control it.


Wed, 05/14/2014 - 02:33 | 4758003 neilhorn
neilhorn's picture

Vietnam was China's enemy before they were enemies of US. When I was in fifth grade I thought my country was helping their country, protecting them from communists. We only accelerated their doom. When we gave up they learned to govern themselves. They will fight off their old enemy as they did their latest. 

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 04:01 | 4758047 jubber
jubber's picture

so another plate long before one of these drops?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 04:10 | 4758050 Grouchy Marx
Grouchy Marx's picture

The freedoms of sovereign and serf are limited by the size of the gun pointed at them.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 04:45 | 4758068 giggler321
giggler321's picture

an armada of 86+ big ships requires a lot of gas, hence they bought their own rig

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 05:15 | 4758091 napper
napper's picture

LOL. They might need to take some from Vietnamese rigs set up inside  China's waters soon.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 05:31 | 4758096 laomei
laomei's picture

Oh Vietnam can bitch and cry all they want, but the facts remain the same:

They never had actual control over those islands.  The French gobbled them up and when China came back for em Vietnam was unable to even pretend to put up a fight.  Sorry Vietnam, but they ain't yours, it's not "disputed" in any real sense of the word.  This is just China deploying a mining rig to its own territory and nothing else.  If Vietnam feels like it can interfere with that, I'm sure China will gladly send their shitty little boats to the bottom of the ocean.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 06:40 | 4758130 negative rates
negative rates's picture

I don't hear the gvt complaining much, it's an economic zone that is not currently being used by the vietnamese. We on the other hand seem to be speaking for their gvt and askng questions like the worlds policers we strive to become.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:01 | 4758368 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

The riots in Vietnam would seem to attest otherwise.

Just because you're not currently exploiting a resource in your EEZ does not give another country license to come in and steal it.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:00 | 4758364 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

I take it you feel the same way about the PRC having no claim to Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands?

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 01:15 | 4765475 napper
napper's picture

LOL. Taiwan's ruling KMT party sees itself as THE legitimate government of China (which includes mainland China, Mongolia, Taiwan itself, and vast tracts of territories currently under the control of Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Vietnam ... etc.


Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands were under the control of Ching court before WWII. Following Japanese surrender, the US nominally took over the control of all islands claimed by Japan. For geopolitical reasons (e.g. to plant a seed of war), the US put many islands under Japanese administration without resolving the sovereignty issues first.


Okinawa, where US has a base, was a tributory state of China before WWII. People there do not identify with Japan. That's why many want independence from Japan. China might have a claim on Okinawa, too.


The US reportedly will be withdrawing from Okinawa soon. Some theorize that it's done in anticipation of China's assertion of sovereignty in the future, when the US will be facing two equally unpalatable decisions - be forced to withdraw and lose face, or stand firm and fight China in China's backyard, and suffer a greater humiliation than in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.


The CCP's record in safeguarding claimed territories has been pretty consistent - it has fought the USSR, India, the US etc without much internal disagreement or strong internal resistance.


It's a matter of time before China's navy surpasses the US navy both in quantity and quality. Interesting times ahead.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 01:48 | 4765521 Harrison
Harrison's picture

"Taiwan's ruling KMT party sees itself as THE legitimate government of China"

No, that hasn't been the case since 1986. Get your head out of the Cold War.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 02:22 | 4765553 napper
napper's picture

The Cold War was between the US and the USSR. (Look it up)


Taiwan's KMT party had nothing to do with it. It has never expressly given up on regaining control of China. The current official map of Taiwan's claimed territories  clearly includes mainland China, Mongolia, Taiwan itself, and parts of Russia, India, Vietnam etc.



Wed, 05/14/2014 - 07:00 | 4758149 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

...We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over. [/Marine Colonel]

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:29 | 4758291 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Took me a bit to recognize the quote from Full Metal Jacket...  very appropriate.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:09 | 4758250 PopKorni
PopKorni's picture

China says "Check".

Putin says "Check".


What does Obamao say?


Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:27 | 4758288 SanfordandSon
SanfordandSon's picture

He already responded, when he rubbed Putin's leg and said wait until after the election - then you can have your way with me...

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:36 | 4758307 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Tee time?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:04 | 4758379 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

used to be USA had a 2 mile limit around the coasts of  our nation, then it became larger until some  have  now 200 mile limits , wonder what the effective range of anti ship weapons, 200 miles? seems it's your sea if you can sink anything within the limits of your weapons, China just pointed out that limit does not reach to thier drill rig..I think that trumps a piece of paper that says otherwise.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:11 | 4758409 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Territorial waters is 12 miles from shore. 200 miles from shore is the Exclusive Economic Zone where the nation in question does not possess sovereignty but does have exclusive rights to fishing and exploitation of mineral resources.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 01:43 | 4765517 napper
napper's picture

which is tantamount to territorial waters in essense.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:45 | 4758917 Ariadne
Ariadne's picture

Who do I make it out to, Master?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:29 | 4758294 rodonmeguro
rodonmeguro's picture

They'd get some support from the US if they put Bidens son on one of their boards.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 01:40 | 4765515 napper
napper's picture

I'm sure the elitist Vietnamese Communist Party would welcome Biden's son on board, if he's amenable to the proposition.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:54 | 4758343 Duude
Duude's picture

I sure wouldn't support any US help for Vietnam. As far as I'm concerned, they're on their own. 

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 08:56 | 4758348 Martian Tourist
Martian Tourist's picture

It must be a pretty rubbish submarine if everyone knows it's there.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 02:38 | 4765560 napper
napper's picture

That's precisely the point: to let others know it's there. That's why it's there. But then, there may be several other submarines in the area that have not been detected.



Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:02 | 4758370 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Screw China, screw Vietnam, and screw Ukraine.

They all talk funny and their problems ain't mine.

We got a Mexican invasion to deal with here and a corrupt govt. giving them your tax dollars and trying to give them citizenship so the FSA Party can control their dominant ownership of govt. forever.

The only thing worse than a 2 party system is a 1 party dictatorship, in fact, as well as in current practice.

Or learn Spanish so you can ask for another crust of bread from your new FEMA Camp guard.

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 02:34 | 4765558 napper
napper's picture

The US does not have a 2 party system. It's an illusion.


A 2 party system can be worse than a 1 party system. A 1-party system does not necessarily translate to a dictatorship. Finally a dictatorship is not necessarily a bad thing under certain circumstances.


It's never the system itself that is good or bad. It's always the people running the system.


Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:06 | 4758387 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

A lot of this stems from stupidly overbroad claims made by the past two US administrations, namely that we will guarantee territorial integrity for non-allies.  It both gets us involved (or makes us look weak) in situations we have no business in AND makes alliance with the US less valuable.

That said, if the Chicomms attempt to interfere with international navigation we should give their (appropriately Vietnam-era) navy the MH370 treatment.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:56 | 4758653 ltsgt1
ltsgt1's picture

I'm pretty sure the Chicomms have reached an agreement with Obama in a back room meeting. As long as the Chicomms back off the territorial claims in dispute with the Japanese and Philippine, the US will look the other way when the Chicomms commences their expansion.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:58 | 4758657 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

I'm pretty sure you have no way of knowing that.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:09 | 4758396 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

It appears to me, that as China's economy slows and the very real risk of massive social unrest rises, the Chinese government is looking to start a nice war to distract those unhappy masses and redirect their hostility. Who could have known this would happen? Oh yeah, anyone paying the tiniest bit of attention.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:12 | 4758414 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

They have a lot of excess young men to dispose of.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 22:39 | 4761479 tumblemore
tumblemore's picture

Whenever the banking mafia trash the economy it brings all the pre-existing background conflicts into the foreground for the kind of reasons you mention and that's how we end up with world wars.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:19 | 4758446 Chaos_Theory
Chaos_Theory's picture

Someone needs to tell the Americans the difference between a threat and a fact.  Director Clint Eastwood nailed it in "A Perfect World" with this clip:

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:30 | 4758501 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

A picture says a thousand words...

China has claimed for itself the waters defined by the "Nine Dashed Line"  there have been a series of confrontations over this going back many years...

This is a link to a map of the "Nine Dashed Line" and the "disputed territorial claims"...

Using the Nine Dashed line claim China has tried to stop US Warships from entering the area in the past years.

The article by the Diplomat does not do this issue justice and to call it superficial and light weight is being kind.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 11:16 | 4759041 ZeroFreedom
ZeroFreedom's picture

Vietnam shoud get an oil rig and stick it right next to the Chinese one. Better yet, maybe they can horizontal drill and take the oil before the Chinese get to it.

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 22:35 | 4761470 tumblemore
tumblemore's picture

Why? China is tag-teaming the US with Russia. WWIII has started and ultimately for the same reason as WWII - the banking mafia.

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