Top US Admiral Warns China Now Controls The South China Sea

An unclassified 50-page transcript on Advance Policy Questions for Admiral Philip Davidson, USN Expected Nominee for Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, just confirmed the collapse of American exceptionalism in the South China Sea. Adm. Davidson, the likely nominee to replace departing U.S. Pacific Command Chief Admiral Harry Harris, warned that Beijing has the capability and capacity to control the South China Sea “in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Navy Adm. Philip Davidson testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Source: AP)

In written testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee released last Tuesday, Adm. Davidson said China is seeking “a long-term strategy to reduce the U.S. access and influence in the region,” which he claims the U.S. must maintain its critical military assets in the area. He views China as “no longer a rising power,” but rather a “great power and peer competitor to the United States in the region.” Adm. Davidson agreed with President Trump’s recent assessment on China, calling the country a “rival.”

Adm. Davidson warns, that it is Beijing’s clear intent to disintegrate the seventy years of U.S. alliances and partnerships in the region.

“I am also concerned about Beijing’s clear intent to erode U.S. alliances and partnerships in the region. Beijing calls them a relic of the Cold War. In fact, our alliances and partnerships have been the bedrock of stability in the Indo-Pacific region for the past seventy years, and they remain a core element of our defense strategy.”

Adm. Davidson was then questioned about China’s militarization activities in the South China Sea. He responded by indicating Beijing “would easily overwhelm military forces,” because of their strategic weaponized islands in the region.

“China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania. The PLA will be able to use these bases to challenge U.S. presence in the region, and any forces deployed to the islands would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants. In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

US Senate Armed Services Committee then questioned Adm. Davidson about his stance concerning Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He replied, calling the economic initiative, “predatory” in nature because China’s low-interest loans would enable Beijing to manipulate trade deals.

“The predatory nature of many of the loans and initiatives associated with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) lead me to believe that Beijing is using BRI as a mechanism to coerce states into greater access and influence for China. The nations that accept China’s offer of low-interest loans, grants, and other financial incentives risk Beijing later manipulating economic deals into future security arrangements, and when these countries are unable to pay, Beijing often offers to swap debt for equity (e.g., the Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka). Ultimately, BRI provides opportunities for China’s military to expand its global reach by gaining access to foreign air and maritime port facilities. This reach will allow China’s military to extend its striking and surveillance operations from the South China Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Moreover, Beijing could leverage BRI projects to pressure nations to deny U.S. forces basing, transit, or operational and logistical support, thereby making it more challenging for the United States to preserve international orders and norms. “

In response to questions about how the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea should handle the increased military presence in the region. Adm. Davidson advocated for a sustained U.S. military approach, with the increased investment in new high-tech weaponry.

“US operations in the South China Sea—to include freedom of navigation operations—must remain regular and routine. In my view, any decrease in air or maritime presence would likely reinvigorate PRC expansion.”

In regards to the type of weapons, Adm. Davidson outlined some critical technologies for immediate investment:

“A more effective Joint Force requires sustained investment in the following critical areas: undersea warfare, critical munitions stockpiles, standoff weapons (Air-Air, Air-Surface, Surface-Surface, Anti-Ship), intermediate range cruise missiles, low cost / high capacity cruise missile defense, hypersonic weapons, air and surface lift capacity, cyber capabilities, air-air refueling capacity, and resilient communication and navigation systems.”

Adm. Davidson’s testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, provides us with the much-needed knowledge that American exceptionalism is quickly deteriorating in the South China Sea after more than seventy years of control. The transcript reveals how America’s military will continue to drain the taxpayers, as it will need an increasing amount of investments and military assets in the Eastern Hemisphere to protect whatever control it has left. The clash of exceptionalism between Beijing and Washington is well underway, will war come next?

Comments

Laowei Gweilo IridiumRebel Wed, 04/25/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

imagine China and Russia doing military drills at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico

cuz it's not much difference... similar national coastlines, similar size, similar number of countries that share a coastline to it, etc.

in fact, South China Sea is even smaller and closer to China with more Chinese coastline than US has with the Gulf... the US has about 1680 miles of Gulf coastline... China has 1750 miles of coastline with the South Sea

not saying it's right or wrong relative to other South Asia countries...

but if you wanna understand why China cares so much about it, imagine what the US would do in the Gulf if China and Russia did in Cuba and Mexico what the US does in Taiwan, Philippines, and South Korea

In reply to by IridiumRebel

DuneCreature beepbop Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:03 Permalink

Are you kidding? ... They can't even read their own mail (or all the bills they sign).

Sometimes a second try at sharing is in order.

Scott Bennett Goes To Washington - Round Two

Actually he just called his contact in the Off-White House and certified mailed in his full report to Trump's lawyer-trollop paymaster dude.

Since no one in Washington DC can speed read anymore they are very behind catching up on intel reports at executive legal. ... Blame it on Common Core and The Harvard Law School or your very negligent parents, your choice.

Just the term 'funding' on a document usually fast tracks it to the proper party inside the DC beltway. ... Terrorist funding goes straight to Langley VA or if homegrown terrorism is on the ticket the JTTF office at the FBI. ... All agencies in the US government are always looking for more funding so a funding memo should be top priority.

Live Hard, Maybe The 'Waste, Fraud And Abuse' Subtitle Made The Doc A Fully Loaded Piping Hot Baked Potato Served Without A Plate, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

In reply to by beepbop

bshirley1968 Luc X. Ifer Wed, 04/25/2018 - 22:53 Permalink

"China now controls the South China Sea"

Really? Is that why they call it the South CHINA Sea? It is their neighborhood after all. The whole idea that we think it is okay for us to control a huge body of water half way around the world.......along with trying to control the rest of the entire world.....and tell everyone else what they can and cannot do....in their own countries. Really? How dare they? How could China be so presumptuous? /sar

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

philipat bshirley1968 Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:03 Permalink

+1. I was going to post the same comment but you beat me to it. Why would the US have any claim of sovereignty over the South CHINA sea, other than its pretense to be the Global Hegemon? The world is evolving rapidly and if the US doesn't wake up it is going to destroy itself.

This is exactly the same kind of arrogance (whether intentional or not) that so endears the US to the rest of the world. The US never bothered too much about International law (eg Syria) because "Might is right". The US has behaved completely illegally in Syria (On what is now clear were false pretenses) and the only debate, such as it is, in the US is whether or not Congress should have approved. Excuse me, but I didn't think that the US legal system has any validity OUTSIDE the US? Another example would be the US threatening European Companies involved with Russia over the Nord Stream II gas pipeline IN EUROPE. What the fuck business is that of the US and why does it feel it has jurisdiction over the affairs of non-US Companies doing business in non-US territories?

And with the recent announcements from Russia and China regarding hypersonic weapons, that "Might is Right" assumption might no longer be valid in anything other than a total nuclear war in which all other considerations become irrelevant. I sincerely hope for the sake of my children and grandchildren that US arrogance doesn't go that far?

In reply to by bshirley1968

bshirley1968 philipat Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

Yeah. I was listening to Sean Hannity blather on today about "peace through strength". That is one of those phrases that sounds good up front until you think it through.
People like that phrase when they are the ones with "strength" because that gives them the option to "enforce" peace....on their terms.....to the weak. "Peace through strength" is double speak for "might makes right".

Anyway, I guess the Chinese are some peace lovin' fools because they are building them some real strength in the South CHINA Sea.

In reply to by philipat

Laowei Gweilo TBT or not TBT Wed, 04/25/2018 - 22:45 Permalink

what i mean was, putting international convention and rules and trade aside, consider it just from a superpower geopolitical chessboard POV...  and imagine how quickly convention would go out the window in the Gulf in a similar situation. i mean, just looks at the last time the Soviets were 'in' Cuba =p

ramp that up to military drills and aircraft carriers in a modern era, and we'd probably be building islands in the Gulf pretty quickly, too -- either that or Cuba would suddenly need some more 'freedom and liberty' :D

again, can argue it's wrong in a lot of different ways. but would we do anything less in the exact same situation? or, more aptly, does our history suggest we would ;p 

ultimately China is gonna continue to take solidify position there, and US will continue to try counter it. both will posture and likely use it as leverage for political and economic interactions, but ultimately not let it threaten economic dependency China and US has with one another -- all the while both benefiting from how it bolsters nationalism at home (distracting from economic concerns when convenient) and benefiting military industrial spending ^_^ 

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

directaction TBT or not TBT Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:21 Permalink

The United Satans owns all of the China Seas plus also owns:  the Gulf of Mexico ... and the Persian Gulf ... and the Indian Ocean ... and the Philippine Sea ... and the Gulf of Thailand ... and the Great Australian Bight ... and the Arabian Sea ... and the Gulf of Guinea ... and the Gulf of Finland ... and the Norwegian Sea ... and the North Sea, the South Sea, the West Sea and the East Sea.  

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

Quantify Laowei Gweilo Thu, 04/26/2018 - 03:11 Permalink

China has conducted military drills off on U.S. territorial waters. Guam to be specific. And the U.S. has every right to conduct drills within 12 miles of any country per international treaty. As does other countries. That said China does not own the South China sea per a ruling by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is at the core of modern maritime law and has been signed by over 160 nations (including China).  

https://qz.com/729524/chinas-activities-in-the-south-china-sea-are-illegal-and-destroying-the-environment-an-international-court-finds/

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

kralizec Laowei Gweilo Thu, 04/26/2018 - 08:02 Permalink

Don't have to imagine it, the Russians have done that time to time...as well as park Boomers off the coast...so...

And China seizing territory from neighbors or building artificial islands in disputed areas is OK too?

Well, then in the interest of fairness...everybody should be free and clear to do likewise without objections or the slightest sign of butthurt.

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

thetruthhurts The First Rule Wed, 04/25/2018 - 23:05 Permalink

 

Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.

 

China?  Only 1 in Djibouti... not including the 7 in the China claimed South China sea.

 

 

 

In reply to by The First Rule

11b40 Quantify Thu, 04/26/2018 - 08:41 Permalink

You probably don't relize it but you just summed up the situation and identified why America is doomed.

Basic econ tells us that a country needs to choose EITHER guns OR butter.  Anytime the guns AND butter concept is tried, it fails.  Don't believe it?  Just plot the growth of America's deficit since we were told to go shopping after we invaded Iraq.  Pure stupidity.  What we should have been told is that wars are expensive, and we would be tightening our belts with increased taxes to pay for our adventures.  We would have left the ME 15 years ago if the credit card had been torn up.

In reply to by Quantify

rtb61 TBT or not TBT Thu, 04/26/2018 - 06:31 Permalink

Imagine a cabal duopoly state where it does matter what the current leader is, the government is run by the deep state and shadow government, with factions that pull in opposing directions creating chaos and threatening the world with nuclear first strikes including countries who do not have nuclear weapons, this in the most stupid fashion imaginable to drive the spread of nuclear weapons, in order to drive defence systems sales.

The leader of the government of China still has to be elected and China is not the only country with unlimited terms for elected leaders as long as they continue to be elected. The main reason the current leader of China is popular within China is because economic development policies have been successful.

Of course China is spending a huge amount on military equipment because most of their stuff is old mass attack crap and they need to replace the majority of it, the look to be going real boom bust in the military industrial complex, pushing enormous sales to update as quickly as possible, rather than distributing over time. They will be looking to generate export sales after they have updated and will likely flood the world with cheap arms and munitions, hugely undercutting the US and causing problems with that flood on arms and munitions in diplomatic problematic states, especially Africa.

They seem to be going through a transition, playing close attention to Russian diplomacy and military developments and the Government of China is refining it's diplomatic efforts. They still have quite a chip on their shoulder and a lot more talking and respect needs to be used to bring them to the table far more effectively.

Rather than contesting them in Africa, the US should do more to contribute to South America in a positive fashion (no stupid shit) and let China see how it will go in Africa, what is to be expected, initial boom, with Africans expecting to become rich, then not becoming rich and then seeking to gain wealth through violence, forcing China to defend it's investments, which leads to an increase of violence etc. etc.

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

Pacman7293 algol_dog Thu, 04/26/2018 - 06:37 Permalink

Can't abandon Taiwan. This is a communist centralized power structure where people who have too much individuality and free thought are denied rights of commerce and travel. It's not their back yard any more than it's Taiwan, Vietnam Philippines Singapore's back yard, officially it's international waters. Give them an inch they'll take a mile. 

In reply to by algol_dog