The Heart Of The Matter In The South China Sea

“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet.”

Escobar: The Heart Of The Matter In The South China Sea

See the source imageby Tyler Durden
Fri, 07/31/2020

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times

When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz, is that the ops were conducted to “reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners”.

Nobody pays attention to these clichés, because the real message was delivered by a CIA operative posing as diplomat, Secretary of State Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo: “The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, in a reference to the Nine-Dash Line. For the State Dept., Beijing deploys nothing but “gangster tactics” in the South China Sea.

Mach 10 DF-21D 1991

Once again, nobody paid attention, because the actual facts on the sea are stark. Anything that moves in the South China Sea – China’s crucial maritime trade artery – is at the mercy of the PLA, which decides if and when to deploy their deadly DF-21D and DF-26 “carrier killer” missiles.

There’s absolutely no way the US Pacific Fleet can win a shooting war in the South China Sea.

Electronically jammed

A crucial Chinese report, unavailable and not referred to by Western media, and translated by Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Wing Polin, is essential to understand the context.

The report refers to US Growler electronic warplanes rendered totally out of control by electronic jamming devices positioned on islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

DF-26 missile

More Advance DF-26 2016

According to the report, “after the accident, the United States negotiated with China, demanding that China dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of China’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable.”

It gets better:

“On the same day, former commander Scott Swift of the US Pacific Fleet finally acknowledged that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H-6K bombers, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter their ‘Waterloo.’”

“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet.”

The bottom line is that the systems – including electronic jamming – deployed by the PLA on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, covering more than half of the total surface, are considered by Beijing to be part of the national defense system.

See the source image

I have previously detailed what Admiral Philip Davidson, when he was still a nominee to lead the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told the US Senate. Here are his Top Three conclusions:

1) “China is pursuing advanced capabilities (e.g., hypersonic missiles) which the United States has no current defense against. As China pursues these advanced weapons systems, US forces across the Indo-Pacific will be placed increasingly at risk.”
2) “China is undermining the rules-based international order.”
3) “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Implied in all of the above is the “secret” of the Indo-Pacific strategy: at best a containment exercise, as China continues to solidify the Maritime Silk Road linking the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

For the full Zero Hedge article, click HERE 


See the source imageOther missile system:

The JL-3 is a Chinese third-generation intercontinental-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in development. It will likely deploy on the Type 096, a predicted future class of Chinese ballistic missile submarine.

The missile is solid-fueled and has a reported range of over 9,000 km (5,600 miles). Chinese and US sources reports ranges up to 12,000 km (7,400 miles).

In addition to the JL-3, China also possesses the land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the sophisticated DF-41s.

See the source image

The DF-41 has a range of up to 15,000 km (9,320 miles), more than any missile on Earth, and can reach all areas of United States, Europe and Russia. It will take roughly 20-25 minutes from launch for the DF-41 to reach targets in the United States, wiping out an entire country.

A number of these road-mobile ICBMs are stored in tunnels. Hence the missiles are well protected. Once on high alert the road-mobile launchers leave the tunnels and fire their missiles from nearby launch positions. Alternatively the launcher vehicles can leave their bases and operate undetected in remote areas. So China’s missiles are typically harder to intercept and destroy than stationary silo-based missiles. These have a high probability of surviving the first strike once the country has been attacked.

The PCL191 system

The new PCL191 system is understood to be capable of destroying multiple strategic targets such as airports, command points, and supply bases. One of the locations it is reportedly stationed at now is Xiamen in Fujian Province, just a stone’s throw away from Taiwan.

China’s new PCL191 multiple launch rocket system is capable of firing ballistic missiles up to 500km. Photo: HandoutA report in the latest issue of Modern Ships praises the Chinese multiple launch rocket system called the Type PCL191 as the most cutting-edge piece of weaponry capable of firing both rockets and ballistic missiles. The modular launcher appears to be based on the AR3 system intended for the export market.

The modular rocket system can carry eight 370mm (14½ inch) rockets – each with a range of 350km (220 miles) – or two 750mm Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missiles – each capable of flying up to 500km.

The new generation MLRS system has extended China’s firing range to cover everywhere they want to hit: The Taiwan Strait is just 180km across.


~ by Joel Huan on August 2, 2020.

3 Responses to “The Heart Of The Matter In The South China Sea”

  1. […] Read how the United States could meet its Waterloo In The South China Sea click HERE […]

  2. […] ‘Waterloo.’” Read how the United States could meet its Waterloo In The South China Sea click HERE […]

  3. […] Read How The US 7th Fleet Could Meet Its Waterloo In The South China Sea HERE […]

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