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US losing its naval supremacy

China’s role in creating a multipolar sea

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Lucas Leiroz, research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro… 

The science of geopolitics commonly makes use of the geographical dualism “land and sea”. The great world powers are thus classified as land-based powers or sea-base powers, according to their attitudes. A country that chooses to develop on land has a focus on regional growth, demarcated by the land borders of the continent, seeking to affirm a zone of influence in a given location. The powers that choose to develop by the sea tend to expand outside their continental zones, creating zones of influence on any continent they reach by sea.

Traditionally, Russia and China are classified as land powers and the United States of America as a sea power. The American nation is a historical heir to England, which for a long time reigned sovereign over the oceans. American geopolitics, therefore, is based on tactics of expansion by the sea, allowing this country to act in areas outside its continent, influencing the whole world and thus guaranteeing its global hegemonic power.

It turns out, however, that the advancement of the Chinese Navy may definitively end this American naval supremacy. This week the Chinese fleet in training returned to its base, ending a long and daring journey of more than 40 days across different regions of the Pacific Ocean, an area over which the United States has for long claimed to maintain supremacy. The mission was a complete and extremely advanced military exercise, with rescue training, cannon fire, missile launch, and ship refueling. In their fleet, the Chinese carried several equipment, such as the guided missile destroyer Hohhot, the Xianning missile frigate, the electronic surveillance vessel Tianshuxing and the refueling vessel Chaganhu.

With the exercise, China crossed the International Date Line, which delimits the West and East zones of the globe. “Crossing the International Date Line means that the Chinese Navy is active not only in the Western Pacific Ocean, but that it will gradually advance in the Central and Eastern Pacific”, said Beijing naval expert Li Jie. According to this expert, China has demonstrated that it has sufficient capacity to end American naval supremacy in the oceans in the coming years, being able to freely sail through any area, including the Atlantic Ocean.

At first, some may think that China is provoking the US with these acts. However, in reality, it is a response. For a long time, American naval supremacy created the false idea that these areas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans were some kind of “American territory”. This is a myth to be debunked. The oceans have their own legal status, which places them as “international territories” – areas over which no state can claim sovereignty. In addition, Washington’s maritime policies are becoming increasingly aggressive in the last years.

Not long ago, the US launched two MQ-4C Triton reconnaissance drones to the Andersen Air Force base, in Guam. The purpose of the American military with these drones is to publicly spy on the military activities of China and North Korea, capturing surveillance information that is immediately passed on to the Pentagon. “The introduction of the MQ-4C Triton in the area of ​​Seventh Fleet operations increases the scope of maritime patrol and the reconnaissance capabilities of the US Navy in the western Pacific,” said U.S. Navy Commander Peter Garvin. These drones have a range of 13,000 kilometers and can fly for up to 24 hours, according to data from the Military Watch. Its relentless work in the peaceful zone will collect more intelligence information about China and North Korea than any other technology used so far for the same function.

Also this year, the United States sent a warship to the Spratly Islands, a disputed territory in southern China, in response to the installation of Chinese military bases in the region. The Americans call these maneuvers “freedom of navigation operations” and claim they are peaceful maritime movements. However, what would be the “peaceful interest” in sending highly equipped battleships to areas occupied by a regional power in its continental surroundings?

The distinction between a sea-based potency and a land-based potency can be clearly seen here. China claims sovereignty over a series of islands close to its territory, which make up its subcontinent. The USA, however, with its maritime geopolitics, tries to intervene in areas completely outside its continental territory and acts as a global police, monitoring the military operations of any country in the world.

At the end of last year, Beijing officially demanded that the United States cease its “freedom of navigation operations” on islands in the sea of South China, classifying such operations as provocative. Washington has arbitrarily ignored the Chinese requirement and is now dealing with a simple response from the Asian country, which, for the first time, carried out maritime operations of the same content.

What we are witnessing is the change in China’s attitude towards its geopolitics, from a terrestrial program to a program of greater attention to the seas. It is likely that in a short time Beijing will be disputing the sovereignty of the oceans with the USA and this will allow other countries to undertake projects of the same nature, creating a truly multipolar sea.

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Olivia Kroth
February 28, 2020

“US losing its naval supremacy” – Did it ever have naval supremacy with their old potties?

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 1, 2020

Even with Corona virus the US cannot stop Chinese supremacy of the seas. Hurray for China! US, go home, and take your rusty old potties with you!

Dough Boy
Dough Boy
February 28, 2020

What sort of supremacy can you have when a single modern missile can take out a carrier without breaking a sweating radar blip?

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Dough Boy
February 28, 2020

Win some yacht races?

Fiddler on the WH Roof
Fiddler on the WH Roof
Reply to  penrose
February 28, 2020

They’d fiddle with the rules first. It’s a genetic trait.

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  Dough Boy
February 29, 2020

Or just an electronic warfare device with no need to waste a missile. The US lost whatever naval supremacy it might have had when an unarmed Russian Su-24 jet disabled the electronics on the USS Donald Cook. The Russian aircraft buzzed the US destroyer 12 times and with the use of an electronic warfare device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, GPS, etc. on board the vessel. After the buzzing, the destroyer immediately set sail for a port in Romania. As one would expect, the US tried to convince the world that this had not occurred and that… Read more »

Guaido's Cooked Goose
Guaido's Cooked Goose
February 28, 2020

US losing its marbles, period.

“Researchers at MIT have published yet another study (the third academic study now) showing that the Organization of American States lied: there’s no evidence that the October election in Bolivia was fraudulent”

So, by extrapolation, we can now declare that Venezuela’s election-fraud charges were fraudulent too.

Simple Truths
Simple Truths
Reply to  Guaido's Cooked Goose
February 28, 2020

See, MIT’s brain trust can get away with stuff like this because nobody in Congress, the WH, the MSM or the MIC is willing to take them on. They can all barely pronounce ‘technology’, let alone counter it without looking like fools. They always leave it to fools like Bellingcat so they can maintain a comfortable distance. Besides, the MIC would never offend them. Who would be left to design their weapons, the Atlantic Council? 😉

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  Guaido's Cooked Goose
February 28, 2020

The US wanted to gain control of Bolivia because it wanted to get its filthy mitts on Bolivia’s massive lithium resource in Salar de Ayuni. According to the US Geological Survey, the Salar de Uyuni salt flats contain 9 million tons of lithium, over a quarter of the world’s known reserves. Bolivia was planning to extract the resource itself, but we can’t have that, can we? Much better to steal the lithium and keep Bolivia poor.

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