The best place in the world to use Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) to target the Unite

Things are about to heat up in the South China Sea and the Trudeau government is going to need to be on the side of law and the side of right. The Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces need to start identifying what ships we are going to dispatch with U.S. carrier groups transiting and patrolling the region to exercise freedom of navigation.

Yesterday we looked at why China was tiring of North Korea’s antics, and it is because China has strategic interests of its own now being compromised by the North. For example, in January, during his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, warned that the United States might restrict Chinese access to their man-made off shore islands in the South China Sea. Last Saturday it was announced that the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, would be joined by the destroyer, USS Wayne E. Meyer, in a transit of the contested South China Sea and likely to sail within the 12 nautical miles of China’s artificial islands. China just ended its military exercises in the region on Friday including its own aircraft carrier group. China has laid claim to almost all of the South China Sea thought to be resource rich with fish and oil and natural gas, as well as being, the main transit way for maritime trade in the Western Pacific to the tune of $5 trillion. As a further wrinkle, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the disputed waters but China has taken it further than the rest. Furthermore, the Spratlys consists of 100 small islands and reefs of which 45 are occupied by China, Malaysia, Vietnam or the Philippines. Beijing has rejected the ruling last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that dismissed Chinese claims to the South China Sea.

But China has taken the matter to far greater lengths than its neighbors and there are strategic reasons as well as economic ones for doing so. China has said both the Paracels and the Spratlys Islands are an "integral part" of its territory and Beijing has warned that, “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.” A U.S. Pentagon report in 2016 reported that three of the artificial islands in the Spratly Island chains sport 10,000-foot runways and large ports. China has also reportedly constructed communications, logistics and intelligence gathering facilities on these islands. China is reportedly nearing completion of 20 some buildings that are capable of housing long-range surface-to-air missiles on three islands: Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross. This makes many observers question when China will declare an air defense zone around the area and when it will deploy the world’s first Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile the DF-21D "carrier killer" with a range of about 810 miles. This would allow China to attack American aircraft carriers before the US's longest-range carrier-based aircraft could strike the Chinese forward bases.

The Chinese Strategy post territory and economic grab in the South China Sea is to use the so-called “First Island Chain” and “Second Island Chain” as a strategic hedge to keep the United States and its naval power from Chinese shores. The First Island Chain refers to the first chain of major islands from the East Asian continental mainland coast including the Kuril Islands, Japanese Archipelago, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, the northern Philippines, and Borneo. The Second Island Chain, is comprised of U.S. territory including; Mariana Islands, Guam and Palau. From bases in these two island chains China can project power out into the Pacific and complicate U.S. efforts to support Taiwan and Japan in times of conflict without resorting to nuclear arms. It would also strengthen China’s ability to control the sea routes and critical maritime-borne trade to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and others. Here is the rub, it currently does not control either island chain and so it is building its own to try and exert influence and control over the area politically and militarily.

Like all ‘non status quo’ powers, China, the country our Prime Minister said that he admires the most, represents a threat to regional and potentially global security. The Third Island Chain is believed to be the Aleutian Islands and Hawaii. The best place in the world to use Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) to target the United States and Russia, is Canada’s Arctic waters. Worried yet?

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