Guest post by Lawrence Sellin, Li-Meng Yan and Ding-Gang Wang.
Has the first blow been struck in China’s plan to destroy the U.S. Indo-Pacific defense strategy?
The following information, provided by Lude Media, describes an alleged military incident, which has not yet been reported by the international media. It will be updated as new information becomes available.
From the Central Military Committee of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA): In the afternoon of May 30, 2022 local time, over 10 PLA navy and military-civilian fusion ships (including fishing boats and scientific research ships) conducted a military drill around the Japanese-administered Okinotori Island, during which tetrapod coastal engineering structures meant to sustain the island’s integrity against sea erosion were allegedly damaged by fire from PLA ships. Subsequently, the PLA ships attempted to surround a nearby Japanese civilian fishing vessel, which managed to escape. The PLA ships then left the area before Japanese defense forces could respond.
Perhaps not coincidentally, within hours of that yet unconfirmed event, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian stated in an official press conference that Okinotori is a reef, not an island, and cannot have an exclusive economic zone surrounding it. Thus, Japan’s claim violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Zhao Lijian said that the surface area of Okinotori Reef exposed to the water surface at high tide is less than 10 square meters, but Japan illegally claimed nearly 700,000 square kilometers of jurisdictional sea area around Okinotori Island.
It is true that Japan has tried to sustain and build up Okinotori Island using tetrapod and other structures to bolster its claim for an economic exclusion zone, a claim that has been disputed by China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Nevertheless, China’s objective is far more insidious than just challenging an economic exclusion zone.
In addition to using Okinotori or similar issues as information warfare to resurrect fears of World War Two-era Japanese militarism and expansionism to divide U.S. allies in the region, China plans to destroy the U.S. Indo-Pacific First and Second Island Chain defense structure established during the Korean War to contain the expansion of Communist China.
The map shows the positions of the First and Second Island Chains, which China intends to dominate militarily, the yellow dot indicating the approximate position of Okinotori Island.
Taiwan is the linchpin of the First Island Chain, control of which would ensure domination of the East and South China Seas and the isolation of South Korea.
China does not intend to stop there, but will attempt to control the Pacific region as far east as the Second Island Chain, which would separate Japan and the Philippines from the U.S. western Pacific defense zone.
China’s western Pacific strategy is part of an overall plan to destroy the entire U.S. Indo-Pacific defense structure and to dismember the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue involving the United States, Japan, India and Australia with the following objectives:
- Control the vital sea lanes of the northern Indian Ocean by linking Chinese military bases and dual-use port facilities with a China-controlled First and Second Island Chain security zone.
- Establish Chinese military-controlled choke points at the strategically-critical entrance of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal and the mouth of the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
- Isolate India economically and militarily via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (now including Afghanistan) through the Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi; by the establishment of military bases in Pakistan; and by the intimidation of India through China-initiated border clashes and infiltration of Islamic extremists from Pakistan into Indian Kashmir (arrows on the map).
- Neutralize Australia and New Zealand by facilitating the election of China-friendly left-wing governments.
The above occurs as America is distracted by Ukraine and weakened by irreconcilable internal division, an uncontrolled invasion through its southern border, steep economic decline and self-inflicted military unpreparedness, all of which has been expedited by a U.S. ruling elite compromised by or even allied with China.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He had a civilian career in international business and medical research. Dr. Sellin is the author of Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution. His email address is [email protected].