T Nation

TPP?


#1

With all the other bread and circus BS going on, I'm surprised that this one hasn't been mentioned as it would appear to be a big deal.

Anybody have the scoop?

Also, it appears some of the left wing outlets are complaining that half of the legislation is classified and that the Congressmen who have to vote on it aren't allowed to read it yet big business has access to it. I haven't familiarized myself with details yet, but it all does sound a bit fishy.


#2

Also, Bismark and SexMachine if you guy’s are still out there I would appreciate any thoughts and comments on the CFR’s report: “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China” ( http://www.cfr.org/china/revising-us-grand-strategy-toward-china/p36371 ) and if this is marking a dramatic shift between our relations with the Chinese.

Also Ash Carter mentioned preparing some military options for the Spratly Islands dispute. Do you think the US will be party to a small scale military confrontation with them and use it perhaps to feel out how a larger war will play out?


#3

I agree with the policy prescriptions put forth by “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China” I’m in favor of the TTP for the reasons put forth in the full report.

The Spratly Islands chain consists of by more than 100 small islands and reefs in the South China Sea. As Brantly Womack points out, “The islands themselves are insignificant as real estate, with a total of only five square kilometers of damp sand and no fresh water. They do not qualify as habitable according to the Law of the Sea, and thus do not carry rights of coastal waters.” The island chain holds, however, potentially immense economic benefits. The Geology and Mineral Resources Ministry of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has estimated that the Spratly area holds oil and natural gas reserves of 17.7 billion tons. By comparison, the Emirate of Kuwait, a very energy rich state, holds 13 billion tons of hydrocarbons. If the PRC’s analysis is accurate, the Spratly Islands would be the fourth largest reserve bed in the world. As the eminent political geographer Saul Bernard Cohen writes, “It is unlikely that China will yield on the Spratlys because of their oil and gas potential and China’s growing dependence upon imported energy supplies.” Consider Beijing’s recent bullying in the South China Sea. In March 2014, Chinese coast guard boats blocked the Philippines from accessing its outposts on the Spratly Islands. Two months later, China moved an oil rig into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, clashing with Vietnamese fishing boats. In regard to actualized resources, the South China Sea’s share in world fish production grew from 7 percent in 1961 to 35 percent in 2010, making it a vitally important area for commercial fishing enterprises.

I haven’t heard the military options SecDef Carter mentioned. Do you have a link? The US will not be directly involved in a military confrontation regarding the Spratlys unless China acts to control the South China Sea shipping lane, among the world’s most important. A skirmish in the region could easily escalate into full on war. The name of the game will be deterrence, as indicated by the so-called “pivot” to Asia. By 2020, the navy and the air force plan to base 60 percent of their forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Although deterrence through the prospect of punishment, in the form of air strikes and naval blockades, has a role to play in discouraging Chinese adventurism, Washington’s goal, and that of its allies and partners, should be to achieve deterrence through denial - to convince Beijing that it simply cannot achieve its objectives with force.

I believe that land-based missile systems stationed in critical regions (such as the South China Sea) will constitute a key part of deterrence. Missile-intensive forces are better at denying opposing forces the ability to project power than conducting cross-border invasions. They represent the leading edge of so-called anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) systems - along with air defenses, antisatellite weaponry, advanced fighter aircraft, quiet diesel submarines, mines, and cyberweapons - which are raising the costs for outside countries to project power. These advanced missile systems could also be supplied to other states who have claims and military forces forward deployed in the Spratlys, namely, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines.


#4

[quote]theuofh wrote:

Also, it appears some of the left wing outlets are complaining that half of the legislation is classified and that the Congressman who have to vote on it aren’t allowed to read it yet [/quote]

I have heard very similar things. If this is the case, how can you claim this is government by, for, and of the people?


#5

[quote]Bismark wrote:
These advanced missile systems could also be supplied to other states who have claims and military forces forward deployed in the Spratlys, namely, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. [/quote]

Do you think we would do this? I think it would be a good idea, but how about politically? How would China react?


#6

The secrecy has to cause concern. If it is such a good idea, why can’t the public see it? Many in Congress don’t even know what’s in the TPP. I can’t imagine how any citizen can take anything the govt. says at face value.

(Dan Carlin’s Common Sense has a recent podcast on this topic titled “The Illusion of Control” which is a very good listen, assuming you are talking about the TPP)

It potentially gives corporations the power to sue governments that enact/enforce laws, laws that the citizens may support mind you, that hurt their bottom line. No wonder fortune 500 companies love it.

And the case would be heard but an outside tribunal of private lawyers not tied to any country’s legal system.


#7

[quote]dk44 wrote:
The secrecy has to cause concern. If it is such a good idea, why can’t the public see it? Many in Congress don’t even know what’s in the TPP. I can’t imagine how any citizen can take anything the govt. says at face value.

(Dan Carlin’s Common Sense has a recent podcast on this topic titled “The Illusion of Control” which is a very good listen, assuming you are talking about the TPP)

It potentially gives corporations the power to sue governments that enact/enforce laws, laws that the citizens may support mind you, that hurt their bottom line. No wonder fortune 500 companies love it.

And the case would be heard but an outside tribunal of private lawyers not tied to any country’s legal system.[/quote]

Sorry if this comes off as a stupid question, but is he related to George Carlin ? George was classic.


#8

[quote]Bismark wrote:
I haven’t heard the military options SecDef Carter mentioned. Do you have a link? [/quote]


#9

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:

Also, it appears some of the left wing outlets are complaining that half of the legislation is classified and that the Congressman who have to vote on it aren’t allowed to read it yet [/quote]

I have heard very similar things. If this is the case, how can you claim this is government by, for, and of the people?

[/quote]

I think the era we are entering into is a new Cold War era and when this typically happens, there tends to be a sacrifice of typical liberal democratic values for Security interests. It happened in WWII with the internment of the Japanese, in the Cold War with the purge of the communist fifth columners, Vietnam with domestic operations aimed at the anti-war movement, and The War on Terror with domestic surveillance.

If you look at some of the national security strategies aimed at our primary geopolitical rivals, namely Russian and China, they are aimed at producing a military capable of engaging in and winning two “major regional contingencies” or two-front wars. This is straight out of the Cold War playbook.

I think this legislation is designed around meeting this geostrategic goal according to an “unrestricted warfare” model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrestricted_Warfare

Autocracies are on the rise and America will adapt to do what needs to be done to combat them.

They look at the majority of voters as sheep or children, and I don’t hold that against them at all.


#10

Something needs to be done to check China before they can really enforce their “claims”


#11

From your article:

“In the end, the US and the rest of the world may only confront China on the issue once Flanker fighter jets are flying from these man-made islands and missile batteries are being installed on them. At that point, short of dabbling in the possibility mutually assured economic destruction, whereby the Chinese could dump US bonds if America were to threaten high tariffs on Chinese goods, or other acts of negative reinforcement, it will probably be too late.”


#12

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]dk44 wrote:
The secrecy has to cause concern. If it is such a good idea, why can’t the public see it? Many in Congress don’t even know what’s in the TPP. I can’t imagine how any citizen can take anything the govt. says at face value.

(Dan Carlin’s Common Sense has a recent podcast on this topic titled “The Illusion of Control” which is a very good listen, assuming you are talking about the TPP)

It potentially gives corporations the power to sue governments that enact/enforce laws, laws that the citizens may support mind you, that hurt their bottom line. No wonder fortune 500 companies love it.

And the case would be heard but an outside tribunal of private lawyers not tied to any country’s legal system.[/quote]

Sorry if this comes off as a stupid question, but is he related to George Carlin ? George was classic. [/quote]

No, he isn’t related to George Carlin (he is absolutely a classic!). Dan Carlin is a history aficionado who puts out 2 podcasts, Hardcore History and Common Sense. The Hardcore History podcast, which is fantastic, covers different historical topics (WW1, Genghis Khan, Martin Luther’s Reformation, etc.). The Common Sense podcast deals with current issues, and his latest was on the TPP. Be warned, his stuff is highly addicting.


#13

http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-urges-china-reduce-tensions-south-china-sea-071331994.html

Kerry urges China to reduce South China sea tensions. The Chinese laugh at him.


#14

[quote]Aggv wrote:
Something needs to be done to check China before they can really enforce their “claims”

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/look-how-quickly-china-is-building-its-island-bases-out-1691571576[/quote]

The article suggests that China’s artificial island construction in the Spratly’s will give Beijing "the ability to claim a vast economic exclusion zone [sic] where it could control shipping, fishing, energy production, and even air travel over one of the busiest transportation corridors in the world . . . The reality is that under the UN’s Law and Sea Convention [sic] an island, even a small one, gets 12 nautical miles out to sea of territory to call its own and another 200 miles in any direction of mineral and fishing rights . . . [Artificial island construction thus threatens to grant Chinese a “continuous swath of control ranging over hundreds of miles.”

The above line of reasoning is egregiously flawed, and undermines the entire article. Under maritime law UNCLOS) uninhabitable islands (such as the Spratlys) are incapable of granting a 12 nautical mile territorial sea, much less a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. (EEZ). Artificial islands have a similar legal status.


#15

[quote]Bismark wrote:
under the UN’s Law [/quote]

like that matters to the chinese


#16

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-urges-china-reduce-tensions-south-china-sea-071331994.html

Kerry urges China to reduce South China sea tensions. The Chinese laugh at him.[/quote]

Not quite. The Celestial Kingdom has a long memory, when it serves its purposes. Like Taiwan, the Spratlys are an issue of national honor and sovereignty. Many Chinese, especially those in power, hold a perception that the United States is actively seeking â??to prevent China from prospering and gaining its rightful place at the top of the world system.â?? It claims that it has the best case to the Spratlys by right of discovery dating back to 265 B.C. The claim is dubious under international law, of course. The annual sojourns of Chinese civilian fishermen to the region did not constitute acts of state sovereignty. As private citizens, those actors did not enjoy legal personality under international law. China demonstrated little to no contact with the Spratly Islands from the 15th century to the 19th century. If discovery alone indeed conferred title (which it doesn’t), this nearly four hundred year absence of state activity would still constitute a period of irreparable material interruption. At best, the Spratlys were rendered res nullius, nobody’s property, at the end of World War II.


#17

[quote]Aggv wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:
under the UN’s Law [/quote]

like that matters to the chinese[/quote]

Are you incapable of reasoned thought? I made it abundantly clear that I was quoting the article you linked to. Let’s try this again. Remember, these " are quotation marks, and signal where I’m quoting the article.

The article suggests that China’s artificial island construction in the Spratly’s will give Beijing:

“the ability to claim a vast economic exclusion zone [sic] where it could control shipping, fishing, energy production, and even air travel over one of the busiest transportation corridors in the world . . . The reality is that under the UN’s Law and Sea Convention [sic] an island, even a small one, gets 12 nautical miles out to sea of territory to call its own and another 200 miles in any direction of mineral and fishing rights”

I stated that the argument above is egregiously flawed and has no legal basis under international law, which significantly undermines the entire article.


#18

[quote]Bismark wrote:
… [/quote]

Once again…“like that matters to the Chinese”. Are they going to obey international law? What will happen if they do not?

Do you see the Chinese one day controlling this economic zone via man-made islands armed with carrier destroyer DF 21-D missiles or am just thinking out of my Amygdala as Varq has suggested?


#19

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Aggv wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:
under the UN’s Law [/quote]

like that matters to the chinese[/quote]

Are you incapable of reasoned thought?

I stated that the argument above is egregiously flawed and has no legal basis under international law, which significantly undermines the entire article.[/quote]

LOLOLOL coming from you…

i stated that international law more than likely does not matter to the chinese.

"
Wang indicated that while China was prepared to talk, it would not back down on the construction that, he said, “is something that falls fully within the scope of China’s sovereignty.”

“The determination of the Chinese side to safeguard our own sovereignty and territorial integrity is as firm as a rock, and it is unshakable”
"

kinda sounds like they dont care and are going to do what they want.


#20

[quote]Gkhan wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:
… [/quote]

Once again…“like that matters to the Chinese”. Are they going to obey international law? What will happen if they do not?

Do you see the Chinese one day controlling this economic zone via man-made islands armed with carrier destroyer DF 21-D missiles or am just thinking out of my Amygdala as Varq has suggested?

[/quote]

They aren’t violating international law by constructing islands in the Spratlys. They are unable to cogently claim territorial seas and an exclusive economic zone from those islands, however. The natural islands in the Spratlys also are unable to be a basis for the aforementioned claims, as they are uninhabitable under maritime law.

Given their proximity to several major international shipping lanes, China would be unable to legally restrict the movement of commercial shipping, even if it were granted a territorial sea from the natural or artificial islands under its control. Its worth noting that currently, 46 islands in the chain are occupied by state military forces. Of these 46, Vietnam occupies 27, which constitutes nearly 60% of the Spratlys. By comparison, China only occupies 7 islands (15%). Ergo, Vietnam’s holdings are four times that of China’s.