World View: China and Philippines Close to Confrontation in South China Sea

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • U.S./Philippine joint naval exercises will challenge China's claims
  • China military strategy on trend to seize Ayungin from Philippines
  • Britain ends last line of defense against an interstellar alien invasion

U.S./Philippine joint naval exercises will challenge China's claims

BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal (Chiangrai Times)
BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal (Chiangrai Times)

U.S. and Philippine warships will conduct a joint naval exercise near islands in the South China Sea that have historically belonged to the Philippines but which are claimed by China as having "indisputable sovereignty" over.  Six US and Philippine warships and 1,000 American and Filipino sailors and servicemen will take part in a joint naval exercise in Ayungin Shoal (called Renai Reef by the Chinese) from June 27 to July 2. The exercises will include fire drills, maritime interdiction, ship boarding and seizure, and aerial surveillance. The exercises were scheduled in 2010. 

Tensions have been rising because of a Philippine warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, that was grounded on the shoal in 1999. China has accused the Filipinos of grounding the warship on purpose and has been demanding for years that the Philippine navy remove the warship from China's sovereign territory. Instead, the Filipinos stationed marines on the ship and have been regularly sending in supplies, which has angered the Chinese. The Chinese have imposed a "three-layered" naval defense around the region to prevent Filipino fishermen from getting there. China Daily and Xinhua and Philippines Star

China military strategy on trend to seize Ayungin from Philippines

China appears to be on the military path to seize the Ayungin Shoal / Renai Reef from the Philippines, following the military strategy that was stunningly successful last year in seizing the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. The Chinese sent a fleet of warships into the region to challenge Filipino ships. At one point, the Philippine Navy had two ships facing off against 90 Chinese vessels. The United States brokered a negotiated settlement where both sides would withdraw their vessels. The Philippines complied, but the Chinese reneged and instead took complete control of an island historically the territory of the Philippines. The United States expressed outrage at the Chinese subterfuge but took no other action. 

Chinese experts praised the operation as an adroit exercise of Chinese power and are now encouraging the government to follow a similar strategy to seize the Ayungin Shoal. They are counting on the fact that the U.S. will, once again, take no action except to express outrage. However, the Filipinos will not fall for a similar subterfuge this time and there may be a military confrontation, even though the Philippine navy is substantially inferior to the emerging blue-water Chinese navy. Jamestown and Chiangrai (Thailand) Times

Britain ends last line of defense against an interstellar alien invasion

Flying object photographed in 1981 in Vancouver (Reuters)
Flying object photographed in 1981 in Vancouver (Reuters)

Britain has released the last of the government's UFO files from the Ministry of Defense's "UFO Desk," which was closed in November 2009 after 60 years in operation. The closure announcement resulted in a spurt of new UFO sighting reports, though not nearly as many as after the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind reached movie theaters in 1978. The decision to close the UFO Desk was made after defense secretary Bob Ainsworth was told that in 50 years "no UFO sighting reported has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK." Irish Times and UK National Archives on UFOs 

Those who are interested in this subject may find it interesting to read my discussion on the existence of extraterrestrials in Chapter 7 - The Singularity of my unfinished book, "Generational Dynamics for Historians." The following is a brief outline of the arguments in that chapter: 

  • It is almost a mathematical certainty that there is intelligent life in many places in the universe. Some places will be technologically ahead of us, some behind.
  • Any planet with intelligent life must follow the same technological path as earth. You can't invent the car before you've invented the wheel. Technology invention must occur in the same order on every planet with intelligent life.
  • Therefore, any such planet will reach the Singularity at the same point in its technological development. The Singularity is the point in time when computers will be more intelligent and more creative than humans and will be able to start improving themselves very rapidly. I estimate that the Singularity will occur on earth around 2030.
  • Interstellar travel will not be possible prior to the Singularity. Therefore, any interstellar travelers will not be little green men with three eyes and antennae. They'll be super-intelligent computers who will be well aware that we're about to reach the Singularity, and may well be waiting around for us to reach that point and pass it so that we'll be intelligent enough to communicate with them.

Chapter 7 - The Singularity

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Philippines, Ayungin Shoal, Renai Reef, South China Sea, BRP Sierra Madre, Scarborough Shoal, Britain, UFO Desk, Bob Ainsworth, Singularity 

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