Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney joined SirusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about The Hague’s decision against Chinese territorial claims, a momentous event that seems likely to increase tensions across the Pacific Rim.
“They’ve got now an international ruling against their essential hegemonism and increasing belligerence in the South China Sea,” Gaffney said.
The Hague was unimpressed by Beijing’s legal arguments, which Bannon humorously characterized as citing “ancient scrolls” that say everything west of Japan belongs to China, and Gaffney mocked as China arguing that its name is smack-dab in the middle of “South China Sea,” so it must belong to them.
“Steve, you’re an old Navy guy. The United States Navy has been pushing for years to get this country into this Law of the Sea Treaty,” Gaffney noted. “And many of us have been warning, hey, wait a minute; this is going to be a mug’s game because it will inevitably translate into constriction, and restraints, and other burdens and costs.”
“I mean, this whole concern that’s been expressed about the Trans-Pacific Partnership is, at least in part, about the loss of sovereignty,” he continued. “That would have been, I believe, one of the prices we would have paid in the Law of the Sea Treaty. We got a good ruling out of this court – but we’re being vindicated because the Chinese aren’t going to pay any attention to it at all.”
“In fact, I would guess – if not right away, in short order – you’re going to see them announcing an Air Defense Identification Zone over some of these areas that the court has said aren’t theirs,” he said, adding, “and they’re going to begin – essentially beginning probably in the next six months, I would say, to say to people: ‘You have to get our permission to fly over or operate in these waters.’”
“Push will come to shove,” Gaffney predicted, referring to the Center for Security Policy’s free book Warning Order: China Prepares for Conflict, and Why We Must Do the Same. He said the book “really lays out what is behind this controversy, and the possibility for conflict.”
Bannon pointed out that the international court at The Hague delivered a much stronger rebuke to China’s ambitions than anything the United States has done. Unfortunately, both American and United Nations pressure sounds increasingly like hollow bluster to China, as the Obama administration degrades U.S. military power.
“You remember the old line from Stalin: ‘How many divisions does the Pope have?’” said Gaffney. “How many divisions, how many battle groups, does the U.N. have? Zero.”
He quoted Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, former commander of the Pacific Fleet, saying that “he had more ships in his command, back in the 1980s, than we have in the entire United States Navy today.”
“They’re regarding us, the Chinese, as a paper tiger, unfortunately,” Gaffney warned. “If we don’t back up this potentially important ruling, they will, I think, continue not only to dominate that region, but extend it even further and more aggressively at our expense.”
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