After claiming 80% of South China Sea, which is disputed by all littoral nations like Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan China has given orders to its Coast Guard to shoot at sight any ship without taking anybody’s permission. This is a very dangerous move because there are a number of countries which do not recognize Chinese hegemony on South China Sea. If China does not back track this orders this could start a war.
Just a few months back, US had made its biggest aircraft carrier NIMITZ as well as other ships and submarines protecting it to sail through South China Sea. USA does not believe in Chinese hegemony in South China Sea and feels that international law of right to sail through must prevail. A country can pass such an order in its exclusive economic zone which is basically 300 km from its shore or say coast line. But China cannot claim 80% of South China Sea and say that the entire sea is its.
The fault also lies with US and the littoral countries that allowed China to build nine artificial islands in South China Sea and allowed it to place aircrafts and missiles on these islands with only token protests.
China is doing the same in East China Sea against Japan. It must be remembered that US has taken the responsibility of protecting Japan from Chinese onslaught. However, US during Nixon and Obama time had gone soft on China. Most of Chinese technology is copy paste of US. Despite US knowing it, it did nothing to thwart the rise of China. China used this interim period to enhance its technology and military build-up. Now China is on verge of even surpassing US economy and US has no option but to twiddle its thumbs. Credit must go to US ex-President Donald Trump that he did try to stop China in its track but then that was too little too late. Now let us see that what new American President Joe Biden has to say about this new order of China.
Would the new US President Joe Biden act tough and confront China like Donald Trump, is something which has to be seen. Even India had sent one warship to sail through in South China Sea because US warships were nearby in Taiwan Strait. After Chinese passing this order, India sending its warships to South China Sea will be debatable. We should also remember that Vietnam, a South China Sea country has collaboration with India to explore oil in South China Sea. Whether it will be possible after China passing this order will have to be seen.
To meet collusive threat of China and Pakistan India needs 200 warship and 24 submarines at all times. Truth is that we have just 130 warships and 13 old and rickety Submarines. It is also known to all that to build up a strong Navy it takes a long time. After establishing its dominance over South China Sea, China’s next target of will be Indian Ocean.
Already Chinese warships have been noticed roaming about in Andaman Nicobar Islands and Malacca Strait. India should carefully read the writing on the wall. It’s fine to seek the help of QUAD and US but in the ultimate analysis no country will come to our rescue when chips are down. India has to defend its territory by its own means.