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  • (dramatic music)

  • - China is asserting claims to all the waters and air space

  • of the South China Sea.

  • And they're doing it not primarily with military

  • or law enforcement vessels,

  • they're doing it with an armed militia

  • that camouflages itself by operating on fishing boats.

  • The maritime militia is really the tip

  • of the spear for China's power projection

  • in the South China Sea.

  • The South China Sea is the most contested piece

  • of geography on the planet.

  • The largest recent deployment we've seen of this militia

  • has taken place over the last seven months

  • around Thitu Island which is occupied

  • by about 100 Filipino civilians

  • and a small military contingent.

  • China has had dozens of these militia boats

  • surrounding the island every day.

  • On a shot from December 20th,

  • what you see is 95 Chinese boats.

  • The heaviest day that we have monitored around this feature.

  • Every one of them are large.

  • None of them broadcasting the signals that they should be

  • to avoid collisions.

  • None of them with nets or other gear in the water.

  • None of them fishing.

  • They just sit there for long periods of time monitoring

  • and intimidating the Filipinos.

  • It seems clear that China's goal in the South China Sea

  • is to establish effective dominance of all the waters

  • and air space within what they call the 9-Dash Line.

  • They don't want to do that by fighting a military conflict

  • with the United States or anybody else.

  • What they want to do is use civilian actors,

  • these paramilitary forces to effectively control the space.

  • Make it impossible for their neighbors to operate,

  • and therefore win without ever having to fight.

  • The U.S. needs to turn away

  • from strictly military responses.

  • The U.S. Navy has a role in deterring outward aggression

  • and backing up our partners.

  • But the U.S. Navy cannot secure

  • fishing rights for Filipinos.

  • They can't secure law enforcement rights

  • for their neighbors.

  • The only thing that can do that is a diplomatic

  • and maybe economic effort in trying to convince China

  • to modify its claims and especially its behavior

  • to take these paramilitary forces off the board

  • before there's a crisis.

(dramatic music)

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B1 US china china sea south china militia south sea

China's Maritime Militias in the South China Sea

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    Sandra posted on 2021/11/02
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