May 26, 2022

China's 10 Pacific Island Nation Security Plan

Australia's new Foreign Minister Penny Wong of half caucasian, half Hakka (Malaysian) Chinese parentage. Penny Wong is much more articulate and senior in Australia's new Labor Government than her predecessor. the introverted Marise Payne, was in the preceding Coalition Government. Labor still supports AUKUS.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a 20 person delegation have begun visiting 10 Pacific Island nations this week.

This includes physical visits to 7 (west to east in map below) Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati. China is also holding Internet “visits” to the remaining 3, the Cook Islands, Niue and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Map of Pacific Islands courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica.

The US bases in the large, rich, island of Guam are within the much smaller, poorer, islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. So its no surprise that Micronesia's President, David Panuelo, has told leaders of the other 9 Pacific nations that he won’t endorse China’s plans.

Australia's new Foreign Minister, Penny Ying-Yen Wong - from today is conducting visits to most of those island nations over the next few weeks to try to head off China's moves. The 10 island nations have traditionally been Five Eye friendly, with Australia and New Zealand being "Deputy Sheriffs" to keep it that way.

China wants the 10 nations to sign up to a comprehensive agreement covering police,  security, communications infrastructure and fisheries. China training police is significant because most of the island nations do not have defence forces. 

Instead it is island police forces who provide paramilitary power in most of the nations. If China trains these police forces it is these forces that could launch regime changes/coups against their island leaders if those leaders pursue policies not to China’s liking.

China’s fisheries plan has added significance in that China’s vast naval militia fishing fleet conducts the most illegal fishing in the region - especially tuna trawling.

Chinese infrastructure loans, which usually include generous commissions/bribes for Pacific Island leaders, would make China’s illegal fishing legal in many Pacific waters.

Chinese infrastructure offers are thought to include improved mobile phone networks and new internet telecommunications generally. These new networks could more easily be monitored by China’s NSA.

China’s new ambitious plans for these island nations will be on the way to dual-use air and sea ports that could gradually morph into Chinese air and naval bases. This would fundamentally free China from the present situation in which its air and naval forces can be hemmed in within the first island chain in time of war. 

"Pot Calling The Kettle Black"

A historical example of similar creeping island nation domination is US control of Caribbean islands. For example this is present in:

-  The Bahamas which hosts the US’s huge Atlantic Undersea [Submarine] Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC)


the USN's Guantanamo Bay Naval Base maintained by force in an ever reluctant Cuba. This Base was permanently leased to the US under the unequal Treaty of 1903 which followed the US invasion of (then Spanish) Cuba way back in 1898. Under such duress it is no surprise that the CIA reports China is Cuba's largest export destination. 

Yet it is US conventional and nuclear military power that has protected Australia in the past and present.

More see CNBC News' May 25, 2022, report.

May 24, 2022

China Anon's 3rd Message to Submarine Manners

To Arpit Kanodi [May 16-17, 2022 comments and Submarine Matters readers

] China Anons says: 

[1]  "Firstly, if you are living in China, then you be cleared by CCP to post comments here (and somewhat blame CCP to again make a good image in Australian minds, after disastrous policies) after seeing the multi-national nature of this blog."

I have nothing to do with the government, Arpit. If you view China as a country where the government micromanages every single person, you are bound to see China as evil and alien entity. And call me thin-skinned but I also find it insulting since it plays into that stereotype that describes the Chinese people as robots. I would advise you to visit China for a few days after the border opens again to foreigners. Your views would probably change.


[2]  "If you think these are not patronizing, then I must say, CCP indoctrinated you well. The fall of the CCP is guaranteed, the policies they adopted is unsustainable, and Xi Jinping is nothing but Brezhnev 2.0 and but far more stupider. "

Yes, those are the scenarios the PLA prepares for, Taiwan contingency being the most prominent by a huge margin. And CCP is not going to fall anytime soon. Ethnic fault lines that destroyed the USSR don't exist in China, and 70 years of success makes the CCP hugely popular in China. This "CCP will fall soon" was an empty hope by Western governments throughout the last 70 years. And I would say it benefited China.

Taiwan rejected the extremely lopsided reunification offer of Deng Xiaoping. Read about it. The PRC offered even editing the flag and the name of the country. Taiwan was going to keep its military and foreign affairs. [??] All PRC wanted was an official declaration of sovereignty of the PRC in Taiwan. De facto independence would continue and they would get a permanent representative in the mainland's gov. They didn't accept. They didn't declare independence during those years while they can either. KMT was probably hoping for the CCP's collapse so then they could return to the mainland politics.

Clinton and [Presidents George W? or George H W?] Bush tried to influence China through trade. The ultimate goal was obviously adding China to the US-led global order. The US was probably also hoping for the Westernization of China, which would allow substantial US political and cultural influence on China. They thought it would happen inevitably since the CCP had to lose grip. Didn't happen. Chinese people didn't Westernize and the CCP was popular among the public. I think the US would be a lot more forceful against China during the 1990s and 2000s if it knew China wouldn't become a deputy sheriff in the US-led order.

CCP's collapse is an empty hope. It is here to stay.


[3]  "For J-20 don't make me laugh, in 4-5 years Pentagon leaked out exaggerated reports, for lobbies and think tanks to pressurize on US Govt. And gullible Chinese believe it? Right now, several aspects of J-20 is not even 4th gen, leave alone 5th gen. And there is nothing OpSec in J-20 that Ruskies don't know about." 

You can laugh as much as you can. The J-20 is 5th gen. I could go on and write and write a jingoistic breakdown here but I won't. 


[4]  "The Chinese are investing with Russians because they are even far behind the Russians in these technologies. " 

It is not that simple. Russia has experience in enacting early warning systems that monitor a massive area and that can work synchronously with their extremely varied nuclear arsenal. Israel has no such experience. Their country is tiny and their nuclear arsenal is very small. And as I said Russian and Chinese systems will work together for maximum geographical coverage. If we are talking about just radars China is ahead of everyone except the USA. For example where is the Israeli equivalent of JY-27A or SLC-7 [longe range early warning radars]?

Or where is Type 346's [naval AESA radars - see 346B variant] equivalent? The same goes for satellites too. Where is the equivalent of GF-11 and GF-13 [Chinese reconnaissance satellites] in Israel, Russia or India?

May 22, 2022

New Government in Australia Currently pro Nuke Sub

It's been a very interesting 24 hours in Australian politics.

1.  The Australian Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, has won the May 21, 2022, Federal Election. The current Morrison Coalition government has already conceded defeat. 

On ongoing vote counting Labor has won 73 seats in the more important House of Representatives. 76 seats are needed for Labor to govern outright. Labor may well achieve  that 76 magic number.  

The most pro-Labor and powerful "minor party" crossbench grouping are the anti-nuclear Greens with 3 seats (so far). 

If Labor needs to form an alliance with the Greens to govern then things could get interesting. This is concerning Labor's current pro AUKUS nuclear submarine policy, contained here "We will also support new arrangements, such as AUKUS". 

If the Greens tried to block pro-nuclear submarine legislation in the House of Representatives, and/or in the Senate, then it is likely Coalition members would cross the floor to reinforce Labor's vote into an absolute majority. However such a Coalition action is not guaranteed. 

If Labor gets to the 76 seats majority by itself, then the possibility of Greens blocking the nuclear submarines policy is moot. 

On the changing vote/seats counts and with useful hyperlinks this one site is pretty accurate and up to the minute.  

2.  Labor's view of relations with China, and Russia/Ukraine is the same as the Coalition's which is the same as the US/NATO policies. So Labor has a policy that China should abide be the international territorial laws (including China NOT invading Taiwan) and Russia should get out of Ukraine. Australia is supporting and enacting NATO's economic sanctions against Russia and Australia has been sending weapons to Ukraine's army.

May 20, 2022

Blockading China's Trade Not Viable

On the issue of any country blockading China's sea trade from the Indian Ocean and then to the Pacific and China...and blockading the Chinese made goods that flow back into the Indian Ocean and to all other oceans and seas...

I think that would have such adverse knock-on effects to world trade generally that no country would use such a blockade strategy.

China's sea trade is critically important to World economic health, particularly China's major trading partners which happen to include the USA,

South American countries, most European countries and most countries in Asia.

That includes India itself, Japan, the Koreas, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Australia as well as most major economies I haven't mentioned.

Also OPEC values China's demand for oil highly. An unhappy OPEC, especially Saudi Arabia, would also have adverse international trade and financial impacts.  

In this intensively globalised world curtailing China's trade would rapidly impact, even close, stock exchanges, currency markets, metals and primary products markets, US debt bonds and every other economic balance.

China has a very large economy - so it cannot be marginalized like much smaller economies, for example:
-  Japan's economy prior to 1941 and even that led to the Pacific War
-  the Soviet Union's comparitively small economy during the Cold War, or
-  Russia's comparitively small economy today (which is one tenth of China's). 

Take out China's goods servicing the international supply chain and you take out world trade.

Blockading China's trade is not a viable naval tactic, given the high costs to everyone.

May 19, 2022

Virginias for Australia's AUKUS SSN Still Make Sense

Noting the Astute replacements are known as "SSN(R)" and "SSNR". The

replacements are "expected to replace the Astute-class during the 2040s".

The last Astute, HMS Agincourt, is expected to be commissioned in 2026.

So Australia buying UK SSNs would fall between the Astute-class's actual production 

availability and the Astutes don't have the fairly important VLS (for AUKUS

hypersonic cruise missiles).

When the almost certain US Combat System integration for Australia's AUKUS SSN

is included the US Virginia class better fits Australia's content and production schedules.

May 18, 2022

Australia and Possible IUSS Connections

Ultimately operated by the the US-Canadian IUSS Pacific-Indian Ocean, Naval Ocean Processing Facility, Whidbey Island, Washington State, is the following. Above is the track of an IUSS undersea array from Japan, through Southeast Asia, to India. Many customer countries, such as Australia, would use the array's data to keep an eye on interesting submarines, like China's. 

Note the Indian Ocean point of the "hook" terminated at India's Andaman & Nicobar Islands but now extends to Chennai, Indian mainland. Source the late Desmond Ball's and Richard Tanter's, The Tools of Owatatsumi Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Coastal Defence Capabilities (2015, ANU Press) page 54, Map 4

For submarine operations and for IUSS acoustic sensors a great many temperature, salinity, wave motion, seafloor geography and baseline acoustic measures are required to feed supercomputer records of US Naval Intelligence in conjunction with the NSA. Such an amount of data permits 3D modelling.

America's Five Eye partners all do their bit to collect data using sensors on submarines, ships, wave-gliders, AUVs and floats. Floats and AUVs might be assigned certain depths from the surface down to 2,000 meters. After several months the floats or AUVs come to the surface to radio the vast amount of data they have collected or rendevous to be "captured" by friendly ships.

The environmental including acoustic records held on board submarines are tailored to their missions and are constantly updatable. They assist submarines to move discretely and improve the efficiency of IUSS undersea sensors, frequently assisting ASW operations. 

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) constantly conducts measurements often in the context of Australia dual civilian-naval Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).   

IMOS uses passive acoustic hydrophone equipment to monitors natural and "man-made noise sources". Such sources include submarines, surface ships and even maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters flying over hydrophones. 

Hydrophone arrays are strung together physically-electrically (or within acoustic communications range) and are connected to shore stations. For Australia data is then fed  constantly by landline, radio or satellite to major naval bases like Fleet Base West (near Perth) and East (in Sydney). All feeds would also go to Defence HQ Canberra. 

Feeds may be transmitted almost instantly to subs, ships and aircraft pursuing targets or land processed to improve the "picture". Feeds may also go to Five Eye allies and Quads (India and Japan). 

Returning to Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) in more detail:

The RAN and Australian Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group would not be the largest "Operational Partners" of IMOS unless there were concrete military advantages.

As Australia's submarines operate out of Fleet Base West, just sould of Perth, eastern Indian Ocean littoral and deeper oceanic conditions are of major interest.  

Courtesy "IMOS in Western Australia" See a much larger, more readable image here.

The map above relates to IMOS Indian Ocean Deployments including an IMOS technician who dropped Argo Floats along the track above. 

Just Guessing the Following

One could assume from the float track immediately above that an IUSS array from Fleet Base West to Australia's Cocos-Keeling or Christmas islands may be a good idea.

Moving west an array from one of those islands to the US/UK base at Diego Garcia might be a useful Five Eye project. India might also be a customer for that feed data. 

From Diego Garcia an array might be well placed to terminate at the US Naval Base at Djibouti. See map below.

Separately an array from Fleet Base West to the seabed north of Antarctica might be a useful way to intercept Chinese SSNs which may travel the more discrete east to west route south of Australia through the Southern Ocean.

All guesswork.