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Our Navy at South China Sea Betrays Our National Interest

(2022-09-26 07:20:07) 下一个

Royal Canadian Navy deployed HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Winnipeg to Asia from March to September 2017, participating in the “freedom of navigation” led by the USA at the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Then we deployed HMCS Chicoutimi, a Victoria Class submarine, in September 2017 to the same area, and expected to stay there until March 2018.

When was the last time countries encountered navigation problems in that seawaters? That water was first monopolized by Portugal in the 16th Century, then by Dutch in the 17th Century, and by Britain from the 18th Century to the 19th Century. In the 20th Century, British and US warships harbored in Shanghai monopolized the navigation routes along the coast of China and the route of the Yangtze River inside China. During WWII, Japan monopolized the waters for a period of time. After 1949, the West blocked China which strongly interfered with the navigation there. For the last few hundred years, we never had freedom of navigation in the South China Sea until recent few decades.

In 1993, the US Navy intersected the Yinhe, a container ship of China, in the international water. Since the 21st Century, there have been pirates off the Somali Coast. We never send warships to the Somali coast to protect the freedom of navigation. Now with incidents of navigation problems, we sent warships to the South China Sea.

The sidewalk in from our home is our property but the public has the right of passing. The “freedom of navigation” operation in the South China Sea is like putting a machine gun on our sidewalk aiming at our home and claiming the right of passing. It is also a self-fulfilling prophecy claiming the homeowner threatening the right of passing by putting a machine gun on the window when he sees the former robber carrying a gun on the sidewalks. The “freedom of navigation” patrol is provoking while ignoring history.

From December 3 to December 7, 2017, Trudeau visited China, hoping to change the domestic laws of China to the standard of progressive trade. With HMCS Chicoutimi cruising underwater near China, the demand of Trudeau is gunboat diplomacy. Britain dictated the law of trade to China after the Opium War in 1840. But China never yields to foreign powers since 1949. Trudeau was virtually empty-handed from his China visit. But his imperialist attitude toward China harms our national interest more.

The combination of military presence near China and the demanding standards of progressive trade blocked the FTA talks with China. Canada is therefore lost an important bargaining chip on the negotiation table of NAFTA. We don’t have an alternative to bargain with the USA. The Canadian economy is now at the mercy of the USA.

What’s more detrimental is to our Arctic sovereignty. We consider the Northern Passage our domestic water, but many, including the USA, do not recognize that. If we endorse the “rules” layout by the “freedom of navigation”, or our patrol with our allies in the South China Sea becomes an international convention, we are essentially abandoning our Arctic sovereignty. The USA and China, the two permanent members of the UN Security Council, are the two largest trade partners to each other in the world economy. They have a common interest in keeping Northwest Passage as international water. Our Arctic Islands were discovered less than 500 years and with virtually no production activities there. China has discovered the islands in the South China Sea two thousand years ago. Chinese named those islands and have had fishing and navigation activities there for more than a thousand years. If we challenge the sovereignty of China in the South China Sea, we have no way to claim the sovereignty of the Arctic without losing principle, integrity, and credibility. Any power sending navy fleets to the Northwest Passage in the name of “freedom of navigation” can practically annex our Arctic islands by real politics.

Joining the patrol of the “freedom of navigation” at the South China Sea puts us in an inferior position in the world economy and sacrifices our Arctic sovereignty.

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