On the East Asian maritime front…

In an editorial today, Ye Olde Chosun warns that if China isn’t careful, it could provoke its threatened neighbors into forming an anti-Chinese coalition.

Oh, and we really need to build that naval base in Jeju. Oddly enough, the Dong-A Ilbo penned an editorial about the Jeju base, noting that while Park supports it, Moon Jae-in opposes it and Ahn Chul-soo isn’t very clear about whether he supports it or not.

Nothing on Ieodo on the Hani’s editorial page, but on the front page of their online edition, they’re reporting they’ve got evidence of mines in the area where the Cheonan sunk. Don’t stop believin’, guys.

About that carrier…

The New York Times casts doubts on the usefulness of the PLAN’s newest toy:

American military planners have played down the significance of the commissioning of the carrier. Some Navy officials have even said they would encourage China to move ahead with building its own aircraft carrier and the ships to accompany it, because it would be a waste of money.

Other military experts outside China have agreed with that assessment.

“The fact is the aircraft carrier is useless for the Chinese Navy,” You Ji, a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “If it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbors, it’s a sign of bullying.”

Vietnam, a neighbor with whom China has fought wars, operates land-based Russian Su-30 aircraft that could pose a threat to the aircraft carrier, Mr. You said. “In the South China Sea, if the carrier is damaged by the Vietnamese, it’s a huge loss of face,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”

I agree almost completely with that assessment. I say almost because while it’s certainly true China would be seen as a “bully” if it used its carrier against a neighbor, I’ve yet to see anything from Beijing that suggests they’d give a shit. If anything, it seems they’ve embraced the role of regional meathead, and I’d expect nothing less than to wake up one day with the Liaoning off Ieodo.

I knew it!

A Korean army colonel tells the Chosun Ilbo the real reason Japan is claiming Dokdo is to focus attention away from Daemado (a.k.a. Tsushima Island) and the maritime border in the Korea Strait.

Said colonel has been claiming Daemado as Korean territory since 2008.


As if Japan and China weren’t enough…

Clearly upset with China and Japan hogging all the attention, Pyongyang is doing its best to raise tensions at sea, too.

The Hanguk Ilbo reports that North Korean fishing boats have violated the NLL seven times since Sept 12. And according to one military official, the fishing boats are carrying North Korean soldiers.

One recent incident prompted ROK Navy patrol boats to fire warning shots, and an F-15K was sortied.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    It’s a tarmac carrier, not an aircraft carrier – they’re years away from having fixed-wing aircraft that can take off from it.

  • cm

    I thought Korea was too busy with Japan, now China rears its ugly head again. What to do?

  • Veritas

    Well, to be fair, as NYT says if China actually wants to build up their navy to rival that of the U.S. (which has 11 “Supercarriers” at the moment) – it has a lot of catching up to do, and having only one carrier doesn’t really help. Currently they don’t even have planes or pilots capable of operating from a carrier and unless they are planning to project their power far away from mainland China (which is how aircraft carriers are generally used by the U.S. in recent years), having one doesn’t really serve as a asset – if they’re planning to launch planes against countries like the Philippines or Vietnam, they can simply launch them from existing bases, they don’t need an aircraft carrier. Or rather, as stated in the article they probably -shouldn’t- be using an aircraft carrier. Losing it in some kind of conflict in the South China Sea would be incredibly embarrassing.

    As for the “Japan is focusing on Liancourt Rocks because they want to keep attention away from Tsushima” sounds, well, kind of desperate. As far as I know, and unless there is actual historical proof that shows otherwise, Tsushima has never been under Korean jurisdiction – they’ve been invaded by it (Oei Invasion) and have signed treaties with it (Gyehae treaty), but they have never been occupied by it.

  • Q

    As for Tsushima (Daemado), Syngman Rhee Institute says 1) Chosun Territorial Map (朝鮮方域之圖) has Daemado as part of Chosun. 2) In the Three Nations’ Territorial Border Map (三國接壤之圖) of Japan that was presented to Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Tsushima was marked as part of Chosun in the map. 3) Sejong Shilrok (世宗實錄) has record that Daemado is part of Kyungsangdo.


    In spite of all this, I see only a glimpse of possibility to have the island back to Korea.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    As for Tsushima, a March 30, 1950 US State Department report on “Korea’s Recent Claim to the Island of Tsushima” concluded the following:

    Therefore, from the information available, Korea’s claim does not appear to be well-founded. Although Korea apparently held a dominant position on the island before 500 A.D., its claim to control in subsequent periods is not supported by the facts available. On the contrary, there is little doubt that during at least 350 years Japan has exercised complete and effective control of Tsushima.

  • adeptitus

    China’s carrier based fighter aircraft, the J-15, has been flying since the 2009. They purchased a T-10 prototype from Ukraine in 2001 and studied it for design work. The Russian Su-27K/Su-33 is also designed from the T-10. Thus the J-15 is not a direct copy of the Su-33, but the two are cousins developed from the same prototype.

    Though we’ve yet to see a confirmed carrier landing of the J-15, photos show that the arresting gear is already installed on the carrier. Regarding the NY Times article, I’m not sure what they were smoking when they cited Mr. You Ji as a military expert. He’s a “visiting Sr. Research fellow at National University of Singapore”. My ex-GF was a research fellow on East Asia and she couldn’t find HK on the map.

    According to the article, “Chinese pilots have been limited to practicing simulated carrier landings on concrete strips on land in Chinese J-8 aircraft based on Soviet-made MIG-23s produced about 25 years ago”. The J-8 was developed in 1960’s based on MiG-21 technology, and the improved J-8-II first flew in 1984. China did not acquire the MiG-23 from Egypt until 1983. The J-8 is not a carrier aircraft.

    Even if Mr. You Ji cannot read Chinese or doesn’t frequent defense blogs, videos of China’s J-15 has been youtube for more than 2 years. Russia had offered to sell 50 x Su-33’s to China for $2.5 billion, but the Chinese side only wanted to purchase fewer aircraft and license build domestically, which the Russians refused. The Russians were hoping that the Chinese would pay for the Su-33 modernization program, while the Indians would pay for the MiG-29K modernization. Since the Chinese deal fell through, the Russian Navy will be retiring their Su-33 and replacing them with MiG-29K’s.

  • PeterDownUnder

    What a coincidence lol this Mr You Ji was a lecturer of mine last year.


    He not only can read Chinese but was educated at Beijing Uni and is considered an expert on Chinese reforms and military.

    #6 You seem to have an extremely optimistic view of China’s military developments. But I and many personally consider them to be a paper tiger as of yet. Next thing you’re gonna say is that the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter is on par or even superior to the US F-22.

    And your belittling of You Ji belittles my credits from “East Asian Politics” LOL how dare you undermine my liberal arts degree hahahaha

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/funny/page/3 Jakgani

    The aircraft carrier is useless for the Chinese navy,

    The carrier, a discarded vessel bought from Ukraine in 1998 and refurbished by China, would protect national sovereignty, an issue that has become a touchstone of the government’s dispute with Japan over ownership of islands in the East China Sea.

    But despite the triumphant tone of the launch, which the President, Hu Jintao, and the Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, attended, and despite rousing assessments by Chinese military experts about the importance of the carrier, the vessel will at this stage only be used for training and testing.

    The mark “16” emblazoned on the carrier’s side indicates it is limited to training, Chinese and other military experts said. China does not have planes capable of landing on the carrier and so far training for such landings has been carried out on land, they said.

  • hamel

    I am with Bevers. Read “The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860-1882. ” by Key-Hiuk Kim for a clear picture.

  • PeterDownUnder


    hamel what’s the premise of “The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860-1882. ” by Key-Hiuk Kim?

  • hamel

    you can google that.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Hamel wrote (#9):

    I am with Bevers.

    You are with me on what? That Tsushima is Japanese territory? Wow, you are taking a big chance there, Hamel, siding with me against the world.

  • JK

    To Gbevers @5:

    Your link had the following quotes:

    “On several occasions since the establishment of the Republic of Korea, the Koreans have indicated that they might present a claim to the Japanese island of Tsushima, apparently on the basis of the historical relationship between Korea and Tsushima. However, a note of caution in their latest statements may indicate that they have increasting doubts as to their chances of succsess and that they no longer intend to press the claim.”

    Well, it looks like Korea DID succeed in taking it.

  • JK

    Please address this point, Gbevers:

    A confidential memo was written and not meant for the public and was merely an opinion of one US official.

    But the US’s stance has always been that it does not wish to be involved in the Dokdo discussion.

    What was the point of your quote of a person without authority making an erroneous (and definitely not reflecting offical US views) statement? Please let everyone at the Marmots Hole know so that we’ll all be enlightened.

  • adeptitus

    RE: #7

    If Mr. You Ji can read Chinese and is an expert on the Chinese military, then I’m sure he can associate a tail hook with carrier aircraft, or check what J-15 #553 is doing at an AFB with a carrier ramp.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    The J-15 looks like the love child of an F-14 and an F15 raped a Mig-29.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Oh, and those front canards turned out to be mutations due to inbreeding.

  • adeptitus

    I’m going to have a little rant here, so let me apologize first for going off-topic for a bit.

    Commenting on PeterDownUnder’s post in #7, I do not hold an extremely optimistic view on things, but yes, I do hold academia in contempt.

    Young boys are supposed to run, jump, kick, throw rocks, and whatever. It’s in the very fiber of being a normal, healthy boy. In the blind pursuit of academia, we have forced our boys against their nature to sit in classrooms filled with academic subjects. Understand that I am not against education or schools in general, but the current academia favors girls over boys, which results in a growing gender gap in college and declining status for men.

    Men and women have traditionally served different roles that are not in competition with each other. Today men and women compete for the same jobs and the education system favors the female gender. We complain about too much money being spent on prisons and not enough on schools. Has anyone ever stopped to think that maybe a lot of our boys are in prison because they couldn’t sit still in a classroom?

    Instead of blind pursuit of academia, we should be offering more blue collar job training programs, and I don’t mean auto shop in high school. Look at our so called craftsman today. I live in one of the most expensive cities in California and the builders here can’t cut drywall in a straight line. I recall going to a new $700k+ model home and found that they couldn’t even install roof tiles in a straight line, with nails sticking out in all directions.

    So, no, I don’t believe that the government should spend so much money on providing for your liberal arts degree, or feeding some research fellow to fly around. I think funding should be taken from academia to support classes/programs that teach our boys how to drive trucks, build houses, operate CNC machines, etc.

  • jk641


    Isn’t the J-15 basically an SU-33? (appearance-wise, at least)

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Yeah, but what is the SU-33 based on?

  • jk641

    Hmm, you got me there.

  • PeterDownUnder


    Dear adeptitus, do not worry for my liberal arts degree as supplemented by my other combined degree in finance and accounting another valuable and most vital education for today’s world. haha (hard to convey sarcasm via print)

    What is your solution than? That boys be manual labourers as we testosterone fuelled adolescents cannot sit still in a classroom whilst the docile female can, and thus will triumph over us in the workforce tournament?

    Master craftsman or not, in this day and age with the middle class disappearing and influx of cheap immigrant labourers as well as an endless supply of cheap labourers abroad, the modern Western born man has no alternative but to sit in class for many many years and become something that upon viewing from afar looks like doing nothing but seems to be getting paid very well for by doing.

    Personally I would rather be flown around and paid to give my expert advice to journalists and write for useless think tanks and such then to tile your roof.

    You see the new Star Trek movie and see how Spock is educated? I think that’s the way of the future not men being men with callused palms but an entire generation of castrated males forced to sit and learn. You should blame the feminism movement which turned the entire education system effeminate as you notice, but do you really think we can offer a sexually segregated education system in this day and age? What about the butch girl that wants to run with the boys? and that oh so flowery lad that would excel in home economics…

    rant out.

  • PeterDownUnder

    Quoting Warren Buffet here somewhat inaccurately,

    Compared to the 1950s there’s a lot less jobs for someone with an IQ of a 100 nowadays.