Why China built its little islands…*

THERE are two main reasons why China built those artificial islands in the South China Sea and took control of Scarborough Shoal:

1. To prevent the US from using the Manila Trench to approach China’s east coast with its Ohio Class nuclear strike submarines (SSGNs) that can conduct a first nuclear strike against China. The Manila Trench is the only portion of the South China Sea deep enough to allow said first strike SSGNs to surreptitiously approach China’s east coast where majority of China’s 1.4 billion population and most of its industrial base are located.

Four Ohio Class SSGNs approaching China through the Manila Trench can drive the whole Chinese nation and civilization to extinction within hours, if not minutes. The Scarborough Shoal is in the vicinity of the Manila Trench; serving like a “gateway” for US SSGNs for a first strike on China. So it is not fish, or gas, or oil that China is interested in. It is China’s very own survival. And they are prepared to go to war on this issue; even a nuclear one.

2. To prevent the US and its allies (Japan, Australia, and India) from conducting a naval blockade of the Malacca Strait (and other nearby straits) which the US and Australia had been rehearsing biennially since 2005 called “Talisman Sabre.”

China’s oil supply from the Middle East and Africa, and its foreign trade to Europe, the Persian Gulf, and Africa passes through these straits. A naval blockade of said choke-points can force China’s economy to grind to a halt. The only way for China to remove the “Malacca Dilemma” is the artificial islands with three 3-km runways that can accommodate more combat aircraft and ballistic and cruise missiles than all aircraft carriers of the US and its allies combined.

It is often said that geography is destiny; that it is immutable.

In this case, China has modified its geography because it involves its very own survival.

Even the US, with its two aircraft carrier strike groups with its complement of stealth bombers and nuclear submarines sent to enforce the Hague ruling, were forced to back off.

For the very first time, the world’s sole superpower, the most powerful military force on earth, was forced to retreat!


* The opinion of this author/s is/are his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

Victor Corpus, M.P.A.
A graduate of Philippine Military Academy Cl’67; MPA ’90 from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Brig. Gen. Victor N. Corpus, (AFP, retired) spent five years with the New People’s Army (1971-76); detained for 10 years under Martial Law and sentenced to death by musketry; and became Chief, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Can be reached at: viccor2003@yahoo.com

5 Replies to “Why China built its little islands…*

  1. The British keep saying he that controls the seas, controls the world. China says, not the Malacca straights. Not the Panama Canal. That’s why they build the silk road also.

  2. the trident d5 missile carried by ssgn has a range of more than 7000 miles, so it can be sitting beyond hawaii(only about 5700 miles from china)and still hit chinese targets…the average depth of the pacific ocean is about 14,000 ft while the maximum diving depth of an ssgn is about 1000 ft only so why is the need for us ballistic submarines to station themselves in the south china sea???the reasons expounded by gen corpus doesn’t make sense

  3. “the reasons expounded by gen corpus doesn’t make sense” It’s all about response time, my friend, a missile launched far away, give more time, for other side, to respond with a deadly counterattack, before the enemy missiles hit.

    So it would be a mutual annihilation if anyone tries. But it’s a different story, if the other side has no time to respond.

  4. Cenon Bobadilla, the Chinese are concerned with a close-in strike where anti-ballistic missiles are less effective. That is the same reason the US has encircled Russia with the same capability right on Russian borders, to allow a first strike with much less chance for the missile defense system to react. China has satellite space weapons that can deal with Ballistic missiles and probably Russia has that capability also so missiles traveling thousands of miles are less a threat of allowing the US to first strike either of these two countries. The Russian developed S-500 defense system that is beginning to be deployed now is reportedly capable of destroying ballistic missiles in all 3 phases of flight. Launching Trident from 3 minutes away in flight time is much more of a threat than one from 45 minutes away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.