Here’s what China may be up to in the South China Sea:
TOKYO — China is pushing ahead with its artificial island building in the South China Sea, where it plans airstrips and other facilities.
Reports in Japan say the U.S. military is feeling a growing sense of urgency over China’s aggressive island-making projects. But Japan should be feeling even more anxiety.
Many analysts say China is moving to secure seabed resources from around its artificial islets. But it could easily go further and even one day drive a military wedge between Japan and the U.S.
Lying at the very heart of the issue is the balance of nuclear power between the U.S. and China.
The decoupling goal:
China lacks an effective submarine-launched ballistic missile system that would allow it to retaliate against a surprise nuclear attack.
It once developed and built a Xia-class nuclear-powered submarine meant to carry ballistic missiles, but the submersible turned out to be little more than a paper tiger.
With no nuclear deterrent to match the U.S., China is building new Jin-class nuclear-powered submarines. It apparently wants three such vessels, which it would arm with nuclear weapons, by 2020 and deploy one of them in the South China Sea.
China would also need to deploy troops to protect a Jin-class sub in the South China Sea.
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Japan And Philippines Should be WORRIED!