The United States federal government should: Adopt a policy of flexible response toward China in the South China Sea

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“Shamefare” solvency

“Shamefare” against China could deter them from the South China Sea

Kazianis 4/6/16 (Harry J. Kazianis is a senior fellow for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest, fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation and a senior editor at The National Interest, “Introducing ‘shamefare’: How to push back against China in the South China Sea”, MT)

Today, in the Asia-Pacific, we see the tragedy that is known as great power politics playing out again once more — especially in the South China Sea. Smaller nations around the region, especially Vietnam and other claimants of rocks and reefs throughout these rocky waters have been placed in the toughest of binds: how to push back against a much larger and rising power that seems bent on changing the status-quo. Hanoi and fellow ASEAN nations must be cautious — pushing too hard could sow the seeds of a crisis that could turn kinetic, however, doing too little only invites Beijing to slowly change the facts on the ground, or, in the case of the South China Sea, simply create new ones that are near impossible to counter in kind. So what is to be done? Nations under constant pressure by the PRC must look for non-kinetic, asymmetric means to counter China’s growing ability to change the status-quo. Last week, in these very digital pages, I offered a multi-part plan that Washington could utilize to put Beijing on the defensive in the South China Sea. One part of that strategy, what I have named “shamefare,” could also be used by claimant states, especially by Vietnam, to fully expose China’s methods of near constant coercion. The goal is simple: put China on the defensive and shame the PRC in the media — especially social media — time and time again. It might not be as sexy as building islands, but it does stand the chance, when combined with other methods, to make Beijing pay a heavy and near constant price for its actions, with the hope that they would reconsider them. Nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines and others have very few diplomatic, economic or even military tools at their disposal to ever fully deter China from their aggressive actions in the South China Sea. And with Beijing now reclaiming small land features and turning them into full islands with impressive military assets, within the next few years if nothing changes, China will dominate the South China Sea. Indeed, the only way for such nations to respond is to look to other domains to pressure Beijing — asymmetric tactics that will not sow the seeds of conflict — but make China pay a price for its actions. Vietnam and other South China Sea claimants should begin the process of taping and distributing via social media any and all possible aggressive interactions with Chinese vessels — this includes fishing vessels, coast guard, naval vessels etc. — in an effort to demonstrate Beijing’s aggressive intent to the international community. Additionally, nations that have outposts in the South China Sea that could come under increasing Chinese harassment, such as Second Thomas Shoal, should also have smaller vessels equipped and ready with cameras ready to record in case Beijing attempts to apply coercive tactics to remove them — either through blockade or something more. Small, off-the-shelf technology such as low-cost drones and UAVs could be utilized to patrol and document China’s massive changes to rocks and reefs in the South China Sea — and the environmental damage being left in their wake — as another method to demonstrate the cost of China’s coercive strategy. Imagine the news cycle and social media being littered with incident after incident of aggressive Chinese actions in the South China Sea — of case after case being filmed and documented for the world to see. The financial costs would be small and the payoff in terms of media exposure — exposing Chinese actions — could be tremendous. So how would Beijing respond? China does have a simple way to respond — to just ignore such a move and continue on with its island building and militarization of the area. In fact, that is a very possible scenario. However, causing one to “lose face” in many Asian societies is not something to be taken lightly. China could react even more aggressively, but again, if such actions occurred on the high seas or anywhere near a camera, they could be documented and transmitted around the globe with relative ease. Beijing would be forced with some very tough choices to make — none of which would be promising. We do know one thing: shaming can work to catch Beijing’s attention and get them to consider alternative courses of action. When the Philippines used “lawfare,” which has a very clear shaming component, and sued China in international courts over Scarborough Shoal and the nine-dash-line, Beijing reportedly offered to Manila ‘incentives’ to halt its court case — something China denies. Indeed, if Vietnam and other nations were to keep shaming China, through a shamefare strategy as noted above as well as filing separate or a collective lawsuits in international courts, ample pressure would be placed upon Beijing in the much wider court of global public opinion. And that would be something China could not so easily dismiss.

2NC AT: Engagement Works

China’s continued aggression into the South China Sea makes containment key

Kazianis 6/2/16 (Harry J. Kazianis is a senior fellow for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest, fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation and a senior editor at The National Interest. “For the US, Sailing Around the South China Sea Is Not Strategy”, MT)

After President Barack Obama’s visits to Vietnam and Japan, the wider Asia-Pacific region has to wonder what the future holds as a dangerous geostrategic rivalry develops between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. And considering the stakes, such worries are completely justified. The rise of China – and its campaign to “salami slice” its way – occupying small pieces of reefs and semi-submerged features in the South China Sea in increments towards regional dominance – threatens America’s dominant position in Asia. Beijing’s seemingly inexhaustible need to control the world’s most economically vibrant region has set in motion what the New York Timesrightly called a “game of chicken” that many fear could spark a tragic great-power war. China’s goal is simple: Dominate the Asia-Pacific and slowly but surely push America out. To achieve this, Beijing must negate the sizeable military assets Washington has in the region – especially the US Navy. To operationalize such a strategy, Beijing has developed a concept known to Western strategic analysts as anti-access/area-denial, or A2/AD. Leveraging the combined strength of such military platforms as ultra-quiet submarines; more than 80,000 sea mines, the world’s largest inventory; air-defense platforms; budding undersea tracking systems; various cruise missiles; and two deadly anti-ship ballistic missile systems, China has set the stage to turn areas around its near seas, as far away as the very ends of the South China Sea towards Indonesia, into what some are calling a “no-man's land” for US naval vessels and aircraft. And Beijing’s A2/AD strategy launched in early-2000s seems now to be expanding into what author Robert Kaplan called Asia’s Cauldron, or the South China Sea. China has undertaken what can only be described as a clever effort to build small military outposts on reclaimed reefs, underwater features and islands. While at various times claiming it would not “militarize” the area, Beijing has placed advanced anti-ship weapons, anti-air assets and rotated fighter jets into the area thanks to massive new airfields. If China proceeds by installing anti-ship ballistic missiles along with newly purchased Russian S-400 air-defense batteries, the stage would be set for not only a credible South China Sea air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) but the severe degradation of America’s military capabilities in this economically critical body of water. In the event of a crisis, Washington would face a terrible choice: unthinkable military losses or simply walking away, thus leaving the region to China’s mercy and America and its critical alliance networks marginalized or even broken. As for responding to the changing strategic situation in Asia, the United States has suffered a series of setbacks, some unavoidable and others self-inflicted. When Washington could turn its attention to Asia – complicated by Russian actions in Ukraine and the rise of the Islamic State – the results have been mixed. While the Pentagon has attempted to dampen the impact of China’s A2/AD strategy with an important operational concept named Air-Sea Battle (ASB) – designed to leverage the combined joint warfare operational powers of the US Navy and Air Force to take down Beijing’s anti-access networks – fears of possible escalatory strikes on the Chinese mainland that could lead to a nuclear showdown have stirred controversy and unneeded doubt. Also, by its very nature focusing on armed conflict, ASB does nothing to place needed roadblocks to stop China from expanding its potential zone through reclaimed reefs and military equipment in the South China Sea. So far, the only US action that demonstrates resolve has been to conduct three so-called “freedom of navigation” operations, or FONOP – suggesting to Beijing that Washington will “fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.” Unfortunately for the United States, while such actions show some sort of response, they do nothing to slow China’s attack on the status-quo – and fall far short of a much needed comprehensive strategy. As Washington simply sails around the South China Sea, Beijing presses ahead with installing ever-more advanced pieces of military hardware and could be planning to reclaim the strategically important Scarborough Shoal next. Beijing’s new islands and equipment are permanent; while America’s naval excursions are temporary, the vessels destined to float away. Considering the stakes in the South China Sea for the United States along with regional allies like Japan, the Philippines and others, a stronger set of options is needed to dramatically slow or halt Beijing’s attempts to unwind the status quo. Sizeable roadblocks must be placed before China that, if crossed, would entail a sizeable price from Beijing. I have proposed in the past a concept called “shamefare” as a challenge to Chinese actions in the South China Sea by publicly embarrassing China for its expansionist moves. The United States, along with its regional partners and allies, must make every effort at documenting Beijing’s actions and distributing them around the world – especially through social media. For example, video cameras should be placed on any military asset that has the potential to come in contact with the Chinese military or paramilitary actors. If an aggressive action is taken by China – as when a Chinese J-11 fighter came within 15 meters of a US surveillance plane on May 17 – the US government should release the recording without delay. Reports have noted the Pentagon has footage of the incident, but won’t release it – an error that must be corrected. Additionally, the recent US FONOP in the South China Sea near Fiery Cross Reef should also have been documented – putting a human and important non-threatening face on such operations. Shamefare should also be expanded to allies and partners like the Philippines and Vietnam who have had negative interactions with China on the high seas. Imagine if Manila had documented the 2012 standoff with Beijing over Scarborough Shoal for the whole world to see? What if Hanoi had filmed in greater detail China’s billion-dollar oil rig off its coast surrounded by more than 100 fishing and other vessels? Imagine if such images and video were shared on popular social media networks then filtering down to television and standard news organizations – the impact and outcry would be truly historic while dramatically increasing the costs of such aggressive Chinese actions. Shamefare itself though is not a strategy. It must be combined with a revitalized Air-Sea Battle concept, now called JAM-GC; continued FONOP operations; complete documentation of Beijing’s destruction of the environment around island reclamation projects; increased “lawfare” with Vietnam and other South China Sea claimants suing China in international courts; and Washington once and for all making Asia its single most important foreign policy focus. Anything short of such an effort will see China dominate the region. Considering the dilemma presented by Beijing, Washington has been caught off guard by the scope, size and sophistication of China’s coercion. A do “something foreign policy” full of slogans and slick-sounding military concepts alone is a recipe for disaster. Only a focused America, willing to enact a bold strategy in the face of Beijing’s aggressive actions has a chance of success. Indeed, one thing is plainly obvious – simply sailing around the South China Sea is not a strategy for success.

Current U.S. policy is failing at containing china

Kazianis ’15 (Harry Kazianis is a senior fellow for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest, fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation and a senior editor at The National Interest “Washington Needs a More Assertive China Policy” May 31, 2015, MT)

For all of the endless hype surrounding America's so-called pivot - its strategic rebalance toward Asia - the Obama administration has failed to stop China's growing dominance in the region. CNN's fantastic reporting in the South China Sea makes the scale of the problem abundantly clear. Dangerous trend lines are developing that are visible to anyone who has been paying attention to the Asia-Pacific over the last several years. Beijing has set a course to not only declare a new Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea, an area through which $5.3 billion of seaborne trade passes every year, but also to displace Washington as the dominant power throughout Asia. China is following that course one "reclaimed" island at a time. Indeed, despite a strategy that was intended to reassure allies throughout the region, it seems quite clear no U.S. partner can feel good about Washington's foreign policy choices over the last several years. Events in Ukraine and the Middle East have undermined the Obama administration's most important international initiative - indeed, the pivot has often become an afterthought. Clearly America must respond to Chinese actions. But what should be the proper response?

Only the counterplan solves China conflict

Gompert and Saunders ’11 (David C. Gompert Distinguished Research Fellow in the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies, at the National Defense University (NDU and Phillip C. Saunders Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of Studies in the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies “The Paradox of Power: Sino-American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability” 2011, MT)

The net result is a complex, multifaceted, and ambiguous relationship where substantial and expanding areas of cooperation coexist with ongoing strategic tensions and suspicions. China’s sense of its room for maneuver (and potential strategic vulnerability) with respect to the United States rests on the global balance of power, the relative military balance, China’s domestic political vulnerabilities at any given moment, and the “balance of need” in terms of which country needs the other more. During the Obama administration’s first 2 years in office, these factors have produced a negative dynamic in bilateral relations. Chinese analysts saw broad trends toward multipolarity and the diffusion of power reducing U.S. international dominance; many concluded that the financial crisis and U.S. commitments in the Middle East were accelerating the U.S. decline. At the same time, many Chinese believed that China’s rising economic, political, and military power allowed it to be less deferential to the concerns of the United States and other Asia-Pacific states and to push its own agenda by calling for reductions in U.S. arms sales and political support for Taiwan and by taking a tougher line on maritime sovereignty disputes. These perceptions were reinforced by expressions of nationalist sentiment in the Chinese media (including a number of articles by retired PLA officers) that criticized any signs of compromise by Chinese leaders and called on the government to punish the United States for actions such as arms sales to Taiwan.3 These perceptions coincided with Obama administration efforts to expand the areas of U.S.-China cooperation and encourage China to take on more responsibility in addressing global challenges such as climate change, nonproliferation, and the stability of the international economic system. Chinese leaders likely concluded that these proposals—intended to increase China’s stake and role in sustaining the current international system—were a reflection of American weakness and indicative of a shift in the “balance of need” in China’s favor. Improved cross-strait relations, which reduced China’s need for U.S. support in reining in possible Taiwan moves toward independence, were another factor in this assessment. China’s temporary shift away from its “charm diplomacy” and military restraint toward a more assertive posture in 2009–2010 alarmed its neighbors and revived concerns about a threat to regional stability. A more assertive China and a series of provocative North Korean actions (including a second nuclear test, the sinking of the Republic of Korea Navy corvette Cheonan, and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island) have reinvigorated U.S. security alliances with Japan and South Korea. They have also produced a broader demand in Asia for an enhanced U.S. political and security role in the region.
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