December 20, 2019, an Indonesian fisherman working off the Coast of Selayar Island caught more than he bargained for. Aside from the usual haul, he discovered a seven foot Chinese unmanned underwater vehicle.
Known as Sea-Wing gliders (Haiyi), developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institution of Oceanology, these vehicles move through the water using a buoyancy compensation system filled with oil enabling them to deploy for long periods. They chart every reef, sand bank, trench or shipwreck on the seafloor. While the gliders themselves are not harmful, one must never forget that these detailed maps can be used for deploying submarines. As many as 14 such gliders are believed to be in the Indian Ocean.
A similar drone was captured in March 2019 near the Riau Islands in Western Indonesia and another turned up at the start of 2020 near the Subaya Naval Base, which oversees critical sea lanes through the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia. It is one of the few channels deep enough for large vessels to sail between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. During 2019, 90% of all crude oil bound for the South China Sea came through that Strait.
If China were to shut down the Strait of Malacca, the economic impact would be severe to the economies of Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and even Japan. With China able to crash their economies at the launch of a torpedo, these nations would have little choice but to submit to its aggressive policies. Australia also relies on the Straits to its north. With an extremely limited fuel supply, they rely on access to refineries in Southeast Asia which must flow through the Straits. No access – no fuel.
China is looking to expand its submarine capabilities southward which will inevitably bring it into contract with Australia’s own submarine fleet which uses the West Australian coast as a staging ground for operations in the South China Sea, crossing through the Lombok Strait. That three Chinese drones were discovered in three key straits to Australia’s north is no coincidence.
Australians should not naïvely believe that these gliders are being used for purely scientific reasons, as China claims. The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Force Headquarters, and all six of the Collins Class submarines, and support facilities are located at HMAS Stirling in Rockingham, Australia. With only six subs to China’s 76, Australia is definitely outgunned. Now embroiled in a one-sided trade war with China, Australia must wake up to the real possibility that China has the means to take the fight to their shores.
Beijing’s monster fishing fleet, officially sanctioned by the Communist Party, has stripped its own waters bare and is now prowling the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans for fish. Australia’s rock lobster industry is just one of many targets of Beijing’s punitive economic acts.
China has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Papua New Guinea Government to build a $204 million “multi-functional fishery industrial park” on the island of Daru right in the middle of the Torres Strait rock lobster fishery which will give it ready access to Australia’s fisheries.
Daru is one of the few Torres Strait Islands that are governed by Papua New Guinea rather than Australia. Under the Torres Strait Treaty, Papua New Guineans from 13 villages can move freely across the border and are allowed to fish in Australian waters. Under the treaty, Papua New Guineans are allowed to take 25% of the total allowable catch of rock lobsters within Australian waters. If the Chinese industrial park is built, that 25%, along with whatever they can steal, will end up in China.
Some 400 Chinese ships are currently fishing off of Chili’s shores. While claiming to be fishing in international waters, the Chilean navy says that 11 of the fishing vessels have, so far, crossed into its Exclusive Economic Zone. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are also worried their fisheries are in the process of being looted. While they did not name China specifically, the presence of so many of Chinese large, modern fishing vessels off their shores is hard to miss.
This particular Chinese fleet has been the focus of world attention since July when it was caught within the international marine reserve surrounding Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Ecuador not only doesn’t have the manpower to enforce international law, its government is heavily indebted to Beijing and struggling to pay back infrastructure loans.
Chinese fishing fleets have devastated local fish stocks in the offshore zones of many impoverished nations. While globally, the economic loss from illegal fishing is difficult to quantify, there is little disagreement that the overall economic loss totals tens of billions yearly, encompassing lost tax revenue, onshore fishing industry jobs and depletion of food supplies.
Wake up America – The East controls world trade, not the West. The East is actively charting a path to conquest.
Source: Australia, China Is Coming by Callum Wood, the Trumpet ; China’s aggressive fishing fleet heading for Australia amid trade war by Jamie Seidel, new.com.au; China’s plan to build a fish processing facility in the Torres Strait raises alarm over fishing, border security by Renee Cluff, MSN News