Mosher: Chinese Sailors Shouting Praises of Xi Jinping During Massive Live-Fire Naval Drill Reminisc

In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea. China has announced live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan. The announcement by authorities in the coastal province of Fujian on Thursday was accompanied by a statement that the navy was ending a three-day exercise in the South China one day early. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

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Mosher explained the importance of the South China Sea as an international maritime trade route. He said, “The South China Sea is surrounded by islands. To the east, you have the Philippines; to the south, you have the Indonesian archipelago; and to get into the South China Sea from the west, you have to go through the Straits of Malacca, which at their narrowest are only a couple of miles wide. All of the oil from the Middle East that flows to China [and] Korea [and] Japan goes through the Straits of Malacca, along with much trade that goes in the other direction carrying goods on container vessels.”

“The South China Sea is a vital trading route,” he continued. “If you cant go through the South China Sea, you have to go all the way around the Indonesian island of Java and Sumatra. It adds thousands and thousands of miles to your journey. So whoever controls the South China Sea, controls a maritime choke point and can choke off trade, control access almost at will. Thats why China wants to control the South China Sea. This is why the British, centuries ago, seized Singapore and built a naval base there — because it controls the Straits of Malacca entry and egress into this vital sea.”

Mosher described China’s recent naval exercises in the South China Sea as “a demonstration of force aimed at Taiwan.” He said China reflexively “engages in live-fire exercises,” “fires missiles,” “assembles flotilla ships,” and “threatens invasion” in response to Taiwanese expressions of “m....

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