Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Kitty-Hawk Chinese Sub Incident is Back: Suck a Hundred Year Egg, China!

PREDICTION: Chinese comeuppance before, during or after Olympics? China has humiliated the United States by suddenly barring a prescheduled, Thanksgiving visit to Hong Kong. What will the U.S. do? Will back-channel diplomacy or Olympic unsportsmanlike conduct exact retribution? No, the U.S. is too statesman-like to pull China's clumsy tactics. Options are numerous, but continued devaluation of the dollar against the yuan is the natural. Ouch, China! You were warned years ago to float your currency like other nations. The entire world remembers that you resisted. Your U.S investments are now worth how much less? Go suck a hundred year egg, China!

FLASHBACK: October 19, 2007 - China warns against 'political' Olympics - "We believe that any political issue that has nothing to do with the Olympics should not be linked to the Beijing Games," Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games, told a news conference on the sidelines of a Communist Party Congress. ... In case anyone should try to organise protests at the Games or otherwise try to disrupt them, Liu warned that security forces would be on high alert.

UPDATE: November 24 2007 - Refusal baffles US admiral - A top US military commander is "perplexed and concerned" about the mainland's last-minute refusal to allow a US aircraft carrier to enter Hong Kong for a previously scheduled port visit. Admiral Timothy Keating said he was unaware of any reason for China's decision to turn away the Kitty Hawk. Asked if the incident would hurt military ties, Keating said: "We'll keep working on it of course, but it is difficult for me to characterize this in a positive light."

UPDATE: November 23 2007 - Families adapt after China denies USS Kitty Hawk’s request to visit - In some cases, those families and friends found themselves paying for hotel rooms at higher rates because the cheaper, block-rates for the sailors had been canceled. Some people who arrived late in Hong Kong on Wednesday night may have been charged a higher hotel rate than the one offered through MWR, Lt. Bill Clinton, the carrier’s spokesman, wrote in an e-mail Friday night. All of the hotels should have honored the MWR rate for subsequent nights, he wrote.

UPDATE: November 22 2007 12:08 - China reverses decision to bar US carrier - The Chinese government on Thursday reversed its decision to bar a US carrier group from visiting Hong Kong, but the about-face came too late to save the Thanksgiving holiday for 8,000 American sailors, airmen and their families.”The ships will not be coming back,” a spokesman for the US consulate in Hong Kong said. ”They are 300 miles out to sea and there is a storm in the area.” ... [T]he carrier group was steaming for its home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

UPDATE: Nov 21, 2007 10:22pm EST - U.S. aircraft carrier denied access to Hong Kong - HONG KONG (Reuters) - China has refused permission for a U.S. aircraft carrier and accompanying vessels to visit Hong Kong for a long-planned Thanksgiving holiday visit, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. ...Hundred of relatives of crew members of the USS Kitty Hawk had flown to Hong Kong to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones. ...Last year, a Chinese submarine surfaced uncomfortably close to the Kitty Hawk near the Japanese island of Okinawa, an incident that highlighted the potential for friction between the two powers. Here is the full article and much more.

The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced - 10th November 2007 - By MATTHEW HICKLEY

"American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board." [color emphasis added]

Recent exercise? A Year ago? Where does this journalist get his news, library archives? Continue reading for the new wrinkle.

To be fair, the author managed to select a good quote and very excellent photos of the Kitty Hawk and Chinese Song class submarines. I particularly like the detail of the carrier (see the larger photo in his story). As far as news, however, there was none. To see current Chinese subs with very nice soundtrack, try this YouTube:

Can anyone ID the great soundtrack, or the submarine class shown at 35 seconds?

Here is what I had said a year ago (even before two experts backed me up):
Telling journalists that the Chinese had been detected would be telling too much, that is, that they had been expected and were being electronically monitored for future reference. But, perhaps China's sub had been helped into the provocative act of surfacing amidst a U.S. task force. Neither China nor the U.S. would be anxious to admit that, would they?

Now, the new wrinkle:
As it turns out, the possible provocative act could even have been initiated by a third party, such as (some of these are intentionally unrealistic so there would be no finger pointing) VMF, MARCOM, RN, RAN, ROKN, JMSDF, PMW, or others.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 12 November, 2007 02:15, Blogger Galrahn said...

The picture at 35 seconds is of two subs, the same pic in the DailyMail article I think.

Both submarines are the Type 039G.

It is a different angle of the two submarines shown at 33 seconds.

My question is, in that picture at 35 seconds, what is the raised cone on the tower? Is that for ECM?

At 12 November, 2007 13:28, Blogger Vigilis said...

Galrahn, your ID was correct.

As to your "cone" question, take your pick: The Type 039 Song class is fitted with I-band radar for surface search and countermeasures include electronic support measures (ESM), radar warning receiver and direction-finder. Or, is it none of the above? source:

At 12 November, 2007 13:58, Blogger Sam Damon said...

The soundtrack to the video appears to be an edit of "Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho" and the end credit mix from the motion picture "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

It may still be available at the iTunes Music Store. Have a nice Veteran's Day, all.

At 24 November, 2007 13:59, Blogger Fred Fry said...

Not for anything, but isn't it unwise to bring a carrier into territory controlled by China. If they are to ever act militarily in the region, they would probably wait until one of our carriers is sitting in HK and then bottle the ship in for the duration. (or worse.)

HK is no longer British. It should not be treated as if nothing has changed. Not that we would be able to use the port if the area flares up. Where else is the Navy making this mistake? (Kind of like the resistance European countries threw up when the US went to war with Iraq and then tried to transport equipment that was in Europe.)

At 24 November, 2007 19:32, Blogger Vigilis said...

Fred Fry, you ask another very insightful question.

Let me re-phrase it for you: Why is the U.S. so obviously unafraid of potential aggresions by China?

The answer is not public, but here's one hint: Once a genie is out of its bottle, how difficult would it be to contain without breaking universal laws of human nature at the peril of leadership?

China now has a very successful and empowering legacy of nascent capitalism. Try as it may to restore a communistic command economy, China's modern legacy has already inspired generations of entrpreneurs by the strongest mode ever, word of mouth.

You may believe the much hyped, partisan notion that China owns the U.S. through investment in U.S. debt. Or, you may simply recall history to see what happened to Germany's investments in the U.S. during and after WWII. It has not been so long ago that the Bayer Company finally repurchased the aspirin from a U.S. corporation, for example.

China would have to be incredibly stupid to commit an act of war against the U.S. (capturing Kitty Hawk, for instance) with so much at stake economically.

In coming decades China may even do well to ask the West for help in dealing with national emergencies it never before had to confront accountably. Water shortages, crop failures, plague, etc. China is not stupid at all, it is very logical.

Fred Fry, I am open to dissenting opinions, particulary when accompanied by citations of fact. If you still disagree, have at it.

At 24 November, 2007 23:37, Blogger Fred Fry said...


Thanks for the comments. I agree with you when it comes to the basic fact that China would be committing suicide if it dumped it's dollar holdings, considering that it is their purchase/holding of dollars that keeps their products cheap. I had blogged earlier about this in that China needs to follow the dollar down to keep it's billion+ population busy.

However, this assumes rational decision making. There is the P3 incident and China's positions in the UN Security Council.

I think that nobody owns the US. The last scare was with the Japanese buying everything only to sell it all at a loss. I suspect another foreign buying wave is coming, but no problem there.

Still, a carrier group just got burned liberty-wise. Maybe the visits in the future should be more superficial, so as not to piss off our own team.

At 25 November, 2007 15:30, Blogger Vigilis said...

Fred Fry, you know how better than most to keep your "eye on the ball".

Each of your latest points must be considered valid. As to your last point, however, let me elaborate slightly for other readers.

The Kitty Hawk, as we all know, is the last non-nuclear carrier. Having any nuclear ship in a position to be captured or fully searched by a foreign power has been beyond the pale (and I expect it will remain so). Consequently, it is very difficult for me to foresee port visits to any People's Republic of China ports, except perhaps during the next Olympics (and that I seriously doubt).

To my way of thinking, it is no coincidence that non-nuclear Kitty Hawk was assigned where she has been, and was even prepared to make the Hong Kong visit as a tremendous show of U.S. confidence in the People's Republic.

There have always been carefully considered limitations to everything in U.S. defence policy, although under W.J. Clinton, limitations were certainly not apparent.


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