The link below (from the respected Stratfor service) reports that South Korea is going to build a large, new naval base on an island well south of Korea which will be large enough to handle new Aegis destroyers and even aircraft carriers. It is also going to build a smaller naval base on an island between South Korea and Japan which is a bit of an issue between those two nations but it should not become a major problem as those two nations are being forced into an alliance as both nations are threatened by China’s rapid military build-up.

The South Korean action is an appropriate follow-up to my previous post about China’s warlike threats against Vietnam and the Philippines. There is a related link at the link below (“India and China compete for influence in the South China Sea”) which is also a “must read” for those wanting to be informed about current events in Asia. The related link reports that India intends to become more aggressive in the South China Sea in response to China’s aggressive actions in the Indian Ocean. It also reports that India and Vietnam are acting more like allies and that India, Japan and the USA are heading a major alliance to confront China’s massive naval build-up. China’s allies in the region are North Korea, Pakistan and Mynamar (Burma). Other nations allied to the India-Japan-USA alliance include South Korea, Taiwan, the Phillipines, Singapore and Australia. Vietnam looks more and more like a member of the anti-Chinese alliance as well. South Korea’s new naval base will allow its navy to project more power toward the South China Sea and also allow it to service aircraft carriers from the USA and Aegis warships from the USA and Japan.

Given China’s claim to the entire South China Sea region and the very firm refusal of other Pacific Rim nations to recognize China’s claim, this region is sliding toward an inevitable military confrontation. When/if it occurs, it will make the Afghan War look like a mere sideshow. If Pakistan intervenes on the side of the Chinese, India could be faced with a two-front war. Both alliances would have two nuclear powers: China and Pakistan on one side and India and the USA on the other side, so the potential for a nuclear confrontation would also be present. As I mentioned in my previous post, China’s war-planners actually need (and may want) a regional war to test its new military equipment and its personnel in real combat conditions. While China’s military forces are very impressive in size and capabilities, China’s forces are almost utterly lacking in any combat experience. The USA, due to its endless Asian wars, is very battle-hardened and combat-ready. China’s forces are almost totally untested. Before China can fight for global dominance in the future (as in the prophesied Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38), it likely needs one or more regional (but limited) wars to test its forces.

A battle in the South China Sea would well serve China’s needs to test its militray forces. This may explain China’s very warlike stance in the region. China may actually want a war to test its forces. China has built many weapons systems to sink US carriers, so it would surely like to lure US carriers close to China to see if US carriers can defend themselves against the waves of Chinese supersonic cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and new torpedoes that are designed to sink US carriers. If US carriers can successfully defend themselves against these Chinese threats, it will delay the Gog-Magog war into the future as China will realize it cannot yet openly challenge US forces directly. If China can sink US carriers, it will hasten the Gog-Magog war as China (and Russia and Iran) will realize the USA is a “paper tiger” which cannot defend its major naval assets and is, therefore, already ripe for attack. [shortened URL to Stratfor article]