Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Gray Zone Conflict – Disguised Chinese ‘Naval Forces’ on the Move

Not even a deadly pandemic keeps the Chinese Communist Party (CPP) from continuing its expansionist military plans. Or perhaps it is because of the pandemic, that it is increasing its military activity.

Regardless of motive, as China reportedly recovers from its severe Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is currently deploying maritime militia vessels to disputed islands and reefs throughout the South China Sea.

According to vessel-tracking data and satellite imagery reviewed by Radio Free Asia (RFA):

A fleet of Chinese ships has been moving this month through the Union Banks, a collection of small land features disputed between China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan [in the Spratly Islands chain]…These ships were identified as part of China’s infamous maritime militia by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative in January 2019.

A key component of China’s grey zone and hybrid warfare operations, the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) includes large numbers of “military” vessels disguised to look like civilian fishing trawlers, explains The National Interest.

These ships “fly the flag” for Beijing “under the radar” in disputed waters without a provocative, overt display of military force. Currently, dozens of these vessels have been identified at various locations in the disputed South China Sea.

RFA notes that “satellite imagery shows far more ships in the area than the five broadcasting an Automatic Identification System (AIS), signal.” While all ships are required to have AIS transponders, Chinese maritime militia ships often turn their transponders off “to mask their activity.”

Zack Cooper, at the American Enterprise Institute, said in RFA that, “Beijing has stepped up military activity around Taiwan and now appears to be doing some of the same around Union Banks. Whether this is simply a continuation of previous activity or an intentional effort to use this distraction to put pressure on other claimants is unclear.”

Even as the US and its allies confront the serious COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the time to take the eye – or pressure – off China.

Not only was China the source of this pandemic, it is now taking advantage of this crisis to expand its influence, at the expense of its neighbors.

These are Chinese gray zone operations at their best.

Paul Crespo is a defense and national security expert. He served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and a Contributor to American Defense News.

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Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo is a defense and national security expert. He served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and a Contributor to American Defense News.

26 COMMENTS

    • Yes but over a hundred years ago Abraham Lincoln said.
      “America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves”
      The Rino’s and the Democrats with the support of George Soros are making sure that Abraham Lincoln words come true.
      It is past that Apple and All the other companies come back to America.

    • For the last 50 years it is not the Russians We The People should be worried about but the Communist Chinese . The Clintons White House sold US Missile Technology to the Communist Chinese government in the 1990s a Treasonous act over looked by US National Security .

    • For the last 50 years it is not the Russians We The People should be worried about but the Communist Chinese . The Clintons White House sold US Missile Technology to the Communist Chinese government in the 1990s a Treasonous act over looked by US National Security .

  1. How above a few navy submarines with Seals and some Lipit Mines getting attached somehow to these trawlers! With a delay switch or sonic trigger.

  2. China, you cannot trust them. Pull back, get American manufacturing back in the US immediately, reduce all ties with China, political and economic, raise the cost astronomically for doing business in China by American companies, especially Bloomberg, the losing candidate with all the money, etc. Nationalism NOT globalism is the path of the future and NO support for climate change globally just to a limited degree in the US. And no more Chinese food!

  3. Don’t under estimate this terrible threats on US and the Global in no where within 25 yrs of Communist China ignored by previous Governments not only using economic and militaries powers over the US besides start a pandemic Bio-attacks and Propaganda’s invaded into our social media’s and sensitive Governmental properties , now Trump administrations got to step up clearing internalized and focus points back on China’s such well provocative aggressive acts as biggest threats to ours life’s If Taiwan and other’s won’t hold the lines to fights that will be all over to the ends of probably WWlll !

  4. Each week, approximately 23 percent of U.S. adults — or 52 million consumers — use an acetaminophen-containing medicine. Most if not all of which comes for Communist China. How easy woudl it be for Communist China to substitute acetaminophen Fentanyl a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. In suffent enough dosage 52 Million Americans could be killed without the Communist Chinese Government firing a single shot and they could do it form 7,252 miles away. The Democrats allowed Big Pharmacutical companies to move their production to China putting the lives of ALL Americans in jepordy.

  5. We can blame all of the greedy companies here that sent all of our trade work over there Now look at what we have They would not have had the money to do all of these things if our big business people were not so greedy Now the world is paying the price and those small countries can’t keep up a fight with China So this all world thinking has done nothing but down grade our country and we are left with a fight on our hands thanks to the friends at wall street Another funny thing these people never have to fight the battles that they cause

  6. I believe if Chinese Communist Party maliciously pushed this Covid-19 virus on the U.S. and the world purposely, they need a strong response. If we determine at some point the levels of death due to Chinese Communist Party releasing this virus on purpose, the action we take must be swift and accurate. If we encounter a million plus deaths here in America we should respond with a multiple nuclear response on the Chinese Communist Party and Peking.

  7. This all sounds so crazy, but I believe it holds truth. It is also my belief that China has brought this epidemic to the world. China has so little regard for the people in their country. I pray someone can get to the bottom of this and someone pays the price for the innocent Americans losing their lives over this disaster! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

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