If I go down to the harbor where the American-Korean naval base is being built. And stand on my toes, I can see a tiny bit of the Chinese mainland.
No, I am lying. I can’t see the mainland but it is really close. Only 300 miles.
Maritime security is one of the catch words that are floating around theses days. China and Japan are strengthening their marine military strategy and South Korea and the US want to keep up. But at a price.
The naval base built on Jeju alone was earmarked for 97.5 billion won ($7.8 million). “The investment in the naval ship sector is focusing on securing high-tech destroyers and submarines continually with an aim to improve capability of command of the sea around the Korean Peninsula as well as building up capability to perform landing operation”
The U.S. and South Korean government are expanding their military alliance, and if the naval base on Jeju Island is set up, the U.S. navy will use the base to monitor China’s naval power. Because of its close location to China, the naval base will primarily be a bulwark against Chinese expansion rather than defend against North Korea threat (for which the bases in Busan and Jinhae are better suited.)
By ‘commanding the sea’ and talking about ‘Chinese expansion’ the idea is to keep South Korea and the so-called free western world safe. But Noam Chomsky and Matthew Hoey(and yes, the actor Robert Redford) are not the only ones being concerned that while the official jargon about building the naval base on Jeju island is security it will hardly go unnoticed by China. Seoul plans to dock Aegis-equipped destroyers at Jeju. These warships are the main military component of the U.S. missile defense system.
Just consider what would be the response from the US if China would build a naval base 300 miles from the American coast.
I took a look in Wikipedia. Just to make sure I got this right.
A Naval armament race is an arms race during which two or more countries continuously construct ships consistently more powerful than the ships the other country built in the previous years. These races often end in wars
Meanwhile back at ranch. While the older activists keep up the peaceful resistance against the naval base new people arrive…
More bows are made…
More nuns are being monitored by the police…
And the mayor of Gangjeong is again exercising the right of freedom of speech after being detained by the police…
…and the US and Korea are getting deeper into the armament race, and taking the fishing village of Gangjeong with them.