Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nagging questions on Benham Rise

The series of events:

1. Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Lorenzana publicly complained of the suspicious long presence of Communist Chinese ships at Benham Rise.

2. Philippine President Duterte said that he personally gave Communist China permission to conduct surveys at Benham Rise (apparently without DND Secretary Lorenzana's knowledge).

3. According to DND Secretary Lorenzana, Communist China appears to be looking for possible deployment locations for their submarines.

3. Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice (and recent Presidential Adviser) Carpio said that Benham Rise is not Philippine territory (Why on earth would he say that?).

4. Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice (and recent Presidential Adviser) Carpio said that other countries have the legal right to park their submarines within another country's Exclusive Economic Zone (Again, why on earth would he say that? And, it appears that he is wrong. The Exclusive Economic Zone sovereign rights holder has the exclusive right to establish installations on it.).

5. Philippine President Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to construct permanent structures at Benham Rise.

The nagging questions:

1. Why would the President of a country go out of his way to accomodate the unusual request of another country which is currently actively grabbing other territories of his own country?

2. Did the Duterte Administration just secretly agreed to grant underwater submarine basing rights to Communist China at Benham Rise?

3. Is the publicized construction of AFP facilities at Benham Rise just a smokescreen for Communist China's own construction of underwater submarine facilities?

4. Is the Duterte Administration conscious of the fact that Benham Rise could be used as a base for Communist Chinese submarines (aka "Boomers") armed with intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles aimed at military and civilian targets in  the Continental US (and would, therefore, be guaranteed to invite US retaliation)?