A couple of points.Reality Check wrote:Trevor wrote:Well, the first act of appeasement was Hitler retaking the Rhineland in 1934, so it was used for about 5 years before Britain and France decided to take action. If China goes after the Philippines, we'll scream and condemn the action, but I'm not sure we'd intervene militarily.
Maybe I am just hung up on the Philippines as a first military adventure for China, but ...
China is the worlds only ground army super power.
The United States is the worlds only blue navy super power.
The Philippines has no mainland and has no land bridge to mainland China.
Attacking and occupying the Philippines requires China's blue navy support and supply Chinese ground armies strung across a series of islands cutoff from each other.
China attacking and occupying the Philippine Islands as part of China's first military adventure would be inviting a Sea Battle with the U.S. far from the Chinese mainland where even a tie for China is a loss for China.
We can hope China is that stupid, but I would not count on it.
Once China has airbases and sea ports in South Vietnam and South Korea occupying the Philippines makes much more sense.
Hainan Island (where China has large bases already) is very close to the Philippines. Much closer than South Korea and about the same distance, or closer, from Vietnam.
Also, one reason we are putting bases in northern Australia is because our "blue water Navy", has all but been rendered inept by the threat from China's supersonic anti-ship missiles. Especially when it comes to operating in a nearly closed off South China Sea. If Japan could occupy and control the Philippines 70 years ago, China can surely occupy and control the Philippines today.
However, I think most of us do not necessarily envision the main islands of the Philippines being the first level of appeasement. I believe their claims over the South China Sea will be the first level. I believe at some point, we will basically agree with China that those waters are their domain.