1NC – Sphere of Influence
A. Uniqueness - China is becoming a maritime hegemon— they are flexing their naval muscle and attempting to gain regional influence
Sevastopulo, Financial Times South China correspondent, 6/19
[Demetri, 6/19/14, Financial Times, “South China Seas: Troubled waters,” http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/313432b0-f78f-11e3-b2cf-00144feabdc0.html#axzz36v1WmMxp, 7/8/14, IC]
In a recent speech at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, Chuck Hagel, US defence secretary, said what many southeast Asian countries believe but are wary of articulating too forcefully out of fears about Chinese retaliation: “China has called the South China Sea ‘a sea of peace, friendship, and co-operation’ and that’s what it should be. But in recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.” From Manila to Washington, experts are trying to answer what Rory Medcalf, an Asia security expert at the Lowy Institute, describes as the “billion dollar question”: why is China taking a more assertive stance over territorial claims in the South China Sea that have, in most cases, existed for decades? Where some see an emerging power flexing its new naval muscles, others view a bolder ambition to push the US navy out of the western Pacific where it has been dominant since the second world war. The tensions are mounting at a pace that worries everyone from military planners in the Asia-Pacific region to multinational retailers and global energy companies. In the latest example of friction, scores of Chinese and Vietnamese naval, coast guard and fishing vessels are playing a dangerous game of maritime chicken near the disputed Paracel Islands after China infuriated Vietnam by starting to drill for hydrocarbons. The spat has also sparked deadly anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam that forced factories supplying everyone from Apple to Adidas to temporarily halt production. “It is still very serious, not only for Vietnam, but also for the region and the world,” said Chi Vinh Nguyen, Vietnam’s deputy defence minister. “They violated international laws when they placed the oil rig in our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.” Hanoi is mulling taking China to international court, following Manila, which has seen relations with Beijing plummet since Chinese ships wrested control of a Scarborough Shoal reef from the Philippines in April 2012 after a tense month-long stand-off. In his new book Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, Robert Kaplan says there is “nothing unusually aggressive” about China’s actions given its geography and aim to prevent foreign powers taking advantage as they did in the past two centuries. “The fact that it seeks to dominate an adjacent sea crowded with smaller and much weaker powers, where there is possibly a plenitude of oil and natural gas, is altogether natural,” he concludes. China argues that Hanoi and Manila have breached the code of conduct, or drilled in waters claimed by China China dismisses the view it is raising tensions. At the Shangri-La dialogue, Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, a top Chinese officer, accused Mr Hagel and Mr Abe – who gave a highly critical speech on China – of teaming up to provoke Beijing. The US accepts that the Chinese military will play a bigger regional role as it grows. But General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China was using its military muscle in a “provocative” way that would complicate the search for diplomatic solutions. “We had discussions just two years ago that regional powers . . . would not use military force or the military instrument of power in order to pressurise what is rightly a diplomatic issue and that dynamic has changed, so now there is military power being used to pressurise the diplomacy,” he said in a joint interview. Just this year, Chinese warships have tried to block Philippine boats from resupplying a ship called the Sierra Madre that is lodged on the Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed Spratly Islands. Manila has also accused Beijing of breaching a 2002 regional code of conduct by reclaiming land at Johnson South, another reef in the Spratlys, for the possible construction of a runway. There have also been reports that China wants to turn nearby Fiery Cross Reef into an artificial island that would help it to project power in the South China Sea and beyond into the Pacific. China argues that Hanoi and Manila are being hypocritical, saying they have breached the code of conduct, or drilled in waters claimed by China. Tommy Koh, a widely respected former Singaporean ambassador to the US and maritime law expert, points out that none of the six claimant nations in the South China Sea have adhered to the letter of the law of the code of conduct. Some think China is responding to what it sees as growing US interference in its back yard. During the Bush administration, the US was so preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan that many Asian nations worried it was losing sight of China as its navy and coastguard grew. In 2010, the US signalled a shift. Speaking in Hanoi, Hillary Clinton, then Barack Obama’s secretary of state, declared the South China Sea was in the US “national interest” – a remark that infuriated China, coming just months after Beijing had called the waters one of its “core” interests. Two years later, Leon Panetta, then US defence secretary, told Asian defence ministers in Singapore that the Pentagon would boost its presence in the Pacific as part of a “pivot” to Asia. En route home, he flew to Vietnam, becoming the first Pentagon chief to visit the country in decades, and signalling to China that US-Vietnam relations were warming. Washington has since signed deals with Australia and the Philippines to base troops, planes and ships in those countries on a rotational basis. Chris Johnson, a former Central Intelligence Agency China expert at CSIS, said: “From a strategic or military operational point of view, China looks around and from the Japanese islands down to the Philippines they see this net of US alliances and other defence arrangements that box them in.” He argued China was responding to more than the “pivot”. It decided in the mid-1990s to focus on Taiwan instead of the South China Sea, where it had been building infrastructure on places such as Mischief Reef. But since the 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan, ties with Taipei have sharply improved, allowing China to focus on its maritime claims. In 2012, Hu Jintao, then Chinese president, gave a strong hint of the future when he announced in a major speech that the Communist party would “build China into a maritime power” – in what was the first time the country had declared itself a maritime power in 500 years. Towards that aim, China is creating a “blue water” navy that can operate far from its shores, and particularly beyond the “first island chain” that separates the South China, East China and Yellow seas from the Pacific. Many capitals worry that China will ignore international rules as it expands its sphere of influence “Chinese leaders believe strongly that as a rising great power they should have a sphere of influence in Asia, much like the US has maintained in the western hemisphere since its 19th-century articulation of the Monroe Doctrine,” said Paul Haenle, head of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. Many capitals worry that China will ignore international rules as it expands its sphere of influence. They point to the “nine-dash line” – a marking on Chinese maps that encloses most of the South China Sea, suggesting that China claims most of the waters, which critics say would contravene the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea [Unclos].
B. Link – the expansion of US influence into the ocean is perceived as an act of containment -
Dingli, assoc. dean @ Fudan U., ‘13
[Shen, 08/20/2013, ChinaUS Focus, “Managing China’s Maritime Interests,” http://www.chinausfocus.com/peace-security/managing-chinas-maritime-interests/, 07/02/2014, PD]
Second, it is natural that China needs to safeguard all its core interests, including territory, territorial water and space. With China’s sea baseline spreading as long as 18,000 km, it is a daunting task to assure that all its territorial water is under proper sovereign control. When foreign reconnaissance planes and intelligence ships approach quite often, it is important to keep alert, dissuading such behavior while following relevant global codes. It is never easy to achieve both ends at one time, with the 2001 China-US air collision off Hainan Island in mind. Over the past decade, Chinese armed forces seem to have enhanced their capacity and skill to do so. Third, with the creation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982, China’s maritime economic rights have been much enlarged, in a sense. China has to ensure that this area will be tapped both exclusively and sustainably. China’s EEZ could overlap with that of its close neighbors at sea, which requires proper bilateral talks to divide various overlapping interests. Meanwhile, it is necessary to command UNCLOS in a sensible way. As China revealed its navy’s access to the US EEZ in the Shangri-La Dialogue this June in Singapore, it shall have room to relax its interpretation of the legality of foreign navy’s access to its own EEZ. Fourth, assuring free access to high sea is increasingly of China’s vital maritime interest. Given China’s status as both a top exporter and importer, China is gaining wealth through trade from the ocean. In this regard, it is not incomprehensible that China is becoming more interested in building its blue water navy so as to assure that the international code of free access to maritime global common will remain undisrupted. This certainly has particular bearing on China-US relations. On the one hand, China and the US are sharing more common interests so as to roll back the threat of pirating; on the other hand, Beijing strongly perceives Washington’s maritime hegemony due to the latter’s dominance in East Asia, especially in the Taiwan context, which affects the mainland’s freedom of option in dealing with the island province. It is not impossible that the Beijing-Washington security dilemma would generate their arms competition, even unintendedly, though not at a full scale to repeat what occurred between the US and the former Soviet Union.
C. Internal Link - US attempts to unilaterally interfere in China’s perceived interests will fuel Chinese nationalism and lead to a catastrophic war
Bandow 2007(Doug, “China: Fragile Superpower, Readings in the Age of Empire”, Foreign Follies, September 7, ,http://www.antiwar.com/bandow/?articleid=11565)
Which naturally leads to relations with the U.S., the subject of the penultimate chapter of Shirk's book. Beijing has an incentive to maintain good relations with the U.S. – the PRC would suffer greatly from American economic sanctions let alone military hostility, and "the best way for China to rise peacefully is to behave like a responsible power and accommodate to the current superpower, the United States." If only life was so simple. Warns Shirk: "on the other hand, inside China, other leaders, the public, and the military expect Chinese leaders to stand up to the United States. Nationalist ardor runs high, fanned by government propaganda and the commercial media and Internet. The United States, as the dominant power in the world, is the natural target of suspicion and resentment in China, just as it is in many other countries, particularly after the American invasion of Iraq. A Chinese political leader who takes a principled stand against the United States always wins more points than one who gives in to it." Where does the U.S. go from here? As is so often the case in international relations, responsible statesmanship is necessary on both sides of the Pacific. Moreover, she adds, "only by understanding the dangers of China's domestic fragility and incorporating this understanding into their policies can Chinese and American decision makers avoid a catastrophic war." She advocates a series of sensible steps – focusing on Chinese international behavior, downplaying American military power, demonstrating respect for China, working in Chinese-Taiwanese relations, and not overreacting to China's economic rise. But that's not enough. Shirk wants to maintain "a strong military presence" in the region and opposes building up Japan as a military power. As she notes, "Preventing war with a rising China is one of the most difficult foreign policy challenges our country faces." That being the case, Washington should emphasize conflict avoidance, stepping back militarily while shifting defense responsibilities onto allied and friendly states. Perhaps the most important duty for U.S. policymakers today is to distinguish between vital interests, such as defending America, and peripheral interests, such as attempting to dictate events in East Asia in the face of a rising China. The world in which America can micro-manage international events is disappearing. Washington, too, must learn to accommodate. And America's interest will best be served by stepping back from confrontation where its vital interests are not involved.
D. Nuclear conflict with China is an EXISTENTIAL risk – causes nuclear winter
Wittner 11 (11/30/11 Dr. Lawrence, Prof of History Emeritus at SUNY Albany, “Is a Nuclear War with China Possible?”)
But what would that "victory" entail? An attack with these Chinese nuclear weapons would immediately slaughter at least 10 million Americans in a great storm of blast and fire, while leaving many more dying horribly of sickness and radiation poisoning. The Chinese death toll in a nuclear war would be far higher. Both nations would be reduced to smoldering, radioactive wastelands. Also, radioactive debris sent aloft by the nuclear explosions would blot out the sun and bring on a "nuclear winter" around the globe -- destroying agriculture, creating worldwide famine, and generating chaos and destruction. Moreover, in another decade the extent of this catastrophe would be far worse. The Chinese government is currently expanding its nuclear arsenal, and by the year 2020 it is expected to more than double its number of nuclear weapons that can hit the United States. The U.S. government, in turn, has plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars "modernizing" its nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities over the next decade.