|Battle of the Spratly Islands|
|Part of South China Sea dispute|
BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz with USS John S. McCain prepare to engage Chinese naval vessels in the South China Sea.
| Allied Forces
|| China |
| Barack Obama |
| Xi Jinping |
| Armed Forces of the Philippines |
Japan Self-Defense Force
|People's Liberation Army|
|Casualties and losses|
The South China Sea War, also called The War of the South China Sea, was a military confrontation between China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan. The conflict came from the Spratly Islands dispute and China's nine-dash line claims. China subsequently declared war when it tried to take all of the Spratly Islands for itself. As a result, The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were dragged into this conflict because of their alliances in the area, particularly the Philippines. With the combined Southeast Asian alliance with Japan, the U.S., and Commonwealth Forces, China was pushed back from the area. All islands were then given to all its claimants and the dispute came to an end. China, on the other hand, relinquished all their claims on the islands far from the Chinese mainland.
This is my first attempt to create a future situation. I'll try my best to make the scenario as plausible as ever. It would be some sort of an alternate history, as the even would take place around 2015. This situation I created is based on the 1997 novel Dragon Strike – A Novel of the Upcoming War with China. I am open to discussion and suggestions. You may edit any errors. Furthermore, if you have ideas, please add it to the Talk Page.
The Spratly Islands (Chinese: Nansha islands, Filipino: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly and Vietnamese: Quần đảo Trường Sa) are a disputed group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia (Sabah), and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British explorer Richard Spratly who sighted them in 1843, the islands contain approximately 4 km2(1.5 mi2) of actual land area spread over a vast area of more than 425,000 km2 (164,000 mi2).
Due to it's proximity to the nations of Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, and China, the area is highly disputed within its claimants. Over the years, there have been incidents such as escorts, boarding parties, detainment, and in some cases, naval skirmishes. The United States of America, and other nations, state that they will not take sides of the dispute and urge for a peaceful settlement of the dispute. However, the U.S. is a treaty-ally of the Philippines, which means that if a belligerent nation attack the Philippines, America must intervene.
Things almost turned for the worst on April 8th, 2012 when the Philippine Navy spotted Chinese poachers in the Scarborough Shoal. The PN attempted to arrest the fisherman, but several China Maritime Surveillance ships blocked them on their entry. Chinese and Filipino ships faced each other until the month of July of that year, when the Philippine Navy pulled out their ship following an agreement. The Chinese, however, did not stick up to the end of their deal and effectively established de facto over the shoal.
Two years later, in 2014, a China Coast Guard vessel rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat just off the coast of the Paracel Islands. This caused anti-China riots in Vietnam. Also, within the same year, the Philippines submitted their claim and brought up the issue to The Hague, where an arbitration will be held between the Philippines v. China.
Tensions rise (Point of Divergence)
On March 9, 2014, a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre was blocked by China Coast Guard Vessels. Instead, the Philippines airdropped supplies to the nine Philippine Marines stationed there. Two weeks later, on March 29, 2014, the Philippines successfully managed to evade large harassing China Coast Guard ships with a small government boat and landed at the Sierra Made. The nine
marines were rotated with a new batch, and upon arrival at the Philippines, were decorated as heroes. It was alleged that the U.S. Navy were involved and assisted in this operation, as U.S. P-8 Poseidon recon planes were spotted by the reporters on the small boat. The U.S. Pacific Command, however, denied all claims. Concurrently, the Philippines finishes submitting their claim to the Hague. The Philippines invited China to take part in the arbitration, but China refused.
On April 28, 2014, U.S. President Barrack Obama visited the Philippines and met with Philippine President Benigno Aquino the III. The two heads of state signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, thus more ensuring should Philippines get attacked by a foreign nation, the USA will come to its aid.
On May 2014, the Philippines and the United States kicked-off the annual Balikatan (Tagalog for "shoulder-to-shoulder") exercise. For the first time, Australia took part of the exercises. Also within the same month, on May 26, a Vietnamese vessel sunk when it collided with a China Coast Guard ship. Both sides blamed each other, as Chinese nationals in Vietnam were lynched. Vietnam released a video of the Chinese vessel ramming the Vietnamese ship. China denied to the claims, and tensions remain cold.
The following month, in a show of partnership despite having disputes of their own, Filipino and Vietnamese troops held games in an island previously claimed by the Philippines but currently occupied by Vietnam. This angered China, which denounced the games. The same month, RIMPAC 2014 was held in Hawaii and San Diego, CA. Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei participated. The Philippines participated by bringing in personnel. China also participated for the first time, however, they brought an uninvited spy ship which spied on the exercises. This concerned the United States and its allies.
The following months to come, China then starts building up its military presence in the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. With this, it challenges the American military presence in the Asia-Pacific Region. Although the United States presses out that it does not want to contain China, nonetheless, China continues to militarize and rise. By the end of November 2014, The Obama administration fears that they will lose the Asia-Pacific region, so the United States sends more troops to South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Seeing this as challenge, China holds exercises in the East and South China Sea, thereby concerning the other Asian nations. Incidents of "unscheduled escorts" and "boarding parties" are reported throughout the disputed areas, further escalating the situation.
As the New Year 2015 starts, both sides of the party hold negotiations and try to ease out the situation. However, these talks wield in a deadlock and subsequently breaks down. The United States warns China that it stands by its commitments to defend its allies. Naturally, the Chinese respond to United States to stop "meddling" in its affairs. vAt the same time, the claimant nations begin upgrading their defenses around their islands, further angering Beijing. Somewhere in March-April 2015, satellite images show China reclaiming land on a disputed island, which is condemned by the international community. At the same time, another Filipino fishing vessel was spayed with a water cannon by CCG and an PAF plane was fired upon with a flare. By the end of May 2015, China prepares to take over the Spratly Islands and other disputed islands by force. The world does not realize this until on June 15, 2015.
The Battle Begins
Attack on Cam Rahn Bay
On the early hours of March 1, 2015, the People's Liberation Army Navy and the People's Liberation Army Air Force conducted a surprise attack on the naval base of Cam Rahn Bay. Most of the fighter jets came from Hainan Island and from China's new aircraft carrier the Liaoning. Waves of H-5, H-6, and JH-7 bombers, accompanied with J-8, J-9, and J-11 fighters, bombed Vietnam People's Air Force and Navy positions. Since most Vietnamese troops were still asleep or eating breakfast, only a few were able to mobilize. Several aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, and patrol boats were already destroyed or crippled. For those who weren't destroyed, they fought off vigorously to fend off the attackers. AA guns were able to down two bombers, one H-5 and one JH-7. Five VPAF Su-30MK2 were able to get airborne and managed to shoot down two H-5, H-6, and several Chinese fighters. By this time, the VPAF already knew of the attack and mobilized their air force. The Navy too has been mobilized. Dogfights were common as both suffered significant amount of losses. The attack lasted until 9:30am, when the Chinese forces pulled out after achieving their goal of crippling Vietnam's Navy and Air Force. However, this was no the case as several aircraft and ships were still operational. Losses for the Vietnamese were 218 personnel, 6 corvette crippled, 80 patrol boats sunk, 90 aircraft destroyed while for the Chinese were 46 aircraft including bombers and fighters and around 80 personnel. Throughout the day, most of Vietnam's Armed Forces were already on high alert and mobilized for the event of war. Even after the attack, the VPAF often chased Chinese fighters, helicopters, and ships out of Vietnam's airspace.
Chinese offensives on the South China Sea
The PL and PLAAF proceeded to take over several islands, reefs, shoals, and pieces of land in the South China Sea. The Laioning was already in the vicinity of the Spratly Islands. Chinese positions already on the South China Sea was already preparing for the "retaking" of their islands. Waves of Z-9, Z-11 along with the Z-10 chopper support ferried PLA troops to islands either uninhabited but nonetheless claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. Attacks were also made by PLA Navy patrol boats and frigates. The "capturing" of these uninhabited islands were not met with resistance so the Chinese proceeded to take on islands with defenders in it. This were backed by PLA landing ship tanks, specifically the Yukan-class LST and smaller amphibious warfare craft. The Chinese knew that some islands would pose little to no resistance so some were taken over with ease. PLAN Type 035 Ming class and Rome class submarines prowled the shallow waters of the South China Sea ensuring that opposing forces will have to deal with the Mings and the Romeos.
The attack on ROC-occupied Ibn Batu island lasted only for 5 minutes, when Taiwanese forces surrendered after suffering heavy casualties. Only 5 Chinese were killed on this attack. Meanwhile, the Malaysian government, having been informed of the attacks on Cam Rahn Bay and other islands, ordered their troops to stand down rather than resist the PLA. Despite this, several Malaysian troops defied the order and in some cases, made impressive resistance and last stands against the Chinese. The Chinese captured most islands claimed by Malaysia, save for a few reefs and islets. The Malaysian Navy based in Sarawak was already on alert just in case of a Chinese attack on Borneo. However, there was no order of reclaiming the islands as the order was to stand down.
Chinese offensive in Philippine-occupied islands
The Filipinos, on the other hand, portrayed heavy resistance against the the numerically and technologically superior PLA. On the Second Thomas Shoal, 10 Philippine Marines made an impressive last stand on board the BRP Sierra Madre. Before the war started, the Philippine Government upgraded the defense of the ship by adding several M2 Browning .50 cal Machine Guns, 25mm auto cannons, 20mm auto cannons, and 40mm grenade launchers. For 30 minutes, the Chinese tried to board the ship by means of chopper and patrol boats, as it was to shallow for bigger ships to board it. Most of the PLA came from Mischief Reef, a Philippine-claimed islet occupied by China since 1995. Using the new technologies, the Filipinos fired on upcoming patrol boats and Z-9 choppers even before they got to fast-rope on the ship. While some PLA were able the board it, the Filipinos fought back while suffering casualties themselves. When they ran out of ammo, the Filipinos used captured Chinese assault rifles, knives, pipes and what ever improvised weapons they could use. Eventually, the Chinese called in air support and bombed the rusty BRP Sierra Madre. The Second Thomas Shoal was then overtaken by China. All 10 Filipino Marines were killed and the Sierra Madre destroyed, but the Chinese lost three Z-9 choppers, eight patrol boats, and 40 troops. Other Philippine positions had similar incidents before falling to the Chinese.
Thitu Island, called Pagasa Island in the Philippines, was not yet taken but Filipino troops expected for the worst. Having heard of the Last Stand on the Sierra Madre, the Filipino troops decided to die fighting as they prepared for the worst. The Chinese landed on Pagasa Island twenty minutes after the attack on the Sierra Madre. The Filipino troops stationed there already knew they would bear the full force of the PLA, as Pagasa Island has an unpaved airstrip used by the Philippine Air Force. If captured by the Chinese, the airstrip would be used by China to launch further attacks on claimant nations. The Filipinos fought hard against the invaders, delivering heavy blows to the PLA but suffering heavy casualties themselves. For the Chinese, they had to capture this island because of the airstrip. They did not call for an airstrike on the island because that might destroy the airstrip.
Epic last stands of Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Filipino soldiers
Although the VPN was crippled in Cam Rahn Bay, the Vietnamese troops on Northeast Cay, Spratly Island, and several others portrayed the most significant resistance against the PLA. While some of their islands were already lost to China, they made it hard for the PLA to claim the remaining ones. In some cases, they united with Taiwanese and Filipino troops in securing and defending their islands. One case, soldiers from Taiwan and Vietnam defended the Vietnamese-occupied Sand Cay. They held out for nearly 20 minutes, fighting waves of fast-roping Chinese troops, but had to retreat because of Chinese jet fighters. The Vietnamese and Taiwanese troops fled in their respective patrol boats, while still firing back on the Chinese. A J-11 fired its missile to the VPN Patrol boat, killing everyone on board. The Taiwanese patrol boat, on the other hand, escaped successfully and landed on an island occupied by the Philippines.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast Cay and Southwest Cay, Vietnamese and Filipino troops banded together to defend the said respective islands. The two islands were relatively easy to defend in a joint operation due to their closeness. Troops on both sides would eventually land on each others island the bolster their defenses especially in Southwest Cay which was seized by Vietnam in 1975. The Chinese failed to secure the Northeast and the Southwest Cay, because of the heavy resistance poised by Vietnamese and Filipino troops. The PLA also failed to seize Spratly Island, after the small contingent of VPA troops, as well as the island's local resident fought relentlessly against the invaders. Numerous casualties were reported on the Vietnamese side, while China lost 10 Z-9s, 1 Z-11, 1 Z-10, and 60 troops. The pilot of the Z-10 was able to survive the crash, only to be lynched by the angry residents of the island.
By the end of the offensive, several reefs, shoals, atolls, and isles have been captured by the Chinese. Most of the Spratly Islands had been occupied by China. The governments of the nations involved, including Malaysia which was informed earlier, were already doing press conferences to the media. All military forces in the area including nations not involved in the war, such as Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, were placed on high alert just in case of a spillover of the conflict.
Diplomatic Spat and International Response
The governments of the claimant nations besides China were furious at them. Vietnam expelled their Chinese ambassador out of the country just three hours following the attack on Cam Ranh Bay. The Chinese embassy in Hanoi was stormed by an angry mob. Three embassy staff were killed and several others, including Vietnamese, were injured. Vietnam was now at a state-of-war with China.
In the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III summoned the Chinese ambassador to the Malacañang Palace. The ambassador could not get there, due to the large protest outside the Chinese Embassy in Makati City. Instead, he said that "China maintains the right to defend its sovereignty in the Spratly Islands." This statement further angered the Filipinos. Meanwhile, the protestors outside the embassy got out of hand and broke down the police barricade. Thankfully, no one was killed and only injuries and arrests were reported.
Brunei, which is a trading partner of both China and the United States because of its oil, immediately suspended its oil exports to China. This was in response to China "infringing" the sovereign territory of the oil-rich sultanate. Brunei also expelled the Chinese ambassador of their country.
Malaysia also did the same thing, suspending all petrol exports to China. While they did not expel the Chinese ambassador, they furiously summoned their Chinese ambassador to explain everything to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The attack was condemned by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia and among several nations. Since the Philippines has a treaty with the U.S., the United States Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet based in Japan were mobilized and placed on high alert. For the 7th Fleet, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington with other escorts were ordered to go to the Philippines. Another carrier was to take its place in Japan, just in case of a Chinese attack. They would work together with Naval Forces stationed in South Korea. The United States already warned China that an attack on its allies would be met with American response. China insisted the U.S. to stay out of China's affairs, but now it was too late.
The United Kingdom also intervened, with their Commonwealth allies such as Australia and New Zealand. British warships stationed in Australia and Singapore were deployed to Brunei, which is also a member of the British Commonwealth. Australia and New Zealand also deployed their ships to Brunei. Japan, on the other hand, placed the JSDF on high alert and placed reinforcements on the disputed Senkaku Islands, called Diayou in Chinese. In support of the Philippines, Japan sent the destroyer JDS Myoko, helicopter carrier JDS Ise, 5 Lockheed P-3 Orions and a 50 man contingent to Manila. Both these angered China, who ordered Japan to pull out their troops and stop supporting the Philippines.
The United Nations also condemned the attack in a non-binding resolution. The only countries who voted against the resolution, aside from China, was Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The USS George Washington and her escorts arrived in the Philippines three days after the attack. Three Littoral-class vessels of the US Navy based in Singapore were also on their way to the Philippines.
Royal Navy ships arrived in Brunei at the same time the US Navy docked in the Philippines, along with their Australian and New Zealander counterparts.
Japan sent the JDS Muoko, JDS Ise, a squadron of P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft and numerous personnel of the Self-Defense forces. This would be the first time in history that Japan intervened in a conflict that contradicted it's "self-defense" policy, not counting its anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden. A week later, Japan deployed battalions of SDF and several F-2 fighter jets to the Villamor Air Base, Manila.
China vs. the West
The 7th fleet arrived in Subic Bay three days after the attacks. The first thing the US Navy did was to coordinate with the Philippine Navy and Air Force and the JMSDF. The Philippines became a hub for US and Japanese naval and aerial forces, while the UK, Australia, and New Zealand primarily made its center of operations in Brunei and Malaysia. The first thing the US did was to reinforce the most vulnerable parts of the western Philippines. US Marines were garrisoned en masse around Zambales and Palawan provinces; both which are near Chinese occupied shoals. The United States and Japan frequently scouted the area through the use of drones and marine surveillance aircraft. No direct engagement occurred yet, as the the Allied forces began on how to retake the islands. Because of this action, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the sovereign nations China attacked ceased all diplomatic contacts, and were now at a state of war. The US immediately deployed the George Washington, and escorts USS Hasley, USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Independence to the West Philippine Sea region.
Sinking of BRP Artemio Ricarte and BRP Emilio Jacinto
Two Philippine Navy Peacock-class vessels, the BRP Artemio Ricarte and BRP Emilio Jacinto were performing scouting operations near the Scarborough Shoal when they came under attack from a PLAN Type 52 destroyer and Type 054A frigate of the PLA. The Chinese attacked using anti-ship missiles which severely damaged the Artemio Ricarte. The PN vessel returned fire with its autocannon, slight damaging some of the enemy's weapon system, but it could no longer take fire. The Artemio Ricarte sunk, taking with it 2/3 of the crew. The 1/3 remaining escaped on a lifeboat and sped away from the Chinese vessels. The BRP Emilio Jacinto tried to escaped under fire while also firing its autocannon, but it sank too. The remaining survivors escaped in a lifeboat.
The United States realized they no longer could stand by. Four F/A-18s from the George Washington were deployed and fired their AGM-84 Anti-ship missiles on the Type 52 frigate, which suffered all direct hits. The frigate was then reduced to a burning float, while the rest of the Carrier strike group hunted the remaining Chinese vessels. The USS Hasley and USS Curtis Wilbur found the Type 054 and fired upon using their main guns and their anti-ship missiles. The Type 52 sank almost instantly. The Carrier strike group then rescued Filipino crew survivors of the BRP Artemio Ricarte and Emilio Jacinto. For the first time in history, the West has finally fired its shots on China.
Brits, Aussies and Kiwis vs the Chinese
The British, with their Australian and New Zealander counterparts, intervened on behalf of Malaysia and Brunei. The two countries were formerly territories of the United Kingdom and our current members of the Commonwealth. Because of they were attacked by the Chinese, the British themselves would not turn a blind eye to its former territories. The Australians and New Zealanders pledged their support; this was also because they are major non-NATO allies of the United States. On July 10th, the first naval engagement of the Royal Navy was with a Type 053H frigate and some aircraft of the PLAN, just off the coast of Sarawak The Chinese attempted to sink the vessel with fighter jets, but the air defense system of the British ship was able to repel the attacks. It then fired a two anti-ship missiles on the Type 053H, which one hit the stern and the other the bow. The Type 053H was crippled, and attempted to limp away back to an area where there were PLAN, but was destroyed when F/A-18Es from the Royal Australian Navy based in Brunei unloaded it's AGM-84 anti-ship missiles on it, causing it to capsize and finally sink.
The Chinese were not that easy to give up yet. While they incurred losses from the Western Coalition, they too inflicted damage to their foes. Particularly, a Type 052B destroyer fired it's anti-ship missiles on an Australian Navy ship, the HMAS Darwin which killed 20 sailors and made it leak it's fuel. The Aussie ship returned fire, damaging the main gun of the Type 052B. The Darwin retreated back to Brunei and successfully escaped the Type 052B. One frigate of the US Navy was destroyed by Chinese missile destroyer. Majority of the crew were able to abandon ship before being picked up by USS Millius, USS Fitzgerald, and JDS Ise. Approximately 1/3 of the crew perished. The Japanese also get to their first kills on the Chinese. On July 20th, The JDS Kongo, sailing alongside the US Navy, was attacked by J-11 fighters and Z-9 Haituns. It's CIWS immediately ripped apart Chinese helicopters trying to fire it's missiles on them. The Kongo was able to shoot down three J-11s, suffering a minor damage on it's hull. Finally, it was able to capsize a Chinese frigate that attempted to attack it.
On July 25th, the Chinese were able to sink a Malaysian Navy ship that attempted to attack Chinese positions on Chinese-occupied, Malaysian claimed reefs. The following day, China had a minor skirmish with the Royal Thai Navy. The HTMS Chakri Naruebet was nearby the South China Sea when it was "escorted" out by Chinese Type 056 Corvette. It repeatedly harassed the Thai naval ship until it fired it's main gun, destroying a part of the runway of the Chakri Naruebet and destroying at least two Spanish-manufactured Harrier jump jets. The Thais responded by scrambling two Harriers which dropped laser guided bombs on the Type 056. Two were able to hit the stern portion of the ship. The harriers returned to the Chakri Naruebet as it sailed away as far as possible. This was the only time that Thailand was involved in the conflict. In this minor skirmish, 8 Thai sailors were killed, 27 were injured. As for the Chinese, they claimed no one was killed and that the Thais fired first although no one believed them anymore. In Bangkok, there were riots and protests outside the Chinese embassy. Meanwhile, a Ming-class submarine sunk one British Type 45 destroyer, the HMS Dragon, but it was promptly destroyed by a Lynx anti-submarine warfare helicopter from the Dragon's battle group.
Meanwhile, Pag-asa island finally fell to the Chinese after a week's fighting. Majority of the Filipino troops defending the island were killed, while some were captured to be placed on hostage. China had now an airfield on the South China Sea, which they later would launch attacks to nearby Palawan.
Limited Chinese Invasions and Attacks
In order to distract the allied forces on the South China Sea, the PLA High Command ordered limited Chinese invasions and attacks on Vietnam, Taiwan, and the western portion of the Philippines. This is one of their military tactics to "teach a lesson" to their enemies.
The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis
PLA naval vessels then attempted to make a blockade of the island of Taiwan. Also for the first time, the Chinese actually fired missiles into the Taiwan strait and to the island itself. These missiles hit several fishing towns and villages. Casualties were reported. The Chinese had one order to Taiwan: Withdraw your troops from the Spratly Islands and we will stop. However, the Taiwanese were willing to fight to the last man for those islands. Republic of China naval vessels soon sailed to the Taiwan strait to engage the PLA. In the meantime, the US Navy deployed the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group to reinforce the Taiwanese Navy.
In the meantime, Taipei was on high alert just in case of a Chinese invasion and evacuations were now being prepared.
The first shelling of the island was on August 21st, in which the Chinese Navy launch missiles and shelled the eastern potion of the island.
The capital of Taipei was bombed by Chinese bombers on 25th, causing several casualties and damages to infrastructures. Still, the Taiwanese would not back down. On the 26th, the ROC Navy lost one of its destroyers to the PLAN, but not before destroying two Luda-class destroyers, three submarines and sinking one frigate. ROC submarines, the ROCS Hai Hung and the ROCS Hai Lung, began sinking Chinese warships in the Taiwan Strait. For many years, many thought Taiwan would in no doubt fall to Communist Party. This was not case as Taiwan has a more advanced Navy and Air Force. The Taiwanese put this advantage to use, and it was because of this reason they were able to resist against the PLA. The two ROC submarines were able to inflict massive losses on the PLAN. Even though the PLAN deployed the Ming-class and Romeo-class submarines, the old designs were no match for the new submarines Taiwan had. In the surface, the Kee Lung-class destroyers, the Cheng Kung-class frigates, the Chi Yang-class frigates, and the Kang Ding-class frigates, were able to sink three Luda-class destroyers, 4 Yukan-class LSTs, and 2 Type-54 missile guided destroyers. The CMC were incest with the resistance poised by the ROC, so in order to "restore order" and to "put down the rebel province", an invasion of Taiwan was scheduled on September 3rd, as to coincide with China's large military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Chinese resistance to Japanese Aggression.
On September 3rd, the PLAAF began an airborne invasion of the island, followed by an amphibious assault. The ROC forces do what they can to hold out against the PLA but they were quickly pushed back. Eventually, ROC ships would engage the PLA. In the air, ROC Air Force F-16s manage to score kills against the Chinese J-20s. ROC attack helicopters provided air support the ground troops. F-18 Fighter Jets from the USS Ronald Reagan would join in the dogifghts, shooting down Chinese aircraft and sinking several Chinese ships. Nearby U.S. Navy ships would assists as well. On September 5th, the front lines in Taiwan have stabilized. In Beijing, the PLA military parade went along as planned, attended by foreign leaders with close economic ties to China. It had less media coverage as foreign media outlets pulled out of China weeks ago.
The Vietnamese FrontThe Chinese heavily bombed cities and towns along the Sino-Vietnamese border. The capital of Hanoi was not spared in these attacks. Right after bombing, a contingent of PLA troops swept right across the border and occupied several towns in the Sino-Vietnamese border. The Vietnam People's Army fought back at what they can to stop the invasion. The Chinese ordered the Vietnamese to pull out and relinquish their claim on the Spratly and Paracel islands. The Vietnamese responded that they will not give in to Chinese aggression, and will "fight to the very last man" on what they claim is sovereign ground. As this happened, the VPGF began mobilizing and pulling out reserves. Patriotic propaganda was relayed throughout the radio, reminding how the Vietnamese fought hard against ancient invaders and throughout history: the Qing Chinese, the French, the Americans, and then the Chinese during the Sino-Vietnamese War on 1979. According to analysts and experts, China still did not learn from the invasion of 1979. The Vietnamese, on the other hand, were prepared to push out the Chinese that occupied their border towns. Civilians, who majority are armed with weapons left behind from the Vietnam War, formed militias to counter the Chinese. Many of these civilians conducted guerrilla warfare in the border towns occupied by the PLA. Their tactics were reminiscent of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, employing booby traps and hit and run tactics against the PLA. The tunnel networks were widely used again.
America once again returned into Vietnam, this time as an ally. Britain joined as well. American and British Special Forces were deployed into the Sino-Vietnamese border conducting their own covert ops against the Chinese behind enemy lines. They would also aid their Vietnamese counterparts into battle facing the PLA. The U.S. Air Force B-52 Bombers saw action once again in the Indochina peninsula, carpet bombing PLA troop formations.
Because Vietnam was a costly attack, the PLA soon found themselves overextended then promptly withdrew from Vietnam.
Chinese attack on Palawan
Following the capture of Pag-asa Island, the Chinese launched a small scale invasion on northern Palawan, occupying portions of Puerto Princesa in the progress. PLAAF IL-78s dropped airborne troops along the northern portion of the island, as the PLAN mounted an amphibious assault. However, the invasion was met with heavy resistance. Philippine forces were reinforced with the United States Marine Corps and the JSDF, as they were already garrisoned en mass along the island prior to the invasion. While they did occupy parts of Puerto Princesa several other towns along the way, the Allied forces were making a steady progress. Tanks were useless against the jungle setting. Resistance fighters joined in the fray, often conducting guerrilla warfare on the Chinese. In particular, an convoy of Chinese soldiers were ambushed as an IED was placed in the road, destroying the APC that was sent to support the infantry. Civilian fighters suddenly appeared out of nowhere and attacked the Chinese, grabbing some weapons while suffering moderate casualties. These civilian fighters were joined with scattered law enforcement units, many of them SWAT and SAF units; ensuring that the Chinese would pay for every inch.
A contingent of Philippine Army Scout Rangers was present in the jungle, laying waste to unwary PLA soldiers whose aircraft crashed above the foliage and PLA convoys along the provincial roads. The Scout Rangers used their advantage of the jungle and terrain to engage scattered PLA units.
Two weeks after the invasion of Palawan, the PLA were almost expelled from the island. The Philippine-American-Japanese force were too much for the limited invasion force the PLA sent. Three days later, the PLA were finally expelled out of Palawan, while the ones left behind were captured as POWs by the allied forces.
Retaking Pag-Asa Island
Three days after PLA forces were expelled in Palawan, a plan was created to retake Pag-Asa Island from the Chinese hands. Retaking Pag-Asa can reduce the ability of Chinese forces to conduct airstrikes on claimant countries.
U.S. Navy F-18 fighter jets began precision strikes in the PLA occupied Pag-Asa. A U.S. Navy SEAL team was inserted to disrupt the PLA defenses. Once done, the United States Marines and Philippine Marines conducted an amphibious assault on the island utilizing landing crafts, landing air cushions, RHIBS, and amphibious assault vehicles. The Navy SEALS joined in the fight. After four hours, Pag-asa Island was reclaimed by the joint American-Filipino forces. With Pag-asa secured, the United States now has a staging point to attack Chinese positions in the South China Sea.
UN Non-binding Resolution
China's attack of the claimant states was condemned by the international community and the 193 members of the United Nations. However, because China is part of the United Nations Security Councils, it simply vetoed and UN Resolutions enacted by the member states. Instead, a UN Non-binding resolution was enacted, with majority condemning the Chinese attacks and only few, the ones that supported China, voting against the condemnation.
Economic Embargo against China
As a result of Chinese aggression, several stated began enacting economic sanctions and embargoes on the Chinese economy. In just a week, the economy of China went horribly down. Western companies then pulled out of China. Inflation soon hit the markets as goods became more expensive. Majority of the Chinese citizens could no longer afford to buy basic commodities. Hoarding of supplies was not allowed. Soon, there riots across the major cities throughout China and it seemed that an internal conflict was imminent. These were soon proven true which horribly went against the favor of the Chinese. However, the worse was yet to come for China.
Anti-China Protests Around the World
Around the world, from New York to Toronto, Honolulu to San Francisco, from London to Paris, and basically almost everywhere, crowds of citizens would protest outside Chinese embassies and consulates demanding an end to Chinese aggression. Ironically, in cities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; police heavily guarded the embassies from angry protestors while their countrymen fought in the vast sea lanes of the South China Sea. In some cases, things turned ugly. In Los Angeles, rioters rampaged around Chinatown, broke into shops, and even set fire to some shops and vehicles. Some innocent Chinese men, including naturalized Americans, were lynched. Over 20 Chinese or Americans with Chinese descent were reported to be killed. Meanwhile, in the San Francisco Bay Area, there were reports that every Asian on the street were attacked by crowds of angry Americans, some who were openly racist. There were reported over 30 fatalities, some were not even Chinese at all but were later to be confirmed to be Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, and Thai. The U.S. government condemns these riots because attacking innocents should not be condoned and they were not the real enemy.
In Vancouver, British Columbia, known for its large population of Chinese immigrants, there were also reports of violence similar to those in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Diplomatic Isolation of China
Majority of the international community has condemned China and has enacted economic embargoes. Because Chinese aggression continued, almost all countries in the world severed ties with China and instead recognized Taiwan.
As a result, the Chinese terminated the SAR status of Hong Kong and Macau. The PLA was then deployed to the bridges blocking HK and Macau to deter any protests occurring in these regions. However, a large pro-democracy protest erupted in Hong Kong, blocking main roads and shutting the economic areas. This caused a blow to the Chinese mainland. Police were deployed to quell the protestors but there were unconfirmed reports of defections.
Russia, which has largely remained silent, finally voiced out condemning Chinese aggression. The Russians temporarily suspended the sales of fighter jets and the transfer of military technology to China unless it would stop its aggression. Russian Armed Forces were placed on high alert on the Manchurian border just in case of a spill over of a conflict. The Russian Pacific fleet in Vladivostok received the same order.
The Fight Back
Soon, the U.S. and the Commonwealth coalition began island hopping in the South China Sea dispute islands. Slowly by slowly, F/A-18s, EA-B Growlers, Sea Harriers, and Eurofighter Typhoons began poruing out from land-based airfields and aircraft carriers. Their opponents included the JF-17, the JH-7, and the PLAAF Su-22. There was an intense dogfight occurring above the waters of the South China Sea, with several planes shot down from both sides. The Liaoning, China's sole aircraft carrier, was destroyed when the combination of American, Australian, British, and Malaysian fighter jets coordinated to attack it. The loss of the aircraft carrier was a setback to Chinese forces in the area, as it had no way to project its aircraft from far distances from the mainland. Then, U.S. Marines, the Royal Marines, the Philippine Marines, SAS, Australian SAS, and Malaysian Special Forces began expelling the Chinese from the claimed areas. Amphibious landings occurred, from RHIBS, Landing Crafts, and AAVs. Even though the islands were small enough, the Chinese were to be expelled. Once they were expelled and the claimed areas recaptured, Allied forces began attacking Chinese heavy equipment that was used to carry out its reclamation of several shoals and reefs. This ensured that China can no longer further their reclamation projects which has caused environmental damage in the area.
In the Paracels, MiG-21s and Su-30s from the Vietnam People's Air Force began precision airstrikes on Chinese positions. They were supported by the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, which launched cruise missiles on defenses on the island. Once the defenses were knocked out, Vietnamese ground forces began an amphibious invasion held to reclaim the Paracels. After three weeks, the Paracels were reclaimed, with a very heavy casaulty count from the Vietnamese side and most of the Chinese killed. In a similar operation, VPAF MiG-21s and Su-22s flew below the radar and attacked Sanya Air Base and the PLA submarine base in Hainan Island. The Vietnamese caused serious damage to the runway and most of the submarines still in their moors. They were able to retreat successfully in the area right before other PLAAF jets were scrambled.
In Indonesian-claimed Natuna Islands, anti-ship batteries placed there sunk a Type 54C Destroyer as it encroached its territorial waters.
More to come
Instability in China
After weeks of the loss of trade and diplomatic isolation, the effects were finally felt. Inflation of local commodities became all-time high that only the upper class Chinese could afford. In provinces where the local government units were unable to control, the Communist Party would purge these leaders and replace it with stricter leaders.
Separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang decided to join in the fray and stage their own uprisings. The PLA was deployed to these areas. The Tibetans were secretly armed by Indian and CIA agents operating in the Kashmir region. Allegedly, the CIA was also supplying the Ughyurs with material and weapons, and making sure no extremist such as ISIS was present in these uprisings. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, there were reported defections of police forces to the pro-democracy side. Protestors also stormed an armory of a Hong Kong police station, taking with them guns, riot gear, tear gas, and assorted armored vehicles. Macau mostly maintained silence and was mostly stable.
In the mainland, food rationing riots were reported in almost every major city. Analysts observed that Chinese forces despite numbering over a million, were somehow stretched as majority of their forces were deployed to the South China Sea. This, coupled with the breakdown of military hardware and corrupt officers, posed a big problem for the PLA despite having numbers as their advantage.