No sooner had the aerial reconnaissance photographs of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea been analyzed than the evidence of China’s island-building activities was forwarded to the Pentagon and the White House. Those satellite images revealed that the Chinese military was turning reefs and atolls into solid ground supporting airfields, ports, helipads and barracks.
The discovery of new Chinese military staging areas adjacent to the earth’s busiest shipping lanes for oil and natural gas was followed within weeks by China’s announcement that they would purchase all of Russia’s surplus oil and natural gas to fuel the industrialization of the world’s fastest growing economy. The purchase would deprive the nations of Europe, along with South Korea and Japan, some of America’s staunchest allies, of the fossil fuels upon which their economies were built.
The President dispatched the Secretary of State to Moscow and Beijing to make diplomatic overtures while deploying operators from the Joint Special Operations Command to Europe and the 7th Fleet to the South China Sea to ensure that deliveries of fossil fuels continued unimpeded.
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