US 1st Fleet to be Based in Hong Kong? 美國第一艦隊駐紮香港? By Chapman Chen, HKBNews
US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite on Dec 1 called for the reactivation of the 1st Fleet to increase U.S. power in the Indo-Pacific region, like Singapore, in order to counter Chinese aggressiveness there, USNI News reported that day. However, Hong Kong and Kao-hsiung are more likely options than Singapore (cf. Martin Oei 2020). For Singapore's habor is too shallow and its territory not large enough for receiving American soldiers. Contrastively, Hong Kong's waters very deep, its position close to the South China Sea, its workers reliable, and its Disneyland, Wan Chai bars and Lan Kwai Fong good for both expatriates and locals. Hong Kong is indeed a bilingual cosmopolitan city that has decades of experience catering for American soldiers, as corroborated by The World of Suzie Wong. If the U.S. wants to make sure that the South China Sea is not monopolized by China, it will have to make use of Hong Kong via the U.K.
The harbor of Kao-hsiung is as good as Hong Kong but it has no Disney and its inhabitants, most of whom speak little English, may frown at local bars receiving American soldiers. Australia's Darwin Harbor should be perfect for the purpose if it was not so far away from the South China Sea. As for Cam Ranh Bay of Vietnam, it is a well-equipped harbor but Vietnam is, after all, a communist country which looks dubious in the eyes of the U.S.
Kao-hsiung may thus serve as a secondary harbor to support First Fleet units when they are stationed in Hong Kong, in the same way that Sasebo always stands ready to support Seventh Fleet units headquartered in Yokosuka.
The pre-requisite is, of course, the United Kingdom taking back Hong Kong on the ground that China has repeatedly and seriously violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Maybe that is why the UK has decided to dispatch the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier to waters near Japan on a long-term basis.
It follows that the real reason why C.H. Tung and Carrie Lam put forth the Lantau Tomorrow Vision is not just to rob the Hong Kong Treasury of its money for the good of Beijing but also to sabotage Hong Kong's waters so that it can no longer serve as a military harbor for the U.S. and the U.K. What an insidious and malicious conspiracy!
Oei, Martin, youtube video, 2020 Dec. 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EU-mSFnmVc&t=666s