Such a move would have the added benefit, for the Chinese, of depriving the US fleet of its overseas MCM capability which means the fleet would be unable to go anywhere that mines were even suspected – which would be almost everywhere! Thus, in one stroke, the Chinese could paralyze both our commercial shipping and our naval actions.
So, clearly a bad news scenario for us.
Fortunately, we are frantically working to build lots of additional dedicated minesweepers and new MCM helos. Oh wait … we’re actually not doing that at all. We’ll set aside the staggering stupidity of our non-existent MCM plan and force and press on to a related aspect .
Having recognized the catastrophic nature of this scenario, why can’t this scenario be turned around? Why can’t we use our subs to lay a few strategically placed mines in and around the Chinese Hainan base/port, for example? Why can’t we mine the various chokepoints around the South China Sea through which Chinese merchant shipping must pass? Why can’t we mine the Taiwan strait? And so on.
Theoretically, there is no reason why we can’t turn the scenario around. Of course, the reality is that we no longer have the capability or weapons to achieve such a scenario. Our mines are nearly obsolete and our subs almost never practice mine laying (see, "Offensive Mine Warfare - Operational Usage").
The attractiveness of being able to apply against our enemies the same mine warfare that we dread encountering is so blindingly obvious that one can’t help but be stunned by our near total neglect of offensive mine warfare. What little mine awareness we have is directed towards the ill-suited and ill-conceived LCS MCM module. We need to remember and regain our offensive mine warfare mindset and capability.