China Hedges Over Whether South China Sea Is a ‘Core Interest’ Worth War

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by SHASH2K2, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    China Hedges Over Whether South China Sea Is a ‘Core Interest’ Worth War



    BEIJING — When President Hu Jintao of China dropped in on Washington this winter, one hot-button topic was notably absent from the agenda: the South China Sea. Nor will Chinese officials be keen to discuss it during a summit meeting between the countries planned for May in Washington.
    In the past year, it has been one of the most delicate diplomatic issues between China and the United States. Perhaps no other point of tension has been as revealing of the difficulties American officials have reading and responding to Chinese foreign policy. But in recent months, Chinese leaders have apparently been happy to let the issue quiet down, perhaps for the sake of smoothing over relations with the Obama administration.
    China, Taiwan and four Southeast Asian nations have been wrangling for years over territorial claims to the South China Sea. Then last July, amid heightening tensions in the waters, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rallied with Southeast Asian nations to speak out against China. She bluntly said in Hanoi that the United States had a “national interest” in the area, and that China and other countries should abide by a 2002 agreement guaranteeing a resolution of the sovereignty disputes by “peaceful means.”
    Chinese officials were shocked that the United States was getting involved, analysts say. A public debate erupted in China over this question: Should China officially upgrade the South China Sea to a “core interest,” placing it on par with other sovereignty issues like Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang that could justify military intervention?
    Some Chinese officials appeared to have floated that idea in early 2010 in private conversations with their American counterparts. Several American officials told reporters in Beijing and Washington last year that one or more Chinese officials had labeled the South China Sea a “core interest.” But despite those remarks and the public debate that came later, Chinese leaders have not explicitly come out with a policy statement describing the South China Sea as such — nor have they denied it.
    “It’s not Chinese policy to declare the South China Sea as a core interest,” said Zhu Feng, a professor of politics and international relations at Peking University. “But the problem is that a public denial will be some sort of chicken action on the part of Chinese leaders. So the government also doesn’t want to inflame the Chinese people.”
    The Foreign Ministry and the State Council, China’s cabinet, did not answer questions on the issue, despite repeated requests.
    Michael Swaine, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, has published a paper with the China Leadership Monitor looking at China’s growing use of the term “core interest.” Since 2004, Chinese officials, scholars and news organizations have increasingly used the term to refer to sovereignty issues. Initial references were to Taiwan, but the term now also encompasses Tibet and Xinjiang, the restive western region. After examining numerous Chinese print sources, Mr. Swaine concluded that China had not officially identified the South China Sea as a “core interest.” Some “unofficial differences in viewpoint, along with the likely dilemma involved in confirming whether the South China Sea is a core interest, together suggest the possibility of disagreement among the Chinese leadership on this matter,” Mr. Swaine wrote.
    That is not to say that China has refrained from asserting its sovereignty claims. On March 24, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said at a news conference that China held “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratly Islands.
    By spring 2010, it seemed to some American officials that Chinese officials were pushing beyond the standard sovereignty claims, calling the South China Sea a “core interest.” In a November interview with The Australian, Mrs. Clinton said Dai Bingguo, the senior foreign policy official in the Chinese government, told her that at a summit meeting in May 2010.
    “I immediately responded and said, ‘We don’t agree with that,’ ” Mrs. Clinton said, though some scholars in the United States and China question whether Mr. Dai made the remark. Then in July 2010, at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi, Mrs. Clinton made the statements that enraged the Chinese. M. Taylor Fravel, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies China’s territorial issues, said Mrs. Clinton’s move was in reaction to a long series of episodes in the South China Sea that American officials believed reflected greater assertiveness by China.
    After Mrs. Clinton’s statements, the English-language edition of Global Times, a populist Chinese newspaper, published an angry editorial that linked the South China Sea to China’s core interests — “China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means,” it said. Senior military officers weighed in on both sides. Han Xudong, an army colonel and a professor at National Defense University, wrote in Outlook, a policy magazine, that “China’s comprehensive national strength, especially in military capabilities, is not yet enough to safeguard all of the core national interests. In this case, it’s not a good idea to reveal the core national interests.”
    The Web site of People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, posted a survey asking readers whether it was now necessary to label the South China Sea a “core interest.” As of January, 97 percent of nearly 4,300 respondents had said yes.
    Muddying the whole issue has been the parallel use of “core interests” advanced by Mr. Dai. In 2009, he broadened the definition of the term by saying China had three core interests: maintaining its political system, defending its sovereignty claims and promoting its economic development. Some Chinese officials might now see the South China Sea and all other sovereignty disputes as falling under “core interests.”
    The debate in the Chinese news media seemed to reflect a divide among Chinese officials. Then in the fall, news organizations were ordered to stop writing about it.
    “Now I think they are backing away and downplaying the question because of the trouble it is causing with the U.S. and the ASEANs,” said Joseph Nye Jr., a professor of international relations at Harvard and a former Pentagon official.
    Monitoring China’s actions in the South China Sea is a more reliable way of gleaning its intentions, said Lyle Goldstein, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. His research shows that in August, Modern Ships, a publication linked to the Chinese Navy, detailed how two civilian surveillance ships planted a Chinese flag in the southern part of the sea; Mr. Goldstein said the fact that the ships were unarmed showed that China was taking a cautious approach.
    But “there has been an increase in hawkish declarations by Chinese naval leaders since last summer, reflecting a dangerous escalation of tensions,” Mr. Goldstein said. In November, Modern Ships quoted Admiral Hu Yanlin as saying that “international anti-China forces led by America” had stirred up discord in the region.
    “We are peace-loving,” Admiral Hu said, “but we also need to make the appropriate plans and preparations.”
     
  2.  
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,535
    Likes Received:
    6,528
    South China sea nations better start forming their alliances China is out to get them.
     
  4. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    China Lays Out Vision for Its Military


    BEIJING — The Chinese military said Thursday that while the security situation in Asia and the Pacific was generally stable it was becoming “more intricate and volatile,” with no clear solutions for tension points like the divided Korean Peninsula and with the United States increasing its involvement in regional security issues.
    The military’s vision was laid out in a national defense white paper, a document published every two years since 1998. The paper tries to walk a line between trumpeting the modernization efforts of the Chinese military and assuaging fears by foreign governments and analysts that the fast-growing People’s Liberation Army will be used for expansionist purposes or regional dominance.
    The paper stressed that China’s military buildup is purely defensive in nature, a line that Chinese leaders have long espoused. The paper had more detail than previous editions on China’s attempts to establish confidence-building measures with foreign militaries. In the past year perceptions by foreign countries of China’s military growth and of a more assertive Chinese foreign policy have resulted in diplomatic discord and discomfort, particularly between China and the United States.
    “China attaches importance to its military relationship with the United States and has made ongoing efforts towards building a sound military relationship,” Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng said at a news conference on Thursday, reading from a text. “The Chinese military is now taking steps to advance exchanges with the U.S. military this year.”
    But “there’s no denying that in developing military relations, we still face difficulties and challenges,” he added.
    The white paper observed that in the Asia-Pacific region “relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment. The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances, and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs.”
    Colonel Geng said that the army’s Chief of General Staff, Gen. Chen Bingde, would visit the United States in May. Robert M. Gates, the United States defense secretary, flew to Beijing in January to smooth over military-to-military relations that had been frozen after the Obama administration announced arms sales to Taiwan in January 2010. In June Mr. Gates got into a prickly dispute with General Ma Xiaotian at a security summit meeting in Singapore, an episode that revealed the deep fissures in the military relationship.
    Mr. Gates had to navigate yet another tricky diplomatic situation here when the Chinese military tested a J-20 stealth fighter jet in Sichuan Province while he met in the Chinese capital with President Hu Jintao.
    In December Admiral Robert F. Willard, the commander of United States Pacific Command, told a Japanese newspaper that China had a working design for an antiship ballistic missile that could strike at aircraft carriers and could soon be ready for deployment. The missile, known as a “carrier killer,” has become a symbol in Western military circles of the Chinese army’s technological advances.
    The weapon “is not science fiction,” Andrew S. Erickson, a professor at the United States Naval War College, said in an e-mail interview earlier this year. “It is not a ‘smoke and mirrors’ bluff,” he wrote. “It is not an aspirational capability that the U.S. can ignore until some point in the future.”
    Of equal or greater import is China’s plan to soon deploy an aircraft carrier known to be under construction. But the white paper, while ostensibly aimed at making China’s military development more transparent, did not discuss the carrier project. Colonel Geng dodged a question about it at the news conference.
    The paper noted that China still faced challenges from “separatists” striving for the independence of the restive western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang and the self-governing island of Taiwan.
    “Pressure builds up in preserving China’s territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests,” it said. “Non-traditional security concerns, such as existing terrorism threats, energy, resources, finance, information and natural disasters, are on the rise. Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase.”
    The Chinese government has announced that the military budget for 2011 is about $92 billion, up 12.7 percent from 2010. The previous announced annual increase was 7.5 percent, the first time in years that the reported growth had dipped below double digits.
    “China pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature,” the white paper said. “China will never seek hegemony, nor will it adopt the approach of military expansion now or in the future, no matter how its economy develops.”

     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    I think ASEAN is more and less united in its stand against expansionist attitude of china. With America solidly behind them all they need to do is show some balls and meet fire with fire.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,535
    Likes Received:
    6,528
    One act of aggression is all it will take for the Chinese rise to come to an end.
     
  7. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    23
    Are ASEAN nations really that close? I know that the Phillipines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have positive relations with the US, but what about Burma? Isn't that country in Chinas sphere of influence? Then of course there is Vietnam-US relations...
     
  8. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    I think this will help to clear your doubts.
    U.S., Asean to Push Back Against China



    Asen coungtries are not friends but they have common enemy and thats China. USA is acting as a catalyst to bring them closer . Also Vietnam and USA are much closer then than anyone expected just 3-4 years back.
     
  9. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
  10. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    23
    I see. These are interesting developments, especially given that the Phillipines are very close to the US; this could be seen as an act of aggression.
     
  11. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,519
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Just to clarify actualy ASEAN members clash over South China Sea too, with overlapping claims of EEZ, or islands, among Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

    Unlike what many envisage - a ASEAN-vs-China scenarion, in ASEAN there're many key memembers who are China's "close friends" with no terrritorial conflicts. For example Thailand once blocked Vietnam's attempts to bring S. China Sea issues on agenda of ASEAN. In addition to Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thai China has intensified engagement with Indonesia who's not in such wrestles with China.
     
  12. jazzguy

    jazzguy Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is good opportunity for India to joint ASEAN-US alliance against China. From the alliance, India can regain the control over Tibet, Xinjiang, Hongkong and Mongolia. Once India regains the control over all of the area, India will become indisputable No.1 superpower.
     
  13. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,172
    Likes Received:
    422
    And Singapore, Tailand, Indonisia have positive relationship with China as well. Do they has no interest here. By trading with China, they are making billions of dollars every year, do you think they would like to confrant with their biggist customer for other people's interest?
     
  14. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    We donot have eyen on lands of other people and dont want any piece of shit from Chinese empire . Its china which boundary disputes with almost everyone.
     
  15. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    I donot know if you started smoking or what but so far I know Singapore is no friends of china . Infact Singapore is one of most active player in anti china alliance in Asia . Your logic of having good business relationship meaning being friends is flawed. By same Logic US of A should be best buddy of China. Are they ?
     
  16. jazzguy

    jazzguy Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Indian Ocean belongs to India. China wants to clam it. Wake up India, don't being always a peaceful love country.
     
  17. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    This is all that you can come up with . A mindless rant ?

    You guys are very good at these things. where logic and facts end brain start farting .
     
  18. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    10,397
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    Unfortunately for China, ASEAN is united on its position to resolve the S. China Sea issue through the UN. China is not party to those talks because they refuse to participate and were condemned by the entire ASEAN body over violence in the SCS. Chinese engagement with those countries has failed to make many inroads in military sales over the last decade. Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and even Burma buy Russian fighters. Most of ASEAN new helicopters are made by France. Submarines sold by Russia and France. The one success China had to Thailand selling Type 053s turned to be the end of their reputation as a bargain naval basement when the ships needed to be rewired and had inumerous safety issues. Burma is buying a batch of K-8 trainers but that is really it. ASEAN defence ties are far greater with France and Russia than China.
     
  19. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,519
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    of course even China herself buys from Russia. Pls keep on selling, and selling more that'll be channelled to China too. Forget China is the world's top copycat?
     
  20. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,172
    Likes Received:
    422
    I think you are the one smoking!
    In 2009, when chinese navy fleet was heading to India ocean, guess who provided harbour? Singapore!
    Guess who is the biggest buyer of chinesee military equipment in SE Asea! Tailand!
    Guess who just sign the contract asking China to do the maintaining work of its Sukhoi fighters? Indonisia!
     
  21. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,142
    I think China should go to war in South Sea and test its preparedness and capability.....and get a feel of first hand repercussions of such activities....its high time China stops puffing out air and blow some fire!!
     

Share This Page