May 1, 2010 in Uncategorized Tags: Chinese Submarines â€œIt concerns me to see China going for these submarines,â€ said Robert D. Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, in a tele-conference with journalists. Kaplan earlier authored an article, â€œThe Geography of Chinese Power,â€ (May/June 2010, Foreign Affairs), saying that the shifting balance of power in the Eastern hemisphere will undoubtedly â€œexacerbate U.S.-Chinese tensions in the years ahead.â€ Kaplan argued that U.S.-Chinese tensions will rise as China expands its influence to acquire resources to fuel its growth, and support the rising living standards of its immense population. â€œChinaâ€™s military threat is only indirect, to limit the power of the U.S. while trying to raise the living standards of its population which is one-fifth of humanity,â€ Kaplan said. â€œCold War was quite stable except Vietnam, Korean conflicts,â€ Kaplan told the listeners, adding, â€œNow we are seeing naval powers of Koreans, Japanese and Chinese.â€ Kaplan compared the decline of military power in Europe to Asia, saying, â€œThese areas of Asia are still in nationalistic mode where having a military is not a matter of shame as it is in Europe.â€ On the question of Sino-Indian relations, Kaplan predicted, â€œAs China moves South, India moves to East and to the former colonies of British Raj and that will bring a lot of tension in future.â€ Energy and natural resources hungry China is expanding its influence in Africa and on the ever-tightening Chinese iron grip on African resources, Kaplan said, â€œChina is becoming a political player (in Africa) with no particular focus except to get the resources.â€ â€œNiger is the latest example: The tiny African nation saw a coup dâ€™Ã©tat. Chinese had a great relationship with the former government (under an autocratic president Mamadou Tandia) while after the coup, Chinese are very friendly with the new regime (military officials who ousted the president),â€ Kaplan told journalists, adding, â€œshows they play both ways.â€ American ally Japan is juggling with a new multi-party system after having a one-party system for a long time and as the new party struggles to learn how to govern, Kaplan said, â€œChina is silently reaching out to Japan saying that you donâ€™t need Americans and we will give you protection.â€ Kaplan cautioned, â€œAmericans are not going to have a large black and white military presence in Japan,â€ with withdrawal of American troops on the cards. On a question about piracy, Kaplan was positive about it, saying, â€œGood thing about piracy is it brings nations together â€¦ Somalia has longest shoreline and China has dispatched its fleets thus they are getting a hands-on experience to operate those fleets far from home.â€ Today China still depends on the U.S. for patrolling international commercial sea-lanes but in future it will start aiming for such coverage from its own naval forces. Kaplan cited from personal experience, describing these â€œfar from homeâ€ experiences for China as very valuable, noting, â€œthroughout history, the nations which have built up economies, have also built military power to guard their economic power.â€ Iranian nuclear programs and global efforts headed by the U.S. to contain those, might not go far as â€œChina is hungry for energy and natural resources and China has an appetite for good Iranian relations,â€ cautioned Kaplan.