Obama's China Ambush

Discussion in 'China' started by ajtr, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Obama's China Ambush



    The President will skip China on his Asia tour, but his itinerary signals America's growing unease with the superpower's global clout. Peter Beinart on why Obama's cozying up to China's rivals this week—and how his policy is more hawkish than Bush's.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    China is edgy about India’s rise as an East Asian power

    Venkatesan Vembu
    There was a perception in Beijing in 2008-09 that the Obama administration wasn’t enthusiastic about President George W Bush’s legacy of Indo-US relations and that Obama would pursue a ‘China-focussed’ foreign policy. Indeed, Lee notes, that was what happened — until late 2009, when Obama’s China-focussed policy seemingly began to fail.

    Since then, Obama has shifted tack by “deepening relations with existing and emerging security partners at the expense of the relationship with China,” he points out.

    “India is now seen as a key component of this shift, which was additionally prompted by aggressive Chinese posturing over the past six months in the East China Sea, South China Sea and the Yellow Sea.”

    During his visit, Obama will want to signal India’s importance not only as a South Asian power, but as an East Asian power, reckons Lisa Curtis, a South Asia expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation who served in the George W Bush administration.


    “He will talk about India’s role in the region and globally.” Obama will also likely be “forward-leaning” in terms of US-Indian cooperation in the Indian Ocean “with an eye towards the China challenge”.

    However, he is unlikely to make any “specific references” to China, she adds. “I don’t think India too will want to be seen as being used by the US as a counterweight, but there are subtle ways to signal that the US is prepared to cooperate in new ways that will deal with the challenge of a rising China,” notes Curtis.

    The way Obama might approach the issue, she reasons, will be by raising the possibility of specific cooperation between the US and India that addresses the challenge of a rising China.

    Specifically, he would look for maritime cooperation — in the context of China taking a more aggressive stance with respect to its territorial claims in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and its border dispute with India.

    China “genuinely fears” US-India naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean, notes Lee. “Beijing’s strategy has been to distract India through a policy of fomenting ‘contained chaos’ in India’s neighbourhood — in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan.” And US-India naval partnership would be “a significant blow” to such a strategy, he adds.

    Commentary in the Chinese media ahead of the Obama visit reflects this concern and larger apprehensions about US ‘re-engagement’ with Asia. A recent editorial in the nationalistic official daily Global Times claimed that the US’ “return brings uncertainty to Asia”.

    Cheng Chongren, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at Fudan University, said the US is “seeking to gain a foothold in Asia… in the context of containing China.”

    The possibility of seeing a higher profile for India in China’s neighbourhood in East Asia is additionally giving China some cause for disquiet. Media commentary is also taking wary note of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s just concluded visit to Japan, which was recently embroiled in a bruising maritime dispute with China.

    According to Fu Xiaoqiang, a professor of South Asian affairs at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, Singh’s visit “illustrates India’s ‘Look East’ strategy.”

    Donald Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia Forum at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Centre, points to increasing concerns in the US about “Chinese hegemony in Asia”.

    Chinese policy lately in defence of its maritime claims “has come close to bullying,” he adds. In that context, many in the US see India as a potential counterweight against China, and the fact that India is a democracy “enhances its reputation in the US”.

    But George Perkovich at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace cautions against conceptualising the US-India partnership as “a means to contain or contest China — a notion that many in the US and in India wish to project onto the relationship”.

    To conceive of India as a balance against China “instrumentalises it, and India is nobody’s tool,” he adds, noting that the Indian democratic spectrum contains “strong strains of anti-American ideology as well as pro-Chinese and non-alignment elements”.
     
  4. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    There seems to be a growing consensus in USA's power corridors that China presents a clear and permanent danger to the Unites states and its interest in the global power hierarchy, and that America must pursue an aggressive policy to counteract the Chinese threat.Nothing could be more pleasing for India than to see China and US at loggerheads,its windfall for us in geopolitical terms.
     

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