The U.S. Cannot Rely on ASEAN in the South China Sea

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by A.V., Aug 6, 2011.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...y-on-East-Asia



    What Should the U.S. Do?

    The U.S. should continue to look out for its interests and those of its allies in East Asia independent of its involvement with ASEAN.

    Protect freedom of the seas. America’s principal interest in the South China Sea is freedom of navigation, and its most effective instrument in this regard is the U.S. Navy. Under its Freedom of Navigation Program, the United States regularly asserts its rights in international waters. It also carries out necessary exercises, military survey activities, and intelligence gathering in waters seaward of China’s 12-mile territorial limit. It should continue to do so, undeterred by complaints and threats from the Chinese. It should also bear in mind that several members of ASEAN and India are officially sympathetic to China’s legal position on military activities in nearby waters.

    Protect allies. The U.S. has one treaty ally involved in this dispute: The Republic of the Philippines. The U.S. may very well find itself in a position where it cares more about the security of the Philippines than ASEAN. As chair of ASEAN in 2010, Vietnam stiffened ASEAN’s spine. The discomfort some members exhibited over its assertiveness, however, does not bode well for the organization’s staying power with regard to the Philippines, especially as the ASEAN chair is due to rotate through a number of cautious and/or China-deferential countries, such as Cambodia, Brunei, Burma, and Laos.

    Strengthen and create partnerships. America should keep its alliance network front and center, help provide the Philippines the military wherewithal to withstand PRC pressure, and continue to look for ways to expand bilateral strategic partnerships, with Vietnam and India in particular. Recent events obscure the fact that ASEAN is deeply ambivalent about China’s rise. Its consensus-based diplomatic culture means that the members most averse to offending China discourage bold initiative. Any time real action is required, the U.S. must rely, as it has for decades, directly on its hub-and-spokes system of allies and partnerships.
     
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  3. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Who wrote this thing? It's a piece of crap. ASEAN ambivalent of China's rise? Maybe Burma but the rest of the pack are concerned about China's growing assertiveness in the region. In fact there is a scramble for military modernization in most (if not all) ASEAN countries. Aside from the Philippines, Singapore has recently agreed to permanently station 2 US warships, Vietnam is also negotiating with the US. Indonesia on the other hand is also stationing (not so publicly) US forces, of course in line with the war on terror, but we all know that these troops can easily be realigned and they are backed by a less visible but powerful offshore force (sea basing) with naval assets from the 7th Fleet. I don't even want to mention Thailand. Maybe it is my country Malaysia that can be considered as ambivalent toward China at the moment.
     
    Tshering22 likes this.
  4. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Guys at the Heritage surely seem to be low on knowledge about ground realities.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US only has only treaty ally in the dispute?? What a crock Japan,Phillpines,Taiwan are all treaty allies and Vietnam a new unofficial one
     
  6. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Which CCP moron wrote this piece of crap? Sympathetic to CCP!!? :lol: What makes you think we ordered billions worth of weapons both indigenous and foreign to arm our Navy for? Why do they fancy we conducted 60 wargames (60% of them Naval related) with US, ASEAN, Japan, Australia, Singapore etc? Why do you think that India has been increasing its military infrastructure in Andaman and Nicobar Island union territories as well as ramping up military road and railway projects in northeast India? Did the author clearly miss the last year's diplomatic pants-down that CCP did by threatening Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and India at the same time over South China Sea? Did he clearly miss the recent indications that how Vietnamese Navy has almost instantly requested Russians for attack submarines and cruise missiles? How it has purchased the lethal Su-30MKV series of fighters or helicopters or for that matter how it invited Russia and India to have regular military port visits and avail Vietnamese military facilities at Nha Thang?

    "Sympathetic to China"...:rotfl:



    This is sheer nonsense. While Philippines is the only puppet US has in ASEAN, but it is Vietnam that is any hope for defense of Southeast against China. They are the only ones who have thrashed both US and China out at the same time without getting wiped out. Vietnam is the spearhead defense for Southeast Asia if at all ASEAN has any hope followed by Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Not many countries in Southeast have the credit of kicking the Dragon out, so naturally with Viets most experienced in fighting the Dragon, they will have a stronger say in the region when it comes to ASEAN vs Dragon scenario. I don't understand why this guy is so defensive about "US should dictate and not some regional nation" factor.


    ASEAN? Ambivalent? Except for Burma, Cambodia and Laos that are virtually surviving due to Chinese aid, no other country in ASEAN is comfortable with the RED warmongers. These three countries in time will soon shed their Dragon love and realize the real danger when PLA knocks at their doors asking for their land and resources for free.
     
  7. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    You guys need to re-think about them then, bro. While Chinese trade well but trade relationship for them is different from political relationship. As such they trade on surplus always; meaning that local Malaysian industries are likely to suffer the more you increase your trading with Chinese.

    Take Pakistan's example. The country is on the brink of failure; is survived financially by US and materially by China. Chinese offer them weapons at 0% loan interest, build dams for them, dump bales after bales of textile, now even virtually run their cottage industries with cheaper alternatives. With a pitiful economy that Pakistanis have, they are forced to in a way accommodate Chinese because if they don't, they will simply extinguish as a single nation. Last year, their traders went on a riot in Karachi (different from current civil war there) as well as smaller city textile traders (textile is one of main Pakistani industries) who were at a severe loss since cheaper factory-made imitations of their craft were now dumped in Pakistani markets.

    Cambodia and Laos may not be that bad economically but they virtually run on Chinese investments. Burma same since our politicians here in India were idiotic not to extend it the hand of love and support. Though Burmese still prefer Russian weapons over Chinese for some reasons the junta knows.

    But I hope you understand the way CCP thinks. For them, everything is a war right now; whether peaceful or military. Malaysia has a good manufacturing capability and is a very reasonably strong industrialized nation. Trading with them isn't the same way as you trade with us on equal terms. So Malaysian governments need to understand to maintain a one-arm distance.
     
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    It's mainly due to trade concerns. But believe me that when push comes to shove in the ASEAN region Malaysia will not even wink to China...
     
  9. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Don't write off Cambodia too easily. Remember that Vietnam is its traditional ally.
     
  10. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nations are not run as corporate houses. When UK and Germany went to war during WW2, they were the largest trading partners of each other. China over-estimates it's economic influence over the ASEAN region. Economics drives several things, but its not the only deciding factor when it comes to geo-politics.
     
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do you realy know something about this? A traditional ally? Yes, before they fought the war in last 70s and 80s.
     
  12. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    For once, asianobserve is actually correct. Vietnam has been a traditional ally of Cambodia before and after the Khmer Rouge. Also Laos.
     
  13. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Thank you civfanatic! I'm actually honored...
     

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