The West must stand up to China's Bullying

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The U.S. Stands Up to China's Bullying

    By Dan Blumenthal | Wall Street Journal
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010


    Hillary Clinton provoked an uproar last week when she said that a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea territorial dispute is in America's "national interest." China's foreign ministry denounced those remarks as unwarranted American meddling and an attempt to "internationalize" a strictly regional problem. Notwithstanding Beijing's protests, Mrs. Clinton's diplomacy marks another step in a positive evolution of the Obama administration's approach to Asia.

    At issue is Beijing's claim that the bulk of the South China Sea constitutes its territorial waters. China is acting just as one would expect from a rising great power: As it grows more powerful, it desires to change international rules written when it is was weak.

    Yet foreign policy experts have spent much time assuring Asians and Americans that China's rise would be an exception--less disruptive than, say, the rise of the United States, Germany or Japan. That view animated President Obama's disastrous "strategic reassurance" policy of his first year, in which Washington reassured Beijing that America would not contest its rise to great-power status. China smelled weakness and upped the ante, declaring the South China Sea a "core interest" and defining it as China's territorial waters.

    Now Mrs. Clinton's comments--and Defense Secretary Robert Gates's move to restore military ties with Indonesia during his own Asia trip last week--make clear that the Obama team understands that China's rise will not be the historical exception. Their new brand of principled realism is characterized by moves to balance China's growing power and step up engagement with allies and partners--all without abandoning America's values.

    Specifically on the South China Sea, the U.S. wants freedom of navigation, open access to the maritime commons, and respect for international law. Mrs. Clinton proposed last week in Hanoi to resolve territorial disputes through multilateral rather than bilateral means. Meanwhile, as she demonstrated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting, America will embrace partners who share its goal of checking China's power, but will not shy away from criticizing their human-rights abuses too. For instance, Mrs. Clinton made clear that the U.S. will criticize the Burmese regime's brutality, despite reservations from the junta's fellow Asean members.

    There are two reasons why a multilateral solution to the South China Sea territorial question offends Beijing. First, its periodic harassment of U.S. naval vessels and expansive claims of maritime sovereignty demonstrate that it does not respect widely accepted standards of maritime conduct. China takes the position that the entire South China Sea is its territorial waters, which is news to the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan, who all have territorial claims there. The Chinese are also trying to stop lawful U.S. military operations in the sea.

    Second, China has been keen to keep disputes with Southeast Asian nations bilateral. It is much easier to bully and cajole other claimants to the sea's many atolls, waterways and natural resources individually. By themselves, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan cannot effectively stand up for their interests. Together, with American backing, they can.

    That is why Mrs. Clinton's approach is welcome, and long overdue. It is incumbent upon the U.S. to defend the established rules of conduct by which it expects China to abide. Moreover, Washington is putting an end to China's divide-and-conquer strategy in Southeast Asia.

    Beijing is likely to keep making expansive and unreasonable territorial claims, and it has already started to do so in outer space and in the East China Sea. There is no room for ambiguity when it comes to American interests in free and open access to the commons.

    Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton's linkage of Southeast Asian security with liberal values was exactly right. Southeast Asian nations want China to abide by the international rules of the road and generally be more transparent in its maritime actions. That will only happen if China becomes a more law-respecting and open society. And America cannot call on China to behave responsibly while allowing Burma's depravity or Vietnam's abuses to go unmentioned.

    None of this is to say that Mrs. Clinton has settled the issue at one fell swoop. China will put enormous pressure on Asean countries to respect China's claims. Beijing will argue that while China is resident in Asia, America's attention is fleeting. This is a compelling argument, but it is one that can be refuted.

    The first order of business is to put U.S. military might behind diplomatic efforts. The Pentagon should come up with a plan that adequately balances China's rising military presence in the region. It is an open secret within defense circles that America's military posture in the Pacific is eroding. It is time to level with--and earn support from--Congress and the American public regarding the costs and necessity of underwriting Asia's stability.

    Second, the U.S. should approach the region multilaterally by establishing an Asia Regional Partnership embassy in an allied capital--much like we have in Brussels with the European Union. Washington should ask its friends to do the same and populate a new set of diplomatic institutions with cadres of diplomats and military officers who deal with Asia-wide security issues. America need not form a NATO-like formal collective defense alliance, but it is high time to build a tighter network of allied cooperation in Asia.

    Mrs. Clinton showed a deft and innovative diplomatic touch during her trip to Vietnam. Washington should continue the momentum by taking steps that demonstrate its abiding commitment to regional security. China's belligerent response to the policy of "strategic reassurance" should teach the administration that Beijing respects power above all. Rather than reassuring a bellicose China, we should reassure our Asian friends by building the institutions necessary to carry out the secretary's new policy.

    Dan Blumenthal is a resident fellow at AEI.

    *********************************

    Even if the South China Seas is a regional affair, it has erupted an international outcry since it appears the China is elbowing out others who also have justifiable claim to the South China Sea, but do not have China's military clout.

    The US being the sole 'global policeman' which has natural interest in Asia, naturally is irked by the development and hence is taking interest in the issue or so it appears. There is also no doubt that it is in the US' national and strategic interest to ensure that China does not expand more than what is its legitimate due.

    President Obama's disastrous "strategic reassurance" policy may have sent wrong signals to China, but then US strategic and national interests has to rule supreme, notwithstanding the US President's peace enhancing overtures.

    There is no doubt that the US cannot allow China an unbridled rise into a superpower with hegemony in Asia and in the Indian Ocean. To do so would be political and strategic suicide for the US. China is impervious to the nations political system, be it tyrannical, dictatorship or whatever China is allied to. On the other hand, the US cares about nations that she supports to follow the 'US way of life' and all the other stuff the US claims. Thus, nations are not too comfortable with the US' and have only loose ties so long it serves the nation's purpose as nation's wish to maintain their own system of governance and not be bound to toe the US line always and every time. In this fact, China finds solace.

    Except for Pakistan, which has no good friends anywhere including the Saudis, who also kowtow to the US, all nations on the periphery of China are chary about China's territorial ambitions. This uneasiness encourages the US to have defence tie ups with nations in the periphery and Indonesia is no exception.

    It is time that the US bases her fleet in nations that are 'friendly', apart from Japan and Korea. There is an urgent need to base its fleets in the South China Sea and Philippines is an ideal candidate.
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    If you have been watching CCTV, China is pretty pissed over the naval exercises with Vietnam and ROK. Send a few ships down there and they think they are on the verge of war.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    A joint India,SK,Japan,Singapore,Malaysia,Vietnam, Australia naval exercise with US would be very interesting then!!
     
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  5. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    In 2007 there was a joint naval exercise involving navies of USA , India, Australia and Japan.
    It was held in Bay of bengal . It involved many warships ,aircraft carriers and above all 200 aircrafts

    It was strongly condemned by China as the creation of an " Asian NATO " against it.
     
  6. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    China has no claims on Bay of Bengal, it has nothing to do with them yet they go ape over it.
     
  7. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    The Chinese have started to flex their muscles in the South China Sea. This is not just about their Economic Zone but also has military dimensions to this. Their new Nuclear Submarine base is in Hainan close to Vietnam. This will be their main base in South China Seas and they would like the whole area to be clear of Foreign Naval ships so that their subs cannot be tracked.
     
  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I think China is trying to bite more than it can chew too sooner and too faster. By claiming rights to whole of south China sea it is opening new fronts to fight with in addition to fronts against Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. It will be well advised, if China gives equal right to other countries facing the south China sea. Otherwise, it is on the verge of a stand-off with US which might bleed it in the long run and make more enemies in its region of influence than it already has and has the possibility of becoming an international pariah than it already is.
     
  9. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    'Business as usual'.

    u can't count on CCTV to keep true pulse of China (and I doubt u understand Chinese, except English in CCTV-9)

    Uproar, is another form of diplomacy.
     
  10. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    May be the CCP are using imperial aggrandizement as a tool keep others on toes and show the united opposition as a security threat to the Chinese people and hence stay in power.Afterall most of the CCPs foreign policy stunts are pulled only when there is some sort of domestic trouble
     
  11. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    well, you don't get the truth here...

    China,whether PRC or ROC(Taiwan),has never give up the claim of islands in South CHina Sea..... the only difference is that CHina used to keep the claim in a low profile when CHina was not so powerful......
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China is the centre of the world - Middle Kingdom - Zhōngguó.

    The name Zhōngguó means 'centre of civilisation' / 'Middle Kingdom'.

    If that be right, then the Chinese cannot be blamed for believing that the world revolves around them!

    China, when not powerful, accepted status quo.

    Now that she is aspiring to be a superpower on equal status as the US, they are asserting their idea of what is right having the might.
     
  13. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Sir they are firing too early.me thinks.Plus with the neighbourhood in which they live.They will not be able to do the sort of power projection the US does(The US is surrounded by a moat)
     
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  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Really irrelevant to that 'central kingdom' obsession' in my opinion.

    Islands dispute btwn China and Asean neighbors - true
    Some states like VN wanna bring US into the show - true and why not?
    the US gets a leverage in S. China Sea - true, why not?

    But really not worthy of overhyping. The power game goes on with the same players. Nothing new at all, the US has never been absent - don't forget the US once even had a Subic Bay naval base, in addition to Singapore, but later withdrew.

    Old wine in a new bottle up to this moment
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  15. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    We have never given up on South China Sea.
    We just keep it quiet when US also keeps itself quiet.

    Now US seems to be straining at the leash to make some noise, i don't see a reason we can't act accordingly.

    The confrontation between China and southeast aisan countries over those islands has always been there. US's hostility against China has always been there. I think China should have anticipated that they will gang up, sooner or later.
     
  16. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    You have just confirmed what i have stated in post no 9.you guys are the target for all this.The CCP seriously knows how to arouse patriotism
     
  17. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I must appreciate US strategy in this region. For years they have been wondering how to contain China. Now they just flocking the small countries around China against it as a barricade. End result is it hampers China's expansion policy and gives a picture of democratic forces in the region countering communist regime.
     
  18. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Man, as I said, it's not really a new 'strategy' or a new 'approach' by Uncle.

    US A/C cruised the Taiwan Straits during 1950's-1970's. Such a chain of containment has existed for decades.

    Of course one difference is China has developed some counter-capacity compared to 1970's
     
  19. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Not really, until you have ELINT and IMINT constellations you will not know where the US fleet is to target them. They are not going to be cruising within gunshot of the Chinese coast. They will be at stand-off distance sinking your fleet. If a trawler is stupid enough to approach them in wartime they will be sunk.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China has laid claims on the South China Seas. Therefore, it is not extraordinary that China will react. more so since she without aggressively claiming so, thinks she is a superpower.

    However, it will not be in line with China's 'peaceful coexistence' claims if she aggressive lays her claims on the South China Sea, even if the US acts provocative in China's opinion.

    The South Asian nations on the periphery of China and bordering the South China Sea are as it is worried about China's expansionist attitude (as far as they are concerned, even if China claims otherwise). Aggressive claims and confrontation short of military actions with the US will make the even more worried. This will draw these nations towards the US and it will be China's loss.
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China has laid claims on the South China Seas. Therefore, it is not extraordinary that China will react. more so since she without aggressively claiming so, thinks she is a superpower.

    However, it will not be in line with China's 'peaceful coexistence' claims if she aggressive lays her claims on the South China Sea, even if the US acts provocative in China's opinion.

    The South Asian nations on the periphery of China and bordering the South China Sea are as it is worried about China's expansionist attitude (as far as they are concerned, even if China claims otherwise). Aggressive claims and confrontation short of military actions with the US will make the even more worried. This will draw these nations towards the US and it will be China's loss since the current status quo situation will get changed.

    US will play upon their fears and so that nations will gravitate towards the US. This is more so feasible since unlike Bush, Obama is seen as a rational man.
     

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