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View Diary: The US wades into the South China Sea: A Rising Hegemon Floats All Boats (44 comments)

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  •  Why don't these Asian nations all hate us? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    renzo capetti

    We're the ones practically bankrolling the PRC military buildup through our massive trade deficit with China.

    "Remember Descent The Highest Form of Patriotic" Teaspeak

    by LightintheShadows on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:49:19 AM PDT

    •  We also encouraged... (4+ / 0-)

      ...the Chinese move because the Administration agreed to support "China's territorial integrity" last year which Beijing interpreted in its inevitably expansionist way.

    •  they also trade with china (9+ / 0-)

      there's a ton of trade between ASEAN and china, just as there is between taiwan and china, japan and china, south korea and china, etc. everyone trade with everyone else.

      what's interesting is that countries that have far, far more historical reason to hate us than china does are now turning to the US to balance china. that's interesting, and hopefully america has the humility to act as a partner with these countries, and the diplomatic sense to let china be big enough assholes that our presence is desired.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:16:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was just thinking about this (4+ / 0-)

        As you say, people in countries like Vietnam or Indonesia have good reason to keep the U.S. at arm's length, but that doesn't mean they're any more sympathetic to Chinese hegemony than they are American hegemony.

        The U.S. is going to have to adapt to China being a serious player on both the East Asian and world stages; furthermore, I think doing so actually preserves U.S. influence, because then U.S. can't be used as an excuse for the Chinese government to be assholish when it wants to.  The U.S. doesn't have the resources to act as a maverick in Asia (or anywhere else) anyway.  Vietnam in particular would love to have some leverage against the Chinese, whom they don't really trust, given that Vietnam was once ruled by China for about a thousand years.

        If the U.S. is smart enough to partner with East Asian nations, then I think there's potential for a healthy balance; it won't be what everyone (especially China) wants, but it will be good enough that the nations in the region will see more benefits than drawbacks.

        Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

        by Linnaeus on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:35:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats an interestign point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linnaeus, MichaelNY

          steve clemons was arguing in a piece at The Diplomat the other day that China actually wants a strong US hegemony so it can free ride on it. But I look at China and see Germany c. 1900 or Japan in c. 1930.

          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            Right now, the U.S. is trying to ward off increased Chinese naval control, but in the end (probably within no more than 20 years, I'm guessing), I think China will take over whatever small islands it wants, within reason (e.g., perhaps nothing from Japan).

        •  i was really heartened to see this latest US move (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linnaeus, MichaelNY

          because it's consistent with a smart US strategy in a multipolar world. that requires a lot more humility and concern for the needs and interests and dignity of its partners in the region than the US has historically been willing to display, but there's a role there for the US as a counterbalance acting in concert with a constellation of smaller asian countries. it will be critical for the US to behave itself enough to give the PRC enough rope to hang themselves in front of asian diplomats, as happened with that past meeting:

          oreign Minister Yang reacted by leaving the meeting for an hour. When he returned, he gave a rambling 30-minute response in which he accused the United States of plotting against China on this issue, seemed to poke fun at Vietnam's socialist credentials and apparently threatened Singapore, according to U.S. and Asian officials in the room.

          "China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that's just a fact," he said, staring directly at Singapore's foreign minister, George Yeo, according to several participants at the meeting.

          On Monday, Yang issued a statement on the Foreign Ministry's Web site saying that there was no need to internationalize the issue, that China was still intent on solving all of the disputes bilaterally and that China's view represented the interests of "fellow Asians."

          that's some maotai-proof loss of chinese face right there, in front of a bunch of "small countries."

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:27:49 AM PDT

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      •  Pretty sad that China doesn't have one ally among (0+ / 0-)

        its neighbors. Considering that Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and Korea all historically use the same chinese writen language, you can say this is a dramatic diplomatic failure on the part of modern China and the CCP.

        •  every country in europe uses the same script (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          (well, one of two variants, both derived from greek), and that's hardly stopped geopolitical tension, historically. there's no reason why any of china's neighbors would be inclined to side with it because of their writing systems.

          what;'s going on in east/southeast asia right now isn't because of history, so much as the geopolitics of the present. china has decided it's going to throw its weight around as a "big country," and its neighbors are starting to look at how they could use relations with the other major power in the region to counterbalance it.

          that countries that have been directly colonized i the past couple decades are willing to ask the US to help them speaks to a huge blown diplomatic window by the chinese. that being said, anyone who has watched the chinese govt since the 70s, or the way that chinese tourists act in southeast asia will not be surprised that it's playing out this way.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:19:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well, i guess there's north korea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          although they're really more an irritating and slightly embarassing buffer state than an actual ally. north korea's post-war ties were with the soviet union, not the PRC.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 01:02:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please explain (0+ / 0-)

            north korea's post-war ties were with the soviet union, not the PRC.

            They were with both the USSR and China (especially under Mao), were they not?

            •  closer to the soviets (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              korean war notwithstanding, the PRC and DPRK had a bit of a fraught relationship, going back to a lack of trust during WW2. there were a lot of divisions within the soviet bloc. china had good ties with yugoslavia, which had a fraught relationship with the USSR also. vietnam had closer ties with the soviets than china, even before the war in 78.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What was the basis for the lack of trust (0+ / 0-)

                during WWII?

                •  the suspicions grew out of guerilla war (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  behind japanese lines.  kim il-sung and others were arrested by chinese communists after they fled to a CCP base in manchuria at one point during the war because the chinese figured that the korean communists were japanese spies (korea having been under japanese control  for decades prior). IIRC kim also had run-ins with the soviets, and when he got his resistance underway back in the mountains of north korea, was pretty determined to go it alone. hence the  self-reliant rhetoric of juche (the reality was a bit different, as NK relied on trade/aid w/ the soviet union).

                  that being said, china did come to NK's aid in a big way in the korean war, but a large part of why they did was because the chinese leadership (perhaps correctly) feared that macarthur was about to mount a full-on invasion of china via the yalu river. beijing isn't all that far from the korean border. from the 80s/90s on, the two regimes have been on very different ideological tracks, most everyday chinese i talked to thought the north koreans were bonkers for not ditching socialism ASAP.

                  sorry i can't be more specific, my focus isn't on modern history.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:38:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Because that isn't relevant (3+ / 0-)

      All these countries are in economic expansion and more prosperous than they probably have been historically, enabled both by the West and each other.

      This conflict arises from unresolved historical scores between these Asian peoples.  It's not a pretty negotiation process because they have not been particularly nice to each other historically.

      There is a grand game going on.  The U.S. and E.U. have in the past few years coordinated with each other and the countries of and around the former USSR and China.  The result is a containment cordon or two involving all of eastern Europe and pretty much all of Asia.  It's a less military continuation of the Cold War.

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