Friday, July 13, 2012

'War' over South China Sea

More than a decade ago, China was treated as one of the most friendly nations of the East. With the opening up of its economy and its forward trend in world diplomatic engagement, the country was never seen as posing any threat to the region.

However, things have changed. Its economic boom which is based on an open market system, has steered the nation as one of the most powerful forces to be reckoned with. In fact to some extents, its far ahead of the US and Japan.

And this has added new desire to Beijing in 'expanding' its territory, particularly in the strategic South China Sea, to the awe of other nations in the region, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei.

Many are sensing some security threats beginning to come from China. And in upholding its case, Beijing refused to compromise.

Disputes on the South China Sea proved so contentious in Phnom Penh on Thursday that an annual regional gathering ended without even a basic diplomatic communiqué, which appeared to have been blocked by China.

The host for the conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Cambodia, a close ally of China, refused to play the customary role of seeking agreement among the 10 participating countries, thus undermining the possibility of an accord, according to a senior diplomat from the association.

“China bought the chair, simple as that,” said a diplomat, who declined to be identified publicly according to usual protocol. The diplomat pointed to an article on Thursday by China’s state news agency, Xinhua, in which the country’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, was quoted as thanking Cambodia’s prime minister for supporting China’s 'core interests'.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned of more confrontations in the South China Sea without a regionwide solution as China rebuffed calls to expedite talks on rules for operating in disputed waters.

"Issues such as freedom of navigation and lawful exploitation of maritime resources often involve a wide region," Clinton said Thursday in remarks to Asia-Pacific foreign ministers meeting.

"Approaching them strictly bilaterally could be a recipe for confusion and even confrontation."

Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said Wednesday that China would start talks on a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea 'when conditions are ripe', according to Xinhua News Agency. It warned nations this week to avoid mentioning the territorial spats with Vietnam and the Philippines.

Diplomatic squabbling between the United States and China escalated after Clinton's remarks in Mongolia this week in which she criticized governments that lock up dissidents and hinder freedom of speech.

Malaysia's claim over a part of the Spratly Islands (map above) is also at risk since China and other countries also put up their respective claims on it.

However, Malaysia, according to Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, believes in diplomatic engagement to settle the dispute.


ex-diplomat said...

we believe in diplomatic engagement in dissolving any dispute with other countries.

malaysia is well-known for such a positive approach when dealing with issues like this.

i hope china will agree to that also.

Anonymous said...

that's the problem of becoming big and rich.

u tend to build a desire to conquer others!

kaniney said...

china was never a threat to regional security... china was never a threat to regional security... but look what is happening today. they are trying to dominate the whole region just because their economy and armed forces are so big!

Anonymous said...

small dispute, i believe.

china will not go to war with its south asian neighbors.

evergreen said...

if not for dr mahathir, malaysia wont get even a small chunk of the spratly.

he is a genius...

pocahontas said...

actually the US is the biggest threat to the whole world.

look at what they had done to iraq, afghanistan, palestine and some arab countries.

china is a friendly nation. the south china sea issue is a petty one and can be settled via diplomatic engagement.

Anonymous said...

every emerging & powerful country has its own interests to protect. This is a natural transition or tendency. China will of course, stake its interest in Spratly island where there belies huge oilfields. Small countries that are in Asean can just say that they believed in diplomatic settling. That is tantamount to saying "i don't have to economic & military power to do anything. Except sit & talk & wait". E.g. would be Myanmar, how many years of asean diplomatic talk cock has achieve the results today, or is it due to Western countries boycotts & economic sanctions that culminated in Myanmar today?

Another good example would be the dismantling of South Africa aparthied system to due boycotts & economic sanctions.

Anonymous said...

China is an ultimate rising power in the East, a thing the American really despise and loathe to the extreme. Diplomatically, Economically, China had been making a very good improvement of late.

China had been modernizing their Armed Forces to a very alarming level of late.

Mighty Armed Forces is just like rearing a fierce dog, when it grows up, it is going for some one meat and blood and that is exactly with any Army Forces in the World.

Look at Germany under Hitler, Japan under General Tojo and it is ending in a very obvious way. Now China is having and crafting their Military might, for a reason very obvious to them only.

Well, we hope thing are not going to turn ugly, but history never tell lies. Will Asia going to face what we had 70 years ago. Hopefully not, but it seem it is going that way, because the American is going weaker by the day, either it is diplomatically, economically or militarily, since the only power on earth that had stop the advancement of China into a super power is the American and that is the reality, if the USA fail in that later.

I am very worried about the happening in the China Armed Forces, hopefully my concern is not well founded, God Bless us all.

Anonymous said...

why not?

china got the might.

in today's world, those with money and power rule!

akra said...

yes, dr mahathir was smart. had not for what he did by sending our troops there, malaysia will not be in competition...

zamorin said...

I fully concur with pocahontas. U.S is the biggest threat to world peace but none of the world leaders have the guts to face down to the U.S.

I wish that no countries in the world expand their military power and increase chances of confrontation but the U.S has almost straight-jacketed China by encircling it with military bases. Buying off it's allies or just beheading the leadership of a nation friendly to China.

The U.S military bases encircling China includes S.Korea, Japan, allying with India to counter china, most of the ASEAN nations whereelse China doesn't even have a single base in the proximity to continental U.S

If I was in the Chinese leadership, I would seek to have some counterbalance.

pin cheng said...

i dont think china is a threat to the region, esp in south china sea.

actually its the US for its interfering policy in other countries' affairs.

china is trying to build a close relationship with asia and there they are, the americans who are too nosy about it