Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Sunday, May 29, 2016

The USA's pre-emptive war in the South China Sea (3)

By Muhammad Mahmood (People's Daily Online)    08:59, May 29, 2016

Australia is also taking active interest in the South China Sea region. It has special relationship with the USA through the ANZUS defence treaty. Of course, this treaty's scope, like NATO, has widened to encompass the whole world now. As one of the two principal allies of the USA in the region, its preferred option is to maintain "status quo" which obviously benefits the USA and its own geo-political interests. But if China continues to grow stronger economically, it will also definitely grow stronger militarily and politically. And that will seriously undermine the "status quo". Meanwhile, Australia has also been under pressure from the USA to take a more aggressive stance against China (its largest trading partner) and to conduct its own freedom of navigation operations. Australia, a country facing no external threats, got down to searching for an enemy. The search ended in the form of a Defence White Paper which has identified the enemy it has been looking for. It ought to be China, a country which has embraced "might is right approach". So Australia must move forward to face it. One would have expected the economic reality will have a sobering effect, but that is not the case, it appears.

This aggressive military posturing of Australia comes with a plan to revamp the Navy (given that the battle field is a sea) which will sail forward both above and under the water to meet the new-found enemy. So far the Australian Navy's operational activities in the recent times centred on towing back refugee and asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia. This does neither look promising nor credible as a force. The Defence White Paper envisages an expenditure of A$195 billion over the next ten-year period and that will be very well received by the US armament industry, if not anything. The Australian armed forces in a historical perspective since the end of the World War II appear to be performing the duties of an auxiliary armed force for the US to support its (US) wars of aggression and occupation from the Far East Asia to the Middle East. It is purely an illusion that Australia can flex its muscle in any form or shape with China if the big brother is not at the same time standing right behind it holding its hands. However, China did caution Australia not to take part or conduct in a way that would compromise the stability in the region.

In this melee Japan utilised the situation to its advantage to nationalise Diaoyu island (Senkaku to the Japanese) in 2012 rejecting its status as a disputed island in the East China Sea. The USA has also shown a high degree of generosity to Japan in a very difficult economic time for the country by asking Australia to source its planned submarine fleet from Japan instead of Germany or France. This would have further strengthened the military ties between Australia and Japan and that would work in favour of the USA's strategic interests in the region. But on the latest count it now appears that Japan has been dropped from the list of source countries for procuring 12 the latest state-of-the-art submarines at a cost of A$50 billion. The final decision has been made - the winner is France (French state-owned company DCNS). This decision was influenced more by domestic political considerations as a federal election is likely to be held in the middle of this year. Japan is obviously very upset about it and asked for an explanation why it (it is Mitsubishi) did not win the contract. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop assured Japan that the award of the contract to France would no way impact on the very good bilateral relations with Japan. To look at it realistically I think she is right given the special strategic partnership that has developed between the two countries since the end of the World War II.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words