Eco-politics of War By Erick San Juan
Our country and the rest of the Southeast Asian region has been on the lookout as tensions in the South China Sea grow by the show of force by both US and China through their naval military drills. As Washington renews its “ties” with Asian countries (particularly claimants over the disputed South China Sea’s group of islands), Beijing is not far behind, doing as much as possible the "soft power" approach in dealing with its neighbors.
Why the growing interest in the SCS (South China Sea)?
The focus on SCS started in the 90's and the saber rattling became an open secret when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the Asean Regional Forum recently that the U.S. “has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea,” where the islands are located, and that “We oppose the use or threat of force by any claimant,” as "America’s future is intimately tied to that of the Asia-Pacific.”
While Beijing is being accused as the dominant force in the region, the Chinese are just expressing their core interest in the SCS which has been repeatedly reported that this disputed area is very rich in natural resources, specifically - oil and gas. This could be the underlying factor that draws the two powerful nations into this region. The fact that the Obama administration has been fighting so many fronts, the US economy has been losing a lot in the process. By contrast, the US military manufacturing is now 123 percent greater than it was in 2000 -- it has more than doubled while the rest of the manufacturing sector has been shrinking...
It's important to note that the trajectory -- the military economy is nearly three times larger, proportionately to the rest of the US economy, as it was at the beginning of the Bush administration.
The change in leadership in Washington does not appear to be abating the trend..
Most of the job creation has been by the public sector. But because the job creation has been financed with loans from China and private banks, trillions in unnecessary interest charges have been incurred by the U.S. (War and the Economic Crisis, Washington’s Blog).
As for the Chinese economy, with its fast growing industries, it needed all sources of energy available within its reach. Obviously, it will use it's firepower to protect it's claim over the group of islands near it's territory. Can the present Chinese leadership sustain this, amidst the growing domestic dissension among its elite members in the ruling Communist Party?
Moreover, there are rumors going around that have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within PBC, including Zhou. Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao. Rumors of Zhou’s defection have spread around China intensively. Zhou’s name has allegedly been blocked from Internet search engines in China. (China: Rumors of the Central Bank Chief's Defection, Stratfor Report 8/30/2010)
According to some of my sources, this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the money involved could have reached trillions of dollars. If its true, like the US, China is also financially in trouble and the growing elite conflicts may lead to a “dash for democracy” like what happened in other Communist countries.
There could be a lot of reasons for the continuing conflicts in the South China Sea but no matter what, everything boils down to economics. This was proven in the recent past as we witness the big anti-terror war lie of the US as it ravaged oil-riched countries, one after another. Some pundits are even worried that the political bickerings among the elite in China could provoke a possible civil war or a fight against another nation could be the "wag the dog" scenario to unite them. For what ever it's worth, is our government prepared for this? Wake up!