Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sino-American relations in the Sovereign Region

Sino-American relations in the Sovereign Region

By Erick San Juan

It is beginning to be a constant worry for countries in this part of the Asian continent where China always finds itself to be in conflict with a disputed territory among its neighbors. Just recently, China and Japan had settled (for the meantime) the Minjinyu 5179 incident that happened in the disputed islands of Diaoyu/Senkaku in the middle of the ocean between the said countries. The dispute has lingered for decades over the political and economic regional balance of power and could well take a few more decades to settle. No matter what the consequences are, the conflict was peacefully settled and the perceived bigger dispute was put off, sans Uncle Sam’s intervention.

As one renowned Singaporean analyst of global affairs observed, Kishore Mahbubani in his essay ("Smart Power, Chinese Style", 2008), praised China for the "competence" of its diplomacy. He contrasted China's "deft geopolitical instincts" with American "incompetence" and "arrogance." He noted admiringly Beijing's fealty to ancient principles of Chinese statecraft once summarized by Deng Xiaoping, including admonitions to observe and analyze calmly, deal with changes patiently, and avoid the limelight.

Unlike the self-absorbed Americans, in Kishore's view, the Chinese had "developed a remarkable capacity to understand the voices of others around the globe." Compared with Washington's record of "geopolitical fumbles" abroad, China had evinced superior "geopolitical acumen and better professional diplomacy." He illustrated China's ostensible respect for the sovereignty of other countries with an item in the official China Daily stating that China had offered "no-strings-attached" aid to Africa.

This so-called “soft power” approach of China seems to be the threat to the Americans, as Beijing established economic allies in the process, instead of enemies regardless of territorial matters existing among its neighbors. The established economic ties was strengthened furthermore by the inauguration this year of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, which will lower or eliminate tariffs.

The following quote from a high-ranking official in an ASEAN country as told to Donald K. Emmerson in his article China's 'Frown Diplomacy' in Southeast Asia : "Remember, for us in Asia, the US is geopolitical, but China is geographical." In other words: Faraway friends are welcome and helpful, but the local landscape is a permanent fact. One has to adapt to it - and to the seascape - to survive. Translation – Asia is a sovereign region with independent countries trying hard to work out in an atmosphere of peace and interdependence among its citizens. Anything that will stir the calmness in the region through media hype via the mouthpiece of the globalists, could create a regional conflict in the process.

The aborted clash between China and Japan is just one of the hurdles that this Asian region had to overcome for there are still many perceived disputes, if not handled correctly may lead to a broader conflict. All of us will be drag to a war that we never wanted.

As for our “faraway friend” and his commitment to ASEAN, the South China Sea issue will be discussed again (with other crucial issues like economic and finance) before the year ends. US President Barack Obama and his two officials – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary for Defense Robert Gates will be in Asia to attend summits to further discuss the regional security and its national interests here. What's in it for us? I hope that our citizenry will be vigilant enough and our president,PNoy should not be cowed, pressured nor tow the line of the globalists.


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