Saturday, May 10, 2014

China's Monroe Doctrine: As Told! by Erick San Juan

  China's Monroe Doctrine: As Told! by Erick San Juan

"War happens when there is incessant talk about war.",says my friend Chit Pedrosa of Philippine Star, May 10,'14.                                                

"History is not rich in peaceful transitions of power from one hegemon to another. The seeds of conflict are evident."(Roger Cohen, International New York Times, May 9,'14) Political pundit like Jerry Quibilan mailed me that veteran editor and writer, Manny Almario hit the nail on the head when he said that during the visit of US President Barack Obama, he was consistent with his foreign policy and he further confirmed what most right thinking Filipinos already know. The US will not go to war against China to protect us. During an interview in Malacanang by several reporters, they tried getting an affirmative answer from President Obama on how the US will respond to a flare-up of a war between Philippines and China over the conflicting territorial claims in the South China Seas(WPS).

President Obama responded that, "My job as commander-in-chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people have no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests."      

But action speaks more than words. Those joint military exercises especially at the West Philippine Sea, the deployment of US military, the visits of nuclear ships and submarines are perceived by China as part of it's encirclement and preparation for an inevitable war.

The sad part of it is that PNoy is being branded by China as a troublemaker and our nation cannot defend ourselves (as hinted by PNoy in his speech during Obama's visit), just in case a war broke out. Even America cannot immediately support us despite their firepowers are already here because our treaty with the US needs the approval of the US congress.                                      

In my past article at Sun Star Manila dated March 8,2000, I wrote that Pentagon planners believed that China will avoid a head-on confrontation with the US until around 2030, when China expects American power to decline significantly. I said, I disagree because at the rate that globalization and free trade are wrecking havoc on the world economy, my think tank group predicted during that time that 'showtime' will begin not later than 2002, due to China's former President Hu Jintao's 'China Dream' to retake Taiwan before his term ends. And the American power bloc will not allow it. To them, Taiwan is an important component of their first-line of missile defense system, which include South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. What's worrisome is the strategic policy of China's present President Xi Jin Ping pursuing a modified 'China Dream' of President Hu.

Veteran journalist Roger Cohen, in his article at International New York Times(5/9/14) entitled 'China's Monroe Doctrine', he quoted John Mearsheimer's book-"The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" who makes a powerful case for the inevitability of war in Asia as China rises.

Mearsheimer's argument is that, if China continues to grow economically, it will attempt to dominate Asia the way the US dominated the western hemisphere. The US will go to enormous lengths to prevent China from achieving regional hegemony.

I got curious when the article said that most of Beijing's neighbors: India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and even Russia will join with the US in containing Chinese power. He added that the result will be an intense security competition with considerable potential for war.

Many believe that the world will go to war again as rumors and preparation for it is on. Especially now that big powers like the US, China and Europe have their own domestic-political and economic problems and it is perceived that the only way to avoid a civil war in China, a second revolution in the US and a divided Europe is to fight another enemy or create one.

Cohen added that China is asserting sovereignty in the South China Sea angering the Philippines and Vietnam. Quoting Mearsheimer that a more powerful China can be expected to try to push the US out of the Asia-Pacific region, much as the US pushed the European great powers out of the western hemisphere in the 19th century. We should expect China to devise it's own version of the 'Monroe Doctrine'.

I agree with Cohen in saying that economic interdependence, which did not exist during the cold war stand-off, could prevent conflict.

The problem is that many governments in the world  and leaders are beholden to vested interests, banksters and the military industrial complex who dictate plans of action for such war scenarios.

How it will metamorphose into a full blown conflict is a matter of time. Let's be vigilant for the signs and possible pretext to justify it.

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