Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Show of Force? By Erick San Juan

Show of Force? By Erick San Juan

Chinese leaders are torn by two conflicting goals: The desire to regain “lost” islands and waters and a need to maintain stable relations with neighbors and America.
(By Ryan Martinson)

The irony that is China – wanted to maintain a peaceful region and at the same time raising the tension by building military structures in their reclamation projects in the contested areas.
Moreover the ‘parade’ of China’s military capabilities last September 3 “to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II is perceived by pundits as a real show of force. The parade was the largest since at 2009, when the Chinese Communist Party celebrated 60 years in power. Considering that China is a nation with a fast modernizing military, Stratfor watched the events closely, keeping an especially attentive eye out for the potential display of new weaponry and equipment.

China showed off a large number of cruise and ballistic missiles during the parade, highlighting the scale of its expanded missile arsenal. The designations of these missiles were written in non-Chinese characters, indicating that Beijing wanted to show the world its missile prowess. (Stratfor)
The show of China’s military might which was supposed to be the commemoration of the end of WWII only proved that the world never learned from history.  The mere fact that top level overseas ethnic Chinese were invited and well represented with their local media assets in tow. Is this a deliberate provocation and at the same time a warning to a ‘perceived enemy’?

If that is the intention, how can there be stability in the region? Actually this is the reason why there is an arms race, every nation (especially claimants in the SCS) in the region has started stockpiling military hardware. Aside from the fact that former allies (and non-allies) turned to the ‘big brother’ for armaments and other support to secure their country in case a war broke out.

As what Stratfor observed – “the Chinese undoubtedly will continue to invest heavily in their conventional ballistic and cruise missile arsenal. These missiles will become more capable over time, giving Beijing a powerful tool it can use to threaten, deter or target its potential enemies. As China’s missile arsenal becomes more prominent, the United States and its allies in East Asia will continue developing means to mitigate this threat. The continuing development of Chinese missiles with US and allied countermeasures will remain an important component in the evolution of the security balance in the Pacific.”

Security balance cannot be achieved, it is more on the question of the real intention of such military build up and how can it affect the stable relations among the countries in the region.

In Ryan Martinson article (September 11, 2015) he wrote - "During a July 2015 television news show, Renmin University professor Shi Yinhong was asked to define China’s strategy in the South China Sea. After first declining to answer the question—'I can’t tell this to outsiders. I can’t tell you.', the raspy-voiced professor quickly found a compromise between discretion and the academic’s inherent need to expatiate. With fellow guest, naval analyst Li Jie, nodding on, Shi described China’s strategy in four characters: which means 'bubu weiying' : “Building fortifications after each new advance.”

Professor Shi’s image of an army on the march, carefully consolidating its position after new territory is gained, is only the latest in a long line of metaphors used to depict China’s recent expansion in maritime East Asia. Most are products of American minds. They range from the sartorial to the salacious. Some, like “salami slicing,” are standard terms used by political scientists for decades. Many will doubtless serve as fodder for future scholars seeking to understand both the observers and the observed.”

Therefore no one will know the actual intention and how far will it go in order to achieve its goals. In the end, it’s the weaker nations that will suffer the consequences due to selfishness.
As long as mankind will not heed to the lessons of history especially during the past world wars, lives will be wasted and nothing will be gained but sufferings and more hatred.

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