China Uninvades India, and Other Matters From the Far East May 5, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
China vs. India. A few days ago we heard that China had plunked down a group of soldiers 19 km inside of India. Today it appears that the crisis is over:
India and China have simultaneously withdrawn their troops from the face-off point at Daulat Beg Oldie near the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, PTI has reported, quoting official sources. Reportedly, the agreement was reached after high-level negotiations from both sides and the withdrawal was completed at 7:30 pm.
China vs. Other Neighbors. Despite the peaceful resolution of the situation with India, my guess is that China’s not going to give up. The NYT sums up China’s game:
As its economic might has grown, China has become increasingly assertive in its territorial claims across Asia. In disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, among others, China’s claims revolve around islands or sea lanes that are potentially rich in oil and gas deposits.
They’re going to keep pushing on all fronts until they’ve locked up as many resources and as much territory (land & sea) as they can. On the other hand, these disputes may be good news for Taiwan, in that it may have a few years reprieve while China sorts out these other territorial matters. Maybe.
China vs. the US. I’ve been predicting for about seven years that China’s strength in Asia would overshadow the US, to the point where our military was no longer able to economically protect Taiwan (and Japan’s and South Korea’s interests). This wasn’t any sort of brilliant foresight – it was pretty obvious and has been noted by many other people. But I guess now that it’s becoming even more obvious, it’s starting to be news:
China’s growing industrial might is likely to allow it to mount an increasingly formidable challenge to the military supremacy of the United States in the waters around China that include Japan and Taiwan, though it will probably seek to avoid an outright armed conflict, according to a detailed new report by a group of American researchers.
For the whole region, the report found the most likely outcome to be what it called an “eroding balance” — essentially, a continuation of the current situation, in which American hegemony is slowly undermined by China’s increasing military abilities and growing willingness to assert its interests.
Yes, they’re not going to start shooting unless they have to – they’d rather continue building up their strength to the point where a conflict would be well above the United States’ threshold of pain. I didn’t agree with this part of the report:
At the same time, the report said that for the foreseeable future, China would not follow the former Soviet Union in becoming a global rival to the United States. Rather, it said, China would remain a regional power with a narrow strategic focus on territorial disputes with its immediate neighbors. Even so, the report warned, that would still make it a serious challenge to the United States, which has vowed to increase its military presence in Asia despite budget cuts.
I think it’s easy to see, based on Chinese activities in Africa and South America alone, that they have global ambitions. It’s just that regional hegemony is their priority.
One of the report’s authors had this parting quote:
“Can the United States maintain its primacy of the past 60 years?” asked Mr. Swaine. “The United States says so, but whether it actually can is not entirely clear.”
Oh, I think it’s pretty clear. In fact it’s becoming more clear at a faster rate than I thought it would.
North Korea. Meanwhile, in North Korea (China’s stalking horse, IMHO), we should remember that a big problem with a peaceful standoff arises when one party keeps moving:
North Korean advances in nuclear technology are moving the country closer to its goal of being able to strike the United States with an atomic weapon, according to a new Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Thursday.
Though the unclassifed version of the report gave no timetable for when North Korea may have the ability to hit North American soil with a weapon, it did say recent progress is in line with the country’s desires to soon be able to carry out such an attack.