(From LobeLog/Foreign Policy)
By Yu Bin
A specter is haunting the U.S.—a specter of a steadily rising China challenging the US-dominated international economic and security system created 70 years ago at the end of World War II.
At the end of March, 57 nations around the world joined the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as its Prospective Founding Member (PFM). Almost all of China’s neighbors signed up, including all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and all of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Around the world, 14 members of the G20 group and all of the BRICS nations of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa) were on board. Washington was virtually isolated when the G7 European nations (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy) and half of the 28-member European Union rushed in, despite US opposition. The Philippines, which is leading the anti-China crusade in the South China Sea (SCS) dispute, publicly withdrew itself from the US-led and China-excluded talks for the Trans Pacific Trade (TPP) and signed up for AIIB.
No sooner had the AIIB closed its door for PFM than the South China Sea (SCS) issue flared up. Throughout April and May, calls were growing louder inside the Beltway to “punish China” for its island building activities in the disputed SCS and to assert the U.S. freedom of navigation (FON) in the region with US military aircraft and ships. Immediately after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s mid-May visit to Beijing, where he promised the host that Washington was “not taking position on the territorial dispute,” a U.S. Navy P8-A surveillance plane was flying close to several China-held reefs in the SCS, with a CNN camera crew on-board to dramatize the U.S. opposition to China’s operations in the area.
In early June, President Obama joined the choir of alarmists by blaming China for “throwing elbows and pushing people out of the way.” This rather moderate criticism of China, however, was more than offset by the widely publicized U.S. accusation of Chinese spying and cyber-attacks. Philippine President Aquino went as far as to compare China’s stance in the SCS to that of Nazi Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of World War II. Meanwhile, Japan is poised to dispatch its powerful navy to the SCS 70 years after it was forced to withdraw on surrendering to the Allies in August 1945. Welcome to the brave new world of speaking loudly and nastily against China while carrying a big stick. Read more
Categories: AT Opinion