Although the strong rhetoric of China’s new “white paper” on military strategy leaves them looking like the troublemaker, a good part of the tension comes from the U.S.
China’s opponent in the argument about the remote archipelago [in the South China Sea] is only apparent in emerging nations of South Asia, such as Malaysia. In truth, it is about the conflict of American control over the Pacific. The U.S. regards it as its private sea, something China accepts less and less. The tensions in the South China Sea are only a scene in a greater drama, in which the rise of a new world power makes the old top dogs nervous.
The U.S. Has Increased Its Attention
Nevertheless, Americans clearly sell their politics better. They behave as a reliable ally and partner to their Chinese neighbors. They invite journalists to come along on a reconnaissance flight. The Pentagon issues a warning about the Chinese rearmament with varied data. China, on the other hand, comes across as a bully when it disputes the rights of smaller states to its territory.
But although the strong rhetoric of China’s new “white paper” on military strategy leaves it looking like the troublemaker, a good part of the tension comes from the United States. Peking may all too boldly define its borders, as the game of taking advantage of the islands and of deliberate gibes has hardly changed. The U.S. has increased its attention since President Obama reflected back on the region. America even wooed the communist-ruled Vietnam as a partner, and renewed it as a proxy in the conflict of East against West.
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