The encirclement of China with US and allies bases, has its roots in preventing the spread of Communism in SE Asia after WW2. At the height of the Cold War the host countries had no objections as it provided protection and income. With the emergence of China as an economic power, the bases are now used to contain China for challenging US hegemony. This time, the pundits say, US is not going to win.
The sensational report in the SMH (9/8/2019) regarding China’s takeover of Sihanoukville in Cambodia and making it a military base in SE Asia, is a classic example of conjuring a sense of fear, concern and anxiety, and that it would be “bad” for Australia.
According to the Rand organisation, the US Army in SE Asia has near-term and long-term roles. US military bases surrounding China include bases in the Malacca Straits, Singapore, Darwin, Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Guam.
Prof James Petra, from Global Research, CA. has prophesised that America will lose against China and the Asiatic nations in Asia, for committing crimes by building military bases around China. Commenting on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo statements on China building bases, Prof Petra responded that the US is building military bases surrounding China, and yet is accusing China of militarization of the South China Seas.
According to SCMP, Britain is also planning a naval base in Southeast Asia (Singapore or Brunei) as ‘muscle-flexing’ against China and is likely to further complicate the geostrategic landscape. Australia’s RAAF has a base in Butterworth, Malaysia.
Pompeo had called on China to stop what Washington claims to be militarization of the disputed South China Sea and said “We have continued concerns about China’s activities and militarization in the South China Sea. We pressed China to live up to its past commitments in this area.”
Beijing’s assertions in the South China Sea may be provocative to the US as it threatens US interests but there have been no mishaps or incidents when $5 billion worth of maritime trade annually crosses the waters. The territorial claims by the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan will be resolved by the ASEAN nations themselves without external interference.
Rebutting Pompeo, Petra said that China has its transport routes in the areas which Pompeo accuses them of militarizing. The militarization is largely the US which has military bases surrounding China. China has no military bases surrounding any of US vital facilities. Under the circumstances of being surrounded by US military bases, the building of a military base in Cambodia with entry to the Gulf of Thailand should not be surprising; and is a logical defence reaction. If US can build military bases, then China has a right to do the same,particularly in its own region.
The reasons used for US proposed increase in militarization of SE Asia is “helping to balance China’s increased influence into the region, carries no substance and is absolute fake.’
Don’t forget the Cuban missile crisis when the USSR attempted to militarize Cuba and nearly caused WW3.
Finally, the “pitching” of SMH Cambodian report to unsuspecting reader tries to tie in the sleazy town of Sihanoukville as created by the Chinese government. Such similar tactics have been used particularly linking the crimes in Crown Casino with the Chinese government. Chinese government policy has shown zero tolerance for gambling.
China Panic is still alive and well judging from the continuing media bashing of China. Such attitude can only strain the Australia-China relations. If Australians want to hear the truth about US-China geopolitics, a scholarly analysis by John Menadue will ensure readers and geopolitical armchair commentators are well informed on a debate that have a pivotal bearing on world peace.
Dr Anthony Pun, OAM, National President, Chinese Community Council of Australia.