Friday, May 16, 2014

China Causing More Trouble in SE Asia; Sticks a Fat Finger in Obama's 'Asia Pivot' Eye

In a heavy-handed move to assert broad and outrageous territorial claims, there are now 86 Chinese vessels, ships and an oil rig inside of Vietnam's offshore territorial waters. Local news reports that 3 Chinese military ships are surrounding a Vietnamese marine police vessel this morning and water cannon use continues against Vietnamese ships.

In response, in the past two days, there has been rioting by Vietnamese people against Chinese businesses in both the North and South of the country.  From Reuters,
Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged through industrial zones in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces near Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, officials said. Protests continued on Wednesday.
The doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province said five Vietnamese workers and 16 other people described as Chinese were killed on Wednesday night in rioting, one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979.
"There were about a hundred people sent to the hospital last night. Many were Chinese [Sadly many were Taiwanese who were mistaken for mainland Chinese.]  More are being sent to the hospital this morning," the doctor at Ha Tinh General Hospital told Reuters by phone.
Hundreds of Chinese working in the zones have fled, most to neighboring Cambodia and others by air.
"Yesterday more than 600 Chinese people from Vietnam crossed at Bavet international checkpoint into Cambodia," Cambodian National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told Reuters.   Bavet is on a highway stretching from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial centre, to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh.
Why are the people so mad?  Well, maybe it's because, China claims the ENTIRE South China Sea as THEIRS -- not giving a damn that most nations abide by the UNCLOS territorial limit (the UN Convention on Law of the Sea) of 200 nautical miles.  Have a look at a map below showing Chinese territorial claims versus claims of it's SE Asian neighbors.


Most of this is about potential oil and gas resources by the way.  Vietnam has very active offshore leasing, exploration and production activities including foreign operating companies, and according to The Economist
On June 21, 2012 Vietnam's parliament passed a maritime law that reasserted the country's claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands (see map below). China called this a “serious violation” of its sovereignty. It responded by declaring that a county-level government which supposedly governs the two archipelagoes and much of the rest of the South China Sea from one of the Paracel Islands, had been upgraded to the administrative level of a prefecture. Chinese media described this notional jurisdiction, Sansha, as by far the biggest prefecture in the country (though its population of a few hundred people is heavily outnumbered by gulls and its ill-defined territory is mostly water). Some Chinese internet users speculated excitedly about who might be appointed mayor, but reports on some websites that a 45-year-old hydrologist had got the job were later dismissed as a spoof.
Tensions rose further with an announcement late last month by CNOOC, a Chinese state-owned oil company, that it was opening nine blocks in what China calls the South Sea to international bids for oil and gas exploration. These reach to within 37 nautical miles (68km) of Vietnam's coast, according to PetroVietnam, a Vietnamese state-owned oil firm.
China has been inflaming the region with their outrageous territorial claims for years.  They have even used military force and intimidation in recent years to step on it's regional neighbors.  As recently as July 2012, there was a stand-off with China and the Philippines recently regarding the Scarborough Shoals off of the Philippines (see map above).  Both sides had military vessels in the area and tensions ran high.

Add the fact that China claimed a wide air exclusion zone far outside of it's boundaries which disrupted international air travel routes and affecting Japan.  The Chinese are also claiming the disputed Senaku islands that are also claimed by Japan. The US has nothing to challenge this thanks to our timid leadership.


So, everyone in SE Asia now hates the Chinese (and Japan).  But at least Japan has been a good neighbor for the past 70 years.

All of this is more evidence that the post-WWII world order is under serious assault due, in part, to Obama's intentional effort to weaken US influence abroad.  Weak or inept leadership invites bad behavior by the world's bad actors.  It leads to wars not peace.   Obama's laughable "Asia Pivot" is a case in point.  It's obviously laughable to the Chinese. The oil rig placement was done just after Obama's region-wide tour and was done seemingly to poke a finger in his face.  As to weak and/or inept leadership, think about Putin's triumphs in Syria and Ukraine. The Chinese continue to provoke nearly all of it's SE Asian neighbors plus Japan despite the US "Asia pivot" promises (while Obama reduces our military strength like the good Liberal that he is).   

China are communist imperialistic, mercantilist pigs bent on driving their economy forward at breakneck speed -- all in the name of "GDP."  This is necessary because the communist party's only claim to legitimacy is creating jobs and a modicum of hope for their citizens (while racking up massive debts, accumulating huge trade surpluses and foreign currency reserves vis-a-vis with everyone else). They will do anything to stay in power. This includes running roughshod over the environment, human rights, their own citizens, trading partners and international law.  They even will threaten their SE Asia neighbors with raw displays of military force.  To feed their perverted drive for legitimacy (because they are illegitimate), they'll distort world's commodity, currency and financial markets and they'll also do anything to hush and silence critics. We see the true colors of the Chinese Regime at work here. 

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