Focus shifting to Asia – are the US and China preparing a confrontation?

Asia is becoming hot – or hotter than it was. Europe is being cooled down as the US shift their attention to other parts of the world – the Asias.  The US military budget is also being adjusted to the new strategy – more air and marine, less army. It is all rather chilling – the thinking is obviously threatening towards Asian countries.

The Koreans keep killing each other, the Japanese are wary in relation to the Chinese, but the biggest activity is in the south China Sea and adjoining waters. China is showing it’s intentions, the US is there. The developments we now see have been brewing for many years. The Vietnamese have found oil in its northern waters and China have found oil near Hainan. Contracts have been given to many companies, and an industry is growing. China have said that if there is more oil they want it – a truly strange statement. This seems to many to be a veiled threat, and the Chinese should explain their intentions like civilized citizens of the world are expected to. The era of landgrabbing is surely over?

The US also wants to find out where Chinese subs are travelling, and check out other military movements – so that they can be prepared. In the South China Sea the Chinese are now publishing strange drawings or maps indicating a wish for confusion about the issues. The strange U people call it.

The islands in the area – the Spratly and the Paracel which are tiny numerous islands, and a few more are partly occupied by China, Vietnam. The world’s policeman the US is checking out the openness of the seas, where they can go by sea and where they can fly.

In 1987 the Chinese entered the area pushing out the Vietnamese. There has already been fights here – in 1988 and 1992 Vietnamese were killed by the Chinese. The seismic cables were cut by the Chinese this summer. The Chinese have built shelters for fishermen on some of the islands.

The newest power game is building up, nations are finding their positions, their allies, putting forward what they want. They have all signed the international convention about nation’s rights at sea, so negotiations are part of the game. All the countries in the area are there: China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Fillipines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan. Australia will take part in the new developments – 2500 US military men will be posted in Darwin in the north of Australia. The US clearly has a new focus area in preparation.

So we are all set and ready to go. Negotiations will undoubtedly start, deals will be made, sharing between countries may be part of it. And the ubiquitous US are always there – their role is about security – their own security. The Americans are increasing their presence, meaning they want to be where the action is, even wanting to initiate some action themselves.

The challenges are great: The marine law is difficult, discussion about economic zones, territories, boundaries, transport lanes at sea, what is in there like fish, oil, metals maybe.

In the Pacific – Sea of Peace – new attention may be bestowed upon its huge waters – a possible  extension of what we see in the South China Sea. The fisheries which are not sustainable are slowly emptying the sea, leaving little for the future rulers, and the extent of oil fields is not known.

There is a commercial side and a security side to this, a short term and a long term. The expanding Chinese are playing a game, the weakening US are joining in – it is all set for a new phase. Powerplay is the name of the game, world domination maybe. Is there really no other way to find what it shall be? Fair and reasonable practice based upon signed treaties and international law so you get what is rightly yours? And reducing tension all over?

Surely there is a “rightly”, a reasonable solution. We should all help to find that, at the same time advancing human culture. We have had the Cold War, War on Terror is ongoing, now a new Great Game is being ushered in.

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