UNITED STATES REASSERTS SUPREMACY IN TUSSLE WITH CHINA IN EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
In this tussle, China has played multiple cards ranging from confrontation to reconciliation with USA. What does stand out in this spectrum is China’s double timing the USA and its role as a “regional spoiler state”.
China, like its protégé Pakistan, has been double-timing the United States all along. Offering itself to be used by the United States as a quasi-strategic ally against the former Soviet Union in the late 1970s and 1980s it fed and fattened strategically on American largesse in return, namely substantial American foreign direct investments, unhindered exports to USA, and access to US high technology in the fields of the supercomputers, telemetry, satellites and missiles.
Concurrently, China was double-timing the United States and working at cross-purposes against American strategic interests in West Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia and East Asia......
China’s “spoiler state” image in East Asia gets reinforced by the following actions/or lack of action that are potentially strategically destabilizing for the region”
* Constant sabre-rattling and political and military coercion.
* Declaratory policies of use of force to annex Taiwan and its re-unification with China.
* China not restraining North Korea from military adventurism in East Asia,
* China’s building-up of North Korea's missile arsenal and IRBM capabilities.
* China’s directly, and indirectly through Pakistan, building up of North Korean nuclear weapons.
* China’s use of North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a pawn and leverage against the US attempts towards de-nuclearisation of North Korea.
* China not restraining North Korea from missile test-firings over Japan.
* China’s jingoism in the Spratly Islands disputes.
* China’s constant criticism of Japan on its war-times atrocities, conveniently forgetting China’s own record of the subjugation and military occupation of Tibet, and the genocide inflicted on this peaceful and spiritual nation.
United States pre-occupation post 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan had led many analysts to speculate that American power was receding and that its political predominance and military supremacy in East Asia and the Pacific was waning. It was also being believed that United States strategic focus would remain distracted to West Asia.
The United States to lay such speculations to rest and to reinforce that its primacy focus remains in East Asia and the Pacific, made its intentions clear by a number of recent re-assertive steps as follows:
* Ex SUMMER PULSE 2004.
* Additional Aircraft Carrier Strike Group to be permanently located in the Pacific.
* United States Troops Redeployment Plan to focus on East Asia.
Without naming China, each of the above developments leaves no doubt on strategic analysis that the United States retains the intentions and capabilities to ensure her predominance in East Asia and the Pacific......
In a further re-assertion of American military power in East Asia, plans are afoot to station an additional Carrier Strike Group in the region, in a “high state of readiness”.
United States defense planners are convinced that this additional positioning would have the following advantages:
* Deter conflict across the Taiwan Strait by China.
* Prevent North Korea from military adventurism in the region.
* China’s growing naval presence if not responded to would signal that American power in the region is receding. Hence this additional deployment.
United States Troops Redeployment Plan Aimed at China:
President Bush’s announcement of redeployment of 60,000-70,000 troops from Europe can be analysed as being aimed to cater for any “China threat” contingencies.
The White House Fact Sheet issued on the subject in relation to Asia, emphasises the following, quoted verbatim:
· “Asia: We will improve our ability to deter, dissuade and defeat challenges in Asia, through strengthened long range strike capabilities, stream lined and consolidated headquarters, and a network of access arrangements.
* The forward stationing of additional expeditionary US Marines capabilities in the Pacific will enable prompt and effective military action, both regionally and globally.
* Advanced strike assets will be stationed in the Western Pacific.
* In North East Asia we are working with our strongest allies to restructure our military presence and command structures while simultaneously improving capabilities in the region.”
In Asia the major military challenges to the United States in the coming decade will emerge only from China, and hence the above formulations in US policy, even if China is not named.
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