WAR DRUMS: Is Obama Provoking a War with China?

As China continues to build up a military presence on their man-made islands in the South China sea, the Obama administration has decided to move over some heavy equipment of its own. The US military will be bolstering its presence and running patrols from five US bases in the Philippines in order to block against Chinese expansionist moves.

In July, the National Interest reported on the Obama Administration’s policy towards the South China Sea:

“Beijing’s moves have prompted Washington to counter Chinese assertiveness by forging a new strategic alignment in the region—one in which China dominates the South China Sea from the north, the United States and its partners do so from the east and west, and the states of continental Southeast Asia remain neutral or lean toward Beijing in the intensifying U.S.-China strategic competition. This alignment will further U.S. goals: to continue to mount a forward defense, to keep the seas and skies free, and to promote prosperity and the spread of democracy.”

The idea that the USA is doing this for world prosperity is laughable.  The USA government is there because it knows it needs to check China now before it becomes an unstoppable force and dangerous to Washington’s interest.

Looking at the map below, one gets a quick understanding of what a complicated and dangerous situation Obama’s brazenness has made it.


Whether one agrees with Beijing’s Island building campaign or not, the US military’s insertion into an east Asian dispute automatically makes the situation into one which is always one trigger away from war. The Chinese argument, whether agreed upon or not by the players in the region is that China used to control the South China Sea.  Yes, its true this was centuries ago. However, the Western world has constantly been hamstrung in terms of policies in relation to countries or civilizations that have a concept of time that goes farther back than theirs.

Using the international arbitration case against China further provokes animosity.  Afterall, whose world order is it? If we assume the world order and security structure post World War Two is now in free fall, what does it matter if the UN stands against China in regard to a dispute that is older than the USA itself?

The faster the Obama administration takes into consideration that the world is actually a very different place, it will pull itself back from the brink of triggering the next global conflagration.

WAR DRUMS: China and Russia Play War Games in the South China Sea

New joint military drills are planned between China and Russia for September to take place in the South China Sea. The involvement of Russia and location are seen as a message to America in the waning months of the Obama administration. The South China Sea is an area of serious dispute between China and its neighbors.  The Obama administration has pledged to stand against Chinese aggression. With Putin on the move in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Russian involvement is a worrying development.

The tension in the area stems from a recent international court ruling that China has no historic claim to the region. The Russians have backed Beijing up on their stance in opposition tot he ruling.

“This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China’s defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said.

Although the West views such exercises as a provocation and preparation for war, especially under heightened tensions, the two emerging super powers have held similar drills last year in the Mediterranean and Sea of Japan.

From China’s perspective it is the USA that is beating the drums of war by infringing on their historic rights in the South China Sea.  With China rising and Russia close behind, the USA has far less leverage than it had in the past.

Where Does Israel Stand?

Israel has taken a neutral approach on everything to do with the tug of war between the USA and China.  With Israel’s bilateral relationship growing at an exponential rate with China, any shred of non neutrality on the South China Sea and other issues between the Chinese and Americans, could endanger Israel’s new and positive relationship with Beijing.