Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fathoming China's Foreign Policy

What on earth is China doing?  While smiling and proclaiming it wants good relations with its neighbors, China has embarked on a foreign policy frolic that lays claim to the entire South China Sea, has intercepted Malaysian seismic study vessels in Malaysian waters claimed by China, aggressively challenged Japan over islands lying within its self-declared maritime borders,  instigates a nationalistic fervor resulting in smashed windows and destruction of Japanese car dealerships in China and deliberately provokes other countries – the Philippines being a prime example – with its legally absurd sovereignty claims (considering it is a signatory to the Law of the Sea Treaty). 

One can only assume that the People’s Liberation Army has acquired a tad too much influence and control over the government policies.  Backlash is in the air - and water.
Every country in the region, as far away as India, now wants the US to increase its presence. The  newly elected Japanese government, while not actively hostile, is discussing rearmament and vows to take a more forceful stance toward China (not good considering the history involved).  The only exceptions for China are Pakistan and North Korea, not exactly the best group of friends.
This could not possibly be the result desired by Beijing.  It is exactly a case of “not what I say, but what I do” and what China is doing is irritating everyone – from Japan to South East Asia to India.

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