The Evolution of the US-China Face-off in the South China Sea | New Eastern Outlook


13-07-19 07:53:00,


Today, the realities of the South China Sea have changed so drastically that we’re dealing with a whole new reality that is nothing like what we used to analyse or discuss. The tensions within this region were purely local in their nature and concerned China and its immediate neighbors, but now it’s obvious that those have evolved into a matter of global security. All the previous evaluations professing a swift settlement of all issues on the back of the cultural unity and common mentality of the parties involved in the conflict turned out to be absolutely wrong. What transpired here is unlike anything that we could have anticipated.

In recent years, the Indo-Pacific region has become a major attraction for all sorts of investors due to its economic potential. After all, it’s the region of some of the world’s most crucial sea routes that are stretching from China, Japan, South Korea, Russia to the west coast of the United States. An unparalled number of commodities is being shipped along these routes every year.

On the one hand, the lack of firm boundaries within the region and vast expanses of water facilitate trade and connect peoples, countries and continents, but on the other, these routes remain exposed to all sorts of meddling, which means that one has to invest an extensive amount of efforts to protect them. This is the common goal of all the countries of the Indo-Pacific region and, above all, the countries of ASEAN and India, which are located at critical interjunctions of the trade routes. India and the ASEAN member-states share a common reliance on these oceans and their connecting seas, and a common perspective that supports openness, inclusion, sharing and peaceful cooperation. Their common goals are maintenance of peace, stability and security, unimpeded lawful commerce, freedom of navigation, along with the preservation of marine resources. All these is the base of India’s and ASEAN’s policy towards maritime security and connectivity and stable peace and development. 

Another important point that is that the Indo-Pacific region is a region of historical cultural and political interpenetration, as a number of local states derived their governing principles from the Indian heritage and culture. Even if it creates additional difficulties, it just as well creates preconditions for mutual cooperation and integration within this region.

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US-China: the hardcore is yet to come | The Vineyard of the Saker


13-05-19 08:04:00,

Let’s start with the “long” 16th Century – which, as with the 21st, also saw a turbulent process of marketization. At that time, the Jesuits and the Counter-Reformation were trying to rebound across Asia – but within a context where the rivalry between the Iberian superpowers of the age, Spain and Portugal, still lingered.

The Reformation first attached itself to the Dutch trade thalassocracy – a seaborne empire, under which commerce was paramount – over strict propaganda of religious dogma. Britain’s maritime realm was still biding its time. The emergence of Protestantism proceeded in parallel to the emergence of neo-Confucianism in East Asia.

Fast forward to our turbulent times. Marketization – renamed as globalization – seems to be in crisis. But not in the Middle Kingdom, which is now investing in globalization 2.0 amid increasing rivalry with the other superpower, the US.

The American thalassocracy is being superseded by the Revenge of the Heartland, in the form of the Russia-China strategic partnership – for whom Eurasian trade integration, as expressed by the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is paramount over the Make America Great Again (MAGA) dogma.

Meanwhile, the re-emergence of Right populism in the West mirrors the re-emergence of pragmatic neo-Confucianism across Asia.

BRI – the prime vehicle for Eurasia integration – would have never come to light without China’s four decades of breakneck economic development.

My sharpest and most informed geopolitical readers, such as the wonderfully enigmatic Larchmonter, are in synch with my running conversations – for years now – with top analysts in Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan; following the Obama administration’s fuzzy “pivot to Asia”, the Trump administration’s response to China’s emergence has been to throw all sorts of spanners in the works.

Thus, the current hysteria over tariffs, the trade offensive, the demonization of BRI, Made in China 2025 and Huawei’s 5G dominance, and all manner of disruptive Hybrid War tactics such as repeatedly claiming “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea to progressive weaponizing of Taiwan.

All that duly fueled by non-stop hatchet jobs on media outlets, as in branding Huawei as “suspect” or “permanently untrustworthy”.

From the point of view of the hyperpower, there can be only one possible endgame: an amputated,

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

17-10-18 06:26:00,

According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.

The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard,

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