How China’s Sea Reclamation in South China Sea Will Affect Sino-US Relation

Not very much. I think politically, the honeymoon period of Sino-American relationship was over by the time the US bombed the Chinese embassy in 1999.

United States bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade The US said it was a mistake (wrong tourist map or something), and China never believed it (the Chinese Embassy was the only target proposed by the CIA). The war in Iraq and Afghanistan did not improve US standing.

Now there is not much left except Realpolitik.

Regarding South China Sea, the real action is not on a couple of salty rocks with only seagulls as permanent residents, but in bi-lateral meetings behind closed doors.

  • China is plunking down $46 billion investment in Pakistan (Pakistan opens first solar power plant, built with Chinese investment, China Promises $46 Billion To Pave The Way For A Brand New Silk Road)
  • China just signed a 20-year Free Trade deal with South Korea(South Korea, China ink long-term trade deal | Business | DW.DE | 01.06.2015)
  • Indonesia is hoping for $60 billion investment from China (Indonesia Banks On $63 Billion From China)
  • Cambodia has had solid economic and military relationship with China for the past 50 years (Cambodia says ASEAN should stay out of South China Sea fracas)

So China’s cards are on the table. What about the US? At the Shangri-La Security conference, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the Department of Defense would be launching a new Southeast Asia Maritime Security initiative.

He said Congress had already taken steps to authorize up to $425 million dollars for these maritime capacity-building efforts! US Launches New Maritime Security Initiative at Shangri-La Dialogue 2015

Wow, are you impressed?

No? Well, maybe that’s why Malaysia for months talks about China sharing civilian access to those islands. Vietnam agreed to work with China in the joint development of the South China Sea.

Indonesia is not only seeking stronger ties with the PLA but recommended that China & the other claimants do joint patrols in the SCS. Indonesia Urges Joint Patrols With China in South China Sea And what did Singapore say?

All Asian countries hope that US-China relations will be positive. No country wants to choose sides between US or China. – PM Lee

To add icing on the cake, 60% of South Koreans view Japan as a military threat, while only 30% of them view China as a military threat.

Nearly 60% of South Koreans view Japan as military threat: joint survey | The Japan Times, and all the ASEAN defense ministers are going to Beijing together later for an “Asia for Asian” meeting. China to Hold First Meeting With ASEAN Defense Ministers in Beijing

This “pivot” is sliding into the sea.


Robin Daverman, Know a little bit

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