EU’s Implied Criticism of US Militarization of Southeast, South Asia


US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Swift seems wanting a war with China as he has said that he would attack China’s artificial islands when US president had given the order.

However, I don’t think the US will start the war without EU support though Japan wants quite urgently a war between the US and China.

That is obvious. Japanese Prime Minister Abe regards China’s rise as a threat and wants US to stop the rise by attacking China.

EU, however, regards China’s rise as an opportunity to make money. That is why Reuters says in its report “U.S. says Europeans could help more in South China Sea dispute”, “In a rare admonishment of a close ally, the United States urged the European Union on Wednesday to speak out more forcefully to support Washington in its dispute with China over building and militarization of man-made outposts in the South China Sea.”

According to the report, David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to Washington, said that EU shared US objective but there were limits for EU to make the statements the US had made.

Reuters quotes him as saying, “Completely joining up language is sometimes useful and sometimes counter-productive,” and “The last thing the region needs is more gunboats (underline by Chan Kai Yee). I don’t think that’s going to be our contribution to the future security of the region.”

It is indeed implied criticism of US pivot to Asia to increase its military presence from 50% to 60% and US supplies of weapons to Southeast and South Asian countries.

Article by Chan Kai Yee in response to Reuters report.

The following is the full text of Reuters’ report:

U.S. says Europeans could help more in South China Sea dispute
WASHINGTON By David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali Wed Jul 29, 2015

In a rare admonishment of a close ally, the United States urged the European Union on Wednesday to speak out more forcefully to support Washington in its dispute with China over building and militarization of man-made outposts in the South China Sea.

Amy Searight, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, said Washington welcomed EU calls for a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the sea and respect for international law.

But there was “somewhat of a difference of approach” when it came to Washington’s call for a freeze on activity by rival claimants – something China has rejected.

“It would be helpful if the EU would be a little more clear in terms of backing up these principles,” she told a discussion on U.S. and EU policies toward East Asia at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“A little bit more forward-leaning approach that would support, for example, the idea of a halt to further reclamation, further militarization, would be very useful.”

Michael Fuchs, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said there was a need to reduce the risks of conflict in the South China Sea, where China has overlapping claims with several states.

“This is about … speaking up when we see activity that is concerning,” he said.

David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to Washington, said the European Union and the United States had very similar objectives, but such statements were a judgment call.

“Completely joining up language is sometimes useful and sometimes counter-productive,” he said.

O’Sullivan said the European Union was concerned about security in East Asia and was adding a security dimension to its work, but made clear there were limits to this.

“The last thing the region needs is more gunboats. I don’t think that’s going to be our contribution to the future security of the region.”

Japan’s navy chief, Admiral Tomohisa Takei, told another Washington think tank that Asian countries needed to improve their naval capabilities and increase coordination given the South China Sea tensions.

He said they should improve relations with Washington through “a solid alliance like the Japan-U.S. alliance or friendly relations with the U.S.”

Japan, which is not a claimant in the South China Sea but has huge interests in keeping trade routes open and is in dispute with China over territory further to the north, could help to improve regional naval capabilities, he said.

“I believe that Japan will make both personnel and material contribution toward capacity building.”

Japan eased an arms export ban last year and has since agreed to bolster security ties with several countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, that share its concerns about China.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali; Editing by Ken Wills)


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