South China Sea Ruling Intensifies China’s Arms Race with the USPosted: July 13, 2016
When China realized that the US aimed at attacking China when it began its pivot to Asia, China began its arms race with the US. I have quite a few posts on the arm race since then (see my posts “CHINA STEPS UP ITS NAVY BUILDUP” on January 29, 2012, “A NEW ERA OF ENMITY BETWEEN CHINA AND AMERICA” on February 7, 2012, “The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit” on June 6, 2012, “Arms Craze: Aircraft Carrier Style takes off in China” on November 27, 2012, “Arms Race between China and America” on March 5, 2013”, etc.).
Due to China’s arms race with the US, China has developed lots of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles and built seven artificial islands to prevent the US from attacking it with its aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.
However, the arms race is not intensive enough as China has not allocated as large a proportion of its funds as the US does to its military budget. As the US is threatening China with its warships in the South China Sea in order to force China to respect the arbitration ruling and give up its interests in the South China Sea, China has to greatly intensify the arms race in order not to be bullied by the US.
SCMP has the vision to see that in its report “South China Sea: ‘provocative US action’ could prompt faster Chinese military build-up” i.e. intensified arms race.
China differs with the US in following its gifted strategist Sun Tzu’s teaching to put diplomacy before military in subduing the enemy. Therefore, while developing its military, “China has called for fresh dialogue with the Philippines to resolve their South China Sea disputes following the landmark ruling by an international court on Tuesday”, says SCMP in another report titled “China calls for fresh talks with Philippines to resolve South China Sea disputes after UN ruling”.
China is more skillful in diplomacy. US President Obama had a summit with ASEAN leaders and had them agreed to “(s)hared commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes”. (See paragraph 7 of their joint statement.)
It means ASEAN leaders will follow the US in telling China to respect the ruling of the arbitration submitted by the Philippines. However when the ruling came out on July 12, no ASEAN member has done that. Why? Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has persuaded ASEAN members not to share US commitment in his meeting with his ASEAN counterparts. (See my post “China Makes ASEAN Refrain from Asking It to Respect Arbitration Award” on June 16, 2016.)
Even the Philippines has refrained from asking China to respect the arbitration ruling so as to dismantle the artificial islands that China has built and that are regarded by the ruling as illegal. Nor has it told China to withdraw its navy and coast guards ships to allow Philippine fishermen to fish near Scarborough shoal.
On the contrary, SCMP says in another report titled “How will Philippines and China move on after South China Sea ruling?”, “Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay has rejected suggestions he issue a strong statement against China if the decision went Manila’s way. He also said the country was willing to share natural resources with Beijing in the South China Sea area even if it wins the tribunal case next week and that the Philippines will seek to launch talks with China ‘as soon as possible’”.
Comments by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s reports, full text of which can be viewed respectively at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1989125/south-china-sea-provocative-us-action-could-prompt (“South China Sea: ‘provocative US action’ could prompt faster Chinese military build-up”), http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1989272/china-calls-fresh-talks-philippines-resolve-south-china (“China calls for fresh talks with Philippines to resolve South China Sea disputes after UN ruling”) and http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1987193/how-will-philippines-and-china-move-after-south-china (“How will Philippines and China move on after South China Sea ruling?”)