China Shall Strive to Win Over Australia instead of Pushing it to US SidePosted: July 15, 2016
In its report titled “China irked by ‘wrong’ Australia remarks, Philippine leader eyes talks”, Reuters said that Australian Foreign Minister Julie “Bishop told ABC radio on Wednesday that China’s reputation would suffer as a result of the court ruling, insisting relations with the international community were crucial to its rise as a superpower.”
It quotes Bishop as saying “To ignore it would be a serious international transgression”.
China protested as Bishop said that Australia would keep exercising its international rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do the same in the South China Sea.
This blogger believes that China may be overreacting. It must be aware that its construction of artificial islands, though aiming at defense against the US, is regarded as a threat by Australia, especially the militarization of the islands. It pushes Australia closer to US side.
That is just the same as US pivot to Asia. The pivot aims at containing China, but Russia regards it as a threat to Russia’s east and began to seek closer ties with China. China has been greatly benefited by the pivot in having a reliable de facto ally in Russia. Through Russia, it has been able to build closer relations with Central Asia and preventing India and Vietnam from joining the US in containing China.
True, both India and Vietnam have been improving their relations with the US, but they have their hesitation because of Russia. India has even joined Russia- and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russian remains Vietnam’s major source of advanced weapons so that it cannot switch to US side unless the US can sell Vietnam advanced weapons with a substantial discount that the US cannot afford.
Therefore, while using US and Australian freedom of navigation operations as excuse to militarize its artificial islands, China shall make diplomatic efforts to bring Australia to its side or at least make it keep equal distance between the US and China. That is certainly possible as China has close business ties, including a free trade agreement with Australia.
China is precisely making efforts to bring over the Philippines. It is lucky for China that the Philippines has a new president who wants to keep equal distance between China and the US to maximize its benefits from both countries.
Reuters says in the report, Philippine new president “Duterte privately told his ministers to be magnanimous and not to taunt Beijing.
“He broke his silence on the issue late on Thursday (yesterday) at a private function and said he wanted dialogue with China and to send former President Fidel Ramos to Beijing to break the ice.
“Duterte added it was important that any overtures toward China would also take into consideration the Philippines’ longstanding alliance with Washington.”
Asia has lots of shrewd leaders such as Russia’s Putin, Japan’s Abe, India’s Modi and Philippines’ Duterte.
The US is stupid to balance China alone with its pivot to Asia that has given rise to Russia-Chinese de factor alliance. It should have watched those leaders playing their game of balancing China and sometimes helped them where there was an opportunity.
However, that may lead to a multipolar world. The US wants to subdue China alone with legal means but has failed as China just ignored the arbitration ruling. The US, instead of China, is isolated as few countries have joined the US in urging China to respect the ruling. China, however, has subdued the US by the development of its military strength to make the US unable to bring China to its knees with its powerful air force and navy.
As the US has got a ruling but cannot get any support in Asia in urging China to respect the ruling, it makes everybody in Asia believe that the US fails to contain China. China has not rises to be number one in the world, but it is now number one in Southeast Asia and no one can contain it.
That is a long topic that I will elaborate later on US geopolitical failure when it has got a ruling to contain China but shows its weakness in failing to enforce the ruling.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed below:
China irked by ‘wrong’ Australia remarks, Philippine leader eyes talks
China said on Thursday it had issued a formal protest after Australia announced it would continue to exercise its right to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea following a court ruling against China’s claims.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that China had no historic claim to the waters and it had violated the Philippines’ economic and sovereign rights.
China rejected the ruling, having declined to participate in the case saying the court had no jurisdiction. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said late on Thursday he wanted to start talks with China, although he suggested some careful thinking would be needed first.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urged all South China Sea claimants to resolve their disputes peacefully, saying Canberra would keep exercising its international rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do the same.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had formally protested against Australia’s “wrong remarks”, and that China hopes Australia does nothing to harm regional peace and stability.
“Honestly speaking, I’m a bit shocked at Bishop’s comments,” Lu said.
Australia should join the majority of the international community in not taking the result of the “illegal outcome” of the case as international law.
“We hope that Australia can set more store by international law, and not treat it as a game,” Lu added, repeating that China respected freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law.
While China and Australia have close business ties, including a free trade agreement, Canberra is also a strong security ally of the United States.
Bishop told ABC radio on Wednesday that China’s reputation would suffer as a result of the court ruling, insisting relations with the international community were crucial to its rise as a superpower.
“To ignore it would be a serious international transgression,” she said.
‘WAR NOT AN OPTION’
The Philippines has been careful not to irk China and has refrained from any celebratory words. In the hours after the ruling, its normally brash and outspoken Duterte privately told his ministers to be magnanimous and not to taunt Beijing.
He broke his silence on the issue late on Thursday at a private function and said he wanted dialogue with China and to send former President Fidel Ramos to Beijing to break the ice.
“War is not an option. So, what is the other side? – Peaceful talk,” Duterte said. “I can not give you the wherewithals now. I have to consult many people.”
Duterte added it was important that any overtures toward China would also take into consideration the Philippines’ longstanding alliance with Washington.
“We do not also want to offend the United States. Why? Because we have indemnified ourselves allied with Western power,” he said.
China claims much of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.
Meeting on the sidelines of a regional summit in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told his Vietnamese counterpart on Thursday that he hoped Vietnam would together with China jointly safeguard maritime peace and stability, state media in both countries reported.
Li repeated China’s stance that the South China Sea issue should be solved bilaterally “on the basis of historical facts and in accordance with international law”, state news agency Xinhua said.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Jane Wardell in Sydney, Neil Jerome Morales and Manuel Mogato in Manila)