New Cold War of China-Russia Alliance v. US-Japan-South Korea TrianglePosted: August 5, 2016
SCMP says in its report “Seoul’s tilt towards Tokyo could lead to worst-case scenario for Beijing”, “China is finding itself falling into a strategic nightmare with the first sign of a Washington-Tokyo-Seoul military alliance at its doorstep after South Korea hinted it would share missile intelligence with Japan, analysts say.”
In my post “Japan Provides China with the Opportunity to Win by Diplomacy” on July 5, 2014, I said:
Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine has broken US plan to form an iron triangle of the US, Japan and South Korea for its pivot to Asia to contain China (note: the US now has to contain both China and Russia as it has driven China to Russia’s side), China has been working hard to draw South Korea to its side. For this, China has a strong weapon—North Korea.
Indeed, due to Abe’s visit and the North Korea factor, relations between China have warmed up sharply, Chinese and South Korean presidents exchanged visit. It seemed that the triangle US relies on has been thoroughly broken.
Now, as China failed to make North Korea refrain from conducting Nuclear and missile tests, South Korea, being a US ally relying on US protection, has allowed the US deployment of THAAD anti-missile system within its territories. It has thus infuriated China and Russia who feel threatened by the system.
Facing Chinese retaliation, South Korea needs the triangle for its safety. However, that is just the return to the situation before Abe’s Yasukuni visit. The iron triangle has long existed and constituted a threat to China. It was only weakened by Abe’s visit and has now returned to the status before the visit.
However, the THAAD issue has greatly strengthened Russia-China alliance in the face of the same threat, which is an alliance entirely new that has grown from Russia-China long-term historical enmity due to Obama’s pivot to Asia.
We can safely say that a new Cold War has emerged in Asia with Russia-China alliance on one side and US on the other.
In Russian and Chinese camp, there are the Central Asian and South Asian members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Among them India and Pakistan are most important. Iran may join the camp as it has shown great interest in joining the SCO. So, it seems, is Afghanistan.
There are only two Asian countries Japan and the Philippines on US side. South Korea, though is seeking closer relations with the US and Japan, may not take side with the US firmly as it has very close economic relations with China and relies on China to contain North Korea, which though disobedient to China, relies on China for its survival.
ASEAN except the Philippines has refused to take side between US and China.
From this analysis, I can see no “strategic nightmare” for China in the new Cold War.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1999331/seouls-tilt-towards-tokyo-could-lead-worst-case