China’s Dominance of South China Sea Undisputable NowPosted: September 9, 2016
Reuters’ report “As Obama caps years of Asia ‘pivot’, regional tensions smolder” today says that US President Obama raised the Hague arbitration ruling at his summit with ASEAN leaders and insisted on its binding effect, but instead of supporting Obama’s stance in February summit with Obama, ASEAN leaders refused even to mention the ruling in their statement for fear of upsetting China.
I have just reposted the report on my blog for readers’ information.
According to Reuters’ another report today titled “Tensions over South China Sea belie summit cordiality”, the Philippines tried to raise concerns by the rumor that China was to build an artificial island on Scarborough Shoal but no one responded to its concerns in the summit.
The Philippines certainly has limited influence in Asia. The US, the only superpower in the world however, does not seem to fair better. Obama told CNN in an interview before he left for G20 summit in China that he would urge China to observe Hague arbitration ruling and says the US has indicated to China that if China does not, “there will be consequences.” (See my post “Obama urges China to stop flexing muscles over South China Sea: CNN” on September 3.)
Attack China, impose sanctions or help the Philippines take hardline stance against China?
No such things.
Instead, according to SCMP’s report titled “US president doesn’t mention South China Sea dispute when asked about Philippines at press conference” on September 6, when Obama met the press on September 6 after G20 summit, he utterly did not mention South China Sea.
It seems that China has succeeded in making not only ASEAN but also the US refrain from mentioning the Hague ruling.
However, that is not enough. In Routers’ another report today titled “China says wants to ‘dispel interference’ in South China Sea”, Reuters quotes Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as saying in his recent summit with ASEAN leaders in Vientiane that China wants to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to “dispel interference” in the disputed South China Sea.
Reuters says in the report, “In a statement released later on Wednesday by China’s Foreign Ministry about the meeting, Li was paraphrased as saying China was willing to work with ASEAN countries in ‘dispelling interference … and properly handling the South China Sea issue’”.
The US has no influence in ASEAN as proved by ASEAN’s refusal of Obama’s advice to mention the Hague ruling.
China has had full influence to make ASEAN refrain from upsetting it in spite of Philippines’ concerns. Moreover, its air force is conduction combat patrol of South China Sea in addition to its coast guards’ control of the waters there.
The US is a world hegemon though unable to control Russia, Iran and ISIS. However, now China has undisputable dominance of the South China Sea and will dispel US “interference” along with ASEAN.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s and Reuters’ reports, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2015350/obama-steers-clear-troubled-waters-comments-g20-summit,
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-summit-southchinasea-idUSKCN11D08P and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-summit-southchinasea-china-idUSKCN11E043