Why the United States Is Losing Asia to China?Posted: June 13, 2017
Foreign Policy published an article titled “The United States Is Losing Asia to China” by Ely Ratner and Samir Kumar on May 12, which this blogger finds quiet interesting.
The article begins with China’s One Belt, One Road summit and described it as “the latest manifestation of Chinese leadership at a time when U.S. commitment to the region is less certain than ever.”
The article mentions Senator John McCain’s proposal of a $7.5 billion “Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative” ($1.5 billion annually through 2022) that, though mentions making U.S. regional posture “more forward-learning, flexible, resilient, and formidable,” mainly focuses on the military such as improvement of military infrastructure, purchase of additional munitions, etc.
However, the article believes that for the near-term battle to resuscitate American power in Asia will rise and fall on economics instead of the military.
Trump seems to blame for withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) aimed at containing China to make China unable to replace the US as leader in Asia. However, Democratic candidate Clinton who lost to Trump in the election also opposes TTP due to its failure to benefit the US. The US is too hard up to afford giving economic benefits to Asian countries at its own expense.
However, China’s One Belt, One Road benefits itself while benefiting other countries. Why is the US unable to do so?
Perhaps the US is too obsessed with military approach in its relations with other countries. It maintains the most powerful military machine in the world to scare others but fails to make them subdue to its leadership.
Why does the US fail to conduct win-win cooperation with other countries like what China has been doing so as to benefit both itself and others?
It is simply unable to do so as it lacks wise leadership at home to put its house in order so that it will have a growing economy and market to attract Asian countries.
Its media has been busy for decades to demonize China in order to make Asian countries believe they need US military protection. The problem is that though China’s military has grown much stronger, it prefers peaceful approaches in solving its disputes with other countries. It does not use its military to threaten other countries to subdue to it and accept its claims.
The obvious example is its disputes with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal.
Before Philippine former president Aquino sent Philippine navy to drive away Chinese from the shoal, China, though has a much stronger navy, does not drive away the Philippines from the shoal and allow the Philippines to fish there. China drove the Philippines away merely in response to Philippines’ hostile move. That is all.
When Philippine resumes friendship with China, China allows the Philippine to go there again.
In addition, China provides funds for Philippines’ construction of infrastructure. That will certainly benefit China as China can export its excessive infrastructure industries and materials but the Philippines will be better benefited. That is win-win cooperation.
What the US has done to make the Philippines switch to China?
It provides the Philippines with its retired warships that are regarded as rubbish in modern warfare as its military aids. Can such ships fight China’s modern navy?
The Philippines has to depend on US protection. However, the US refuses to perform its obligations to protect Philippines’ interests in Philippines’ disputes with China.
That has made the Philippines realize that US has forged alliance with the Philippines to protect its own interests and contain its own potential enemy instead of protecting its ally the Philippines’ interests.
The Philippines has switched to Chinese side first of all due to military factor instead of economic factor.
The article is right that the US loses due to economic factors but fail to point out it also due to military factors as the US military is strong only in weapons but has no financial resources to support it to win a war even in a small country such as Afghanistan nor the military wisdom to achieve its strategic goal in wars as proved in its wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Policy’s article, full ext of which can be found at http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/12/the-united-states-is-losing-asia-to-china/