People say they the conflict in the South China Sea is about the resources. I’m not certain that it is true. All the conflicts and wars that America is involved in are said to be about resources, but if you examine what happens, it often doesn’t hold up and sounds illogical. In the case of Iraq they gave a lot of oil concessions away to Russia and China, who never supported the US. That’s just one example. I think there are a lot of issues beyond resources.
Apparently, 90% of the wars, waged against China certainly from abroad, went through the South China Sea. So, there is a whole strategic interest in maintaining defensive positions. Regarding the Arbitrage Court in Hague which decided that China had no historic rights to the South China Sea and it had violated the Philippines’ economic and sovereign rights, China said it doesn’t recognize its legitimacy. Also we can see that the EU and France in particular are siding with the US, pursuing the line of ‘freedom of navigation’ in this area of international waters. So, there are parts who want to have presence along with America in Asia to ensure that they have what they call “freedom of navigation”. So, I don’t think there was a fare judgement. The Europeans seems to be quiet partisan.
The US gained access to five military bases in the Philippines to assist in confronting China, although it doesn’t use that terminology, but talks about freedom of navigation instead. But the Philippines have recently gained a new president who seems to be quiet conciliatory to the Chinese. Since president Duterte has been elected he has become very friendly with China and seems to be taking an independent course from the US. I think the Filipino public is probably very tired of the American military presence. It seems that the Filipino military also doesn’t want to be pushed into a confrontation with China. Ant it does include the other Asian countries in the region. Vietnam stands alone wishing to confront China.
Cambodia will not stand against China in this area of dispute. China has built a lot of infrastructure projects all over the Cambodia. China is playing it’s cards well – there is a chance of winning the hearts and minds of the people. So, the Cambodian government obviously defends China, because it depends on a lot of foreign aid, unfortunately.
The US indeed has an interest in this region. The Obama administration is shifting concerns from the Middle East to Asia and is going to transfer its military might from the Middle East to Asia. At the same time it is confronting Russia on all its borders and making antagonistic noise against Russia. So, Russia has no other choice but to look towards the East and Asia. Also we see the West is in decline. It seems inevitable that China and Russia are going to support each other. Well, China and Russia have already announced that they will have public military drills together next year in the South China Sea. The secret organization, which is running America, and probably is not the government, certainly is pushing Russia and China together, that is universally accepted.
In the recent times there seems be increasing warning signs coming from Russia and China, that a Hot War is a possibility. We had this strange visit by president Obama to the atomic bombsites in Japan, and he didn’t apologize for them. President Putin has made subtle warnings through innuendo. A nuclear war could be localized. A lot of intelligent diplomats are warning that we are in a dangerous situation, and in a Cold War reenactment, which could lead to a Hot War. There are very few voices of resistance in the West. Some people hold hope for Trump, that he can reconfigure things in the military arena.