What would America do if China starts to build an island base on Scarborough Shoal, declares an ADIZ over the Spratlys, or in some other way plainly takes steps to strengthen still further its grip on the South China Sea in defiance of international law and American demands? President Obama ought to think about this very carefully as he visits China for the last time as President, because it has become the question that will define the future of the US-China relationship.
What has just taken place in Hangzhou, China, is of immense geoeconomic importance. Beijing from the start treated the G20 very seriously; this was designed as China’s party, not the declining West’s. And much less Washington’s.
Outlining the agenda for the discussions, President Xi Jinping went straight to the point also geopolitically, as he set the tone: “The outdated Cold War mentality should be discarded. We urgently need to develop an inclusive, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable new security concept.”
It all began when Air Force One landed in Hangzhou, southern China, where global leaders are convening for the G20 economic summit. Despite the standard protocol, there was no staircase waiting for the president to exit the plane at the main door. After some reflection, the US leader was forced to use the inner stairs and the tail-gate as an alternative exit
On July 12 an international tribunal at The Hague found that China possessed neither an historic claim over disputed islands in the South China Sea
China and ASEAN agreed on the implementation of communication protocols and created a hotline for top officials in the event of possible naval confrontations in the South China Sea’s contested waters.
“I think the Australians need to make a choice … it’s very difficult to walk this fine line between balancing the alliance with the United States and the economic engagement with China,” US Army Assistant Chief of Staff Colonel Tom Hanson said on radio station Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to unblock vast swathes of South Asia, with Gwadar, operated by China Overseas Port Holdings, slated to become a key naval hub of the New Silk Roads.
Deep-sea ports will be built in Kyaukphyu in Myanmar, Sonadia island in Bangladesh, Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Add to them the China-Belarus Industrial Park and 33 deals in Kazakhstan covering everything from mining and engineering to oil and gas.
The next BRICS summit, in Goa, is less than two months away. Compared to only two years ago, the geopolitical tectonic plates have moved with astonishing speed.
BRICS is in a coma. What’s surviving is RC: the Russia/China strategic partnership. Yet even the partnership seems to be in trouble — with Russia still attacked by myriad metastases of Hybrid War. The — Exceptionalist — Hegemon remains powerful, and the opposition is dazed and confused.