US Military Show of Force in Asian Waters: “A Threat to China”
BEIJING – Recent and planned dangerous moves of the United States in Northeast and Southeast Asia are manifestation of Washington’s Cold War mentality and pose a threat to the security of China and the whole region, said the Globe magazine in a commentary.
The United States and South Korea has recently held military exercises in the Sea of Japan. The Pentagon announced that the two countries will also hold new war games in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. Furthermore, Washington has also indicated that it will stick its nose into the South China Sea, claiming that territorial disputes in the region has a bearing on US national interests.
The US-South Korean joint exercises at the end of July were no ordinary war games, said the signed article by Ju Wen. They were unprecedented in the past three decades both in terms of scale and weaponry. The resources involved were said to be enough for launching a full-scale war, it said.
With the participation of 8,000 troops, the games involved aircraft carrier USS George Washington and some other 20 warships as well as about 200 aircraft, including cutting-edge F-22 fighters.
The US sabre-rattling raised the ire and drew protests from countries in the region. But Washington refused to change course and seemed determined to even expand the scope of its war games in Asian waters, said the magazine.
Pentagon said last week that US and South Korean militaries were planning a new series of exercises, to be conducted in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea simultaneously in following weeks. Moreover, the Pentagon said there would be more joint exercises that could last months.
While flexing muscles in the waters of Northeast Asia, Washington also showed a growing interest in the South China Sea and tried to come between China and her neighbors, said the magazine.
In a July speech in Hanoi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed the United States takes as a “national interest” in resolving South China Sea disputes.
She also told Vietnamese leaders that Washington hopes to upgrade its ties with Hanoi to a new level and sees its relationship with Vietnam “part of strategy aimed at enhancing American engagement in Asia and in particular Southeast Asia.”
The United States proposed a nuclear cooperation deal with Vietnam and most recently, conducted controversial joint naval training exercises in the South China Sea, involving USS John S. McCain and USS George Washington.
Washington said its recent military maneuvers in Asian waters were for peaceful purposes. But that contradicts the facts, said the magazine.
The US-South Korean war games were said to be aimed at preventing a repeat of incidents like the sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan warship and maintaining peace of the Korean Peninsula. However, the war games were more than enough to intimidate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said the magazine. They were actually a show of force against China, it said.
USS George Washington, which is said to be involved in the upcoming war games in the Yellow Sea, has a reconnaissance range that covers the entire North China region, thus posing a direct military threat to China, said the magazine.
The real intention of the US maneuvers in the waters of Northeast Asia, the commentary said, is to consolidate the US-South Korea and US-Japan military alliance and boost US military presence in the region, and therefore intimidate and contain China.
Washington’s intention to contain China becomes clearer as it tries to interfere in the South China Sea disputes and strengthen its military presence in Southeast Asia, said the magazine.
To a larger extent, the US moves reflect the Obama administration’s ambition to return to Asia to seek dominance of regional affairs.
Barack Obama claimed in Tokyo last year that he was the first US president with an “Asia-Pacific orientation.” Clinton said in Hawaii early this year that the future of America is closely linked to that of the Asia Pacific and that the future of the Asia Pacific depends on the United States.
Unfortunately, Washington’s desire to return to Asia does not mean that it will bring in investments or technology, which is much needed to promote the region’s prosperity. Instead, the objective is to reinforce its dominance in the Asia Pacific, said the magazine.
In addition to more troops in Afghanistan, the US military is transforming Guam into its new strategic strike center that could cover large areas of the Asia Pacific. It redeployed 60 percent of its nuclear submarine fleet to the Pacific and has been consolidating its bases in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. The recent war games demonstrated an intention to expand the sphere of US military influence into the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea, said the magazine.
Although war games are not actual wars, the clattering of US war machine in Asian waters remind people in the region of the notorious “gunboat policy” of Western powers in the colonial era.
The unpleasant noise naturally leads to regional tension and risks military confrontation, said the magazine.
In today’s world, whose theme is multipolarization, globalization and common development, no country or region can succeed in seeking global dominance through military power. The Iraq and Afghan wars serve as good examples, it said.
Both the United States and China are important countries in the world. They are tasked to safeguard world peace. Peaceful coexistence, mutual benefit and common prosperity are therefore the only choice for the two countries and peoples, said the magazine.
China lags far behind the United States in terms of overall economic and military powers, and has neither the intention nor capability to threaten the United States, it said.
Instead of posing any threat, China’s rapid development is benefitting the United States. China’s growing economic strength has helped the United States recover from the latest financial crisis.
Washington should discard its Cold War mentality and gunboat policy, and return peace to the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea, said the magazine.