Ignoring the Eastern Sea

Chinese Aggression Eastern SeaChinese Aggression Eastern Sea

The Republican strategy to do nothing as the primary means to defeat President Obama places our nation at great risk.

Never mind the domestic programs that they have effectively dismantled and destroyed. Never mind their attacks against federal and state workers with their associations and unions. Never mind their Inquisition-like attempts to trample the rights of women, minorities, and people not like them. The ten-ton elephant in the room that no one seems to notice is the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the Eastern Sea.

I do not understand why the American media does not like to report on this region. Great coverage can be seen out of TV programming in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, and indeed throughout this region. If we have another armed conflict, it will not be in Iran or the Middle East, it will be here.

Last week, China escalated their bullying outside their normal victims of ASEAN (the Association of SE Asian Nations that include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) when they sent protestors to the Japanese Island of Senkakus. The Chinese call these islands Diaoya. The Chinese national protestors were detained a few days, then deported back to China which generated large anti-Japanese protests in Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities throughout China. Sources indicate the Chinese government allowed the use of social media to fan the flames of resentment toward Japan and encouraged mass demonstrations against the Japanese.

This staged action on the Senkakus Islands might be “news” back in the United States; but, this type of bullying and Chinese colonialist mindset has been in play in the Eastern Sea for many years. This coincides with China’s fivefold increase of their military budget during the past decade which has a direct correlation with their aggressive and hostile stance in the Eastern Sea, which has now spread to other global sea lanes.

Over the past few years, China has seized over 400 Vietnamese fishing boats in international territorial waters; held their crews in standards that violate the most basic of human rights; and ransomed them to their homeland after “fines” far exceeding what the fishermen would have made in a year have been paid.

This, in part, is why the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, supported by President Obama, should have been ratified. The Republicans killed it. Why?
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obert D. Kaplan, member of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board stated: “The South China Sea is the future of conflict.” Bonnie S. Glaser, senior fellow with the Freeman Chair in China Studies stated: “The risk of conflict in the South China Sea is significant…the U.S. has a major interest in preventing any one of the various disputes in the South China Sea from escalating militarily…”

Yet the Republicans killed ratification of the Obama supported treaty. Why? Maybe it had something to do with its public list of supporters which would have included: Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice? Or perhaps the organizations supporting ratification were too radical, they would have included: the United States Chamber of Commerce whose president and chief executive officer, Thomas J. Donohue, stated: “The U.S. Senate has left American businesses on the sidelines;” the American Petroleum Institute (talk about biting the hand that feeds you!); the Chamber of Shipping of America; Financial Services Round Table; International Association of Drilling Contractors (no “Drill, baby Drill if Obama supports it!); Marine Retailers Association; National Association of Manufacturers; National Marine Manufacturers Association; North American Submarine Cable Association; Association Rare Earth TechAmerica; Telecommunications Industry Association; just to name a few.

Lastly, according to the ‘National Journal’, 91% of defense and foreign policy experts supported the ratification of UNLOS because they understand the real threat of China in this region.

jim rhodes

As the vast majority of these supporters are Republican the only possible disconnect between them and their cronies in the Senate has to be the Senate Republicans hatred of the president which has caused them to bury their heads in the sand and allow domestic and foreign situations to deteriorate in an idiotic and irresponsible way to prove a political point and return a white guy to the WHITE House no matter the cost to others.

James Rhodes

Posted: Sunday, 19 August 2012

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