Over the last several years, there has been growing concern in Asia. Many countries have become worried that China is seeking to bully them. The primary concern has come in two areas, both island chains.
Now, it seems that the Chinese government is seeking to gain control of these areas incrementally. And some experts are calling for more aggressive actions from America.
The Washington Times report
The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific is warning China is bent on achieving “hegemony in East Asia,” as Beijing’s top diplomat held talks in Washington with Secretary of State John F. Kerry amid rising tensions over who controls the vital South China Sea.
Navy Adm. Harry Harris Jr. issued a bracing warning about China’s increasing assertiveness during a Senate Armed Services Committeehearing this week, hours before a report that Chinese fighter jets had been deployed to a disputed Island in the South China Sea — the latest in a series of provocative moves by Beijing to bolster its sovereignty claims against its regional rivals.
This is the first area of dispute, the South China Sea. This area is a large and prosperous trade route. The Chinese claim a large portion of this area of open sea belongs to them. This is disputed by their neighbors such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Taiwan.
The Times continued
But the Obama administration has already raised the stakes in recent months by sending guided missile destroyers USS Lassen and USS Curtis Wilbur close to disputed areas occupied by Beijing, in an assertion of what U.S. officials said was the right of transit through international waterways.
The Pentagon also has conducted sea and air patrols near artificial islands China has built in the Spratlys, including by two B-52 strategic bombers in November.
But some claim that this type of action is not going to be effective, as the Chinese are seeking to accomplish its goals by a long-term strategy.
This is a patient model of small actions which will result in gain control of the whole region without having to risk a major conflict.
This has military analysts recommending that the U.S. strengthen its relations with China’s rivals.
The Washington Times reports
Adm. Harris said Tuesday that China’s recent actions present a “strategic opportunity” for the U.S. to beef up its alliances with nations on China’s periphery, including the Philippines and Vietnam, whose leaders have increasingly called on Washington to take a more aggressive posture.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican and a Vietnam veteran, has long pushed for reconciliation between Washington and Hanoi and raised the weapons issue with Adm.Harris during Tuesday’s hearing.
This could make for more allies in the region, but could also further hinder our relationship with China. A partner we need in containing North Korean aggression and nuclear ambition.
These areas of concern have been allowed to go undealt with by the administration. As with most foreign policy, there seems to be no real plan of action here.