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Thread: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

  1. #31
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    The real issue here is whether or not the United States is going to take on it's largest trading partner for the sake of the smaller Southeast Asian nations. Now, policy wise it may make sense to call China on behaving aggressively in an area that is recognized as intenational waters. However, until China actually fires upon another vessel or the like, I do not forsee any such confrontation. What people fail to recognize is that these relationships are all about money, and until China's actions make going against them more profitable than minding our own business, that is what we will do.
    So they can ram, harass, take into custody, but so long as they don't fire, it is ok.

    And you don't foresee any such confrontation? Do you know what is actually going on down there?

    Also, the U.S. taking a stand wouldn't only be to speak in support of the smaller states (many of whom are quite friendly to the U.S.) in the region, but also protect the vital U.S. interest of freedom of navigation. It would also be a signal to U.S. friends and allies in the region that the U.S. can be counted on.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I believe that the U.S. should privately communicate with China a clear position of its interests in the South China Sea, its commitments to its allies, and its view that a reasonable South China framework would have to accommodate the needs of all the bordering states, including but not limited to China. It should convey that the sooner a reasonable accommodation is achieved, the less likely miscalculations would be. China's neighbors have genuine concerns about China's intentions in the context of China's growing regional power. If things get out of hand, China and its neighbors could all be worse off.

    Moreover, not all of China's ambitions are about money or economics. The Taiwan issue is one that China considers more important than economic considerations. It has made clear on various occasions that its response to a formal assertion of independence by Taiwan would lead to military action and that its definition of its national interest would take precedence over economic considerations. Given China's history, I don't believe China is bluffing.

    Finally, China may well be viewing the South China Sea through the prism of the historic maximum extent of its empire. The context of that situation was vastly different from today's context. China was able to exert regional preeminence at that time due to a combination of its own power, how is neighbors viewed it, and the neighboring entities' lack of capacity to exert independence from China's influence. Today, there are well-organized, independent sovereign states with their own distinct interests. Accommodation is the more viable approach, if confrontation is to be avoided and mutual benefit maximized.
    China is not historically a maritime nation, but rather a land-based power. This is understandable considering that for most of its history, threats to the country came from the north, not from the south or the seas. There were short exceptions to that, especially during the reign of Zhu Di in the Ming Dynasty, but that was rather the exception rather than the rule.

    If China is looking at the maximum extent of its 'empire', then Russia better watch carefully as well as much of central Asia. China claims that those areas were once under Chinese control as well, in addition to much of the Middle East...

    For both the South China Sea and Taiwan, the US and the rest of the international community needs to make it clear to China that it expects Beijing to handle any and all disputes in accordance with international law. China has not shown a willingness to allow international law or international courts be a factor here.
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    INow, over the past decade China and Taiwan have greatly improved relations, with there now even being flights between the two, and the two populations are becoming ever more sympathetic towards eachother, even though any declaration would certainly cause war.
    Actually, while the people in Taiwan are not anti-China, hatred of the Chinese government is nearly universal as well as a desire to maintain the independence of Taiwan as a separate state from China.
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    My guess is that if the diplomatic discussions were held in Beijing, one would not have to worry about media leaks. Given the sensitivity of the diplomacy, I believe that's where talks should be held so as to minimize leaks. Moreover, I believe there are creative proposals that could be introduced that would expand the incentives for the parties to accommodate one another, transcend territorial frictions, and produce mutual benefits for China and its neighbors.
    Come on Don, you guys are agreeing too damn much. This is a debate forum. Pump up the rhetoric a bit.
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    China is not historically a maritime nation, but rather a land-based power. This is understandable considering that for most of its history, threats to the country came from the north, not from the south or the seas. There were short exceptions to that, especially during the reign of Zhu Di in the Ming Dynasty, but that was rather the exception rather than the rule.

    If China is looking at the maximum extent of its 'empire', then Russia better watch carefully as well as much of central Asia. China claims that those areas were once under Chinese control as well, in addition to much of the Middle East...

    For both the South China Sea and Taiwan, the US and the rest of the international community needs to make it clear to China that it expects Beijing to handle any and all disputes in accordance with international law. China has not shown a willingness to allow international law or international courts be a factor here.
    China won't be moving west, they don't need the trouble that the muslims will cause them. South maybe, but it would stop short of the Phillipines. China really doesn't have much area they could expand to.
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    For both the South China Sea and Taiwan, the US and the rest of the international community needs to make it clear to China that it expects Beijing to handle any and all disputes in accordance with international law.
    I agree. Failure to do so or dealing with the issues ambiguously will lead to larger problems down the road. In addition, any turn to neo-isolationism by the U.S., even if in the name of fiscal consolidation, would be extremely dangerous and short-sighted.

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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I agree. Failure to do so or dealing with the issues ambiguously will lead to larger problems down the road. In addition, any turn to neo-isolationism by the U.S., even if in the name of fiscal consolidation, would be extremely dangerous and short-sighted.
    I think as long as we maintain a good trade relationship with China, things will work out.
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I think as long as we maintain a good trade relationship with China, things will work out.
    While I don't believe things inevitably have to head to confrontation or worse, I don't believe trade/economic ties, alone, can assure a benign outcome. After all, prior to the outbreak of WW I, trade among Europe's nations was especially vigorous. Other factors can trump economic ones. They have in the past.

    I favor engagement and trade with China. However, I also believe the U.S. can ill afford to ignore its critical regional interests and the needs of its regional allies. There are areas of broad common interest between China and the U.S. on which a productive relationship can be based. However, there are also differences. Those differences need to be managed carefully.

  9. #39
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I think as long as we maintain a good trade relationship with China, things will work out.
    Yeah, that good trade relationship between France and Germany before WWII really worked out well too, didn't it???
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    Re: Philippines protests to China over oil rig plan

    Here is my main concern guys, all this talk sounds like "containment," and that is the one policy that Beijing continuously claims the US is trying to do, even as Chinese authorities assert that China has no goals of expansion. However, I do think that as the economic history pendulum continues to swing the other direction (China was after all the world power when Europe was in the Dark Ages) and the economies of the East once again ascend to the top, the Beijing government is going to indeed find itself with evermore power. Thus, as Ludahai, I believe it was said, if we are really talking about containment, Russia must be on board and understand that China is a great potential threat to them as well.

    I would suggest some sort of meeting in Beijing that would include the Southeast Asian nations, as well as Russia and the US. Though international cooperation must be the catch phrase, as any allusion to containment will automatically put Beijing on the defensive.

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