July 1, 2007

THE CHICOMS GET IT:

China looks on at the US-India lockstep (Siddharth Srivastava, 7/02/07, Asia Times)

In strategic groupings, India and United States are seen as being partners to dilute the influence of China. Recent events only underline such assertions. [...]

New Delhi and Washington, meanwhile, are breaking new ground, including in defense-related matters. This week China asked India, the US, Japan and Australia, which are looking to form a quadripartite arrangement with Tokyo taking a lead, to be "open and inclusive".

"China believes that to enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation for mutual benefit, it must be open and inclusive," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gan, reacting to the first meeting of officials of India, the US, Japan and Australia in Manila last month on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian summit.


Right after China becomes open and inclusive.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2007 6:56 PM
Comments

There has been much chatter about China's international "charm offensive." Supposedly, this is winning China legions of new friends, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia. Often behind this kind of analysis is an implicit contrast of China's successes with America's failures, to wit, the belief that the United States, by its arrogant and imperial behavior, has alienated allies and made ever more enemies.

What is overlooked in this simplistic perspective is that over the past few years, a supposedly incompetent and unloved America has greatly strengthened its ties with those countries that really matter: India, which will soon have a larger and younger population than China and which is becoming an economic powerhouse in its own right; Japan, which for all its problems really is an economic superpower, not a country that might or might not become one someday; and Australia, which truly is an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

In the grand strategic game being played between China and the United States, Africa and Southeast Asia don't matter. India, Japan, and Australia do.

Posted by: X at July 1, 2007 8:48 PM
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