Biden On Illusionary Course Against China
Going into the history of the US’ relations with China from the 1940s on, Indian journal The Economic Times recently stated in an article that US assessments and policies have always been misjudgments, which is also the case now with the QUAD or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), an informal strategic dialogue between the US, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by talks between member countries. It “isn’t a counter-balancing platform when the aim is exerting influence on China in its backyard. Plus, China’s ASEAN neighbours hardly want the region to turn into a battleground for major powers, which can threaten economic and political stability in these countries,” read the article.
ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental co-operation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration between its members and other countries in Asia. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are the members of this bloc.
“After all, ASEAN, as a bloc, became China’s largest trading partner in 2020. Vietnam, which has serious maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea, saw its two-way trade with Beijing again cross the USD 100 billion mark in 2020. Similarly, Malaysia, which recently protested the presence of Chinese PLA aircraft over its Exclusive Economic Zone, saw its exports to China grow by 12.5% last year to USD 39.23 billion,” added the Indian daily.
The Economic Times further stated: “Therefore, if red lines are to be drawn for China, the US and its allies need to provide viable alternatives to what China offers to these and other countries. The Joe Biden-backed ‘Build Back Better World’ (B3W) global infrastructure initiative sounds good. But, it’s unlikely to be anywhere close to being enough to reduce China’s influence in ASEAN.”
According to the Indian daily, “For one, B3W will face all the debates, checks and balances inherent in democratic policy-making across many countries. China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is driven by unquestioned, quick policy implementation backed by government-owned banks. Second, China’s influence in ASEAN is not principally because of ports and roads it builds but the vast opportunities its economy presents to these Asian countries. It’s hard to see how NATO can answer that.”
Boundless Ocean of Politics has received this article from Christopher Lewis of Schiller Institute, Frankfurt, Germany.
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