Sunnylands and China’s activities in the East Sea

VietNamNet Bridge - While the US President and the ASEAN leaders were discussing issues of regional security at Sunnylands estate in California, in the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) Beijing started the construction of large-sized works in the Hoang Sa Archipelago (Paracel Islands) of Vietnam.



Sunnylands and China’s activities in the East Sea, south china sea, Government news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news

US President Barack Obama and ASEAN leaders at the US-ASEAN Summit in California.



According to satellite images published by The Diplomat recently, China is conducting construction operations in the two new locations in the East Sea, on the An Vinh island group in the Paracel Islands, about 15 kilometers to the north-northwest of Beijing’s military base on Phu Lam Island (Woody island).

Satellites also captured the new photos that for the first time show a helipad under construction on Quang Hoa island, also in the Paracels Islands. The image suggested that Beijing is developing a system of military bases in the East Sea to support anti-submarine helicopters like the ASW Z-18F that China has deployed.

Thus, despite the strong opposition of the international community, China has not stopped the militarizing operations in the East Sea, which it has been implementing since February last year.

There are many ways to explain why the involvement of the US and the international community cannot curb the ambitions of China in the East Sea and Southeast Asia.

A Pentagon official admitted that the US has yet to find effective measures against China’s "salami slicing" tactic that it has been using in the East Sea in recent years.

Researcher Dennis Roy (East - West Research Center) said that this strategy was difficult to handle correctly, because no action taken by China has been serious enough for the US to make a more aggressive response than just empty words.

Dr. Alexander Vuving (Center for Asia-Pacific Security Studies, the US Department of Defense) said the tactics of "salami slicing" of China in the East Sea has been successful because it hits at the weak point of the rivals, which is concern about escalating tensions, which could lead to major conflicts.

Moreover, for many countries in the region, the concerns about China’s expansion on the seas must be balanced with the desire of good economic relationswith the world's second superpower.

Therefore, it's no surprise that the Sunnylands Joint Declaration does not directly mention the East Sea, although the developments in the East Sea were discussed in the regional political security meeting.

Dr. Alexander L. Vuving said that the success of China in the East Sea partly depends on its strategies and tactics and on the tactics and strategies of its opponents.

If China's rivals in the East Sea have policies to take advantage of China's weaknesses and promote their strengths, then It will be difficult for China to achieve the ambition to monopolize the region.

A weakness of the Chinese is that they are alone, while the countries that want to stop China’s monopoly in the East Sea are many. These countries can cooperate and jointly create multilateral cooperation. If they can do this, they can prevent China from monopolizing the East Sea, said Dr. Vuving.

He said that if China plays the "go” in the East Sea to avoid major conflicts, other countries can also play the “go” and they can play better because the 10 ASEAN countries have their own advantages in this “go” game.

And whether ASEAN remains disagreed on the East Sea conflict and the behaviors toward China due to the issues of interest and different strategies of each country, it is clear that it is still an important multilateral channel to individual countries, including Vietnam, to lean on. Vietnam took advantage of this channel at Sunnylands.

A special high-level meeting was held in the US for the first time in history. It shows that ASEAN as a bloc has a lot of advantages to play a central role in re-establishing the strategic balance in Southeast Asia.

After the ASEAN-US Summit at Sunnylands estate, the question remains unanswered: whether after the "very clear message" that Obama sent to Beijing, what specific steps the US will take so that its objection will not only be"empty words".

What will  ASEAN do to overcome the disagreements, to strengthen the internal capacity to take advantage of its rising geopolitical position amid the increasingly fierce competition of power between the US and China?

 
related news

Obama creates new momentum for US-ASEAN cooperation

ASEAN in the US-China power competition

Obama does not accept 'bully' in the East Sea 

Thu Ha

Sunnylands and China’s activities in the East Sea, south china sea, Government news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news
 
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