The People’s Republic of China decided to defy the “pivot to Asia” by parking its HYSY 981 drilling platform—protected by a flotilla of various vessels perhaps not including PLAN ships-- in waters that Vietnam considers part of its EEZ. Vietnam has been displeased, to put it mildly. It has reached out to the Philippines, indicating... Read More
Current US China policy seems to be “Who Needs Russia? We’ve got…The Philippines!” Unless President Obama has absolute faith in the ability of the United States and the Asian democracies to restrain the PRC, there would seem to be some disturbing developments for the United States in Asia. First of all, the People’s Republic of... Read More
And...Island Games: Okinotorishima vs. Johnson South Reef
My Twitter feed contained the following ringing statement: To paraphrase Napoleon on the Pope, how many battalions does the frickin’ passive voice have? “Must be prevented”. That’s the problem with the pivot. The "pivot to Asia" is an idea. It's not a doctrine, like the Monroe Doctrine, the Truman Doctrine, the Eisenhower Doctrine, or the... Read More
First off, Vietnam. There has been some bewilderment expressed as to why Vietnamese--demonstrating against the PRC’s provocative positioning of its HYSY 981 oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone--attacked Taiwanese factories. The answer is depressingly simple. Anti-Chinese prejudice—including prejudice against all Chinese, including Taiwanese Chinese, PRC Chinese, and... Read More
In discussing the issue of why the PRC plunked down the drilling rig HYSY981 off the Vietnamese coast, there seems to be a certain amount of cognitive dissonance plaguing the Western commentariat. Apropos l’affaire HYSY 981,The Asia Society hosted a roundtable on its website composed of the luminaries Daniel Kliman, Ely Ratner, Orville Schell, Susan... Read More
My take on the Chinese oil rig HYSY 981 off the Vietnam coast is up at Asia Times Online. Today the PRC government has offered talks with Vietnam on the issue. Talks have always been on the table with Vietnam, since the PRC is determined to discuss its South China Sea issues bilaterally. On the... Read More
PRC Moves to Hard Power in South China Sea It is difficult to be blithe about the dispatch of China’s HYSY981 drilling rig into disputed waters off the Vietnamese coast. It actually would have been less of a provocation if the PRC had sent the aircraft carrier Liaoning down there instead. One of the interesting... Read More
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