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Old 04-01-2012   #15
Dayuhan
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Default Part 2

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
In so far as the issue of the US forces in the Philippines being a ‘threat in being’, taking the aggregate of US activities in the Asia Pacific Rim, any accretion anywhere is a 'threat in being' to the Chinese since it becomes an impediment to a free run on the affairs in the region.
The US has had a presence in the southern Philippines for over a decade, and this does not seem to have deterred the Chinese from asserting maritime claims. I see no evidence to suggest that the US presence has kept the Chinese from doing anything they want to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Zamboanga and Siasi have port facilities. Jolo and Zamboanga have airfields. The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft (1,064 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways.
These are extremely basic facilities even by developing world standards. They are adequate for the US to maintain a very limited level of operations in the Philippines, completely inadequate as a base for regional force projection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
To believe that Vietnam is the Vietnam of the Viet Cong days would be dangerously incorrect. Communism has lost its sheen. Globalisation and economic advancement has taken its place. That is the reality and that is why Vietnam is entering into commercial propositions with foreign countries, to include oil exploration, much to the chagrin of their fraternal brothers of China and even clashing militarily with them.
China and Vietnam have never been anything remotely like fraternal brothers, even at the peak of Communist rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
One should not forget the role AmCham Vietnam is playing to foster US Vietnam commercial ties. The world order has changed. It is no longer ideology driven and instead is economy driven. No country is willing to be left behind in the race. What is important to note is that the World economy is US business methods based.
I'm not sure capitalist business methods are "US" by definition, but even if they are, the mere use of the methods doesn't mean the US is in control of those using them. Many people outside the US are using capitalist methods as effectively as the US, if not more effectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
As you have yourself stated the Asia Pacific region is no longer alliance based. It is need based and right now, whether you accept it or not, the need is to ensure economic progress without the threat of being disturbed by hegemonic tendencies of giant neighbours. It is here where the US plays an important role. US may not appear, for the moment, anything beyond an undesirable and yet unavoidable necessity to many a country in the region, but then the US grows on you, more so, now that the US plays its role as a partner and not as the monitor of the class.
I'd say interest based, rather than needs based. Certainly the nations in the region see a role for the US, but they certainly aren't interested in having the US "call the shots", nor do they want to join a US-dominated camp. They'll manage relations according to their own perception of their interests, which will change with time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
US foreign policy, after Bush, has undergone a sea change and it is to the liking of those who were averse to the US. I have seen the change in attitude towards the US in India, a country that was not comfortable to say the least, of the US!
That's largely true, but I don't think it's only because US policies have changed. Asian nations are also increasingly confident in their own capabilities, especially on the economic side, and more confident of their own ability to enter into peer-to-peer relations with larger countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Indeed China should have no reason or need to "take on the US and its allies". And yet, there are shrill protestations from China, even when, as you say, US undergoes routine military exercises that are no threat to China. One wonders how one should reconcile the issues that while China has no reasons to take on US and its allies and yet howls with indignation when US and its allies undertake routine activities that are not aimed at China (as per you, that is!)
The ritual of exercise and protest, provocation and resolution, has been going on a long time... just because media are paying more attention now doesn't mean it's a recent development. It's not about anyone "taking on" anyone else, just a bit of chest thumping; everybody involved reminding everybody else that they are around and they've made claims. Nobody wants to relinquish the claims, but nobody's in a big hurry to fight over them either. It's not an entirely calm situation, but it's not nearly as threatening or as unstable as some are cracking it up to be
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