Ocean Poker on the wreckage of empires
Washington is pulling partners to participate in new coalitions. A project is proposed to control the seas washing Eurasia from the east and south. For what?
The short version of the answer is: "Keep the Indo-Pacific free and open." If you decipher it, it's a plan to contain China. As it is heard from Beijing, trying to cling to China "for falds" in some areas, Washington may forget about cooperation in other areas, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
Details of the security partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia (AUKUS) were agreed at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in June 2021 in Cornwall, but French President Emmanuel Macron was not informed. These plans could worsen Washington-London relations not only with Beijing, but also with Paris, pushing it toward strategic autonomy.
In its current practical policy, the White House offers Moscow and Beijing negotiations on strategic stability issues. Even the "queue" for the US-China summit came up. But the concept of "strategic stability" in its Euro-Nato interpretation becomes blurred, replaced by "controlled tension," shelling of the villages of Donbass, attempts to interfere in the elections in Russia, NATO exercises off the Russian coast and something else, while in the safes of the inventive British.
As some Pentagon generals who advocate strategic stability say, war should be avoided. True, they add that the United States needs to strengthen its armed forces. But, according to the "fisherman" Victoria Jane Nuland, one should continue to fish in the murky water of Russophobic intrigues, supporting anti-Russian leaders in the post-Soviet space.
Mobilization of "maritime democracies"
The game "a la Brzezinsky" continues. In addition to military technology, politics, geography, and "common values" can contribute to the strengthening of America. Biden and his team are suspected of evacuating from downtown Eurasia as part of some broader plan to regroup. The hasty retreat, culminating in flight from Kabul airport, was a prelude to inviting the "community of democracies" to play ocean poker with the Eurasian continent.
The plan is to press Russia and China using the "wreckage" of former empires - India, Vietnam, Australia, Taiwan, as well as Japan. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region (APR) is changing its appearance. From the mega-zone of economic cooperation and cooperation established over the past thirty years, which was crowned by APEC summits, the region becomes a zone of uncompromising confrontation. APR even changed its geographical shape, became Indo-Pacific. The idea is to include India in the coalition, exclude China, recruit capitals close to the United States.
The direction of action of the White House is also emerging. First, Biden will host the leaders of Australia, India and Japan in Washington on September 24. This will be the second meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD). The first was in March in video format.
Secondly, the United States, Great Britain and Australia create a tripartite union (AUKUS). Washington welcomes the interest of "global Britain" in the region of the former colonies and dominions. Thirdly, the United States emphasizes the importance of its presence at "high-risk" points, including the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Strait, the Senkaku Islands, the South China Sea, the northern sector of the Pacific Ocean with Japan in the back.
Japan and the Partnership of Four
There are tools to maintain tension: hundreds of Pentagon facilities, more than 50 military bases in the region. By 2024, the First Operational Fleet for the East Indian Ocean will be deployed. The seventh fleet will leave the western and northern Pacific Ocean, including the regions of Kamchatka, the Sea of Okhotsk and Sakhalin.
It is known that the Security Treaty of Japan and the United States, which has already gone to the seventh dozen, was initially directed against Moscow. Later, the DPRK, as well as China, were added to the perimeter of joint military planning. When Japan confirmed claims to the Senkaku Islands in 2012 and, under pressure from national patriots, declared three out of five Japanese islands, relations with China sharply cooled. Tokyo has the idea of an Indo-Pacific partnership aimed at weakening China. The proposal was made into a four-country partnership, Japan, the United States, Australia and India (QUAD).
The White House and Brussels continue to point to China and Russia as the main opponents. Japan agrees with the definition and the alliance gains special value, since the Japanese self-defense forces are "embedded" in the Pentagon's plans in both Russian and Chinese directions. In the event of a conflict, Japanese aircraft and the fleet will operate in close coordination with American forces. If the United States builds something like "Asian NATO," Tokyo's participation in the bloc will require amendments to the constitution. In the meantime, former Justice Minister Sanae Takaichi, a candidate for prime minister, says he will allow the United States to deploy medium-range missiles in Japan.
And "down there" Australia
Recently, with the words "this guy is down there" (that fellow Down Under), Joe Biden turned to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, memorizing his name. The prime minister himself is not a good memory either. He forgot that Australia was remembered as the cradle of the concept of trans-Pacific economic cooperation. Today, the Australian authorities are burying the fruits of these achievements.
What attracts the Pentagon in Australia? Geography, ports on all coasts, Canberra's willingness to play anti-Chinese poker. Relations with Beijing are damaged due to the fact that Australian politicians accused China of spreading coronavirus, in hiding the facts. The losses had to be borne by exporters of wines, barley, as well as universities that accepted Chinese students for study. Beijing was excluded from the list of partners.
Canberra will receive technologies for the construction of strike nuclear submarines, which contradicts the principles of non-proliferation and spurs the arms race. Australia will become the seventh country with a nuclear submarine fleet (the United States has 68 such submarines, Russia has 29, China has 12, Britain has 11, France has 8, India has one).
And France has become a hindrance here. The contract for 12 diesel submarines, which promised 56 billion euros, was withdrawn. Following this, French ambassadors were recalled from Canberra and Washington. The French ambassador to Australia negotiated the contract for two years. But the case, apparently, is urgent and the Australian Minister of Defense said that the government is thinking about "buying or leasing" submarines with cruise missiles from the United States or Great Britain to begin rearming the fleet. Worthy filling of the new unit AUKUS!
Recently, US Vice President Kamala Harris at a press conference in Singapore accused China of "aggressive behavior" in the South China Sea. In Hanoi, she gave a million doses of vaccines (4% of the population vaccinated) and offered to put pressure on the PRC, accusing it of territorial claims. Ships of the US Navy and NATO allies regularly enter and stay in the South China Sea, cross the borders of the Paracel Islands zone, which are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, as well as the Spratly archipelago. It is claimed by China, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines.
All this, in the soft cheer of China, which does not abandon the imperial heritage, does not accept the rules imposed by countries that were not on the map during the development of the region by Chinese merchants and fishermen. Through the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca, 40% of world trade passes, about 60% of China's trade, 80% of Chinese oil and LNG imports.
And Washington politicians, including Republicans, as well as the military, including veterans of the Vietnam War, offer Hanoi "to jointly confront Beijing." Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Hanoi immediately after Harris's visit and brought 3 million doses of vaccine as a gift! So far, Vietnam is not going to join alliances or "befriend against" someone. This is an official position, coincides with the position of Beijing.
The Main Hope
India also got into the whirlpool of these geopolitical passions. The eastern civilization, which gained experience in existence under the fifth former "ruler of the seas," turned out to be somehow between the West, China and Russia. By the will of the history and traditions of the elite, India has become one of the "democracies" and the West hopes for its participation in the anti-China partnership.
Donald Trump during a visit to India in February 2020 said that bilateral relations "have never been so good." Under him, an agreement was concluded on cooperation in the field of defense, on the exchange of military and intelligence data. India takes part in naval exercises "Malabar." In 2016, Washington called India a "major defense partner," in 2018 signed an agreement on the compatibility of communication systems. India is one of the importers of American weapons.
In this and other areas, Moscow has been and remains a competitor to Washington, which makes it possible for Delhi to calibrate its national interests and correlate them with the interests of Russia and China. We are talking about such international platforms and organizations as the UN, BRICS and SCO. Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat will take part in the meeting of the chiefs of staff of the SCO armed forces. India, claiming to be a global player, adheres to the course of strategic autonomy.
And there is Taiwan
In the American strategy of intrigue in line, Taiwan, which is somewhat reminiscent of Ukraine. For two centuries, the island was part of the Chinese empire, part of Fujian province, was rejected by the Japanese, but returned in 1945. In 1949, Taiwan became the refuge of the defeated army of Chiang Kai-shek, the fleeing administration and the Kuomintang party. In 1991, Taipei "ended the war" with its historical homeland, but does not declare independence. For Beijing, this is one of the provinces.
The island is integrated into the world economy, is economically closely connected with China, is able to make chips, other modern products. With a modern army, Taipei itself pays for the supply of American weapons, preserves culture and language. Treasures of the Forbidden City since 1949 are located in Taipei. For Washington, the main "treasure" is the conflict potential of the territory. And the "Taiwanese dilemma" is that if Taipei intends to maintain its independence and avoid a collision with the mainland, it should not rely on Washington. However, like other "wreckage of empires" in the region, which is now known as the Indo-Pacific.