Washington-based Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), in a report, has come up with strategy options for the incoming Trump Administration”. Obviously factoring in the Trump signals that he is determined to confront China, the report makes out a case for initiating major escalation of the US confrontation with China over the South China Sea.
The report titled, “Countering China’s Adventurism in the South China Sea,” has been authored by Ross Babbage, a former top Australian defence and intelligence official.
He terms China as an aggressive, rising power and presents Chinese land reclamation and construction activities in the South China Sea as a threat. Over the past three years Beijing “militarized and established effective control” over one of the world’s most important strategic waterways.” This, poses “a serious challenge” to the rules-based global order.
The CSBA report advocates that the US take a far more aggressive approach to force China to back down. The US and its allies must confront China sooner rather than later. Failure to do so may embolden China to create “a serious risk” that the close Western allies may be confronted by a more dangerous challenge downstream.
“Such a crisis could arise over Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands and the Ryukyu Island chain in southern Japan, the Philippines, northern India, the South China Sea itself, or possibly elsewhere. This larger crisis may be unavoidable, occur in much more difficult circumstances, and impose far high human, military, and economic costs.”
So Ross Babbage’s recipe: US must be far more explicit in demanding that China halt the expansion of its presence and activities not only in the South China Sea but also the East China Sea where tensions have escalated in a territorial dispute with America’s ally Japan.
He elaborates: Start with a far more aggressive set of demands, accompanied by a comprehensive campaign of propaganda to vilify Beijing and undermine its influence and a military expansion throughout the region to ensure a dominant strategic position.
CSBA report also says focus on exposing corruption in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime.
While on strategy, the report calls for the establishment of a Regional Security Partnership Program that would strengthen military ties throughout Asia as well as for “the United States and its close allies to permanently station and operate much stronger military forces in the Western Pacific.”
—-m rama rao