OWON: A cogent Chinese article, carefully thought through with good insight. If only our Politicos could read.
Hybrid Wars 6 | Trick To Containing China - Part #3
By Andrew Korybko (USA)
1 July 2016
(Please read Part I and Part II prior to this article)
The research has thus far extrapolated on Southeast Asia’s global economic importance and the most relevant points in its recent history, which therefore set the appropriate situational backdrop for grasping ASEAN’s geostrategic significance. The region plays a critical role in facilitating China’s international trade network, and it’s for this reason why the US has sought to destabilize it and bring the waterways under its control. In response, China has endeavored to break through the containment bloc being constructed against it and streamline two mainland corridors as partial geopolitical compensation.
Herein lies the New Cold War tension in ASEAN – the US is alternatively synchronizing both mainland and maritime portions of the Chinese Containment Coalition (CCC) in order to preempt Beijing’s ‘breakout’ from this region-wide geopolitical trap, while at the same time China continues to bravely push through its maritime and mainland agendas. On the waterborne front, the US can only resort to conventional power mechanisms to keep China in check and traditional alliance politicking, whereas the continental aspect of this containment campaign can incorporate more insidious tactics.
The major headway that’s been made so far with the China-Myanmar Pipeline Corridor and the ASEAN Silk Road has raised fears in Washington that Beijing has adeptly sidestepped the US’ South China Sea containment trap. In response, the US feels pressured to do whatever it can to seize control of the mainland ‘escape routes’ that China is charting in ASEAN, and if they can’t be geopolitically commandeered (like what appears to be happening in Myanmar at the moment), then the US won’t hesitate to unleash a Hybrid War to stop them.
China’s Geo-Economic Lifeline To Africa
ASEAN’s steady and consistent growth is attributable to a number of reasons, but first and foremost this has to do with its convenient geography that allows it to connect Eastern and Western Eurasian maritime trade. Ships passing back and forth from China, Japan, and South Korea on one hand, and the EU, Arica, the Mideast, and South Asia on the other absolutely must transit through Southeast Asia. A growing exception is emerging to this geo-economic rule, however, in that melting Arctic ice will soon make the Northern Sea Route a much more commercially viable option for EU-East Asian trade, but that won’t at all take away from Southeast Asia’s transit role for South-South economic interaction between China and Africa, the Mideast, and South Asia.
More specifically, though, the Indian Ocean and related Strait of Malacca and South China Sea access routes will progressively become more important for Chinese-African trade than any other as a result of the continental “Silk Roads” directly linking China with the Mideast (through the China-Iran railroad) and South Asia (through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and proposed BCIM corridor), provided of course that they’re successfully constructed. Whether they are or not, it won’t have an impact on China’s links with Africa because of the geographic incongruity of the continent to Eurasian connective infrastructure, ergo the motivation for the maritime portion of the One Belt One Road project.
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