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What Role Will Russia Play in the US-Chinese South China Sea Drama?

"Now, we will see the maneuvering of forces. China will continue to increase its power in the region. America will need to show that it is still the world's most powerful sea power. The arms race will continue until one party runs out of steam –most likely, that will be the US. They have an enormous budget deficit, and a colossal public debt. And Washington will not be able to shoulder the burden if it has to engage in an arms race against Russia as well"

Mikhail Alexandrov, head expert at the Center for Military and Political Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations

OWON: The mistaken illusion of unipolar superiority is a myth and a dangerous one to follow given the lack of financial capability and a failure to develop superior modern weaponry to go with the bravado at an economical cost compared to either China or Russia. The reality is the need to create new domestic industries and new jobs, to rethink new pork belly projects. It is what drives a nation and it is sorely needed to retain a functioning society if trying to retain any regional or global hegemony. If it goes, much more than hegemony is at stake.

Add to that the very real possibility of a gold fix on the yuan rumoured to happen shortly and you have the fate of nations at stake while politicians practice a Pollyanna state of mind to an ever growing angry public who feels deceived, and grow more angry with each passing month of economic decline. Left to it's own inertia, the attitude towards all Western governments will continue to falter. People will seek alternatives leading to a crisis of confidence in Government in time that will force change. The greed and corruption of the Bankers will overreach with callous indifference and if so, public retribution will follow.

What Role Will Russia Play in the US-Chinese South China Sea Drama?

Sputnik News
5 March 2016

The US-Chinese standoff in the South China Sea is heating up, with Washington dispatching a small armada to the area following reports that Beijing had reinforced a key island with fighters and air defenses. Much has been said and written about the dispute, with Russian analysts left pondering: if push comes to shove, what will Russia's role be?

On Thursday, the Navy Times reported that the US had dispatched an aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, two destroyers and two cruisers from the US's 7th Fleet to the South China Sea, ostensibly in response to reports that China had sent fighter jets to Woody Island, the largest of the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

China's response did not take long in coming. On Friday, Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People's Congress (China's legislature), commented by suggesting that this US "show of force" "arouses a feeling of disgust among the Chinese people," adding that Washington's "actions seem to be aimed at agitating tensions."

The territorial dispute surrounding islands in the South China Sea has gone on for decades, and includes the Paracels, the Spratlys, and Scarborough Shoal. The groups of islands are contested by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. The US, for its part, cannot directly contest China's claims with sovereignty counterclaims, but has involved itself in the dispute under the guise of protecting its allies.

Last month, the United States accused China of militarizing the South China Sea by placing anti-aircraft missile systems, advanced radar and jet fighters on Woody Island, thereby ostensibly expanding Beijing's control of sea territories through which nearly a third of global trade passes. With Washington suggesting that the move would "raise further tensions in the region," the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by stressing that Beijing has every right to maintain defensive military systems within its own territory.

Commenting on the ongoing dispute in an article for independent Russian newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, columnist Andrei Ivanov suggested that amid the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, one thing is obvious:

"That the dispute between the two great powers is not just over the islands. China is fighting for global leadership, something which the US will not let go of so easily. After all, so long as Washington is recognized as the world's hegemonic power, US debt obligations can be exchanged for the fruits of the labor of countries all across the world."

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