The Philippines can either make-or-break my proposed maritime containment strategy for China. Therefore, the Philippines can either totally align with the United States as it did during the Cold War or it will have to be Finlandized to prevent it from becoming a conduit for Chinese influence.
The United States is a Pacific power, just like China, Japan, and all of the others. In fact, it is the preeminent power in the Asia-Pacific. It should embrace its Pacific heritage and ensure that its interests are respected as China attempts to complete its historic rise to glory. Beijing insists that they have a right to reclaim “what was theirs” before the Westerners laid their empire low. The United States was not one of the powers that helped to destroy China. Also, unlike the Europeans, the United States does have a major maritime border with the region and has long had an outsized role in Asian affairs. Therefore, Washington has a right to ensure its historic standing in the region is respected as well. If China cannot countenance this fact, then Washington must do what it can to make it understand this reality.
“China and the United States are on the long road to strategic competition, saddling up to China will not make Russia a great player on the world stage; it will make Russia just another tributary state in the growing Neo-Chinese Empire. Instead, Russia should seek to embrace the West, in order to better defend against their restless Chinese neighbors.”
For 8 years, the Obama Administration has expressed its intention to Pivot toward Asia. It has yet to effectively do so. Meanwhile, the Chinese continue their aggression and begin a pivot of their own: toward the West. The Obama pivot is incomplete and America’s dominant position in the Asia-Pacific has been lost.
The recent United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ruling that China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are categorically illegal will not bring much-needed stability to the Asia-Pacific. Indeed, this ruling will lead to still more instability. Read more to find out why.