(Sputnik) – The US Navy has announced plans upgrade existing infrastructure and build new facilities on the island of Guam after North Korea threatened to fire ICBMs into the waters surrounding the US territory. “This effort is a big step in strengthening…
The election of Rodrigo Duterte the President of the Philippines last May was seen as a landmark event in the tricky and dangerous contest unfolding in the waters of the South China Sea and in the Southeast Asia as a whole. Though this event has not overwritten the initial scenario of the geopolitical game played in the region, it certainly has altered it.
The main contestants, i.e., the US, China and Japan, cannot ignore the changes, as they might be indicative of a potential shift in the foreign policy of the country, the territory of which defines the eastern border of the South China Sea.
The geopolitical location of the Philippines renders its foreign policy trends strategically important. Has there been a shift in the country’s policy, and if so, in what direction?
When Congress meets for its lame-duck session after the elections, it should resist pressure to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Notwithstanding President Barack Obama’s best efforts to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to Congress and the public on economic grounds, presidential and congressional candidates are shunning the TPP as a winning campaign issue. Even Senator Rob Portman, a former U.S. trade representative, doesn’t mention the TPP in his electoral “Jobs and Growth” agenda. The economic forecasting arguments for TPP are very weak—even according to the “heroic assumptions” of proponents, such as no change in the U.S. trade balance or net employment as a result of the TPP. So, what arguments do the TPP proponents have left?
US foreign policy in Asia Pacific has centered around the so-called “Pivot to Asia,” initially rolled out as an alleged means for the US to strengthen ties with Asia, but was incrementally revealed as the latest leg in a decades-long attempt to encircle and contain China by overrunning the socioeconomic and political sovereignty of its neighbors, thus maintaining what US policymakers themselves refer to as American “primacy over Asia.”
It is no surprise then that nations across Asia have responded negatively to the “Pivot.” What gains the US has made, have been made through coercion, political subversion, and even terrorism – and this is done in front of an increasingly geopolitically aware Asian population.
Yet despite this, the US appears to still be struggling against both Asia’s overall desire to cooperate among themselves, and their own “pivots” toward alternative centers of power, in Beijing, Moscow, and beyond.
The so-called “Pivot to Asia” serving as the current underpinning of American foreign policy in Asia has been repeatedly exposed as a continuation of a decades-old cynical region-wide US gambit to encircle and contain China while establishing military, sociopolitical, and economic hegemony over China’s neighbors, particularly those in East and Southeast Asia.
US proxies have long held power in the Philippines and Japan, while Myanmar has recently found itself under direct Western influence through US-British proxy Aung San Suu Kyi and her army of US-British funded political fronts and faux-nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
This deployment is not only Russia-centric; it is equally centred on China and it is perhaps for this reason that Russia’s decision to build a naval base in its far east comes as a direct force multiplier for China, which has, on its part, been looking to boost up its alliance with regional states as a mean to counter the U.S.’ geo-strategic moves.
TPP is back in the spotlight.