- 29 January 2006
How is the South China Sea on our doorstep?It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out with maritime access once/if China do control the SCS. It might mean that the SCS is bypassed, or deals are struck to allow China through the Malacca Strait and between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for passage through the SCS. India could quite easily shut down that path from west to east in the future, isolating China. Hence one of the reasons why India are so important to the Quad.
The so called "freedom of navigation" exercises are utter nonsense. There is nothing hindering navigation in the SCS. If there is, perhaps someone can spell it out.
The notion that any nation other than China will be able to "control" traffic in the region will only be dispelled if and when India achieve dominance, and that's the latter part of this century if at all. It's no secret that US war games have not shown an American victory possible for some years now, and China's might is steadily increasing, numerically and technologically.
But isn't the reality here that most of the world's shipping trade is dominated by China's imports and exports? In that context China can be seen as ensuring its trade routes are not going to be compromised. Are we somehow to believe that China needs the west's assistance to maintain safe trade? Or perhaps that the west protecting our interests by containing China. The mindless logic to the west's assertions are counterproductive. The more China is isolated, the more it will do to ensure it does not have to rely on the west. And whether we like it or not, globalisation is here to stay. How it works is becoming more problematic, but cold war cliques and trade sanctions will not prove to be our friend into the future.