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News U.S. shifting focus to Asia-Pacific

  1. Nov 16, 2011 #1

    I wanted to create a thread for monitoring U.S. and Asia-Pacific related developments and related analysis articles on those developments.

    I think Asia-Pacific developments will keep on catching media attention for coming many decades after we have gone through a decade of terrorism and M.E. related news.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2011 #2


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    Yes, the geopolitics is interesting as Obama made some strong statements. But it remains a game of strategic resources, so Middle East will be in the news for a long time to come.

    Note that China's so-called "string of pearls" strategy of base-building has a strong Indian Ocean focus - sitting astride the sea lanes through which the oil flows (as well as surrounding India).

    But then not all are convinced that China is playing that bases game like the US...

    The ports are, as China contends, conventional shipping facilities to connect landlocked Chinese
    But anyway, the game is about control over strategic resources. Oil and the Middle East will be a critical one for the next 50 years - more critical than before in that, for conventional oil at least, the ME will be the last with an export surplus.

    So what else around the Pacific is actually worth a geopolitical arm-wrestle? Certainly the minerals, uranium and coal of Australia. Perhaps the spoils available in Antarctica. Perhaps food production fairly shortly.

    There are fears about a muslim and highly populated Indonesia of course.

    So at present, you have a strong US-India alliance being constructed. Then the smaller bits of the puzzle like Australia being fitted into the picture.

    But it is hard to imagine actual flashpoints of the scale of the "threat to oil" which keeps the ME in the news. Or the kind of clash of ideologies that made for the Vietnam war for instance.

    Was Obama doing anything more than confirming Australia's role in policing its corner of Oceania? A relatively quiet zone.

    As for wider Asian/Pacific, that is developing a stronger regional identity based on economic self-interest. The US wants to stay included in this club, and Australia is perhaps its most reliable entry door to it.

    For example, this little free trade negotiation going on now...

    However, the Indian Ocean or the East China Sea, you can see Sino-US conflict breaking out there in time.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Nov 18, 2011 #3


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    This is a key article from Hillary Clinton spelling out the US view...


  5. Nov 18, 2011 #4
    I didn't find China's reply strong enough.

    While, Hilary visited Burma today, the first secretary of state to visit in 50 years:
    She is on her 2 weeks Asia trip.

    Obama and Hilary Asian visits all seems bit too sudden and out of blue to me.
  6. Nov 18, 2011 #5
    M.E. is very different place now that many of the disgruntled youths have taken their angers on their leaders and living with their fresh freedoms and uncertainties. Others have lost their charismatic leaders who made sensationalistic stories in the past decade. They might keep themselves occupied with internal M.E. matters than messing with external powers for a while.

    I am also not sure what's the current U.S. image in the new M.E. but it's worthwhile to have a separate thread to keep track of those developments once anything interesting appears.
  7. Nov 18, 2011 #6


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    Here is an article about a dispute Korea has with China over oil and mineral deposits.

    “In January, the South Korean Navy began construction on a $970 million base in Gangjeong. [Jeju Island] Once completed in 2014, it will be home to 20 warships, including submarines, that the navy says will protect shipping lanes for South Korea’s export-driven economy, which is dependent on imported oil. It will also enable South Korea to respond quickly to a brewing territorial dispute with China over Socotra Rock, a submerged reef south of Jeju that the Koreans call Ieodo. Both sides believe it is surrounded by oil and mineral deposits.” See:


    Here is an article about the US Navy increasing its presence and projecting its power in Korea.

    “Chinhae Navy Base
    35°08'N 128°38'E
    The Port of Chinhae is located in Chinhae Harbor on the southeast coast of the Republic of Korea. The port city has a population 130,000, located in the province of Kyong Sang Nam Do on the southeast coast of Korea. The Port is approximately 22 nautical miles west of the much larger and busier port of Pusan. In addition to being the site of the United States Navy command of Commander Fleet Activities (COMFLEACT), Chinhae was also the principal Naval Base of the Republic of Korea (ROK) fleet.” See:


    Here is a statement China made today concerning “external forces” [you may infer USA] interfering in maritime disputes.

    “BBC News 2011-11-18: China has warned "external forces" not to get involved in its maritime disputes with neighbouring countries over the South China Sea. In comments apparently directed at the US, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the disputes should be resolved by "relevant sovereign states". “ See:


    Here is an article where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is beating the “peaceful resolution” drum while building up strategic military power in the entire western Pacific region.

    “MANILA (Dow Jones)—[16 Nov 2011] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States wants to see a peaceful resolution of the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, urging claimants to refrain from resorting to intimidation to enforce claims in the area.

    "We are strongly of the opinion that disputes that...exist primarily in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China should be resolved peacefully," Clinton, who is visiting Manila, told a televised joint briefing with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.” See:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111115-720380.html [Broken]

    In my opinion, these events coupled with the Secretary’s statements appear to mean the USA is becoming ready, able, and willing to fight China in support of our “allies”. I agree we should maintain this thread as this dangerous situation warrants our comments and attention.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Dec 3, 2011 #7
  9. Dec 7, 2011 #8
    China finally responded adequately.


    China's navy should speed up its development and prepare for warfare, President Hu Jintao has said.

  10. Dec 21, 2011 #9
    With the outsourcing of call centers to Asia-Pacific regions and other industries, America should be scared that they will literally lose their jobs. How can they compete with the cheap labor costs in these countries?
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