This timely book by Jude Woodward is an essential counter to arguments that the world faces a ‘China threat’.
The US has China in its crosshairs. As the Middle Kingdom relentlessly catches up with the US as the world’s economic superpower, voices in the US politico-military establishment have become increasingly shrill in their demands that something is done to stop it.
In 2010 Obama obliged by announcing a turn in military and foreign policy to ‘pivot to Asia’, which was universally understood to be aimed at containing China. This is one Obama policy that Trump has not sought to reverse; instead he has deepened it.
From 2010 the US military and naval presence in East and Southeast Asia was relentlessly expanded and US friends and allies were encouraged to challenge China in the region – primarily by whipping up old territorial disputes that had been laid unresolved but undisturbed since the 1945 post-war treaties.
Hence in 2012 Japan made an issue of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea that led to a sharp diplomatic standoff and the excuse for Japan to sharply increase its military spending. In the same year, the Philippines provoked a conflict with China in the South China Sea, which became the excuse for an stepped up US Navy presence in the Sea. More recently India provoked a face-off with China on the Doklam plateau.
And many of the current problems with North Korea stem from the same roots: while North Korea’s nuclear tests, missile launches and anti-American rhetoric have been extremely provocative, they have been this small and isolated country’s response what it believes is a growing military threat from the US as it expands its bases in South Korea and undertakes increasingly large and aggressive war games in the Yellow Sea between China and North Korea.
As China rises and the US declines, the attempt by the US to maintain its primary influence in Asia is being played out not just in threats to impose tariffs and trade sanctions on China, but in a diplomatic and economic struggle with China that plays out in every single country of the region.
This timely book by Jude Woodward is an essential counter to arguments that the world faces a ‘China threat’. Instead it shows that the real source of rising tensions in Asia comes from a declining US determined to maintain its leading role in the region, even if the price for this is economically and socially destructive and means a military build-up that risks provoking new wars.
The US vs China: Asia’s new Cold War? draws back the veil and reveals the real dynamics at play between the US and China.
Number of Pages: 304
£22.50 post free