Hillary Clinton troubles troubled South China Sea

Prior to the APEC summit in Vladivostok, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited a few countries in the Pacific region, but her main purpose was a visit to China. She came there to ask for help in the fight against the "aggressive actions" aimed at hegemony in the South China Sea and islands located in its area. But she did not make her request public, did not "calm the sea" and did not offer anything new.

Prior to the talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei urged American politicians to have a sober and objective assessment of China's development, to stop the unfounded accusations and the practice of interfering in the internal affairs of the country. Clinton met with the chairman of the CPC Hu Jintao, but the meeting with his expected successor Xi Jinping was suddenly canceled due to a "back injury" of the latter. Earlier Clinton urged her allies in Thailand and Indonesia to present a united front toward China, to "calm the sea." She noted that President Obama has not taken any action on the claims of China, but asked her to convey to them that the matter should be resolved "without coercion, without intimidation, and, of course, without the use of force."

Even more vague were her statements in China. Judging by the tone of the official Chinese media, it is not clear why Clinton made the visit. Global Times newspaper accused the Secretary of State that she has contributed to the establishment of a "deep mistrust" between Beijing and Washington, and noted that "many Chinese people do not like her." Xinhua agency called the U.S. "the mean trouble maker that hides behind several countries in the region and pulls the strings."

Why did Clinton come to China? To "swallow" these statements? The Americans are also surprised. Ralph Cossa, a security analyst in the Pacific, told the Voice of America there was very little chance of a conflict between China and any of its competitors in the region. But "Clinton is unlikely to achieve substantial progress in China on a code of conduct in the South China Sea."

China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Burma, and insists that they must be resolved bilaterally, while the U.S. and its allies are trying to attract international organizations under the guise of "safety of navigation." From the very beginning it was clear that Hu Jintao will not discuss this issue with Clinton. One could, of course, talk about the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, and about the ways to deal with North Korea's nuclear program. But even here the positions are opposite. The U.S. imposes new sanctions, China steps up cooperation.

The United States is also concerned about the undervalued yuan, which prevents the U.S. imports. The Chinese have their claims, too. Who else but the global regulator - the U.S. Federal Reserve - manipulates the exchange rate by printing dollars? Who else but the Wall Street inflates financial bubbles whose bursting leads to debt and other crises and drowns many states, including China? Who else but the U.S. is trying to contain the rapid economic and political rise of China?  

The true aim of the visit is the fact that the U.S. today is not afraid of Russia, it is afraid of China. But they do not account for a possible alliance between China and Russia. By placing a missile defense system in Europe, the U.S. is pushing Russia towards China, and moving the center of its aggressive policy into the Asia-Pacific region, it is pushing China toward Russia. China's economic power, coupled with Russia's military potential, can stop the expansion of the U.S. in the region.

Some American analysts contend. Why not give up missile defense to appease Russia and force Putin (who, in their view, is not a threat to the West) to work against China? What if, God forbid, Russia sells China its advanced anti-aircraft missile system S-400, and China resells its old S-300 to unreliable regimes? What will happen then? It is clear that Clinton was not able to play the "Russian card", playing on envy of China to the riches of the Russian Far East.

This raises the question that had often been discussed in the media, was Clinton in the right place over the past years? She likes to be the center of attention, driving around cities and villages. She travels constantly. According to the official statistics of the State Department, Clinton, who took the post in 2009, traveled to 102 countries. Head of the American diplomacy has spent nearly a year on the road - 352 days. Because of these travels forces are diverted, separation from the headquarters is created, information is lost and important decisions are delayed.

As a result, there are multiple blunders. The last one was in Egypt. While Hilary was traveling, the Chinese persuaded President Muhammad Mursi to pay attention to their money. Last week he quietly visited China and signed seven agreements on cooperation on major projects in the amount of $200 million. These Chinese investments will increase to three billion. What does the US offer? Debt relief for one billion dollars that would not have been returned anyway, and assistance in negotiations with the IMF for a loan of 4.8 billion (just like the bondage that destroyed Europe). The actual investment is $60 million. The U.S. for decades focused more on selling arms to Egypt and safety, not the economic prosperity of the country. Clinton cannot change this.

Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University, said that any reduction in tensions between the two countries will be temporary and China and the United States understand the "superficiality of the friendship." "Under Obama, Sino-US relations have worsened, not improved," said Xuetong. Clinton conducts Obama's policy of shifting the U.S. foreign policy focus towards the Asia-Pacific region after years of focus on Iraq and Afghanistan, and in fact, is trying to unite several countries in the region under the American flag and to isolate China, the newspaper USA Today reported.

Lyuba Lulko


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov