A year ago the American media reported that the U.S. was planning to make a strategic shift in 2013 by redirecting a portion of its resources to Asia. However, the results of this year make it clear that these politico- economic games have been canceled, first of all because of the position of China. The rapprochement of the U.S. and Asia was put on the back burner because of the "special" behavior of China. China is obviously on top.
Recently a friend asked me whether the Chinese had icebreakers. The media reported that in Antarctica Russian ship "Akademik Shokalsky" in distress was assisted by a Chinese icebreaker "Snow Dragon." My friend was puzzled why the Chinese would have an icebreaker if they had no ice. My answer was, the Chinese now have everything. China has soared to a status of the world superpower so quickly that many people still do not realize it. The United States seem to have missed the emergence of a global competitor, a global economic supergiant with a bunch of analytical services. The current attempts to get back everything that was given away without a fight to the ubiquitous Chinese all over the world in general and in North-East Asia in particular have not been successful. Recently the Voice of America, an information resource that aims to disseminate information about the United States throughout the world and controlled by the State Department and all sorts of advanced analytical services, said that Asia felt the new strength in dealing with the superpower rapidly losing its influence. The examples are numerous, and in 2013 they were particularly abundant.
In December of 2013, going to the North-East Asia, the U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden planned to convince Japan and South Korea that the U.S. was still planning to increase its investment in this region. However, the focus turned to China's unexpected decision to expand its defense identification zone to the territory contested by Japan and South Korea. According to Biden, he openly discussed the issue during a meeting with President Xi Jinping, the Voice of America reported.
Speaking in a South Korean university, Biden made it clear that the U.S. expected China not to perform any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions. But China dismissed the important meeting of the president of the United States with the leadership of neighboring countries as if it has not happened. As a result, the airspace over the disputed islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China was added to the extended zone of China's defense. Partly these were active, not to say aggressive actions of China in the disputed territory that have led to calls of the United States to make a turn towards East Asia, as well as strengthen the relations with key allies, Japan and South Korea.
China with its incalculable human resources and the economy growing by leaps and bounds has nearly stopped to consider the possible U.S. interests in the region and the rest of the world. Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and even to some extent Europe have long been "mastered" by the Chinese, producing a great deal of the most diverse, inexpensive goods of quite a high quality. These goods are no strangers to the United States itself. The Chinese trade expansion has become a real problem for the American industry. Let us look at the recent global crisis that is still ongoing in the West in various forms. At the end of 2000s the U.S. attempts to draw Yuan in financial, commodity and currency exchange games to support the dollar were quietly ignored by Beijing.
An incident that took place during the visit of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden in Asia is indicative. China has recently put into operation an aircraft carrier "Liaoning" and conducted exercises in the South China Sea. The sea is very controversial in the sense that China participates in a bunch of territorial disputes with various countries -Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. At the time when Biden was actively calling for a closer collaboration of the Japanese and the South Koreans, a Chinese warship accompanying a brand new aircraft carrier got in the way of an American missile cruiser and unceremoniously forced it to change its course to avoid a collision. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel immediately called China's behavior irresponsible. Beijing that used to be very attentive to cues from Washington in the past was deaf to them this time. Simply put, the Chinese ignored the main U.S. military. Was it possible to imagine such behavior 15 years ago?
And finally, remember that Barack Obama has failed to get Japan to even promise to scale up the international coalition in Afghanistan. This was a very surprising phenomenon. Then media reported that not only China but even neighboring Japan was beginning to ignore the United States.
Analysts have long been scaring the international community with the annual growth of Chinese military power. Having muscles inflated with arms, one can easily ignore the competition. In light of rapid increase in Chinese military spending, the only point of comparison with the United States is now China. According to the media, China is constantly increasing its military budget, and over the last ten years its annual growth amounted to an average of 12 percent.
In addition, Beijing has been paying increasingly more attention to the improvement of military equipment and technology, gradually reducing the number of troops. The Pentagon has information on the construction of new submarines in China, the modernization of missile and nuclear weapons, and China is in no hurry to talk about this. In 2013, the English-language media has released a message that Washington was going to place troops in Australia and send more warships to Singapore and the Philippines. But numerous experts believe that the U.S. will not be able to particularly strengthen its position in the Asia-Pacific region, it is too late.
American headlines often say something to the effect that while the U.S. is retreating, someone else is coming forward. It is obvious that by 'someone" they mean China.