posted May 25, 2016 at 12:01 am by Alejandro Del Rosario
Air pollution and the smog coming from China’s factories must be severely clouding Chinese leaders’ thinking. How else do you explain their distorted claim that ancient historical maps showed China owned almost all of the sea from its coastlines without total regard for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea? China raised the propaganda bar, ranting the United States is militarizing the region.
But wasn’t it China that militarized the region by building military installations from the shoals and reefs reclaimed from the sea? The US rebalancing of its military forces and pivot to Asia is not seen as a hostile act by nations in the region. Even Vietnam welcomed President Barack Obama this week. The former foes are drawn together by China’s aggressive moves in the region and its sweeping claim of nearly the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, like the Philippines, welcomed the US presence in Asia after China grabbed Scarborough Shoal and the Paracels from it. High on the Hanoi visit of US President Barack Obama is the US policy shift lifting the ban on the sale of weapons to Vietnam. This means Vietnam can now acquire modern military hardware, including warships and sophisticated jetfighters the US supplied treaty allies South Korea and Taiwan.