Thursday, April 18, 2013

TOWARDS A U.S.-CHINA CONFRONTASI U.S. vs China Expansionism on Collision Course

eastwind journals

U.S. vs China Expansionism on Collision Course

By Bernie Lopez

China recently criticized the White House for strengthening military forces and alliances in Asia under the so-called ‘pivot’ to Asia policy, which China said was destabilizing the Asia Pacific Region (APR). The protest cited specifically four US allies – Vietnam, Philippines, and South Korea, and Japan. Ironically, Vietnam was a former ally of China during its war with the U.S. The goal of ‘pivot’ to Asia is to have 60% of US naval forces in the APR by 2020.

But China also has its own brand of hegemony, varying only in style. Whereas the US resorts to physical military presence through bases, troops, and mobile carriers and subs, China resorts to territorial take-overs. China has unilaterally occupied disputed islands such as Spratleys in the Philippines, Senkaku and Diaoyu in Japan, and the Paracels in Vietnam, which they acquired in 1974, to name some. China has territorial disputes with Brunei, India, and Malaysia, not to mention its occupation of Tibet. The US style is expensive, the Chinese cheaper by far.

China has quintupled its annual defense budget within the last 14 years, and has inched closer as the second highest in military spending, with a frenzy of new lethal weapons in the last decade, including a Mac-10 missile, against which a US carrier may theoretically not be able to react in time, stealth aircrafts with larger payload and range, a maiden carrier, no matter how crude, new stealth subs and drones to rival those of the US, and a vast underground Air Force cum nuclear missiles.

The way the Bear and the Eagle are all over Asia in a frenzy, there is bound to be a collision of massive proportion, perhaps even by accident. A potential war between two nuclear giants, no matter how cautious they are, gives us sleepless nights. North Korea is just one of many potential flashpoints. The entire Pacific and Indian Oceans, the China and Japan seas are vast potential points of accidental stealth submarine encounters. The catalyst to Armageddon is the grapple over the last dwindling energy and raw materials, which is concentrated in the APR. China’s rapid economic growth is demanding vast amount of resources.

An ominous Chinese statement reads “We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.” When you use the word ‘attack’ three times in a sentence, you are giving a veiled threat. The key to a collision is the mindsets of trigger happy warriors on both sides, even if the rulers are cautious pacifists.

Israel recently achieved a ‘potential game changer’ with the discovery of gas deep in the bowels of the earth, with a thin pipeline through 1,700 meters of ocean and a staggering 4,500 meters of rock and sand. This is the so-called Tamar Field, underneath an oil rig near the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Israel is expected to be energy dependent and net exporter in three short years.

With Israel having a ‘surging economy’, Americans are pressuring the White House to give the money to some poorer nation which needs it more. Of course, there is always a string attached to U.S. aid. So why is this rich country receiving $3 billion a year in aid from the U.S.? First is because it is a strategic military ally in a highly destabilized region rich in resources. Second is a powerful Israeli lobby group in the U.S., the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), with a host of senators, congressmen, White House officials at its fingertip. Wikipedia writes, “(AIPAC) critics have stated it (AIPAC) acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a ‘stranglehold’ on the United States Congress with its power and influence.[citation needed] “. Many US laws are influenced by AIPAC reflecting Israeli interests.

The geopolitical ramification of an energy self-reliant Israel is a bigger defense budget with a bigger allocation for weapons R&D. The Arabs will now try to bridge the weapons gap in a new round of escalation.

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