Not satisfied with its illegal claims to ownership of the South China Sea, China is moving to establish naval domination of the Indian Ocean as well. This has not gone unnoticed by the Trump administration, which has rebranded the Obama Administration’s damp squib “turn toward Asia” into a possibly more substantial Indo-Pacific alliance joining India with Japan, Australia, and the US.
There is a worrisome historical predecessor to what is happening. In a National Review article headlined “China’s New Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” classical scholar and military historian Victor Davis Hanson explains how “China is following the same path to regional hegemony that Japan did in the 1930s.” Hanson worries that the West may be insufficiently worried about China’s imperial ambitions, just as Japan’s were downplayed in the 1930s until Pearl Harbor.
But the West’s concerns should be far greater now. “China’s miraculous transformation from a peasant subsistence culture is even more impressive than was Japan’s — given that in 2017, China is a nation of more than 1.3 billion people, as opposed to Japan’s pre-war population of about 70 million,” Hanson writes.
New Cold War in Indian Ocean
There’s a “New Cold War in the Indian Ocean,” blares a headline in the Hong Kong-based Asia Times, which explains:
“Great power competition between the US, India, Japan and Australia on one side, and China on the other, is raising the strategic stakes in the maritime area….
“More than 60% of the world’s oil shipments pass through the Indian Ocean, largely from the Middle East’s oil fields to China, Japan and other fuel-importing Asian economies, as does 70% of all container traffic to and from Asia’s industrialized nations and the rest of the world.Pakistan, “
The Chinese and India are battling for economic and military dominance of the Indian Ocean’s many strategically-located island states, such as the Seychelles.
Not so well known is the fact that “Paris controls more territory in the Indian Ocean than any other nation.”
Pakistan has been developing close relations with China as an ally against India, which it refuses to make peace with. Pakistan just enraged India by releasing Hafiz Saeed, the terrorist mastermind of the Mumbai massacre.
Russia, invited into Syria by the Obama administration, is now the major player there. (See “How the Axis of Evil puts Europe at risk” in last Tuesday’s Founders Broadsheet.) Russia now wants US forces out of Syria entirely. For the first time the Trump administration has indicated that it won’t just exit now that ISIS has been defeated but will stay to ensure that the interests of its allies, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are heeded.
Click here to go to yesterday’s Founders Broadsheet (“Chinese terror state harvests prisoner body parts, transplants heads”)