China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

Interesting triangle.

Hun Sen was installed by the Vietnamese and is still regarded as their puppet by opposition parties in Cambodia.

The Vietnamese hate the Chinese especially over the Spratleys etc.

The Chinese have been pouring money into Cambodia recently, with a large amount into Hun Sen's pocket.

He's definitely Hanoi's man but likes the feel of a wedge in his pocket...
A few other unexpected trends in the region,

Although the Vietnamese dislike the Chinese, trade and tourism between the two countries is increasing at a fair clip.

The other trend, less publicised is that the Americans are becoming quite friendly with the Vietnamese, to the extent that some military airplanes land and re-fuel at Da Nang whilst in transit. Hitherto to a certain point this was happening at Phnom Penh Pochentong airport in Cambodia, but relations between the Americans and Cambodians have become chillier recently.

Should Chinese military facilities ever be established in the Gulf of Siam, the Thai government may feel they need to have a US presence again at their former base of U-Tapao.

May we live in interesting times............
 
A few other unexpected trends in the region,

Although the Vietnamese dislike the Chinese, trade and tourism between the two countries is increasing at a fair clip.

The other trend, less publicised is that the Americans are becoming quite friendly with the Vietnamese, to the extent that some military airplanes land and re-fuel at Da Nang whilst in transit. Hitherto to a certain point this was happening at Phnom Penh Pochentong airport in Cambodia, but relations between the Americans and Cambodians have become chillier recently.

Should Chinese military facilities ever be established in the Gulf of Siam, the Thai government may feel they need to have a US presence again at their former base of U-Tapao.

May we live in interesting times............
The Americans are even talking about getting back into their former harbour in Vietnam. They were quite big in Cambodia but cut back a lot over the fuss with the latest 'election'.

I should imagine the girls in Pattaya would be glad to see the 7th fleet in town on a more regular basis too!
 
The Americans are even talking about getting back into their former harbour in Vietnam. They were quite big in Cambodia but cut back a lot over the fuss with the latest 'election'.

I should imagine the girls in Pattaya would be glad to see the 7th fleet in town on a more regular basis too!
Unfortunately Thailand is in the dog house-along with Malaysia over aircraft carrier visits after the Glenn Defense scandal- despite Glenn Defense being based in Singapore. The carriers have been visiting Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore on a regular basis, but the last one in Thailand was the USS Abraham Lincoln to Laem Chabang in January 2012. The Americans paid for the harbour at Laem Chabang to be dredged to allow aircraft carriers to dock as well.

I know Obama took a dislike to the military government in Thailand, but Trump could not give two hoots about such things.

The girls in Pattaya would be most welcoming if the Yanks steamed back into town.
 
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Chinese tourism is proving a far more effective way to propagate Chinese interests than their armed forces. There seem to be more Chinese than Japanese in the Ginza and on Omotesando these days. Same story pretty much everywhere in the region.
I would separate Chinese people from the Chinese government. The people tend to be fine, their gov (especially in this incarnation) not so much. Anyway, everyone is lining up to be besties with VN.
I assume the RN will be training with the IJN MSDF on the whole maritime aviation thing? If Brexit goes really badly wrong, there’s probably a buyer for the second carrier ;)
 
Should Chinese military facilities ever be established in the Gulf of Siam, the Thai government may feel they need to have a US presence again at their former base of U-Tapao.
Although the Thai government are not exactly reluctant to forge their own defence ties with the PRC.
 
The Thais are also besties with Japan and Vietnam. The strategy appears to be to balance each external sphere against the others so as not to be sucked into any of them.
An unpleasant regime, but a sensible policy.
What’s Next for Vietnam-Thailand Defense Cooperation?
Absolutely. It's what each member of ASEAN and ASEAN as a whole are doing. It's also have exactly how they've historically ridden the waves of history.

There's no reason to suspect the re-emergence of China as a regional power will be treated any differently.
 
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Absolutely. It's what each member of ASEAN and ASAN as a whole are doing. It's also have exactly how they've historically ridden the waves of history.

There's no reason to suspect the re-emergence of China as a regional power will be treated any differently.
It's like the post-Napoleonic balance of power dance in Europe. At that time alliances constantly formed and shifted to ensure that nobody ever got the upper hand for too long. Foreign policy was based on pragmatic rather than ideological considerations with the goal of maintaining independence by becoming neither dependent upon nor wholly opposed to any any other power.

I suspect that the smaller countries of the region have no interest in becoming cannon fodder for either side in a US-China global struggle.
 
With the heavy investment going on along the East coast of Africa and in SA I think it's only a matter of time until PLAN bases start popping up there. Possibly with a view to circling the Indian ocean.
 
With the heavy investment going on along the East coast of Africa and in SA I think it's only a matter of time until PLAN bases start popping up there. Possibly with a view to circling the Indian ocean.
The Chinese have a lot of involvement in Africa, and are ready to accept more risk than most western investors. India sees the Indian Ocean as belonging to themselves and don't like to see Chinese influence there. Rivalry between those two will very likely eventually become one of the defining features of future global power games and the smaller powers will try to strike a balance between them.
 
China appears to be chucking ***t at the map of Africa and the world to see what sticks. The tempo of their largesse in these places is probably not sustainable.
 
China appears to be chucking ***t at the map of Africa and the world to see what sticks. The tempo of their largesse in these places is probably not sustainable.
From what I've read, Chinese investment in Africa is heavily focused on mining, and has largely consisted of buying shares in operating mines they had been buying the output of, or as partners in new ventures owned by western mining companies. The name Rio Tinto keeps coming up in connection with Chinese mining investment and I know that Canadian mining companies are closely involved with Chinese partners in Africa. They are however starting to do some new projects on their own.

Mostly though for the past decade it seems to be trading companies diversifying by investing in their upstream suppliers. Japanese mining investment followed a similar path in the late 20th century (back when it was supposedly the Japanese who were the evil empire who were plotting to buy up the world).

I doubt that their investment in Africa will continue at the same pace, if for no other reason that so much of their investment has been buying shares in their existing suppliers and there are only so many of those in the first place.
 
The Chinese have a lot of involvement in Africa, and are ready to accept more risk than most western investors. India sees the Indian Ocean as belonging to themselves and don't like to see Chinese influence there. Rivalry between those two will very likely eventually become one of the defining features of future global power games and the smaller powers will try to strike a balance between them.

Don’t think there’s a great deal the Indians can do, theChinese appear to have stolen such a march on them. Sri Lanka and Myanmar are both getting very chummy with China and as others have said they’re buying up East Africa at speed. All this along with Pakistan and India’s looking encircled already.
 
The 'Great Game' is afoot again but does everyone know the rules?
Telegraph 14 Nov 2018: UK companies open arms to China trade
"Companies in the United Kingdom have embraced the inaugural China International Import Expo in an effort to hedge against uncertainties as the country prepares to leave the European Union, industry insiders say.
Major British brands already established in China such as Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, British Airways and Standard Chartered have taken the lead alongside small and medium-sized enterprises looking to test the waters in China for the first time.​
The expo offers British firms a unique platform to connect with Chinese businesses, investors and consumers,” said UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox, head of the British delegation to the event in Shanghai this week. For British companies, the expo is an opportunity to secure export orders and attract investment to help grow their businesses, he said.​
Hundreds of British companies are represented at the expo, covering sectors including healthcare and life sciences, financial services, education, creative industries, consumer goods, food and agriculture, aviation and aerospace, motor vehicles, artificial intelligence and big data..."​
 
The 'Great Game' is afoot again but does everyone know the rules?
My bold. As far as China and Russia go, there are no rules. They know we're so wrapped up in "playing fair" that they've been running rings round us for ages.

I said this already in another thread but the only Western leader that's actually squared up to the Chinese is Trump.
 
Don’t think there’s a great deal the Indians can do, theChinese appear to have stolen such a march on them. Sri Lanka and Myanmar are both getting very chummy with China and as others have said they’re buying up East Africa at speed. All this along with Pakistan and India’s looking encircled already.
There's a general rule in international affairs that amounts to the great power that is nearest to you is usually more of a threat than the one that is further away.
 
There's a general rule in international affairs that amounts to the great power that is nearest to you is usually more of a threat than the one that is further away.
The Tokugawas might disagree. East Asia is an odd place where many of the rules we're used to don't apply.
 
There's a general rule in international affairs that amounts to the great power that is nearest to you is usually more of a threat than the one that is further away.
Which is probably why the Chinese have made it a goal to encircle India. Not really an option with the US or Japan.
 

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