( ) Asia on the brink of war now. It escalates and perception of US weakness makes it more likely.
Justin Raimondo is a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. His is also the editorial director of Antiwar.com – “Obama’s Asian Pivot Stumbles” – Antiwar.com – April 28, 2014 - http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/04/27/obamas-asian-pivot-stumbles/
The overwhelming impression generated by Obama’s Asian sojourn is that the entire region is interlaced with numerous tripwires,any one of which could set off a major military conflict with the world’s most populous country. Underlying this sense of impending danger is the suspicion of US impotence, highlighted by the hollowness of Obama’s threat to go to war with Beijing over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets.
Internally quoting Alan Dupont, professor of International Security at University of New South Wales Camille Diola is a News Writer at The Philippine Star – “Deeper trade relations cannot stop war over South China Sea” – Philippine Star – May 28, 2014 – http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/05/28/1328264/deeper-trade-relations-cannot-stop-war-over-south-china-sea-expert
An armed conflict between China and the United States' regional partners including the Philippines, over the South China Sea is not unlikely despite the countries' deep economic ties, an Australian security expert said. Alan Dupont, professor of International Security at University of New South Wales, said in a statement that China may choose to risk financially as it seeks to dominate the strategic waterway claimed by its neighbors and challenges the US' pre-eminence in the region. "It should not be forgotten that Britain and Germany's extensive trade ties in the early 20th century did not prevent them going to war in 1914," Dupont said, referring to the first World War. He also cited a recent Georgetown University study suggesting that East Asian countries such as China and Japan may choose to lose economically than lose maritime and territorial sovereignty. "It would be wrong to conclude that deepening levels of trade interdependence are a guarantee or peace," Dupont said. Micah Zenko, a fellow at the New York-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations, said in a recent piece for Foreign Policy that war between the US and China is "not preordained" but tensions may lead to it. "The United States could be drawn into a conflict over a territorial dispute involving China, especially since the United States has bilateral defense treaties withJapan and the Philippines," Zenko said.
( ) Econ warrants spin Aff – economics makes SCS conflict more likely.
Abraham M. Denmark is Vice President for Political and Security Affairs at The National Bureau of Asian Research. He previously served as Country Director for China Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “Could Tensions in the South China Sea Spark a War?” – National Interest – May 31, 2014 – http://nationalinterest.org/feature/could-tensions-the-south-china-sea-spark-war-10572
China’s behavior in the South China Sea has changed significantly in recent years. The South China Sea was not a major issue for Beijing for the first few decades after Chairman Mao established the People’s Republic in 1949. It wasn’t until Deng Xiaoping took the reins of power in the 1970s that it became a significant issue in China’s foreign affairs, and Deng set a path for restraint and nonconfrontation. Seeing China as relatively weak and in need of a peaceful external environment to allow China’s economy to develop, Deng pursued a policy to shelve disputes in order to pursue joint development of resources. As China’s economy has grown more prosperousand powerful, its calculations have changed. The growthof its economy has far outpaced indigenous development of natural resources, and China’s economy has grown ever more hungry for new sources of food and energy—a hunger that the South China Sea can potentially help to address.At the same time, China’s economic, political, and military power has grown exponentially and now towers above the other claimants. Their economies are fundamentally tied to China, which leaves them vulnerable to economic coercion from Beijing, while their political influence and military power now pale in comparison to China’s. Many of China’s elites have recognized this change in the distribution of power and believe China should act more assertively in the pursuit of its interests in the South China Sea. Led by large state-owned corporate interests such as CNOOC and SINOPEC and abetted by hawks in the PLA, China’s leaders have apparently been convinced that Beijing should abandon Deng’s precedent of restraint and conciliation and instead seek to change the status quo in China’s favor.
[Henry Zheng, Policy Mic, December 2012, “US-China Relations: Why Obama's 'Asia Pivot' Strategy Could Lead to Disaster,” http://www.policymic.com/articles/20675/us-china-relations-why-obama-s-asia-pivot-strategy-could-start-a-nuclear-war]
The back-and-forth defense escalation bespeaks the suspicious nature of security agencies in general that could contribute to the deterioration of bilateral relations. With things as they are now, tensions are quickly rising on both sides because they are both approaching each other with a zero-sum mentality. Even with their almost inextricable economic and trade interdependence, the politics of Chinese containment and American repulsion could become a military conflict before long. As shown by the Chinese-Japanese dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, Chinese citizens are willing to boycott foreign goods and services in a surge of patriotic fervor. Therefore, even economic interdependence may not deter war if the strategic interests of both the U.S. and China are compromised. The two leaders must engage in an open discussion which addresses these problems honestly, and come up with practical solutions that move beyond their ideological and cultural differences. If not done soon, we will all suffer.