China’s Monroe Doctrine: As Told!

By Erick San Juan

USA-vs-China-WWIII“War happens when there is incessant talk about war.”,says my friend Chit Pedrosa of Philippine Star, May 10, 2014.

“History is not rich in peaceful transitions of power from one hegemon to another. The seeds of conflict are evident.”(Roger Cohen, International New York Times, May 9,’14) Political pundit like Jerry Quibilan mailed me that veteran editor and writer, Manny Almario hit the nail on the head when he said that during the visit of US President Barack Obama, he was consistent with his foreign policy and he further confirmed what most right thinking Filipinos already know. The US will not go to war against China to protect us. During an interview in Malacanang by several reporters, they tried getting an affirmative answer from President Obama on how the US will respond to a flare-up of a war between Philippines and China over the conflicting territorial claims in the South China Seas(WPS).

President Obama responded that, “My job as commander-in-chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people have no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.”

But action speaks more than words. Those joint military exercises especially at the West Philippine Sea, the deployment of US military, the visits of nuclear ships and submarines are perceived by China as part of it’s encirclement and preparation for an inevitable war.

The sad part of it is that PNoy is being branded by China as a troublemaker and our nation cannot defend ourselves (as hinted by PNoy in his speech during Obama’s visit), just in case a war broke out. Even America cannot immediately support us despite their firepowers are already here because our treaty with the US needs the approval of the US congress.

In my past article at Sun Star Manila dated March 8,2000, I wrote that Pentagon planners believed that China will avoid a head-on confrontation with the US until around 2030, when China expects American power to decline significantly. I said, I disagree ‘coz at the rate that globalization and free trade are wrecking havoc on the world economy, my think tank group predicted during that time that ‘showtime’ will begin not later than 2002, due to China’s former President Hu Jintao’s ‘China Dream’ to retake Taiwan before his term ends. And the American power bloc will not allow it. To them, Taiwan is an important component of their first-line of missile defense system, which include South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. What’s worrisome is the strategic policy of China’s present President Xi Jin Ping pursuing a modified ‘China Dream’ of President Hu.

Veteran journalist Roger Cohen, in his article at International New York Times(5/9/14) entitled ‘China’s Monroe Doctrine’, he quoted John Mearsheimer’s book-“The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” who makes a powerful case for the inevitability of war in Asia as China rises.

Mearsheimer’s argument is that, if China continues to grow economically, it will attempt to dominate Asia the way the US dominated the western hemisphere. The US will go to enormous lengths to prevent China from achieving regional hegemony.

I got curious when the article said that most of Beijing’s neighbors: India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and even Russia will join with the US in containing Chinese power. He added that the result will be an intense security competition with considerable potential for war.

Many believe that the world will go to war again as rumors and preparation for it is on. Especially now that big powers like the US, China and Europe have their own domestic-political and economic problems and it is perceived that the only way to avoid a civil war in China, a second revolution in the US and a divided Europe is to fight another enemy or create one.

Cohen added that China is asserting sovereignty in the South China Sea angering the Philippines and Vietnam. Quoting Mearsheimer that a more powerful China can be expected to try to push the US out of the Asia-Pacific region, much as the US pushed the European great powers out of the western hemisphere in the 19th century. We should expect China to devise it’s own version of the ‘Monroe Doctrine’.

I agree with Cohen in saying that economic interdependence, which did not exist during the cold war stand-off, could prevent conflict.

The problem is that many governments in the world and leaders are beholden to vested interests, banksters and the military industrial complex who secretly dictate plans of action for such war scenarios.

How it will metamorphose into a full blown conflict is a matter of time. Let’s be vigilant for the signs and possible pretext to justify it.


2 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Guy Camacho says:

    Is China daring the US to go to war?
    Even as the US pretends to be ‘un-provocative’ by saying that its Asian Pivot is not intended to encircle to China, China’s leaders do not buy it.
    They also assume that the American people has no more stomach to go to war. Therefore, China’s series of aggression will become more brazen.
    After fortifying the Mischief Reef and cordoning the Scarborough Shoals it is now reclaiming some reefs with the possible intent of building airstrips which it intends to protect its oil rig wherever they will position it inside the 9-dash line.
    Positioning the oil rig inside Vietnam’s EEZ is only a test of the US resolve, knowing that Vietnam, unlike the Philippines, has no defense treaty with the US.
    The Chinese real intent is really to position the oil rig where there is already proven gas and oil – at the Recto Bank. That’s the reason why they are blocking off the Ayungin Reef.
    But, as China’s actions become more belligerent, sooner or later, other countries will become more vocal in supporting the Philippines’ move to question the legality of China’s 9-dash Line.
    Vietnam is now in the process of submitting its own protest to the UN. Likely, other aggrieved ASEAN parties will follow – Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.
    By December, the UN Arbitral Commission at The Hague will deliberate on the Philippines 4,000-page memorial, to which China has refused to answer.
    The likely outcome of the arbitration is that China’s 9-dash Line will be declared without basis in international law and therefore is illegal!
    The question is how would China be sanctioned.
    The UN has two decision-making bodies. The first one, the Security Council, will be handicapped because of China’s exercise of veto power.
    Therefore the Philippines will address the Arbitral Commission’s findings to the General Assembly for implementation. The debate will be participated by the more than 160 signatories of the UNCLOS.
    By that time, the US Senate would have decided to ratify the UNCLOS in order to lead the move to condemn the 9-dash line. The current reluctance of the Republican senators who constitute more than 1/3 of the negative votes would give way to the urgent need to put the US behind the resolution to sanction China.
    World opinion will condemn China’s attempt at hegemony over the South China and East China seas. The General Assembly will pass a resolution demanding that all of China’s fortifications and reclamations in the contested areas be demolished or be abandoned, and for China to respect the EEZ of the claimant countries.
    To enforce the sanctions, the General Assembly will create a UN Naval Task Force to make sure that China complies. The task force will be composed of allied navies – US, Japan, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Canada, India, Indonesia, South Korea – among others.
    That scenario would be similar to the UN police action against Chinese and North Korea’s aggression against South Korea in the 1950s.
    Would China dare to wage war against the UN?
    As I see it, the US will not engage China, alone or with the assistance of its Asian allies, and even it can wipe out China’s PLA Navy, by its own power alone. The US will course the war thru the UN in order to gain the American people’s support.
    With a General Assembly resolution, will the American public support such war?
    Yes, because the ensuing naval war will be fought in the high seas and coastal installations, unlike the conflict in Syria, where the expansion the conflict will result to civilian casualties as collateral damage.
    Will China have the stomach to engage in total war against the US-lead UN Coalition?
    I don’t think so.

  2. jose balmadrid says:

    Kudos to GUY CAMACHO. What a brillant desertation. I do not know what your credentials are, but your analyses seems to reflect as one man Center for Strategic…

    I will save your article for reference. I consider them predictions that can be a reality, for our our government and military and other think tanks to ponder more deeply the rationale you have presented and guide them to consider this in their strategies and policies in dealing with the China issue. maybe Philippines should start to establish, cement relations and alliance with other countries this early so actions can be done soon as predictions here become a reality. Well thought of well presented !!!GUY CAMACHO be best hired Strategic Consultant by both the Philippines and the US government to secure peace in Asia or other parts of the world where expensive conflict should be avoided and peace achieved.

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