by Austin Bay
July 19, 2022
Communist China's targeted aggression, propaganda belligerence and below the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) economic corruption projects are finally producing diplomatic, political and military blowback.
Xi Jinping's tyrannical clique ought to take a strategic pause -- meaning the self-proclaimed strategic geniuses should reconsider their self-defeating and ultimately self-destructive hostile behavior.
My bet: Xi and the gang won't do it because they think they're smarter than everyone else. Bet No. 2: Since they're arrogant and isolated, they'll only get woke when war in Asia wreaks global economic devastation and leaves mainland China in chaos.
As for economic corruption: The BRI is China's attempt to control world economic development. Sounds fabuloso to New York media but it's corrupt and phony -- an economic attack on fragile states. Ask the Democratic Republic of Congo. Beijing's Congo operations are scams designed to corner the world cobalt market. Congo is fighting back, albeit with limited legal means.
China's Congo aggressions are obscure, its Asian depredations aren't.
Beijing's regional aggression in Asia and global lies have seeded significant setbacks, diplomatic and military.
In 1996 Beijing ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The treaty codified the geophysical conditions establishing sovereign control of territorial waters and rights in maritime Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
UNCLOS was designed to prevent and peacefully resolve disputes involving billions of dollars of maritime resources.
But tyrants don't respect treaties. Vladimir Putin ignoring the 1994 Budapest Accord (assuring Ukrainian territorial integrity) is a recent example.
More communist disappearing ink: In 2002, Beijing signed a declaration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in which the parties agreed to exercise self-restraint in the South China Sea and refrain from occupying uninhabited features.
2012: Beijing claimed 85% of the South China Sea's 3.5 million square kilometers. In 2012 Scarborough Shoal was a South China Sea reef, a "sea feature" well inside long-recognized Filipino territory about 155 miles from the large inhabited Filipino island of Palawan. China? 750 miles away.
But Chinese construction barges anchored around the shoal, poured concrete and created an island. According to Beijing: instant Chinese sovereign territory.
Reality: imperialism with invading construction barges.
In 2013 Manila filed a complaint with the Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration. On July 12, 2016, they ruled that China had systematically violated essential provisions of the UNCLOS treaty at the expense of the Philippines. China's violations included stealing resources from Manila's maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and illegally encroaching on Filipino territory in the South China Sea (SCS).
In blunt language, the Court concluded China's communist government had robbed the Philippines and launched a slow, calculated and highly illegal invasion of the SCS.
On July 12, 2022 -- that's this year -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged China to comply with a decision based on the UNCLOS treaty. Blinken was visiting the Philippines, but the date of the U.S. "urge" was no accident.
The Court's 2016 ruling exposes the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) multidimensional imperialist expansion strategy and aggression as it occurred from the late 1990s through 2016.
The ruling documented the CCP's utter disregard for international treaties and civilized diplomacy when they challenge CCP policy actions. China signed and then broke the UNCLOS treaty. China signed and then broke the Sino-British Treaty of 1984, which guaranteed Hong Kong's democratic autonomy through 2049.
Evidence: Communist China cheats Congo and violates major treaties. Conclusion: it is a lawless and untrustworthy enemy.
Now for the blowback.
In 2007, The Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) held its first informal meeting. The Quad's membership roll sends a diplomatic message: Japan, Australia, America and India. Japan pointed out all four nations regarded China as a disruptive actor in the Indo-Pacific; they had common interests.
July 2022: deeds on the sea carry more weight than Blinken's words.
The RIMPAC -- Rim of The Pacific -- a military exercise sponsored by the U.S. Navy -- is a physical real-world expression of commitment against aggression in the Pacific littoral.
Twenty-six nations are participating in the exercise.
The common enemy? Draw your own conclusion.