Washington warns China
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
Laura Tingle of the AFR picks up a declassified American document of a sort that would normally be secret for 30 years. It concerns US foreign policy, released apparently to provide some comfort for US allies in the region where China prowls, including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
'A source intimately (involved) in the policy told me (writes Tingle) the release was a gesture of reassurance to US alliance partners, including Australia, that "we are not fading away but doubling down" in the Indo-Pacific.'
'The pointy end of the strategy concerns Taiwan.' The Chinese president Xi has said Taiwan "must and will be" reunited with China.
'Now we see revealed in plain terms the US strategy that was being developed ... that commits to: "devise and implement a defence strategy capable of, but not limited to
(1) denying China to sustained air and sea dominance inside the "first island chain" in a conflict;
(2) defending the first island chain nations including Taiwan, and
(3) dominating all domains outside the first island chain".
('The Japan Times notes this week, "China has effectively regularised military operations that punch through the first island chain, including activities that send warplanes and warships near Taiwan and Japanese territory". Apparently such incursions have set records in recent years.)
(India is also seen as a country likely to additionally be helped by US to deal with "challenges such as the border dispute with China".)
Laura Tingle says 'Needless to say, Beijing wasn't happy with much of this, saying (via the China Daily) that the document exposed "motives to contain and sabotage regional peace and stability".
And in conclusion: 'The institutions of US diplomacy may have a firmer hold on events under a new president. But they will be negotiating a much more dangerous region'.
Laura Tingle's full report is available here
And this week Fiona Prior covers RAPTURE and ‘Faith and Fashion’. More here.