Asia: Time for collective security
|Credits- Indian Navy|
Another article after a long time. This time I intend to deal with a particular subject, that is need for collective security cooperation in Asia with reference to containing China.
The security situation in Asia is fluid. China is in expansion mode. China has laid claim to and has border disputes with almost all it's neighbours starting from South China Sea and East China sea all the way to India. China over the years has built up a huge industrial infrastructure that it can effectively use to bolster it's defence capability.
It all began from 2008 onwards when China gave up it's policy of being a peaceful power and started a policy of aggressive territorial claims which set it in course for confrontation with almost all it's neighbours. This all began in South China Sea wherein China has laid a claim to the entire region in what is called it's nine dash line. That includes all of South China Sea which is also claimed by countries Vietnam, Philippines among others. Then China started aggressively developing the islands, designing the same as military infrastructures. China clocks it's claim in obscure historical documents that does not hold water as per international laws. This was amply proved by the recent ruling by the International Court of Arbitration under the provisions of UNCLOS in the action brought about by Philippines ( Philippines V/s China). But China which itself is a signatory to the UNCLOS rejected the ruling. This proves that China has little or no regard for International law and established principles. Further even though China has active cooperation with all these countries, security relations seems never to be tied to business relationships and has never deterred from bullying other countries.
China has take the same stance in East China Sea wherein it has laid claim to a group of Islands which is administered by Japan. It has become a near routine for China to send it's warships to the region. Now Bhutan has also been subjected to China's aggression. China for long has laid claim to several Bhutanese territory. China in the month of June, unilaterally started construction of a road in Doko-La sector. The region is within Bhutanese territory. But despite objections, China unilaterally started construction of roads. To help the Bhutanese army, Indian army stepped in. This standoff continues. China also has claims to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. China's aggressive policy is forcing it's neighbours to enhance mutual cooperation. Further, China has shown little or no concern for the wishes of other countries. For eg, China's CPEC which is part of OBOR passes through he Indian territory of Kashmir. This blatant action has irked India in no less a term. China's aggressive postures is forcing countries in Asia to enhance cooperation in Asia to check China.
|Malabar- 2017 ( Credits- Twitter/ United Stats Navy)|
The Way Forward:
For the countries of Asia, the time has come to enhance cooperation. The first sign is the ongoing Malabar Series of Exercises which is seeing the three principal powers of Asia, India, USA and Japan fielding their biggest ships in complex manoeuvres in the Indian Ocean. The strength of many can out weight the strength of one. But the old school of alliances are far gone era. Now the era is of cooperation. The world needs to cooperate with each other to check and counter hegemon. Even though the cooperation need not be directed against a specific country, but it will act as a deterrent to any country which will see itself as a master, bend of subduing the other countries. This is the way to the future, It is only a matter of time before countries like USA, Japan, India, Australia and Vietnam come to together to cooperate in security to protect and insulate themselves from falling as victims to the hegemony of a single country.