Washington has now reached a deal with Canberra to deploy a permanent force of 2,500 US Marines to Australia. The message is clear.
"...Obama said the US was "stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific", not excluding China.
"The main message that I've said, not only publicly but also privately to China, is that with their rise comes increased responsibility," he said.
"It is important for them to play by the rules of the road."
China has issued its own ominous warning to Australia about the price it may have to pay.
"The Global Times, a newspaper produced by the Communist Party-controlled People's Daily group, has been much more bellicose, says the BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing.
"An editorial warned it was "certain" that if "Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire".
India, meanwhile, has been bumping shoulders with China in the South China Sea where India has joined with Vietnam to collaborate on a resource venture in territory that China claims as its own. India's new "blue water" navy has already stated its goal of establishing sea control from the Bay of Bengal to the Kuril Islands which, quite coincidentally, blankets China's entire coastline.
The Chinese media has released new criticisms of India's military buildup. The People's Daily says India's policy is three dimensional.
"One, India needs to exaggerate the ‘threat perception’ in order to justify its defence budget and arms purchases at a time when the economy is slowing. Two, India is adopting a ‘containment’ policy toward China. Three, India hopes to gain US’s military and political support. "
And, as if tensions with India weren't enough, now China is said to be facing a showdown with a joint US-Philippine resource venture in the South China Sea.
"Tensions over the oil-rich and strategically important South China Sea have escalated as Chinese state media accused the US and the Philippines of planning a ''grab'' for its resources.
"The South China Sea is a potential flashpoint between the US and China as the two powers seek to assert their diplomatic, economic and security interests in Asia, the fastest growing region in the world.
"The US has leapt on nervousness among smaller Asian nations about China's growing military might and bellicose diplomacy to reassert its long-standing role as an anchor of security in Asia, even as its economic importance wanes."
Idiots. They have nukes. When someone has nothing left to lose, they lose it. You don't want people to lose it with nukes.
Sure, states try to grab a bit more than they deserve: it even happens between Canadian provinces. But laying claim to China's ENTIRE coastline, and talking up American support based in Australia? China has Russia to talk it down from military action, but there is nobody to convince the Americans and their allies to not run headlong into war.
I think China is beginning to grasp that its greatest weapon against the US is financial. China's debt rating agency dropped America's ratings first which had a ripple effect through Standard & Poors. China is about to downgrade US debt again.
China is pursuing other means to retaliate. Pakistan is one. China is moving to acquire a permanent military presence in Pakistan, possibly a counter-containment containment move against India. Watch for China to also get a tangible "sphere of influence" presence in the Middle East. Watch for China and Russia to wrestle control of the Caspian Basin oil and gas reserves which has always been Washington's raison d'etre for being in Afghanistan.
Wheels within wheels within wheels.
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