Monday, July 16, 2012

Cambodia a parasite on ASEAN

A good article by the WSJ on the ASEAN meeting which ended in a fiasco.

After more reading on this topic, I am not so ignorant now.

Cambodia is milking this for own narrow and short term interest. As they say, countries have no values only interests. It is forcing America to throw money at it. In the end it could collect from both sides.

I have concluded that Singapore's foreign policy is shrewd price taking and not afraid to ride the tiger if necessary. In fact this may be our lot in life.

Singapore will try to influence outcomes as much as possible to our favor. Foremost being clear and then  acting flexibly is the way to go. At many junctures we could be forced between the devil and the deep blue sea. China is a more complex challenge and opportunity compared to then implacable Soviet client Vietnam was in the 70s. Today we make love and war with the same nations simultaneously. Complete love is not possible but total war is. 

The feckless member is the Philippines. We shouldn't be surprised there was no communique in the end. 

Looking ahead I hope we never believe and eat the propaganda on the peaceful rise of China. There is no such thing. Good for PR only. The reality could not be more different. Prof Wang Guang Wu writings do us a disservice. In fact anyone who uses history to support their case I am suspicious as it can be cherry picked to back any argument. International relations in the end is based on power and law. Leaving things alone, diplomacy remains the continuation of war by other means according to Clausewitz. It is up to the top global powers to disavow Clausewitz to make it otherwise. The specter of conflict is bad for business and prosperity. So if intense economic competition is bad, the alternatives are often worse. 

1 comment:

  1. Cambodia is now the Mouthpiece of China which even USA would not be able to change.
    ASEAN has to be realistic that it is now a complete failure,they should stop claiming to be the leading light of the world with Asia's's task is to look after our region to ensure that it is region of peace.
    I agree that there is no such thing as a peaceful rise of China,not possible after –after nearly 200 years of foreign humiliation, invasion, civil war, revolution and unspeakable horrors,it is karma.