The coming conflict China and the United States seem to be heading toward a course of conflict. Th...

Posted in Articles  /  by Hogeony  /  on Jun 26, 2012 12:12

The coming conflict

China and the United States seem to be heading toward a course of conflict. These two mega-powers of the world have now become global rivals. Their relations are tense; their interests are in conflict; and they face tougher times ahead.

Just decades ago, in the mid-1980s, these two giant nations saw each other as strategic partners, both interested in an alliance of necessity with the other to prevent the domination of Asia by the Soviet Union. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union has removed the rationale for the 20 years of close cooperation between the two countries.

By the mid-1990s, a trans-Pacific contest for power and influence between
a still-dominant America and a fast-growing China began to dominate the relationship.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her speech at a seminar in Honolulu on Jan. 12, 2010, declared that "the U.S. is back in Asia to stay." It was interpreted that the U.S. government was reviewing and updating
maritime security priorities in Asia and would strive to keep critical military and commercial sea lanes open and secure for its vessels and those of its allies while denying usage of Asian sea lanes by adversaries in time of conflict.

@maritime: relating to the sea and to ships
@adversary: something competing with

Late last year at the opening of the annual meeting of the 10-nation
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), President Obama said his administration was turning its focus to the booming Asia-Pacific region after a decade of preoccupation with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to that statement, Obama announced that the U.S. planned to deploy 2,500 marines to Australia in a move that would restore a substantial American footprint near the sea.

@preoccupation: keep thinking about something due to its importance

Recently, the U.S. government released a document, "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense," which made clear that the U.S. is moving Asia up in its defense strategy priorities. The document read, "While the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region, and we will emphasize our existing alliances, which provide a vital foundation for Asia-Pacific security."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's extensive visit to Asia in June and his revelation of the U.S government’s plan to deploy more than half of its naval power to the Asia-Pacific theater
underscores the United States' significant, long-term commitment to the region.

@underscore: draw attention to other thin and emphasize its importance

This renewed U.S. commitment to Asia coincides with a recent move by the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK). Commander Gen. James Thurman said last week that the USFK has requested the Pentagon deploy one aviation
battalion of 24 Apache attack choppers, more Patriot missile interceptors and reconnaissance aircraft, all targeting North Korea.

@battalion: a large group of soldiers
@chopper: helicopter
@reconnaissance: activity of obtaining military information

These series of messages and new moves by the U.S. government reflect America’s concern over China's growing influence in Asia. The American focus on Asia in effect has been raising tensions with an ever more powerful China, which has been increasingly
assertive in the region.

@assertive: take notice

Traditionally, China has followed a calculated and
prudent diplomatic path: "Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile, and never claim leadership." This posture came from the late Deng Xiaoping’s guidance. For the last two decades, China's leaders have generally been quite cautious about doing anything that would arouse anxiety in other Asian countries or, even more importantly, in the United States.

@prudent: sensible and careful

@bide: to wait until the right moment to do something

Former Vice Commandant of the Academy of Military Sciences in China,
Lt. General MiZhenyu, once said, “(As for the United States) for a relatively long time it will be absolutely necessary that we quietly nurse our sense of vengeance, we must conceal our abilities and bide our time.”

@lieutenant: an officer with the rank just below colonel, general, governor

However, the rhetoric is changing. Since the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the Chinese have been far more assertive in their words than ever before and seem to have moved away from their traditional foreign policy posture.

@rhetoric: language used to persuade or influence people
@onset: beginning

Some Western scholars assert that China has been more open in displaying its rapidly evolving military capabilities and more willing to use its growing economic clout in an attempt to exert diplomatic leverage.

The Korean Peninsula historically has been caught up in the conflicting interests of its surrounding major powers.
Poignant and tragic experiences in the 20th century cannot be allowed to be repeated. Korea has been supported by the United States for its defense needs since the end of World War II and the stability of the peninsula is preserved largely thanks to the U.S. presence. Although America’s superior economic position has been threatened, its market oriented economy is the world’s most innovative and one that every nation of the world has been emulating to follow.

@poignant: make you feel sad or full of pity
Korea and China have built up their diplomatic status to a strategic partnership. As declared by an assistant foreign minister last December, China is expected to be a responsible and reasonable player on the world stage, and to create a better environment for the nations involved through dialogue and exchange. Future cooperation with China is gaining greater importance and the Korean government must develop a diplomatic rationale that benefits both Seoul and Beijing.

Me2day Yozm
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