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US ASEAN summit as ‘dangerous directions’ now emerging in Asia as China’s regional power rises


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After the cancellation of the summit in March, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (centre) travelled to Washington DC on March 29th last and warned of ‘dangerous directions’ emerging in Asia as polls show a rise in support in both Japan and South Korea for a nuclear deterrent. On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai, confirmed that Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha (right) will attend the US Asean summit which American sources at the White House have suggested will address China’s rising power in Asia as well as efforts to strengthen cooperation across a broad range of issues. The summit will be hosted by US President Joe Biden (left). The summit is coming as tensions between the United States and China are growing and have been further aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has caused a metamorphosis in political thinking in western countries concerning human rights and the international rule of law.

 

by Joseph O' Connor

 

The summit is being seen as a chance by the United States to reset its relationship with ASEAN and its member states but the bloc is often used by those states, including Thailand, as a shield for avoiding hard questions about China in the region and accords more with China’s foreign policy which is to achieve hegemony through closer economic and geographic integration.

 

The forthcoming US ASEAN summit in Washington DC is going ahead after repeated delays and postponements of the meeting long called for US strategists. The summit is already being played down by some ASEAN members but the United States is making no secret that the key issue on the agenda is China and the changing world dynamic that has been ushered in by the war in Ukraine. 

 

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Thai Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai, on Wednesday, confirmed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha will attend the rescheduled May summit between ASEAN leaders and the United States in Washington DC.

 

Full story: https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2022/04/20/us-asean-summit-to-discuss-a-rising-china/

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Examiner 2022-04-21
 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

United States is making no secret that the key issue on the agenda is China and the changing world dynamic that has been ushered in by the war in Ukraine. 

Er....Dumbo here asks...what does China have to do with the fracas in Ukraine?

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8 minutes ago, John Drake said:

China gets results because it makes threats and then carries through with them. The US hems and haws and then brags about its weakness and indecisiveness ("We will not force you to choose sides"). Guess what, China is forcing every country in the region to choose sides, while the US virtue signals. Then, the US is surprised everybody has joined up with the PRC. Don't blame China for protecting its own self interest. That's what a real country should do. Don't blame China for becoming powerful. Nobody put a gun to America's head (or Europe's) and demanded they hand over their industrial and technology secrets and sell off their factories to China. Americans were happy to do so ("Look at my cheap washing machine and my 401K is doing great!").

 

USA had been pressuring ASEAN10  to take sides as in past few months, these USA officials had came to SE Asia  

USA Deputy Secretary of States Sherman 

USA Secretary of Defense Austin

USA Secretary of States Blinken  (  he did not make it to Thailand after visiting Malaysia and ejoying coffee hospitality offered by Indonesia  ) 

 

And ASEAN10 had been very much <deleted> off. 

 

 

Sorry you are confused and got it all wrong in exact opposite. 

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23 minutes ago, John Drake said:

China gets results because it makes threats and then carries through with them. The US hems and haws and then brags about its weakness and indecisiveness ("We will not force you to choose sides"). Guess what, China is forcing every country in the region to choose sides, while the US virtue signals. Then, the US is surprised everybody has joined up with the PRC. Don't blame China for protecting its own self interest. That's what a real country should do. Don't blame China for becoming powerful. Nobody put a gun to America's head (or Europe's) and demanded they hand over their industrial and technology secrets and sell off their factories to China. Americans were happy to do so ("Look at my cheap washing machine and my 401K is doing great!").

China is in a rather confident position comparing with their US. Though still a formidable power, US is in the early stages of an inevitable decline with their political polarization, income inequality and unresolved racial justice issues. It will be an irreversible diminution of US power in Asia and across the globe. Meanwhile China's governance model, economic system and approach to international affairs seem more cohesive moving forward. 

 

To Biden's credit, he agreed to hold more talks while maintaining a tough stance albeit with a more equanimous tone and embracing multilateralism while the former President was more confrontational adopting a more unilateral posture. Moving forward, foreign policies can change in a heartbeat in US politics while China foreign policies will more likely to remain employing soft power. 

 

ASEAN leaders will continue to keep US and China at arm's length. In their declaration they sought to keep SEA free from any form of interference by outside powers and not take sides. As the narrative point out, leaders of ASEAN are playing down on the summit and will attend out of courtesy to Biden. 

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4 hours ago, hotchilli said:

I wonder what Prayuts reply to hard questions will be, when the world knows he's in Xi's back pocket?

Dreamer😂😂😂

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6 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

China is in a rather confident position comparing with their US. Though still a formidable power, US is in the early stages of an inevitable decline with their political polarization, income inequality and unresolved racial justice issues. It will be an irreversible diminution of US power in Asia and across the globe. Meanwhile China's governance model, economic system and approach to international affairs seem more cohesive moving forward. 

 

To Biden's credit, he agreed to hold more talks while maintaining a tough stance albeit with a more equanimous tone and embracing multilateralism while the former President was more confrontational adopting a more unilateral posture. Moving forward, foreign policies can change in a heartbeat in US politics while China foreign policies will more likely to remain employing soft power. 

 

ASEAN leaders will continue to keep US and China at arm's length. In their declaration they sought to keep SEA free from any form of interference by outside powers and not take sides. As the narrative point out, leaders of ASEAN are playing down on the summit and will attend out of courtesy to Biden. 

The one big weapon the US has in its arsenal is an economic one--and I don't mean sanctions. It has huge trade deficits with almost every ASEAN country. China, OTOH, hand has trade surpluses whose amount almost equals the US's surpluses. All the US really needs to do to regain some ground is apply matching tariffs to ASEAN exports to the US. Too, like China does, the US could suddenly discover reasons for safety inspections and more regulatory requirements for ASEAN exporters. But it won't.

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5 minutes ago, John Drake said:

The one big weapon the US has in its arsenal is an economic one--and I don't mean sanctions. It has huge trade deficits with almost every ASEAN country. China, OTOH, hand has trade surpluses whose amount almost equals the US's surpluses. All the US really needs to do to regain some ground is apply matching tariffs to ASEAN exports to the US. Too, like China does, the US could suddenly discover reasons for safety inspections and more regulatory requirements for ASEAN exporters. But it won't.

That's true that US is the world's single largest economy, accounting for almost a quarter of globa; GDP, one fifth global FDI and the mighty US dollar. At the same time, the global economy and outbound investments are important for the US which allow increasing consumer choices and keep prices low and the domestic economy purring. The strong dollar allow US to keep borrowing to maintain their economy. Begs the question, why can't we get along instead of trying to assert influence and power over smaller nations. So much money goes to military built up in every large powers and will probably culminate with the demise of the world. 

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47 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

That's true that US is the world's single largest economy, accounting for almost a quarter of globa; GDP, one fifth global FDI and the mighty US dollar. At the same time, the global economy and outbound investments are important for the US which allow increasing consumer choices and keep prices low and the domestic economy purring. The strong dollar allow US to keep borrowing to maintain their economy. Begs the question, why can't we get along instead of trying to assert influence and power over smaller nations. So much money goes to military built up in every large powers and will probably culminate with the demise of the world. 

when i go back to the States its like stepping back in time.  transportation infrastructure is so 20th century.  hate getting back on the freeways.  America needs to spend more money on transportation and less on weapons.  and stop selling weapons to the Saudis.

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9 minutes ago, malibukid said:

when i go back to the States its like stepping back in time.  transportation infrastructure is so 20th century.  hate getting back on the freeways.  America needs to spend more money on transportation and less on weapons.  and stop selling weapons to the Saudis.

Don't hold your breath.

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6 hours ago, wombat said:

Er....Dumbo here asks...what does China have to do with the fracas in Ukraine?

CCP arming Russia?

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40 minutes ago, malibukid said:

when i go back to the States its like stepping back in time.  transportation infrastructure is so 20th century.  hate getting back on the freeways.  America needs to spend more money on transportation and less on weapons.  and stop selling weapons to the Saudis.

As Obama said (paraphrasing), why cant we have high speed train while Europe and ,China already have. Decade passed and still no sign of bipartisan support for the HST. Maybe too woke for the GOP to support and nothing on the merits. 

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7 hours ago, hotchilli said:

I wonder what Prayuts reply to hard questions will be, when the world knows he's in Xi's back pocket?

He will be like Elton John on stage with Elvis, way out of his depth.

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20 hours ago, sscc said:

 

USA had been pressuring ASEAN10  to take sides as in past few months, these USA officials had came to SE Asia  

USA Deputy Secretary of States Sherman 

USA Secretary of Defense Austin

USA Secretary of States Blinken  (  he did not make it to Thailand after visiting Malaysia and ejoying coffee hospitality offered by Indonesia  ) 

 

And ASEAN10 had been very much <deleted> off. 

 

 

Sorry you are confused and got it all wrong in exact opposite. 

The current US executive branch is blatantly weak on the world stage. No one is taking them seriously (except for the submissive of course). Everything that is being displayed and disseminated is a propaganda prop. It doesn’t take much empirical thinking to understand  

 

sorry you are confused and got it all wrong in exact opposite 

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On 4/21/2022 at 7:45 AM, hotchilli said:

The summit is already being played down by some ASEAN members

"played down" is a good n candid observation here.
In layman terms, It means they are not keen to attend  .
Body language experts who studied video footage of the SG  PM "s recent visit to Washington says he looks strained n uncomfortable n was like an office boy being made to fly up to meet with the "boss" ..

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Prayut will be as much use as a Chocolate Teapot; for him and his Entourage it will just be a Holiday at Taxpayers expense !

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On 4/21/2022 at 1:38 AM, malibukid said:

when i go back to the States its like stepping back in time.  transportation infrastructure is so 20th century.  hate getting back on the freeways.  America needs to spend more money on transportation and less on weapons.  and stop selling weapons to the Saudis.

 

In USA,  Infrastructure Upgrade and Development had dragged out and mostly halted since 1970's.  Latest iconic infrastructure in USA was  the Twin Tower World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan New Year,  finished in 1971.    Fifty years had gone by,  and nothing significant had been done.

 

In USA hey days,  San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge,  New York Empire State Building,  New York Crystal Tower ......  were recognized worldwide grand projects dated to President FDR  Roosevelt 1930's era.  

 

 

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On 4/21/2022 at 12:19 AM, Eric Loh said:

China is in a rather confident position comparing with their US. Though still a formidable power, US is in the early stages of an inevitable decline with their political polarization, income inequality and unresolved racial justice issues. It will be an irreversible diminution of US power in Asia and across the globe. Meanwhile China's governance model, economic system and approach to international affairs seem more cohesive moving forward. 

 

 

 

Mostly agree on your notes,  except one word.  

" US is in the MIDDLE stages of an inevitable decline....................."   

I Don't think it is early stages by now. 

 

The decline had started over decades and eventually the strain was exposed in the Bush Jr-Obama transition period--- Year 2008 while the USA had the financial crisis initiated by  mortgage junk bonds, followed by the Lehmen's Brother,  AIG,  GM bailout issue ..... and the lots. 

  

 

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On 4/21/2022 at 10:25 AM, John Drake said:

China gets results because it makes threats and then carries through with them. The US hems and haws and then brags about its weakness and indecisiveness ("We will not force you to choose sides"). Guess what, China is forcing every country in the region to choose sides, while the US virtue signals. Then, the US is surprised everybody has joined up with the PRC. Don't blame China for protecting its own self interest. That's what a real country should do. Don't blame China for becoming powerful. Nobody put a gun to America's head (or Europe's) and demanded they hand over their industrial and technology secrets and sell off their factories to China. Americans were happy to do so ("Look at my cheap washing machine and my 401K is doing great!").

China hemmed in on all sides geographically & politically with  very weak inexperienced military.  
ASEAN the weak link with critical Mallucca Straits. 

 

Africa will “ borrow” one trillion dollars then renege. China will spend another trillion on illegal SC Seas bases which US will sweep away when CCP lured into Taiwan attack after property - based economy collapses.  
 

Yet another trillion on Belt & Road Initiative which facilities will be seized by others upon completion.

 

Desperate attempts by a flailing weak giant to be relevant and “ powerful”; all doomed to failure. 

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