5/13/2016

The attack on China continues

Tang Siew Mun, Head of Asean Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, continues the attack on China by calling on Asean to stick together to confront China in the South China Sea dispute or be hanged separately. I think this must be his personal view and not that of the Institute or the govt.

Let me quote what he said in his article, ‘Hang together or hang separately?’ published in the ST on 12 May.  I think as an academic his comments would not draw another strong protest from China for meddling with China’s internal affairs and not having to qualify that he is speaking in a personal capacity.

‘Asean has to take a firm stand on the SCS not because it wants to favour one claimant over another, but in order to protect the integrity and unity of the 10 member organization. If Asean shows that it is susceptible to any kind of external interference, it would lose its credibility and in the process declare itself “fair game” to any external powers.  Benjamin Franklin’s advice that “we must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately” is particularly pertinent for the Asean leaders.

The above comment emphasizes integrity and unity of Asean and the assumption that Asean as a united block can take on a big power as an equivalent of a big power.  Talking about integrity of Asean is laughable since Asean discarded the concept of a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality. When Asean countries started to become allies of big powers, providing military facilities for big powers to exert their influence in the region, signing military alliances with big powers, engaging in warfare on the side of big powers, the integrity of Asean as a neutral block of countries is already a big question mark. 

Asean unity? Asean as a united block too is an aspiration rather than a reality. There are the pro US and pro China camps within Asean.

What is more naïve is to think that Asean, acting together as a block, would be a force to be reckoned with against big powers like the USA, PRC or India. Such big powers would give Asean a kick in the arse when they deemed fit and when their interests are challenged. The insanity of small countries thinking that they can punch above their weight or a small half past six regional block taking on the big powers can only be found in Asean countries. Some wanting to go to war with China, some wanting to push China out of the South China Sea. The most realistic of the Asean countries, and the most powerful militarily, having fought and defeated the Americans and a border war with China, understood what it is like to take on China in war. 

The only chance for Asean to hang together is to add on the American factor, to hang together with the Americans and go and fight wars all over the world with the Americans. Other than this reality of joining the international gangster, punching above your weight is only possible when the big powers graciously allows you to do so, partially also to cater to their interests. When their interests are at stake or violated, you will be punching a hard rock. And the weight of a mustard seed against a big rock is not difficult to comprehend.

Singapore is praying very hard to hitch a ride on the Chinese economic locomotive and is best not to be too cocky and indiscreet in taking sides when China’s core interests are involved. Yes, Singapore is a non claimant state in the SCS. Why is Singapore crying out loud everyday when the other claimant states are lying low?  Oops, it is not Singapore that is ruffling the feathers of China, but individuals speaking in their private capacity. And pray China would not because of these casual remarks by individual Singaporeans and cut off Singapore from the Chinese gravy train.

Where are these anti China rhetoric coming from? What is the agenda?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Oops, it is not Singapore that is ruffling the feathers of China, but individuals speaking in their private capacity."
RB

Tiok. So why would anyone give a fxxk to what this Head of Asean Studies Centre said?

Anonymous said...

This Head of Asean Studies Centre needs to say or write something about Asean, because he is a Head.

But he has so many things to say or write, even if it is about bad things.

So basically what he was saying or writing is in his view, the least evil among the evils about the bad things. So if saying something negative about China is bad, not to say it is even worse.

Just like the majority voted for what was in their view, the lesser of 2 evils, whether in general or a by election. So if PAP is bad, opposition is even worse.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with RB s claim that the comments against China is a personal stand. Such think tank is funded by the public funds at least partially, the stand is official.

Dont believe me? China senior official hardly visit Singapore. eg The China s ex foreign minister, now still a senior in China govt, visited Jokowi and Najib last week. Did he come to Sg?

Its easy to read communist china s official stand. They have officials come around to visit only the countries they have interest in. Sg is a port for US carriers to surround China is a well known news on CCTV. From this kind of news, we can easily know, what the China officials are thinking, and what they want their people to know. So Sg has far less visitors during the May long holidays. It was expected.
Do we expect the china tourists to go vietnam? The same reason.

Asean is not a single body. Big country like Indonesia is more pro China Russia than supporting US stand in S China sea. But Indoneisa also scared China takes its border for granted especially near Natuna island. That why Jokowi want to have full control of the air control system that guide Changi traffic. Jokowi s visiting Putin b4 the Asean meeting.

Vietnam is more anti China and now pro US and Japan. So what is Asean hanging together? Its kind of power play on paper to keep in touch under a name. Its benefits is signing agreement under Asean is more attractive to big countries, like China. 1 go sign off for 10 countries for trade is time saving efforts. Other than trade with China or Russia or others, Asean is nothing but individual country having self interest and currency, no loyalty or common identity as Asean. Empty shell.

Anonymous said...

The way i interpret.

There is a lot of confusion already as so many reefs, island, rock are so far apart..

China maintains that it has sovereign rights to the south china sea and further disputes will be resolved under one to one dialogue.

A lot of countries is saying that all countries need to resolves in accordance to international law and needs dialogue to resolves the disputes.

The claimant states has different opinion about China sovereign rights and theirs over South China Sea.

After many years of sweeping the dirt under the carpet ( i assume it is one to one dialogue). It becomes clear that a small country must submit to a big country just like Taiwan must submit to China in any case or like Sg submit to US and china at times.

So these smaller countries give the middle finger to China and proceeded their own action as China also f*** care and proceed to reclaim the reefs..

In conclusion,

I hope the aliens invade earth. So that we can give the South China Seas to them in exchange for peace. Then no need to fight liao.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Forming a big group or gang is a human evolutionary strategy for survival and vanquishing some pre-specified "evil".

Hitler rallied people together to form the "Nazis" to exterminate the "evil" Juden.

The KKK formed to rid America of the "evil" sub-humans: negroes. Jews and the "mud people" of Asia.

China is the pre-specified "evil". So what to do? Form a big gang to vanquish the monster.

So now we have ASEAN, Japan, the USA, the EU, Australia ganging up against China.

No wonder academics tenured in hallowed positions, cloistered in ivory towers can make harrowing prognostications about the future, and hand out their erudite solutions to the unwashed and unanointed masses. (i.e.: smart-arses like yaya-papya to talk trashy shit)

AhKong65 said...

Singapore is just a little red dot. Can we believe that Asean can really stick together when problems arise . Have we not heard of this phrase in Hokkien.... 小牛不認識老虎 .

Anonymous said...

Of course the attack will continue.

Same as the PAP attack on the opposition.

Same as the IB attack on the unconverted.

But, as in all things, life ends someday, but one hardly reflects on what is achieved in this short span of life on earth doing all these unmeritorious things. Power, wealth and ego gained in a lifetime means little when the end comes.

What then?

b said...

Why should the people get involved? Its a fight between the elites. They eat and drink so well together in any international convention.

independent individual said...

The individual has rights.