The whole of Kishore’s article can be described as someone looking into a glass bowl but forgot to look back at himself, that it was all about the object forgetting the subject and the subjective bias of self and introspection. It is like someone blinded to his own deeds or misdeeds and blaming on the whole world.
He pointed rightly that China used to have very good relations with Asean, China was generous towards Asean and Asean reciprocated. He quoted many initiatives of China that favoured Asean and its members’ interests. Then he put the blame on China for the failing relations with Asean. It was all China’s fault for the disunity in Asean vis a vis the South China Sea. In his displeasure over China, he forgot that there was a bigger devil behind all the troubles in the SCS, in what Asean was doing, scheming against China and challenging China. He forgot that Asean was already divided by the bigger devil to take on China with all the fake claims of a UN backed Tribunal in The Hague when it was anything but UN backed and anything but an international court whose rulings are binding, like international law, but a kangaroo court in all counts. This ruse is today confirmed when all the pretentious western media that used to sing in chorus that The Hague Tribunal was ‘UN backed’ have now dropped this pretence. No more would they unashamingly tagged the label ‘UN backed’ to The Hague Tribunal to mislead the readers and to discredit themselves. Yes, they have dropped the pretence that The Hague Tribunal was a UN backed international court whose rulings are legal and binding even when the counter party refused to participate.
Kishore was puzzled by China’s action since Asean is still to him a critical catalyst to China’s rise as if China still needs Asean for its rise. While Asean is still struggling to grow up, China is now the new super power sharing the same table as the Americans. And China needs to recalculate it’s actions in the SCS to improve relations with Asean? In reality it is Asean that needs to recalculate its actions, its collusion with the devil to corner China and to want to push China out of the SCS. Kishore even quoted Deng Xiaoping’s advice to China to ‘hide and bide’ and ‘to swallow bitter humiliation’ as the thing to do. For saying these, he contradicted himself without knowing it.
China has risen, the Number Two superpower, the Number One trading power since 2014 according to him, unless he is thinking of China being the Number One superpower and the world hegemon or else China has not arrived. China does not need that and does not want to be the new hegemon. Being the Number Two superpower, China has bided its time and no long has to swallow bitter humiliation, not at the hands of little puny states. This is how out of touch Kishore has been after being away for a few months.
He admitted that ‘China is one of the more rational geopolitical actors today, unlike the US and Russia. China’s geopolitical actions are not commonly driven by emotional paroxysms.’ Exactly! How would he expect China to continue to swallow bitter humiliations from little states fronting up for the USA and wanting to seize Chinese islands? No? This is what Kishore said in the beginning of his article though he claimed he was puzzled by China’s seemingly irrational or emotional reactions to the Asean states. ‘It was inevitable that China would eventually lose its patience and lash out against perceived maritime provocations by Japan and Asean.’ Was’nt this exactly what was going on in the SCS contention and The Hague Tribunal? The kangaroo court rulings and the provocations by naval gunboats sailing into Chinese islands were not provocations serious enough for China to act and risked being driven out by little states climbing on the shoulders of the Americans?
And the big question, who is the culprit in the breakup of Asean, in the disunity in Asean? China? In the whole article it was all China’s fault, including the disunity in Asean. Not a word was mentioned about the devil that was behind the whole fiasco. The Asean that China worked closely together, giving favours to, was in the past. The Asean today is a broken house full of conspiracies and conspirators. And it rightly deserved to be broken up as it is now. No, not true, Asean is the little innocent angel of the past, neutral, principled? Pass him the magnifying glass please.
Tsk, tsk, tsk.