Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pull-Back from U.S. in Asia—Indonesia Denounces USS Lassen Stunt; Australia Does Joint Naval Exercise with China

Philippine mainstream media like the Inquirer and Philippine Star makes endless effort to create the impression that a significant number of Asean members are rooting for BS Aquino and the anti-China agitators alignment with U.S. provocations. This news report from EIRNS shows that Indonesia is particularly unhappy with U.S. interventionist actions in the region, rejecting the USS Lassen's arrogant interference in the Asean community's affairs.

On the other hand, Australia is balancing its relations between China and the U.S. preferring to maintain its goodwill with the former in the midst of pressure from its U.S. cousins. The strategic picture, however, will always see Australia accommodating the U.S. "Pivot to Asia" against strategic Asian and Asean sovereignty and independence from Western hegemonism. - HTL, November 4, 2015
The Oct. 27 U.S. provocation against China, by the deployment of USS Lassen within the 12-nautical-mile limit of Chinese territorial waters at Subi Reef in the South China Sea, is provoking a pull-back against the United States in the Pacific.

A top official of Indonesia has slammed the U.S. action. "We disagree; we don't like any power projection," said Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for POlitical, Legal and Security Affairs, of Indonesia. This reflects deepening fissures in ASEAN against U.S. gunboat foreign policy.

In Australia, a joint China-Australia naval exercise in the South China Sea will take place as planned next week. The Australian government officials released a statement Thursday, that, "There have been no changes or delays to the schedule of the HMAS Arunta and HMAS Stuart since the United States activity in the South China Sea on 27 October 2015."

On Friday, the leading Indian daily, The Hindu, noted, "The underlying tensions between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea are also having a fall-out on the bonding between Washington and its top allies. Australia, which has already defied the U.S. by joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), has announced that it would continue to hold the proposed naval drills with China in the South China Sea, notwithstanding the latest bout of tensions between Beijing and Washington."

On Oct. 28, a French frigate tied up at Zhanjiang, a few days ahead of the visit to China next week by French President Francois Hollande.

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