Not, normally, an easy thing to do. But with so much going so badly in the rest of the world, it is possible to overlook China’s increasingly assertive – not to stay “aggressive” – presence in world affairs. Kyaw Thu and Sangwon Yoon of Reuters are reporting on:
China’s rejection of U.S. and Philippine proposals to regulate countries’ behavior in the South China Sea [which] signaled tensions are likely to persist in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
At a regional security meeting … China rebuffed a U.S. proposal for nations involved in disputes to voluntarily avoid actions that could be provocative. The proposal, and a similar measure by the Philippines at the Asean Regional Forum in Myanmar, were aimed at breathing life into stalled talks on drafting a code of conduct.
“They are not going anywhere ecause the Chinese don’t see any value in it,” said Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies inSingapore. “Their argument is increasingly there is no reason to do this stuff. In their mind it’s a settled issue.”
With its economic and military clout growing, China has been more aggressively asserting its claims to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, including territory claimed by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The push is also fueling tensions with the U.S. as the Obama administration seeks so assert its own influence in the region.
Though it has its hands full at the moment. Which is not lost on China.