CHINA’s REACTION TO USA WITHDRAWAL FROM INF TREATY | publicatii - Politica La Est
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CHINA’s REACTION TO USA WITHDRAWAL FROM INF TREATY

Mihail E. Ionescu
 
         Not only that the withdrawal of USA ( August 2) and Russia ( August 3 ) from the INF Treaty of 1987  was considered  by majority of  experts as a significant event leading to the overthrow  of the arms control system at the global scale. But the comments  with that occasion of US Defense Secretary , Mark Ester, about the intention of his country to deploy such  weapons in  Indo-Pacific area  has created an uproar in that  large area. Primarily, China has been the loudest voice condemning such a development. On August 4 , 2019, the editorial of ‘ Global Times’, Beijing  official newspaper  has assessed  the consequences in very harsh words : “US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Saturday that he was in favor of deploying ground-based intermediate-range missiles in Asia. If that is the case, it will certainly trigger an intense arms race in the region.The US is greedily pursuing an absolute and all-sided military superiority to consolidate its hegemony. It refuses to accept any relative balance of power. Such a stubborn and overbearing country has become the largest source of Asia's instability.[1]
         Beyond such accusations launched against USA , the editorial has expressed openly the opinion that the deployment of American missiles in the Pacific area  will destroy the regional order assuming that INF outlawed missiles are “ offensive weapons” : “ US deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Asia will break the status quo at the most extent. In addition to an arms race, geopolitical chaos is also likely to be triggered. Its impact will be much more serious than that of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea, because intermediate-range missiles are undoubted offensive weapons. Any country accepting US deployment would be against China and Russia, directly or indirectly, and draw fire against itself.”[2]
         What is curious is the fact that the editorial are listing alongside China as a target of US deployment of INF prohibited weapons in Indo-Pacific area also Russia. Since this strange alignment is in accordance with the present-day orientation of USA security strategy – which  defined Russia and China like competitors of USA-, and also with the strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow, reality could be far away from these above mentioned facts. Some experts are taking into account that   that the lengths of Russian  frontiers in  Asia pushed the Russian military to think about the utility of having – as the Americans- such deployments of INF –restricted weapons  in self-defense.
         Not surprisingly, the idea expressed in the editorial of ‘ Global Times’ is  similar to the analysis of Gideon Rachman in an editorial in “ Financial Times”  ( August 5 , 2019 ) . Without any reference to INF treaty’ demise, Rachman  writes: 
•       “In late July, the Chinese and Russian air forces staged their first ever joint aerial patrol in the region, causing South Korean warplanes to fire hundreds of warning shots at Russian intruders. The South Koreans are also facing the most serious deterioration in their relations with Japan in decades. North Korea has also just restarted missile tests, endangering U.S.-led peace efforts. All of the other east Asian flashpoints—Taiwan, the South China Sea, Hong Kong and the U.S.-China trade war—are also looking more combustible.
•       “On the surface, many of these incidents seem unconnected. But collectively they point to a regional security order that is coming apart. America’s military pre-eminence and diplomatic predictability can no longer be taken for granted. And China is no longer willing to accept a secondary role in east Asia’s security system. In these new circumstances, other countries—including Russia, Japan and North Korea—are testing the rules.”[3]
         Concluding its analysis, the responsible for international relations of the prestigious British newspaper affirms that we are witnessing the end of the “ Kissinger order[4] and of the collapse of “ the Asian strategic order” .
         In a strange evolution, Australia has been the first Pacific power who apparently  rejected USA in its intention to deploy missiles on its territory. Two days after the comments of Mark Esper, on August 5, PM of Australia ,  Scott Morrison  stated  "It's not been asked of us, not being considered, not been put to us. I think I can rule a line under that." The article  of “Global Times” on Tuesday, commenting that , has written plainly that USA “ always plays spoiler, daydreaming about dominating the region. Its plan to deploy the missiles exposes such intention. It's a bid not only to deal with China and Russia, but also to strengthen and consolidate its strategic dominance in the Asia-Pacific region.[5] Considering the de facto political- strategic situation of today Asia Pacific, the opinion article assessed that : “The current pattern in Asia-Pacific where some countries rely on the US militarily and on China economically is unstable. All regional members should work together to build a security and trust system without chaos brought about by the US.” [6]
         ‘Asia strategic order is dying’  today- to quote Rachman- , and a lot of other development of events  on that continent and not only  shaped a worsening security landscape .
         As Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign relations of USA, author of a famous book published in January 2018 - “ The World in Disarray- American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old World Order ” -– wrote two days ago on his twitter account:
 
@RichardHaass
US-China trade war, hottest July ever, Hong Kong on the edge, odds of US-Iran, Turkish-Kurdish conflicts mounting, new India-Pakistan Kashmir crisis, Japan-S Korea diplo/eco confrontation, looming Brexit: the word ‘disarray’ too restrained to capture the world’s deterioration.
2:11 PM · Aug 5, 2019[7]
 
 
August 7, 2019
 
[1] Asia must be wary of US missile plan, in ‘ Global Times’,  2019/8/4-
[2] Ibidem
[3]Financial Times’, August 5, 2019
[4] “Kissinger order” is called the bringing of China into the world games in 1972- the famous opening of  US President  Richard Nixon to Communist China and the subsequent events which has shaped not only the present day order in Asia , but also the global order in the following two decades.
[5] Yan Yunming ,US Indo-Pacific Strategy will lead to chaos, ‘Global Times’, 2019/8/6
[6] Ibidem

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