Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Freedom of navigation exercises essential to preserve rights - The Straits Times

Pussy Obama once again shows what a pusillanimous president he is.
Fresh from assuring the world that he will do precisely nothing more than what he's been doing (or not doing) about the Islamist threat, now he announces that the US will "pause" its freedom of international navigation exercises in the South China Sea. (Apntly he's concerned to get Chinese support for the battle against Islamic State).
That's good news for the neo-hegemon, China, but bad news for just about everyone else in the world, especially the contesting regional states: the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
40% of world trade goes through the region. China will have a choke hold on it of it succeeds in its monopolistic, greedy claims.
This article doesn't cover the latest news about the "pause", which was in today's South China Morning Post, but it gives good background and opinion from a Singaporean point of view.
And, related: today's BBC reported on reefs in the SCS being turned into "deserts", by China's expansion in the area.
Shame on Obama. I hope Australia continues its flights to exercise its international rights, as it did yesterday.
Apparently the damage to the reefs -- "plundering by looters", with permanent damage says the BBC -- is being done by poachers, but with the Chinese navy turning a blind eye.
Great reporting by the Beebs! On the spot, in the air and under water. And with its reporter, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, speaking to the poachers in fluent Chinese. (Yesterday he was in a light plane over Mischief Reef, on which the Chinese are building a huge island and airport. Again, great reporting.)