The U.S. Navy and Southeast Asian nations held joint maneuvers for the first time

2019/09/1568370478.jpg
Read: 797     15:43     13 September 2019    

The U.S. Navy participated in joint exercises with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last week, following months of tensions in the region.


The exercises kicked off at Sattahip naval base southeast of Bangkok on Sept. 2 and concluded near Vietnam’s southern tip of Ca Mau, a former stronghold for southern resistance fighters during the Vietnam War. Beijing no doubt watched carefully as more than 1,000 personnel, U.S. ships and reconnaissance aircraft took part — as did foreign-policy analysts. What are some of the key takeaways?

There’s much at stake in South China Sea, including an ongoing standoff between Vietnam and China. In recent weeks, Chinese coast guard vessels have patrolled within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, less than 200 nautical miles off its east coast, while a large Chinese crane vessel reportedly came as close as 56 nautical miles to Vietnam’s coastline last week. In response, Hanoi dispatched at least two naval vessels to deter the Chinese ships. The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry called on Beijing to “immediately” withdraw its vessels from Vietnamese waters.

With the Chinese presence in the South China Sea on the rise, the Trump administration has pushed Australia and other Pacific nations to take a firmer stance against Beijing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored Canberra’s geopolitical choice between Washington and Beijing on a recent trip to Australia. Some analysts may be eager to interpret the joint maritime exercise as a signal that ASEAN states are beginning to rally and push back against Beijing.

But these latest developments don’t mean ASEAN is tilting toward Washington’s corner amid the U.S.-China rivalry — or that countries in the region are ready to adopt more antagonistic strategies against Beijing.

There are several reasons to take a more cautious interpretation of ASEAN diplomacy.

Washington Post



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News Line

The U.S. Navy and Southeast Asian nations held joint maneuvers for the first time

2019/09/1568370478.jpg
Read: 798     15:43     13 September 2019    

The U.S. Navy participated in joint exercises with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last week, following months of tensions in the region.


The exercises kicked off at Sattahip naval base southeast of Bangkok on Sept. 2 and concluded near Vietnam’s southern tip of Ca Mau, a former stronghold for southern resistance fighters during the Vietnam War. Beijing no doubt watched carefully as more than 1,000 personnel, U.S. ships and reconnaissance aircraft took part — as did foreign-policy analysts. What are some of the key takeaways?

There’s much at stake in South China Sea, including an ongoing standoff between Vietnam and China. In recent weeks, Chinese coast guard vessels have patrolled within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, less than 200 nautical miles off its east coast, while a large Chinese crane vessel reportedly came as close as 56 nautical miles to Vietnam’s coastline last week. In response, Hanoi dispatched at least two naval vessels to deter the Chinese ships. The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry called on Beijing to “immediately” withdraw its vessels from Vietnamese waters.

With the Chinese presence in the South China Sea on the rise, the Trump administration has pushed Australia and other Pacific nations to take a firmer stance against Beijing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored Canberra’s geopolitical choice between Washington and Beijing on a recent trip to Australia. Some analysts may be eager to interpret the joint maritime exercise as a signal that ASEAN states are beginning to rally and push back against Beijing.

But these latest developments don’t mean ASEAN is tilting toward Washington’s corner amid the U.S.-China rivalry — or that countries in the region are ready to adopt more antagonistic strategies against Beijing.

There are several reasons to take a more cautious interpretation of ASEAN diplomacy.

Washington Post



Tags: