“The inclusion of India is an attempt to stretch the coverage by extending its role to patrol the South China Sea with an eye at keeping the whole of the Indian Ocean to itself.”
The creation of the proposed Indo-Pacific alliance is symptomatic of the US direly in need of allies. The danger to this can be summed up by that old adage: one cannot eat more than his mouth could chew.
Pursuant to this, the US plans to create a new alliance outside the geographical context of countries invited to join. The proposed Indo-Pacific intends to invite countries with some grudgingly joining. Others have a totally different set of interest in mind.
Many analysts point out that the proposed alliance lacks the geographical cohesiveness to assert what it wants for the region. The vast area practically encompasses more than half of the world’s oceans.
The two great bodies of water intersect in the Strait of Malacca which US military strategists plan to choke China.
The distance of countries invited to join is great to allow them to pursue things proximate to their interest as sovereign and independent states.
Historical circumstance, cultural diversity, religious beliefs, and degree of economic development simply do not allow them to coagulate their interests except for the US acting as modifying factor pursuing its own interest.
This is why the US always finds it difficult to form an alliance as product of a collective process.
No matter how subtle it tries to cover its interest, there is likely to develop disagreement.
Identifying who should be the “enemy” for which the alliance was created already serves as stumbling block to the cohesiveness of the decision-making process.
This explains why the US has to exert itself as a single dominant power. There is always a degree of pressure and influence to compel members to agree to what the US wants.
Its dominant role now serves as unifying factor but leaves a permanent scar to disunite the alliance. The inclusion of India is an attempt to stretch the coverage by extending its role to patrol the South China Sea with an eye at keeping the whole of the Indian Ocean to itself.
The inclusion of India will augment the Indo-Pacific alliance.
The US and UK may use India’s navy power to divide China’s fast-modernizing naval power in the South China Sea.
The role for which India was invited is no different from Japan, which is to play second fiddle to US global ambition.
All these proposed security arrangements however overlooked that there are power players looking at the US activities in the region, and can also reshape their policies in the region.
In fact, the increased antagonism of NATO and the US with Russia has hastened to revive the warm relations of China and India.
The deep-seated rivalry in the unresolved dispute in its northern territories temporarily has been set aside to favor issues of strategic and existential to their survival.
China and India are both dependent on Russia for oil and gas. Russia is India’s number one supplier of arms ranging from artillery guns of various calibers, aircraft, naval ships, submarines, helicopters, missiles, sophisticated electronic and communications equipment including radars.
Most precarious is the temptation of China and India to veer away from the US dollar. This could signal the collapse of the syndicated control/manipulation of the US dollar.
Some say the US over extended its power to economically sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Both India and China resent this because they are being punished for violation of international law they did not commit.
The US expects the two to observe its unilateralist sanction. But China is committed to multilateralism which is directly at odds with the US policy of unilateralism.
Even if nationalist Indian prime minister Narendra Modi does not see eye-to-eye with China’s President Xi Jinping, this habit of the US of imposing economic sanction and forcing countries to follow serves to indirectly generate political uneasiness in the relations of the two.
US sanctions provided opportunity to reassess their interest in favor of what would advance their core interest.
Issues affecting their defense and the need for fuel to keep their industries moving is far more important than playing second fiddle that only fattens the pockets of the US military industrial complex.
India and China’s defiance of the US and EU sanctions simply catalyzed the greater portion of the world’s population that will never kowtow to what they want, and neither can the US do something to stop them for the fact that they possess their own nuclear weapon.
It is this feature in the US alliance that irritates many countries. It pretends to treat them as allies while strict in keeping them to abide by what it calls “rule-based” policies.
Let us stop deluding ourselves that the Philippines is an ally of the US against China.
Filipinos should all take note that the US forced us to violate our Constitution just to accommodate their stay contrary to what was agreed in the Marcos-Johnson communique in 1965.
Section 14, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution states that the bases shall not be renewed or extended except in a treaty.
Besides, the US bases shall no longer be allowed to stay beyond 1991 in abeyance to Section 25, Article XVIII of that Constitution; however, it purposely omitted where in the Constitution was it lifted.
During the Marcos administration up to the time he was ousted by the US-inspired coup d’etat in 1986, the Philippines adopted the opening of windows with the socialist bloc including the opening of diplomatic ties with China.
This step taken by then President Marcos means that the Philippines could not then foresee dispute with China in the South China Sea.
When the country allowed the return of the US bases in 2001 under the guise of Visiting Forces Agreement, and later elevated to an agreement called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA in 2013, that equivocally placed the Philippines as an ally of the US, viz against China.
The US knew much that it was already ramping up to create conflict with China. There is no way we can interpret the events, notwithstanding that the US media was already drumbeating that “China is about to occupy the whole of South China Sea.”
This now creates a paradox not to say an anachronistic stand to our newly elected president which announced a policy of “making friends to all and an enemy to nobody.”
Can we can make friends to our neighbors while poking at them foreign military bases? BBM should be reminded that it was this bankrupt imperial power that removed his father from power it deceptively called “people power.”
Moreover, the proposed Indo-Pacific alliance seeks to duplicate the ratification of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP which was surprisingly endorsed by almost all countries in Asia.
The persistence of the US to pursue its own interest could openly hasten the demise of the alliance. The US policy of unilateralism cleverly covered as “rule-based” is diametrically opposed to China’s multilateralism seen by many as just and encompassing.
Notably, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) is a misplaced alliance made of countries not geographically located in the South China Sea.
It is intended to contain China but seeks to anchor in Asia and the Pacific. Many say AUKUS is a classic example of Anglo-Saxon hegemonism escorted by an American poodle of British imperialism.
The return of the US bases was premeditated to make it appear that China is our historical enemy because of its alleged intrusion into the South China Sea. It now becomes viable for them to assert that they are here to protect us and not to protect their own interest.
The Philippines is an example of having numerous alliances and oftentimes overlapping.
We have our military bases and military assistance agreement, our defunct membership in SEATO, the VFA and now EDCA. It seems the US is bent on applying all but selects which is most advantageous to it.