US military meddling
Updated: 2012-07-06 08:03
As ready proof of its strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, the United States is leading two military exercises in the region right now. While the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises involving the US and 21 Asia-Pacific countries are in full swing in Hawaii, the US and the Philippines are also conducting naval exercises in the Mindanao Sea.
Last month the US staged a drill with the Republic of Korea in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. This came hard on the heels of a drill with the ROK and Japan in the Yellow Sea.
Amid lingering tensions in Northeast Asia, people cannot help but ask what is the real intention behind such brazen showboating of military muscle in the region. By staging bilateral, trilateral and multilateral military drills with allies and partners in the region, it seems the US has a multiple agenda.
The displays of force help drive home the message that for all its current woes the US remains the supreme military power. It helps mitigate the concerns that the US global influence is waning after fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And by building up a high-profile military presence in the Asia-Pacific, the US also intends to deter its potential opponents and imaginary enemies.
Last but not least, it is widely perceived that the US strategic maneuvers in the Asia-Pacific cater to its desire to counter the rise of a few regional powers, China included. As US combat operations in Iraq have been brought to end and it is pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the US is counting on such a strategic shift to keep the vital region within the range of its gunpowder.
As one of the world's most economically dynamic regions, the Asia-Pacific area is a land of opportunities. And the region is willing to share those opportunities with the rest of the world, including the US.
While benefiting from these economic dividends, the US should behave responsibly and contribute to the region's peace and stability.
However, with the US displaying its war machines and firing its missiles in the region with increasing frequency, it is impossible to believe that Washington means to play a positive and constructive role in the Asia-Pacific.
(China Daily 07/06/2012 page8)