Overseas military bases not alliances

Updated: 2015-01-14 07:43

By Xu Yao(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

As a result, since the George W. Bush administration adopted a cherry-picking strategy of forming temporary alliances for particular situations, the US has started being flexible in stationing its troops overseas, and negotiating with a host state for use of military bases and access rights to facilities when a particular challenge emerges.

This approach of the US best shows that establishing overseas military bases does not necessarily equal forming alliances with the host state; never mind shouldering its security responsibilities for it.

Actually, the history of alliances is as long as war itself, in which most alliances are temporary and concentrate on particular situations; it was the two global camps in the Cold War that limited people's understanding of alliances, leading to the false perception that alliances mean common interests and common security in all aspects

Since threats to security have diversified today, it is hardly possible for two state actors to tie up all their interests together. For example, those states forming an alliance to fight the Islamic State do not necessarily stand on the same front on other conflicts.

That grants China's diplomacy more flexibility and freedom. Without abandoning the decades-long non-alignment policy, it can well consider establishing overseas military bases.

It was because of the consideration not to intervene or be involved in other states' domestic affairs that China adopted its non-alignment policy; Chinese leaders have always carefully avoided an overseas military presence.

But obtaining overseas military bases does not necessarily lead to forming alliances; it is time China reconsiders deeper military cooperation with certain nations through military bases or other channels.