From Brian Berletic on New Eastern Outlook
Two recent events, both overshadowed by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, help illustrate how the same problematic aspects of Western foreign policy driving the Ukrainian conflict are hard at work in provoking conflict with yet another global power, China.
Western complaints about an alleged naval base China is accused of building in Cambodia and an altercation between Chinese and Canadian patrol aircraft in the North Pacific reflect growing tensions between an inflexible and declining Western unipolar order and a rising China that increasingly refuses to subordinate or explain itself to the West upon the global stage.
While peaceful coexistence would not only be possible but preferable in regards to global peace, stability, and prosperity, the US-led “rules-based international order” has openly declared its intentions of inhibiting China’s rise and has demonstrated just how far in terms of disrupting global peace, stability, and prosperity the US and its allies are willing to go to achieve this.
China’s “Secret Navy Base”
The Washington Post in an article titled, “China secretly building PLA naval facility in Cambodia, Western officials say,” would claim:
China is secretly building a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying that is the case and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation, Western officials said.
The Washington Post already reported that:
The establishment of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia — only its second such overseas outpost and its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region — is part of Beijing’s strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power, the officials said.
The unnamed Western officials failed to point out just how far China actually has to go to become a “true global power” in terms of building military installations abroad. A 2021 Al Jazeera article titled, “Infographic: US military presence around the world,” noted that, “The US controls about 750 bases in at least 80 countries worldwide and spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined.”
The notion that China’s activities in Cambodia are “secret” is also questionable. Both China and Cambodia are surely aware of the full extent to which China is or isn’t involved at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base. Neither nation is required to provide an explanation to the United States whose own shores are located thousands of miles away.
While the Washington Post accuses China of using “a combination of coercion, punishment and inducements in the diplomatic, economic and military realms,” to “bend” nations to Beijing’s interests, it is actually the United States who threatens not only Cambodia, but nations throughout Southeast Asia, all of whom seek to cultivate constructive ties with China.
Late last year, according to AP in their article, “US orders arms embargo on Cambodia, cites Chinese influence,” Cambodia was openly penalized simply for its growing ties with China. The article would claim:
Beijing’s support allows Cambodia to disregard Western concerns about its poor record in human and political rights, and in turn Cambodia generally supports Beijing’s geopolitical positions on issues such as its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The construction of new Chinese military facilities at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base is a point of strong contention with Washington.
Clearly, US claims about Chinese foreign policy is pure projection. The US would be pressed to cite specific “punishments” China has dispensed to nations simply for cultivating ties with the US. The US, on the other hand, not only imposed various economic penalties on Cambodia’s government, Washington has also sponsored opposition forces who openly aim to overthrow the current Cambodian government.
In a 2017 Phnom Penh Post article titled, “Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” a senior Cambodian opposition leader – Kem Sokha – would be quoted as saying:
“…the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can change the dictator [Slobodan] Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes.
He would also claim:
“I do not do anything at my own will. There experts, professors at universities in Washington, DC, Montreal, Canada, hired by the Americans in order to advise me on the strategy to change the dictator leader in Cambodia.”
If Cambodia, whose constitution prohibits the presence of foreign military facilities on its territory, is willing to risk public backlash for allowing China to construct a “secret base” there, it might be as a means of preventing the country from becoming the next Ukraine.
Canada’s “Global Jurisdiction” vs Chinese Sovereignty
Also in the headlines recently is a row growing between China and Canada over the latter’s air patrols “monitoring” North Korea.
A Reuters article, “China warns Canada over air patrols monitoring North Korea sanctions busting,” would claim:
China’s foreign ministry warned Canada on Monday of potential “severe consequences” of any “risky provocation,” after Canada’s military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft monitoring North Korea sanctions busting.
“The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to carry out military surveillance in the seas and airspace of other countries in the name of enforcing sanctions,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing.
And indeed, the UN has not authorized Canada or any other nation to fly air patrols to enforce sanctions on North Korea. The Canadian patrol aircraft are so far from Canada’s own territory, they are actually based in Japan throughout the duration of these “monitoring” missions.
The United States’ self-appointed role as arbiter of who can and cannot construct military bases around the globe and Canadian patrol aircraft assuming global jurisdiction including off China’s own shores and around its neighbor’s shores, are illustrations of American exceptionalism (and by extension, the exceptionalism of their closest allies).
This exceptionalism led to the crisis in Ukraine which followed the US overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government in 2014. The US began a process of militarizing the nation which shares a substantial border with the Russian Federation. Whereas the US was allowed to send its military to Ukraine to train forces for an eventual war with Russia, the US and its allies decried Russian military deployments within Russia’s own territory to put in check the growing threat Ukraine was being transformed into.
Whereas the US was able to interfere deeply in Ukraine’s internal political affairs, Russia was accused of backing separatists in the Donbas region and thus of fuelling the 8 year war that precipitated ongoing military operations in Ukraine today.
Likewise, the US is able to maintain hundreds of military bases around the globe, including those constructed as part of illegal wars of aggression and subsequent occupations. China, however, is apparently “wrong” for the potential use of part of an existing Cambodian naval facility, with Cambodia’s consent.
US allies like Canada are able to fly “patrol aircraft” thousands of miles from their own shores to “monitor” territory near Chinese shores and those of their neighbors, but China is unable to scramble its own aircraft to intercept and monitor these “patrols.”
In the past, this exceptionalism went unchecked. Because of China’s rise, there is a growing sense of balance being reintroduced into what has been until now a unipolar world order. While the US government and the Western media will complain about China’s growing ties both economically and militarily throughout the Indo-Pacific region, there is little the US can do to stop it. Its increasingly coercive and aggressive policies to punish nations seeking to do business with China may disrupt whatever balancing act many nations have been performing between East and West, driving them deeper into partnership with China and thus only succeed in isolating the US itself.
Only time will tell if the US continues down this increasingly destructive path, Ukraine being only the most recent victim of American exceptionalism, or if the US begins finding a constructive role within the emerging multipolar world.
Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
The chances of Western Foreign Policy Creating a Ukraine Crisis are zero.
Researcher Jun 8, 2022 4:54 PM
This was ok up to the point that you repeated the lies that have been perpetrated in the press, by the various “fronts” for the global cartel, called “governments” or falsely and incorrectly named; “countries“.
There are no sovereign nation states since all “governments” are incorporated municipalities, privately owned and controlled by one global cartel. The public not only don’t hold any shares of these incorporated municipalities, they cannot legally challenge them, audit them, dispose of their assets or dissolve them.
Therefore, none of the administrations in any so-called country is a public institution, no matter the proclamations or protestations by the agents employed by these corporations. All military maneuvers are coordinated and controlled through the hierarchal system of the global cartel.
All “countries” are owned and controlled by the one monetary, merchant and military cartel. The orchestrated wars are merely a device to cull and dupe, farmed populations of brainwashed humans into believing their governments are necessary to protect them, when in fact, governments do the exact opposite.
The msm (and alt media) on these issues of alleged wars or military interventions, or the alleged “history” simply isn’t believable, any more than the faked mass shootings, fake assassinations, fake nukes, fake pandemics and all the government coordinated terror DRILLS, marketed to the public as real.
Actually it’s much, much worse than that.
Anyone, who isn’t born yesterday, knows that the so called “governments”, with few exceptions like Russia and China, are nothing more than front-offices for the transnational corporations, who happens to have something to profit from in the respective territory. The most shining example – the U.S. government. Its military and para-militaries are just thugs enforcing the will of the corporate sponsors of the U.S. puppets, known as “politicians”. The presstitutes – I don’t think that even the dumbest american believes anything they say anymore.
Unfortunately, organized resistance isn’t much of a feasible option in U.S.; at least not yet – the opposition always shall have better equipment, more money and more hired muscle at its disposal. But more importantly – it gives the so called “authorities” something they could recognize and squash – a target.
A much more feasible solution is what Charles Hugh Smith defines as “opting out” – falling through the cracks of the society and go under the radar.
you forgot to read the bit “All “countries” are owned and controlled by the one monetary, merchant and military cartel.”
Researcher hammered the point home with https://off-guardian.org/2022/06/07/ukraine-war-what-is-it-good-for-transformation/#comment-512131
Researcher Jun 8, 2022 11:27 PM
Yes, indeed. The right/left or east/west paradigm only works on the most naive.
The irony is that whomever this tribe is, whether it’s the Cult of Moloch, the Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenician Navy and/or their descendants, the Crypto-Judeans; they take cloaks of many colors (religions and tribes) to form multiple supposed oppositional groups so it becomes more convincing to the public that there’s warring factions or ethnicities when there’s only one criminal gang ruling over the entirety of humankind, eternally creating division and artificial scarcity, using their Order Out of Chaos, modus operandi.
The US is hostage to the “war industry”. As long as they are standing, there will always be (many) wars.
Good article, stating an obvious point that readers—people—must be reminded of again and again.
The crazy scope of the hypocrisy and imbalance that rules the minds of the leaders of the US military and security state.
Thanks for posting.
This article is extremely well structured and very useful for countering the ‘misunderstanding’ of the realities that many people have, who have only relied on the MSM
I have a question. Maybe a naive one.
I had great hopes for the China-Russia cooperation. In particular, I was happy to hear that Russians were able to use UnionPay to avoid sanctions. However, today I got to know that UnionPay suspended it’s collaboration with MIR.
In my humble view, an alternative to SWIFT is as necessary as never before. In order to support countries rising up against the US pressure, one needs an alternative. Why did China cancel that cooperation with MIR?
I find it really scary, as it looks to me like China is turning away from Russia. Or at least China is not interested in establishing parallel structures that the Global South can rely on in order to withstand US onslaught.
Please let me know what you think about it. I’m really really worried.
China is not turning away from Russia. They do not stand shoulder to shoulder but stand back to back. Each must deal with their own problems in the best possible way that benefits their own countries, people and circumstances.
Do do otherwise would be impossible and foolish to even try. But each is a brother by a different mother.
Norm Herbert, that is a lovely comment. Thank you. Every sentence is very good, but I shall steal the final one ;)
Israel is “allowed” preemptive strikes anywhere in Middle East and yet US and UN have no problems with that.