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China flexing muscles over Taiwan, Biden must prepare, say experts

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): After Russia started a military operation in Ukraine, the experts fear that China too might flex muscles over Taiwan and the South China Sea. The experts have also advised US President Joe Biden to prepare for future tensions.

US strategy for containing the Soviet Union in Europe after World War II was anchored in NATO’s military power. But today’s Indo-Pacific strategy is anchored in hopes and intentions and lacks an identifiable hard-power component, said Husain Haqqani, the Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute and Aparna Pande, the Director of the Hudson Institute’s Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia, writing in Foreign Policy.

The document speaks of “modernized alliances; flexible partnerships, including an empowered ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], a leading India, a strong and reliable [Quadrilateral Security Dialogue], and an engaged Europe; economic partnership; new US defence, diplomatic, development, and foreign-assistance resources; sustained focus on and commitment to the region at all levels of the US government.”

But it lacks specifics and does not take into account the greater interdependence between China and the economies of ASEAN and the so-called Quad countries.

Given that interdependence, US partners in Asia are less likely to fully support the kinds of sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, said Haqqani and Pande.

China is the United States’ peer competitor, not a partner, and Chinese President Xi Jinping could create a showdown just as Putin has over Ukraine.

Also, the Biden administration has not publicly outlined how it intends to get US allies and partners–Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, and the ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam)–to stand up to China, given that all of them benefit from being China’s economic partners.

In dealing with Putin, Washington turned to its NATO allies, but there is no clear US plan for building alliances in the Indo-Pacific, said Haqqani and Pande.

Moreover, the Quad grouping of the United States, India, Japan, and Australia as a “premier regional grouping” that will deliver on a variety of issues: health care, critical and emerging technologies, supply chain cooperation, joint technological cooperation, green shipping networks, and high-standard infrastructure.

It is unclear how focusing on these subject areas would deter China from bullying other countries or from acting as if Asia is its sphere of influence, said Haqqani and Pande.

Similar is the case with the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific economic framework, which is part of the Indo-Pacific strategy document. The economic framework is referred to as a “multilateral partnership” that will deal with labour laws, data flows, environmental standards, and supply chains.

A realistic US strategy for the Indo-Pacific would involve building India and Australia’s naval capabilities as well as encouraging an increase in India, Australia, and Japan’s military budgets.

Instead of relying on existing instruments for financing the acquisition of military equipment by allies, special arrangements similar to the World War II-era Lend-Lease program should be considered.

This would allow the United States to supply weapons, warships, and aircraft to Asian partners willing to stand up to China without being constricted by solely commercial considerations, said Haqqani and Pande. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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