The September 30th Wall Street Journal article “Asian Bloc Agrees to Counter China Heft” by Yoree Koh begins:
TOKYO—Japanese defense officials and their Southeast Asian counterparts agreed this week on the need to deepen regional cooperation amid concerns about China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, as Tokyo again signaled its willingness to play a bigger role with its neighbors.
According to the article, a seminar held following the annual defense meeting “prominently featured maritime issues.”
The conflict countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand have with China over the South China Sea is not going to go away. This is particularly true because of the suspected oil and gas reserves thought to be in the region.
The article continued:
China’s growing naval confidence was the primary subject discussed by a panel of regional security experts during the session on “efforts to strengthen maritime security in the region.”
In January 2007, when my husband Mitch and I attended the U.S. Naval Institute conference in San Diego, speakers warned of the growing threat to the U.S. from potential conflicts in the Pacific.
At that time almost five years ago there was concern that the U.S. would be caught off-guard due to too much of its focus being elsewhere on the globe.
While I cannot claim any insider knowledge of the current situation, from my outsider’s perspective it would appear that increased cooperation on the part of Asian bloc countries other than China is a good step towards helping to discourage Chinese aggression.
Still, as a novelist who uses real events as the backdrop of her stories, I’ve recently been concerned by my reading of several novels set before and during World War II.
Could that war have been averted if certain countries had been paying more attention to Germany’s expansion ambitions and also if those countries had been willing to act before it were too late?
Today I would feel more confident about the chances of avoiding armed conflict in the South China Sea if the U.S. and Western Europe countries appeared in the media to be more focused on this potential hot spot.
For a fictional scenario of conflict in the South China Sea, read Mitch’s and my U.S. Navy novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. It is available in all major ebook formats, including the iPad.
(Photo above of Mitch and Phyllis visiting the USS Midway aircraft carrier on February 1, 2007, in San Diego after attending the U.S. Naval Institute conference.)