“The Chinese are Starting to Feel Surrounded by US Forces from All Sides”: Expert

“I don’t think that China’s leaders today want to make compromises with the US. It is unlikely that China will agree to create a program of developing its navy that would satisfy the US. In its turn, the US also doesn’t want to be ousted by China from its positions in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides its military presence there, the US also wants to maintain control over all the transport routes in this region, and China is now becoming a serious rival for the US from this point of view as well.”

In 2012, the US announced that it is starting “to return to Asia” — that is, to broaden its military presence in the south of the Asia-Pacific region.

This is the US’s response to China’s increasing military activity in disputed waters in the East China and the South China Seas.

The US is going to move up to 60% of its navy to the Asia-Pacific region. That would increase the US’s military presence there 3 times in comparison with the current situation.

At present, about 60 to 70 US military ships and from 200 to 300 planes are constantly present at US naval bases in Japan and South Korea. Besides, at least 2 US aircraft carriers are constantly keeping watch in the region.

Now, according to President Obama’s order, US naval forces are to increase in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.

In Australia, the number of US marines will be increased 10 times and will reach 2,500 people. Besides, the US will have broader access to the Australian naval base on the coast of the Indian Ocean, to the south of the city of Perth.

Up to 4 US navy ships will be deployed near Singapore’s coast.

The US is also planning to deploy up to 500 servicemen and reconnaissance aircraft in the Philippines and to create a center for repairing US navy ships there. Moreover, the US does not rule out that in some time from now, the Philippines may become the center of commanding US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

“In such conditions, the Chinese are starting to feel surrounded by US forces from all sides,” Russian expert in Eastern affairs Yuri Tavrovsky said in an interview with the Voice of Russia. “After all, the US does not hide the fact that the reason it is strenthening its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is the growing influence of China there.”

“In its turn, China is actively developing its navy,” Mr. Tavrovsky continues. “It is hard to deny that within the last few years, China’s economy has been rapidly developing, which has allowed China to considerably increase its military might. It would probably be an exaggeration to say that China is becoming aggressive, but it is obviously starting to realize that it is getting strong enough to afford dictating its will to other countries.”

Another Russian expert, Evgeny Kanaev, is predicting that US-Chinese relations will most probably aggravate even further:

“I don’t think that China’s leaders today want to make compromises with the US. It is unlikely that China will agree to create a program of developing its navy that would satisfy the US. In its turn, the US also doesn’t want to be ousted by China from its positions in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides its military presence there, the US also wants to maintain control over all the transport routes in this region, and China is now becoming a serious rival for the US from this point of view as well.”

Experts are concerned that the US’s policy of regaining military control over the Asia-Pacific region and its competition for this role with China may aggravate the situation in this region to a very dangerous point.