We have long known that Pakistan, or at least its ISI intelligence agency, have sympathized with and supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda – how else do you think bin Laden was able to
shelter there for all those years? And the Pakistanis are developing closer ties with Red China by the day – witness the recent meeting between the Pakistani Minister of State Security and the Chinese Ambassador at practically the same moment the U.S. departed Afghanistan.
But what of our other alleged allies among the major nations of Asia?
It appears the Japanese and the Republic of China on Taiwan have already figured out that they are on their own after Biden has apparently abandoned any pretext that a U.S. security commitment is worth the paper it is printed on.
Japan has identified China as its main national security threat, pointing in a July policy paper to a "sense of crisis" over Beijing's threat to Taiwan, which lies close to Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea.
Japan’s defense budget proposal, released on Tuesday, seeks an increase of 2.6% in spending, to a record 5.48 trillion yen ($49.93 billion), for the fiscal year starting April 1.
Even if the Japanese government approves the budget request, China's military spending will still dwarf that of its neighbor. The People's Republic has been increasing its spending for the past 26 years, reaching an estimated $252 billion in 2020. Japan's defense spending increases are not enough to keep pace with China's expanding military budget, which increased 6.8% this year and is already about four times more than Japan's, and second only to the United States in size.
Perhaps the more important development in the region is that, as the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, for the first-time defense and diplomatic officials from Taiwan and Japan held join talks on the Red Chinese threat.
And they have good reason to look for ways to cooperate.
Red China has just announced that starting today (September 1, 2021) they will require a range of vessels “to report their information” when passing through what China sees as its “territorial waters,” including what the United States and other countries in the region consider to be the international waters of the South China Sea.
Over $5 trillion trade passes through the South China Sea (actually it’s the West Philippine Sea) and numerous US naval vessels cross through contested waters, much to China's anger. Beijing claims under a so-called “nine dash line” on its maps most of the South China Sea’s waters, which are disputed by several other countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Another Asian country at risk from the weakness of the United States is India.
India is already in an undeclared war with China along its Himalayan border and with some 55 percent of India’s trade passing through the South China Sea, closure of the South China Sea to Indian commercial and naval traffic would be a serious escalation of that conflict.
To that end, navy ships of the Philippines and India held maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea on Aug. 23 in a sign of deepening defense ties reported Frances Mangosing.
Philippine Navy frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) welcomed the two Indian Navy ships— INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, and INS Kora, a guided missile corvette—on the northwestern coast of Palawan where they conducted several operational maneuvers at sea, the Philippine Naval Forces West (Navforwest) said in a statement. An Indian P-8I maritime patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy was also spotted flying over the Philippines, close to the South China Sea.
Mr. Mangosing reports early this year, the Philippines and India signed a key pact on defense equipment procurement, which was likely to include BrahMos supersonic missiles.
India and the Philippines are both confronting territorial conflicts with Communist China. The two countries have earlier agreed to step up bilateral cooperation, including in the areas of defense and maritime sectors.
And just in time, too. Online reports have the Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 entering Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea on August 28. The speed of 4 knots suggests the vessel is surveying.
However, in the face of these provocations, notably absent from the joint exercise was the United States Navy, although the US-led Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) maritime exercise was conducted in the region recently and the US-led Malabar exercises are about to get underway off Guam.
At the other end of the South China Sea, in its latest effort to intimidate Indonesia, which as extensive territorial claims in the South China Sea, Communist China Coast Guard vessel 5305 was spotted a mere two nautical miles from the Clyde Boudreaux drilling rig in Indonesia's Tuna block in the South China Sea. Indonesia deployed KRI Bung Tomo (357) corvette to the area.
Vice President Kamala Harris talked tough in Singapore, saying, "We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea,” and that when the United States sees such actions it will speak up.
“Speaking up” in the face of Communist Chinese all-domain warfare is unlikely to do much to deter Red China in their lust for world domination or reassure countries that are not interested in becoming vassals of Communist China.
Obviously, that’s because our surrender in Afghanistan has rendered U.S. security “guarantees” almost worthless. Fortunately, for the preservation of their sovereignty and liberty, our allies in the region have already figured out that the only sure means of defending their interests is to band together and they are doing so, with or without the United States.
Kamala Harris Asia trip
ISI intelligence agency
South China Sea
United States Navy
Chinese all domain warfare