In response to an FT article by Gideon Rachman on 19th September 2016, entitled ‘America’s pacific pivot is sinking’
‘From South China Sea rivalry to an international trade agreement, the US policy is in trouble…
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines (stated) “China is now in power and they have military superiority in the region”…
The Americans have long insisted, reasonably enough, that their position on the South China Sea is about upholding international law rather than engaging in a power struggle with China…
The sense that America’s “pivot” to Asia is in trouble is compounded by the growing doubts about the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal promoted by the US.'
– Gideon Rachman
The US, and her allies here in the UK, can 'insist on international law' until we are blue in the face, and it will make absolutely no difference other than cause amusement in Beijing and Moscow. Anyone who pays attention to history will know that imperial powers, and wannabe imperial powers, do exactly what they think they can get away with, and cry ‘referee’ when a rival does the same. For example on June 27, 1986 the International Court at The Hague issued the following legal ruling:
‘Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the “contra” forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State’
Looking around the world right now – where else are we “training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying” military rebel groups waging war against a sovereign government? Answers on a postcard to Damascus please.
I am not supporting Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea – I am saying let’s get serious about 'international law' ourselves before thinking we can use it to get what we want from others…and in the meantime let’s call it what it is – a sick joke. Clearly the BS doesn’t help, let’s give the truth a chance.
As for the TPP - it has very little to do with free trade and very much to do with loading the dice for corporations at the expense of SMEs, consumers and national lawmakers. The backlash against it - what the mainstream media seeks to portray as ‘protectionism’ - could just as easily be described as a backlash against protectionism - the protectionism the TPP seeks to put in place for corporations and crony capitalists.
As for President Obama facing ‘the sad prospect of leaving office with his signature foreign-policy initiative — the pivot to Asia — sinking beneath the Pacific waves’…I believe, sadly, it is premature to write off the TPP just yet. Hillary Clinton’s new found opposition is entirely ‘political’ – she changed her position to fend off an attack from the left during the primaries and from the right during the general. If elected she will revert to type, change a few commas and declare victory on behalf of the American people. It will be no such thing.