June 2, 2015
Neocon Ash threw quite a show at the Shangri-La Dialogue this past weekend in Singapore.
Beijing is engaged in reclamation work in nine artificial islands in the South China Sea; seven in the atolls of the Spratlys, and two others in the Paracel archipelago. Ash virtually ordered Beijing to put an “immediate and lasting halt” to the expansion; accused it of behaving “out of step” with international norms; and capped the show by flying over the Strait of Malacca out of Singapore in a V-22 Osprey.
Washington never ceases to remind the world that “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Malacca – through which China imports a sea of energy – is guaranteed by the U.S. Navy.
After Shangri-la, U.S. President Barack Obama also felt the need to play ball, stressing China should respect the law and stop “throwing elbows,” even though he admitted, “it may be that some of their claims are legitimate.” So what? When you are a “Pacific power,” you have the right to remain not silent on, well, everything.