Game of Thrones
China to Vietnam: If There’s Gas in the South China Sea, It’s Ours
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  • S.C. Schwarz

    Sadly, we have Obama for a president at this critical moment. He won’t lift a finger.

    • Thirdsyphon

      To protect the undersea natural gas claims of Vietnam? Why should he? The United States has no obligation to Vietnam, and no American interests are at stake. Vietnam could have been a treaty ally of the United States, but Hanoi chose to throw its lot in with the Communist bloc instead. These decisions have consequences, and however painful those consequences might turn out to be for Vietnam, they’re apt to be instructive for others.

      • S.C. Schwarz

        As you yourself said below, the US has a keen interest in preserving the balance of power in the South China Sea, but there is no reason why we need a “forceful intervention” to do that. For example, a simple visit by Chuck Hagel to Hanoi to discuss “military cooperation” would send a powerful signal. We could open discussions with Vietnam on selling them some up-to-date jet fighters. We could open discussions on refurbishing our old base at Cam Ranh Bay and basing some of our ships there. The point would be to signal to China that their aggressive actions have costs.

      • Barbara West

        It’s not pertinent to review history far back, instead of moving forward with how to address Chinese aggressions. But, you brought it up so here are facts:
        . The original group of 68 Vietnamese ragtag soldiers were trained by the US to fight the Japanese occupiers in 1943. One of them was Vo Nguyen Giap who eventually became their legendary general that defeated France and the US. That army is now the People’s Army of Vietnam. After claiming independence but fearing France may return, Ho Chi Minh (with helps from an American officer) drafted a letter to H. Truman asking for assistance without a reply. The US in turn, helped France to recolonize Vietnam paying 90% costs and supplied bombers. That letter was a gift to Obama when Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang paid a visit in 2013. Hanoi did not turn to the Communist bloc. The US drove them to that destination and decisions have consequences (58,000 Americans and 2 millions Vietnamese).
        . In 1974, less than 2 years after Mao-Nixon’s pingpong diplomacy, China gathered 26 Navy ships (25% of their Navy at that time) to invade Paracel islands chain from S. Vietnam: our treaty ally and war partner. Some of these heavily armed Chinese ships traveled almost 1,000 miles through the US 7th fleet without S. Vietnam being notified. As the the result, 3 of the 6 S. Vietnamese ships were outgunned and sank. This very exalt islands group that China is now used to justify for its oil rig’s drilling as it’s 120 miles from Vietnamese shore and 20 miles from “their Paracel”.

  • Government Drone

    Oh, I’m sure he’ll have a red line or two, if the occasion warrants.

  • Thirdsyphon

    The United States is keenly interested in preserving the balance of power in the South China Sea, but forcefully intervening on behalf of Vietnam would send a confusing message that Washington is neither strongly motivated nor obliged to back up. That’s presumably why China decided to pick on Vietnam in the first place, instead of on an American treaty ally like the Phillipines or Japan.

    We haven’t heard the last of this from China, but events are making it clear that China has more to worry about in the region than just the U.S.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This is such a wasted opportunity, America should be using Chinese belligerence to negotiate a favorable economic and military alliance with all of China’s neighbors. Instead we have the historically weak Obama, who hasn’t a clue what a strategic foreign policy even looks like.

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