Neocons Embrace Obama's Effort to Turn ASEAN Against China
Feb. 11, 2016 (EIRNS)—The neocon Center for a New American Security's Asia-Pacific Security program director, Patrick Cronin, and Indonesia Initiative director Derwin Pereira, issued a warm embrace to President Obama's effort to turn Southeast Asia against China. Obama will bring all ten ASEAN leaders to Sunnylands, California, next Monday, Feb. 15, for a two-day Summit. The CNAS crew issued a commentary called "High Stakes at the Sunnylands Summit," making clear that Obama is their pal, and China the enemy and the target of their cooperation.
"President Obama's pivot to Asia was a declaration of American will and power to prevent the Indo-Pacific from coming under the exclusive sway of an expansionist power,"
the report reads.
"How [Southeast Asia] tilts—or does not tilt toward the United States will help determine the degree of American leverage vis-à-vis China."
"Sunnylands will tell China," they continue,
"that America takes international freedom of navigation and the rule of law seriously, even though the United States is not a claimant state in the maritime dispute. Beijing cannot deal with Southeast Asia without factoring in the American response."
Also, on the economy:
"Sunnylands will provide President Obama an opportunity to showcase the TPP's benefits to other Southeast Asian nations. Indeed, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand have expressed interest in joining it. The American outreach will be important especially because China has moved quickly to expand its own economic sphere. This is through the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is seen as a rival to a U.S.-dominated system embodied by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In spite of American pressure on countries to not join the China-led bank, all ASEAN members have done so."
Therefore, they conclude:
"The United States must make ASEAN a centerpiece of its efforts to regain the global economic initiative from China."