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Rebalancing going nowhere

Updated: 2016-05-31 07:56
(China Daily)

Rebalancing going nowhere


In a joint statement issued during US President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam, the two countries vowed to strengthen their security and defense cooperation, and the US announced it was lifting its decades-long ban on weapons sales to Vietnam and promised to help boost the Asian country's military maritime power.

These moves are aimed at increasing the US' military presence in the Asia-Pacific and elevating its capability to intervene in regional security affairs.

To elevate the US' capability to communicate and coordinate with Asia-Pacific countries is part of Obama's "rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific" strategy. During his visit to Japan, Obama visited Hiroshima, making him the first sitting US president to visit one of two Japanese cities the US dropped an atomic bomb on during World War II. The visit was viewed as a goodwill gesture made to Japan and a step toward closer ties with Japan. However, Obama's visit to Hiroshima upset the Republic of Korea and others.

And despite its self-evident push to attract other countries to participate in its efforts to contain China, the visit to the two Asian countries may fail to achieve this aim. The increased military presence of the US in the Asia-Pacific, especially in the South China Sea, and its exclusive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement economic strategy have heightened the concerns of many countries.

However, as far as Vietnam is concerned, its inclusion in the TPP is unlikely to lead to it abandoning the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Due to its exclusive rather than inclusive "national interests", the US' rebalancing strategy does not have a bright future. The US should know that any move against globalization and the trend of peace and development will get nowhere.

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