Russia & Ukraine war and Asia’s strategists concerns
It’s been nearly nine months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Casualties reported hence are high, as United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified 6577 civilian deaths during the conflict as of November 13. The 400 were children from the dead civilians. Moreover, 10,074 people were reported to have been injured. However, Asia is not directly involved in the war, yet Asia is facing its implications, including disrupted food supplies, and soaring prices of major items and wheat products. On other hand, the United States of America’s, as a superpower and one of the biggest economies in the world, increasing interest in Asia has raised the eyebrows of many Asian countries. The recent visit of Nancy Pelosi, the democratic speaker of the house of representatives, to Taiwan has stirred up China’s furry and counteracts. China responded with live-fire military exercises all around the Island, as China considers Island its part. Lee Hisien Loon, the prime minister of Singapore, indicated as the faraway conflict has also underlined the importance of peace at home. Many diplomats expressed fear of two big super economic rivals furry could lead Asia to war.
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a country in east Asia, at the junction of the east and south China seas in northwestern pacific ocean, with the people’s republic of China to the northwest. In 1949 Maozedong’s communists came to power in Beijing in October 1949 after defeating chuing Kai-shek’s Kumintang (KMT) nationalists in a civil war. The KMT fled to Island of Taiwan and form their own government in Taipie in December, cutting off contacts with mainland China. However, in 1950 Taiwan became an ally of the USA. Since then the USA kept Island as a rein of controversy for Asia, specifically for China.
While hosting the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, the Indonesian president called it the “most difficult G20 ever”. Moreover, he told to a reporter of one leading international magazine that he was very worried about the possibility of a conflict over Taiwan, China as an emerging one of the biggest strong economic countries and strategic competitor of the USA, as said by Antony Blinken, will never sustain in any context the involvement of the USA or another country in Taiwan.
The regional strategists are worried about the increased rhetoric in the Biden administration on Taiwan, as they say, the Biden administration has gone too far. They also deplored the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. On the contrary, China which has extended its investment in Asian countries, especially in south-east Asian countries. China would not let the American influence prevail smoothly over Asia. This is how estimated escalation clouds are hovering over Asia’s peace, as regional strategists believe.
Given such a high scale of the conflict’s estimation, choosing ‘either side’ situation has played the role of fuel in the fire. As America’s alleged increasing influence and interest would force some Asian countries to be on either side. On the other hand, China has already big investments economically and socially in Asian countries for example in Pakistan, Grilandea, Cambodia, Laos, and others. This conflicting situation between the two biggest economies has left the countries puzzled. They have reached at the brink with empty pockets.
Moreover, the supercilious approach towards the Asian countries in regards economy and deliberative sanctions of the USA has also created uncertainty. For example, Iran is a rich country with oil reserves, but due to forceful American sanctions its neighboring nations, as well as other regional countries, are unable to export oil from it. As a result, some Asian countries are reluctantly buying expensive oil from western countries and the USA itself.
Besides, the double standard policy of America has added salt to the chronic wounds of some Asian nations. As the USA favors lenient diplomatic policy for its allies conversely compelling for its geopolitical adversaries. Its apparent example is the recent report of the state department of the United States that Pakistan, Iran, and others have been retained on the list of countries of particular concerns where religious rights violations are concerned. However, India and Israel are given free hand upon clear violation of minority rights and aggravating the properties of indigenous people.
After all the situation is heated up by the Biden administration’s alleged blame that China should use its influence to bring round the negotiation table to North Korea and stop it from launching deadly missiles. Because the USA believes China has somehow support to North Korea and it also reportedly blames Russia for weapon sharing with North Korea. However, at the Bali G20 summit was seen some amicable gestures from the two rival Presidents. As USA president Joe Biden met with China’s president Xi Jinping, they Shaked hands briskly. But this has not helped to vanish the uncertainties clouds among the minds of the regional strategists of Asian countries, how much time this brisk hands shaking shadow remains will be decided over time. There is only remained the rope of hope which can be extended for a peaceful Asia and remove the uncertainties from the regional strategists’ minds.
The writer is a freelance columnist he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org