India’s farewell to ASEAN as it boards RCEP train

14  November 2020 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

A container ship at Shenzhen Port, China (File photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit on November 12 makes sad reading. It comes in the specific context of the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP] on Sunday — the mega free trade agreement centred on the ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea.

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Russia blasts US’ Indo-Pacific strategy

12 September 2020 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Vietnam’s Dy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chairs a video meeting with ministers from member countries of Association of Southeast Nations, Hanoi, Sept 9, 2020.

The meeting between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on September 11 took place at a particularly delicate juncture in regional politics. Russia is carefully ploughing a neutral line in the India-China standoff while also drawing closer to China to push back at US pressure.

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Southeast Asia: U.S. Completing Asian NATO To Confront China

6 November 2011 — Stop NATO

Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization adopted its first Strategic Concept for the 21st century a year ago this month in Portugal, and in the process all but formalized the bloc as a global military intervention force, discussion has been rife concerning a collective partnership with the 54-nation African Union, a ‘mini-NATO’ in the Persian Gulf and another in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, the culmination of the transformation of the Mediterranean into a NATO sea and the effective ‘NATOization’ of the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). [1-5]

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U.S. Expands Asian NATO To Contain And Confront China By Rick Rozoff

7 August, 2010 — Stop NATO

The U.S. ended the four-day Invincible Spirit joint military exercise with South Korea on July 28, which consisted of 20 warships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 8,000 troops ‘in the sea, shore and the skies’ [1] of South Korea and in the Sea of Japan near the coasts of North Korea and Russia.

On the same day the Taiwan News ran a feature entitled ‘China reports: the US means to set up another NATO in Asia,’ which cited Chinese news media, scholars and analysts warning that ‘The US is establishing another ‘NATO’ in Asia to contain China as evidenced in the ongoing high-profile naval exercise with South Korea and a perceived intrusion in South China Sea affairs. [T]hese moves including explicit intervention in Asian affairs underline the US’s schemes to challenge China over its growing presence in this area….’

Chinese scholar Shih Yongming is paraphrased as asserting that ‘The US is capitalizing on the contradictions among East Asian countries to form a front against China,’ in reference to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposing ‘to include the controversy over the issues of South China Sea into the mechanism of international laws and [speaking] explicitly about US stakes in the disputed sea’s areas,’ [2] an allusion to her comments at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Hanoi on July 23.

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