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Jumat, 26 April 2019 - 14:26:39 WIB
Southheast Asia Under Grip of China
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Kategori: Melayu English - Dibaca: 741 kali

By Mas ud HMN

Important  question to day is what and how  to explain  the g[obal power. Any how China is an emerging global economic power. It is trying to take a predominant role in defining and disturbing the existing liberal mechhanism of functioning in southeast Asian region taking economic measures.

Lets see,  The intensions clearly show that it wants to capture the prime economic locations leadingto strategic benefits. In the fluctuating global economic situation, China seems to have a clear plan for the future especially in Southeast Asian region. The key challenge for Southeast Asian countries, is either to adapt to the power transitions and remain mute spectator or come out of this financial burden that requires a bold political will and step showing the real essence of a sovereign mentality of the governments and citizens.

In my opinion it is clear.Use of state-owned and private enterprises and the overseas ethnic Chinese communities, are some of main driving factors for China’s firm economic footing in the region for strategic objectives. The power dis-balance, difference and overdependence on China economocally and financially, have caused a certain degree of concern in Southeast Asia. Naturally, the power difference and over indebtedness, limit the foreign policy options and strategic aspects of the countries in the region.

Beijing has used economic measures in Southeast Asia very effectively through a combination of economic inducement and economic pressure. China has effectively aligned its strategic goals to its benefits.

According above apart from economic inducements, China has applied economic coercion against regional countries deemed to have acted against China’s core national interests. For example, the economic friction between China and the Philippines during the 2012 faceoff over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, China tightened quality controls on Philippine fruits and reduced the number of Chinese tourists to the Philippines to demonstrate its displeasure

Conclusion is , China halted rare earth exports to Japan in 2010 over Japan’s arrest of a Chinese trawler captain near the disputed islands, Senkaku/Diaoyutai etc. Most recenty, China introduced socio-economic  and diplomatic measures against South Korea over its controversial deployment of THAAD in 2016. China has also converted unpaid debt incurred by other countries into assets which it now controls, such as the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka.

In short words, China has proactively implemented institutional mechanisms by promoting China-led multirateral mechanisme, while upholding the existing norms and rules of existing multelateral institutions deemed to serve China’s interests. The Chinese way of institutional mechanisms can be characterized as being based on situational and spontaneous aspects (favouring China) rather than on rules-based mechanism.

In 2015, China proposed its own version of sub-regional cooperation mechanism called Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC). China also supports the creation of a coordinating body both at the national and regional levels to facilitate LMC-related projects and fund the global centre for Mekong studies to promote think tank collaboration in the region, perhaps to ask them to promote the viability of such project in the region.

Agenda of LMC to give  servesas a springboard for China to expand its economic footprint and play a leading economic role in the Mekong region. Geopolitically, LMC and economic interdependence are instrumental in gearing up China’s leadership role and Geostrategic leverage in the Mekong region. There are some conserns that China might divide and weaken ASEAN if this regional grouping poses certain challenges or threats to China’s regional interest. For intance, the failure of the ASEAN foreign ministers to come up with a joint communique in 2012, due to deep differences” in ASEAN (Melayu Pos,15/4.2019)

Many expert studies China believe that as a higer level of regional diplomacy, China proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 to realize the “ China Dream” and “national rejuvenation” requiring huge resources. Some analysts consider BRI to be “China’s emerging grand strategy of connective leadership”. BRI serves  as a springboard for China to strengthen its geo-economic power and exert its geostrategic influence.

A example The new Malaysian government under Mahathir Mohamad  Malaysia take policy reviewing BRI projects that werw signed between China and the previous govrenment and Vietnam has some resevations in lending full support to BRI.Yhis cited  from VanNarith on his article recently  under topic Chain Economic Staecraft in South Asia

Whatever the economic reason are for China to push BRI and LMC (like market access to its companies, business networks, easing out industrial congestions in China, international status ect), it gives clear access to China to the foreign territories, which could be claimed by China as its own area of influence (as it is claiming South China Sea (SCS) for being its traditional fishing ground). This is in addition to the economic / financial dependence.

In views  Vannarith above The need of financial resources for economic development in SE Asian countries, gave easy passage to Chinese investment. SE Asuan countries never tried to generate their own resources or decentralized the loan resources / facilities. It also gave very easy access to ruling political leaders for such loans found to be essential for their survival and face saving among masses. It is very widely taking place in Indonesia also. It is being advocated that the debt is under manageablelimits. But, in the long run, the overall burden would be on general  public. Nobody has the answer how the debt would be paid back.

BRI and LMC are the nucleus of China’s evolving regional economic diplomacy. These mechanisms serve as the catalysts in boosting China’s economic footprint in Southeast Asia and over the long term, to realize a Sino-centric regional order. Countries in Southeast Asia are going to come under China’s stronger influence. China regards the SE Asian region

The  ending of that,as its strategic backyard. People’s consrns and anxiety are caused by not only because of power differences, but also overdependence on China and trage imbalance. Government and political leaders are crying on sovereignty of their respective country., but none of them has courage and prudance enough to adopt harsh measures and take strong decisions. Nobody has the answer and the solution how they would repay hefty debt and what economic independence they are leaving for the new and next generation in the country.

Jalarta April,23th,  2019 

sumber Foto: 



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