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Why US attempting to increase tensions in the Indo-Pacific

This US Navy photo obtained October 23, 2018 shows the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54)as it pulls in to port at the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy base in Jeju, South Korea on October 12, 2018. (AFP photo)

The United States is attempting to increase tensions and create confrontations in the Indo-Pacific region in order to exert its influence and flaunt its military presence throughout East, Southeast and South Asia, says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said that America “is not at all interested in promoting peace and security in the so-called Indo-Pacific. Its primary intention is the exact opposite, to increase tensions and create confrontations where none need exist. It is only in this way that the US can continue to exert its influence and flaunt its military presence throughout East, Southeast and South Asia. In doing so it hopes to mobilize its wavering allies in the region to challenge and confront China. This strategy however is doomed to failure.”

Two US Navy warships have passed through the Taiwan Strait in the third such operation this year, as the US military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US Pacific Fleet said in a statement. “The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

Professor Etler said, “The transit of US warships through the Strait of Taiwan is a case in point. Its stated objective that, ‘The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,’ is simply a cover for the US poking China in the eye. The US seeks only to aggravate tensions between China and its delinquent province Taiwan which serves as a US dependency in East Asia. But, the recent elections in Taiwan in which the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party suffered an ignominious defeat, show that the people of Taiwan reject US provocations and want a stable and secure relationship with the rest of China.”

“The same applies to the conflict in the South China Sea which is also a construct of the US. It was the US that edged on the Philippines to file an arbitration suit against China’s claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea thus allowing the US to claim it was protecting international sea lanes there by sending its naval armada through the region. But, the current government of the Philippines has rejected US attempts to weaponize the dispute and along with other claimants to the contested area have opted to engage with China in settling their differences, without the need for meddling from outside forces. The US presence in the region does nothing to help resolve tensions. On the contrary US actions only contribute to their exasperation,” he stated.

“The same applies to the Indian Ocean. The US makes spurious claims that China wants to convert seaports that it is developing in the region into military bases without a shred of evidence to support it contention. Meanwhile, the US continues to build up its own military presence in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Diego Garcia and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean and adjacent regions,” the analyst noted.

“Although the US will continue to do all that it can to roil the waters surrounding China in order to apply military pressure on its rival, the tide of history is going against it. China’s pull is simply too great. From Taiwan, to the South China Sea and throughout the world for that matter China is an ever growing presence that cannot be stymied by the foot stomping and temper tantrums of the US sinking ship of state,” he concluded.

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