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News Reports

A house on shifting sands

Guide to reader: You’ve got to read from the pretty girl blog earlier to make sense of this…This is a drama serial…

The story continues

The Asean house is in a shambles. Among the Asean clan, some fierce staring fights have started. Cambodia wants to go easy on its big friend China and the Philippines is pissed. It’s so pissed that it decided to piss off China by announcing that it will open up some of its property in the South China Sea to oil companies. It knows China will be upset – because China thinks it owns practically the whole area. Maybe the Philippines is doing this because its own big friend, the US, has just entered the Asean house.

In the meantime, the Asean relatives are trying their best to find some kind of middle ground between the two sides. It has to, or how else is it going to face China? Some want a joint statement to refer to the clashes that have taken place in the South China Sea, but others think not. Better not piss off China too much. That joint communique is going to be very dis-jointed…

Now, the house is host to yet another problem – its guests are trampling on each other. Japan is pissed that the Chinese sent boats near its own part of the East China Sea. Of course, China says it’s theirs…It wanted to call in the Chinese ambassador to Tokyo and give him a slap on the wrist. Nothing doing, said Beijing.

Now the Chinese and the Japanese are meeting face-to-face in front of everyone and trying their level best to be nice. But civility is wearing off. Both are claiming ancient, historic rights to that part of the world. You wonder which map they are looking at….How ancient is ancient? The days of Marco Polo?

The Americans came in with a big crew of spear carriers, gong bangers and business chieftains. It said that yes, Asia is a big priority. Yes, Asean is at the centre. And to put its money where its mouth is, it”s coming up with a new programme to enhance its “strategic engagement”. Think more money, more linkages…ooooh…the ties that bind.

There are plenty of other guests hanging around, like the Brits, Koreans (both North and South) and India et al. Wonder what they make of all of this? Probably going: Let them fight…we can think later about which side to take. Of course, we’ll take the winning side…

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In an hour, the Asean relatives will meet the East Asian guests…Now who will keep who waiting?

The story continues…

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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