Sincerity and honesty were never the strengths of American diplomacy, and even after the State Department was led by Mike Pompeo, who had previously led the CIA, the styling of the Washington diplomatic machine became frankly tserushny, and in the most unsightly sense. Pompeo himself, describing his activities at his last job, said literally the following: “I was the director of the CIA. We lied, we lied, we stole.”
However, one cannot fail to notice: with this approach, he really was the ideal candidate to head American diplomacy. But sometimes even the State Department begins to clarify its positions in the most open format, and this cannot but be welcomed, because the utmost clarity in international relations is certainly better than the strange understatement and attempts to hide imperial ambitions behind silly pretexts like protecting human rights or democratic values.
It is in this vein that you should read the official statement by Mike Pompeo that the United States, in fact, is ready to intervene in all territorial conflicts between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea. For the first time at the official level, Washington said that it does not recognize Chinese claims to disputed maritime territories and is ready to defend its position on the basis of the following motivation, clearly indicated in the US State Department communiqué: “The world will not allow Beijing to consider the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America supports our allies and partners in Southeast Asia in protecting their sovereign rights to the marine (offshore. – Ed.) Resources in accordance with their rights and obligations under international law. We support the international community in protecting the freedom of the seas and respect sovereignty, and also reject any attempts to impose the principle of the law of the strong in the South China Sea or the region as a whole. “
The list of conflicts the United States is prepared to intervene is impressive. Washington rejects China’s claim to have an exclusive economic zone around the Scarborough Reef and the Spratly Islands, claimed by the Philippines, whose position was supported by international arbitration in 2016. In addition, as RIA Novosti emphasizes, “the US is now denying Beijing’s claims for the waters disputed by Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.”
The irony that American diplomats refuse to notice is that the United States is demanding that China recognize an arbitration award in accordance with a convention that the United States itself refuses to sign, and, accordingly, Washington would never have complied with that decision. However, the double standard is a favorite instrument of American foreign policy.
In practice, this tightening of the State Department’s position means that the risk of a direct military clash between the United States and China in the South China Sea has increased many times over. Washington actually accused Beijing of trying to build an “empire” and promised to prevent it, probably hinting at a willingness to defend its ambitions in every way possible.
Axios, an American news portal, points out the stake in this conflict: “Every year, goods worth about five trillion dollars are transported through the South China Sea.”
In addition, the disputed territories have significant hydrocarbon reserves, control of which can reduce China’s dependence on energy imports, which the United States cannot like.
Probably, as a kind of prelude to the statements of the US State Department last week, they staged a demonstration of military force with the participation of two aircraft carriers right in the South China Sea, which caused extreme irritation to Beijing diplomacy. The Associated Press reports that, “Last week, China angrily complained that the US was building up its military forces in the South China Sea by conducting joint exercises with two groups of aircraft carriers on the strategic waterway. The US Navy said the Nimitz aircraft carriers “and Ronald Reagan, along with their accompanying ships and aircraft, conducted exercises,” designed to maximize the capabilities of air defense and expand the range of long-range precision sea strikes using sea-based aircraft in a rapidly changing operational area. “
If you look at the situation from the point of view of Washington supporters, you can say that they have achieved great success, which looks especially nice against the backdrop of the failure to collapse the Hong Kong dollar and Hong Kong’s financial system in revenge for the adoption of Chinese national security law and the criminal prosecution of pro-American Hong Kong separatists .