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Council on Foreign Relations Pushes Military Confrontation with China

July 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—The New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) journal, Foreign Affairs, released an article in its July/August issue titled "Course Correction—How to Stop China’s Maritime Advance," by Ely Ratner, CFR’s China hand, and a former Vice-President Joe Biden security advisor for Asia, as well as an Asia hand at both the neocon Center for a New American Security and the RAND Corporation.

Ratner rants that China is "poised to seize control" of the South China Sea, which

"would deal a devastating blow to the United States’ influence in the region, tilting the balance of power across Asia in China’s favor. Time is running out to stop China’s advance."

Pretending that the other claimants to the rocks and islands in the South China Sea are pleading for U.S. military help to stop China’s aggression (the opposite is the case), Ratner calls for more military presence, for vastly increasing military hardware and support to Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, in preparation for war with China. The U.S. must "abandon its neutrality" on issues of sovereignty [which Obama essentially ignored in any case] and

"help countries in the region defend their claims. Washington should make clear that it can live with an uneasy stalemate in Asia—but not with Chinese hegemony."

Ratner also asserts that China is preparing to

"reclaim more land... and develop the ability to deny foreign militaries access to the sea and the airspace above it, by deploying a range of advanced military equipment to its bases—fighter aircraft, antiship cruise missiles, long-range air defenses, and more."

This is, of course, clinically insane, since China depends on trade through the South China Sea—which requires freedom of navigation—far more than the United States does. Ratner lets it all out by warning that these moves by China would "limit the United States ability to project military power and political influence in Asia." The Obama/neocon credo of American imperial rule.

He adds:

"The biggest threat to the United States today in Asia is Chinese hegemony, not great-power war. U.S. regional leadership is much more likely to go out with a whimper than with a bang.... In order to alter China’s incentives, the United States should issue a clear warning: that if China continues to construct artificial islands or stations powerful military assets, such as long-range missiles or combat aircraft, on those it has already built, the United States will fundamentally change its policy toward the South China Sea. Shedding its position of neutrality, Washington would stop calling for restraint and instead increase its efforts to help the region’s countries defend themselves against Chinese coercion."