DavAdmin wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:17 pm
Deepwater ports, offshore drilling rights, transport and power infrastructure to name a few. Thailand also has a number of hydropower plants in Burma and it has been almost fully taken over by China with them building the new high speed railway, investing in infrastructure, and even supplying Covid vaccines. Of course the Thai generals running the country profit nicely from it as the Burmese generals will. Additionally, nearly everything in Laos is now made by China, it is practically just another southern province now.
: please see the above briefing by DavAdmin.
Do you remember a post I sent you some time ago in which I divided south east Asia into two broad zones? The first was continental
south east Asia comprised basically of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. All either had a common border with China or were so close to China it did not matter.
The second zome was archipellago
south east Asia comprised of Indonesia, The Philippines, Brunei, Timor Leste, Malaysia and of course Singapore. A century ago writer Rudyard Kipling defined this as The Malay Archipellago.
Reading DavAdmin briefing note on PRC encroachment on the former it occurred to me that, aided by the complicity of local elites this region seems to fall naturally into a Chinese sphere of influence. Compared to that the archipellago region seems to fall more naturally into the Western sphere.
I will leave you to comment if you like but to me right now it presently seems that the West may well in the long run be undertaking a futile exercise, squandering money and other resources, attempting to save it from the clutches of PRC hegemony. Let China have it if it wants it! Better if the West "saves its powder" for the archipellago
part where it has more tactical advantage?
Among the continental
part of s. e. Asia I single out but one exception.
As you are aware: philosophically, Vietnamese society and culture is based on the same threesome of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism as Chinese civilisation. Like the PRC Vietnam also bears the "family resemblance" of being a one-party state ruled by a Communist Party. Despite this the two do not love one another.
The Vietnamese have a long and proud history behind them opposing Chinese hegemony. I believe that centuries ago northern Vietnam was even incorporated into China as a southern provence by one of the dynasties yet the Vietnamese fought back and recovered their soverignty. This has given them a very strong sense of national identity that served them well when they firstly had to fight the French and later the Americans.
It seems to be that while other s.e Asian peoples behave like the bamboo plant when the typhoon wind blows through (they always bob and bend with the prevailing wind) the Vietnamese are a fighting nation who oppose and fight back. I nominate Vietnam as the one and only nation of s.e. Asia who could serve as an ally of the West in the containment of China.