China walks a fine line balancing its assertiveness in the South China Sea with promoting economic cooperation through its ‘new Silk Roads’ initiative
The USS Lassens action will not prevent China from persisting with its ‘forward policy’ in the South China Sea.
The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015 did not go unnoticed in China and Beijing is working on countering its effects.
There is a tripwire of caution built into the Sino-Vietnamese relationship, perhaps more so, on the Vietnamese side.
The so-called ‘sound historical basis’ that Chinese commentators seem to find for the Maritime Silk Road might not be all that sound. It might just as well be called the Maritime Spice Route.
Beijing is trying to keep ASEAN a divided house over the South China Sea issue by employing a mix of diplomacy and economic engagement.
The contradictions evident in China’s neighbourhood foreign policy reflect its continuing search for a model of international relations that can balance its domestic interests and external ambitions.
In the whole issue of the American rebalancing towards Asia, the perspectives of countries besides China also need to be understood. These countries have their own balancing act to follow; and India, much more so than most other countries, given that it is a strategic partner to both China and the US and has ambitious of superpower status itself.
There is debate within China on whether the country is truly ready to take up a more active political role internationally and whether in the rush to get involved, it might not end up damaging its long-term interests.