In the past several weeks it can be observed that a rising anti China sentiment is arising in Asia but unlike this rise that had been occuring in countries like Japan, Taiwan, etc. A new more public more outspoken position towards China is beginning to emerge.
Historic elections in Malaysia has the new Prime Minister there focusing on corrupt Chinese investment as well as unfavorable political ties with China. All of a sudden as China is attempting to secure funding for its massive One Belt One Road Initiative across Asia, there is growing cause for concern about China's political ties to its economic carrot sticks.
The PM of India spoke at the annual defense ministers conference and while he did not specifically label China, all the issues he pointed out were clearly offenses that China is guilty of in the South China Sea and other border areas.
New nationwide protests in Vietnam perhaps the largest ever are added to this chorus of growing anti China sentiment across Asia.
With a historic election along the same lines as the Trump election win of 2016, Malaysia has a new leader and a new government that is seriously questioning its relationship with China.
A recent Bloomberg article proclaims Malaysia is sick and tired of Chinese cash. The new PM of Malaysia and the Malaysian government are trying to unhinge themselves from Chinese investment which is becoming too problematic as it is too often involved in bribes, scandals and other nefarious chains attached to it. The people there are obviously sick of it as well which is even more surprising given that Malaysia is home to alot of people from Chinese descent.
Malaysia is now reaching out to Japan instead and has kicked off joint military exercises with India who is also seriously questioning its relationship with China.
It's very important we get Malaysia on board with other nations in the standoff between China and its neighbors over the South China Sea conflict. This new government and its abrupt halt on Chinese investment and its ties to political scandal along with its reaching out to Japan and India for help is a welcome sign. If the Singapore talks go well with North Korea, look for a growing chorus of backlash against China and its communist party led government towards the conflict in the South China Sea.
Cracks are appearing in China's One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR).
The first cracks appeared to be purely financial as even Chinese officials were giving public speeches warning of the potential risks beginning to pile up regarding its financials and the unforeseen debts accumulating by potential member nations (clients).
Now there appear to be political, rather geopolitical cracks as well thanks in large part to both Malaysia and India. India's prime minister Modi is extremely apprehensive about the project and its implications for India. Recently, the elections in Malaysia reveal a potential rift with China and the OBOR initiative. A historic election there similar to what we saw in America with Donald Trump's surprising victory has unearthed serious national security implications for Malaysia regarding its business dealings with China and the Chinese government. Any progress for the OBOR initiative in Malaysia's neck of the woods have been put on hold.
Add to this a growing push in the Philippines to protect itself from China's encroachment of its territorial waters in the South China Sea provide a glimmer of hope for South East Asian nations coming to their senses and uniting against the push from China.
Philippines foreign mininster said recently that the Philippines has drawn red lines in the waters surrounding its territorial claims and that China would be dealt with accordingly if it crossed those red lines. It also over the weekend revealed plans to militarize and update runways on some of its strategic islands in an area where China is trying to take over every rock and underwater reef it can get its hands on. These are good signs. We are looking for more.
America's Geopolitical HQ:
Est. April, 2018
Rep. Terry Baxter, (Chairman, International Relations Committee for the State of Iowa Legislature and CEO of Go Serve Global)