Saturday, October 1, 2022

US and China hold separate military exercises in Southeast Asia

The United States and China held war games in Indonesia and Thailand over the weekend to increase their influence in Southeast Asia.

Beijing’s Defense Ministry said the Falcon Strike 2022 exercise “will enhance mutual trust and friendship.”

Thailand’s exercise coincided with the two-week US-Indonesia War Games, the largest Garuda Shield live-fire exercise since 2009. Japan, Australia and Singapore joined in.

Tensions are rising between Beijing and Washington in Southeast Asia. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August angered China, which claims the island.

The spokesperson’s visit prompted the closure of live-fire drills and air and sea space around Taiwan in what analysts called a lockdown scenario.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations called for “maximum control”, without naming Taiwan, and declared itself “ready to facilitate a peaceful debate”.

The United States maintains significant ties and a military presence in Southeast Asia, but China’s economic influence has expanded in recent years.

Several governments in the region are in suspense over Beijing’s territorial conflict in the South China Sea.

Analysts warn that the region will continue to fuel competition between the United States and China.

Joko Widodo has been one of the few foreign leaders to visit China since the pandemic began. Jokowi will host the G20 summit in Bali in November and has invited Xi and Biden.

General Andika Perkasa, Panglima from Indonesia, studied in the United States. “He is by far the friendliest commander-in-chief in Indonesia,” says senior IISS researcher Aaron Connelly.

However, this year the general will retire. This is an opportunity for the United States to improve its relationship. [con los militares de Indonesia]But this is not a trend that we can expect to continue.”

Vietnam National University professor Huan Tam Sang said Washington and Beijing may increase naval exercises in the region to establish strategic deterrence and woo small and medium-sized Indo-Pacific countries.

Nation World News Desk
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