By Peter Wanyonyi
Kenya: As if giving in to Assad’s butchering and Iran’s bullying wasn’t enough, President Obama has gone one step further. Asia is the world’s most crowded continent.
It has four billion people who jostle to eke out a living practically cheek by jowl, with hardly enough room to move an elbow.
With such a vast number of people all crammed into the same tiny place, access to the sea is vital and contested, and even the smallest resources out at sea can lead to violent confrontations.
Right next to China are two major nations: South Korea and Japan, both long-standing US allies with large American military bases on their soil.
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Both have signed security pacts, which oblige America to come to their aid, should they be attacked.
And these agreements have been the foundation of peace and prosperity in South East Asia for the last 40 years.
Two weeks ago, China unilaterally ‘grabbed’ a piece of ocean hitherto administered — and right next to — Japan, declared it Chinese territory, and demanded that any aircraft overflying it must adhere to new regulations. The Japanese balked at that, as did the Koreans.
Japan instructed its airlines not to adhere to the new requirements, and sent fighter jets to patrol the grabbed airspace. China nervously watched America’s reaction and at first the US acted like the global cop it is, sending in two bombers to violate China’s new intransigence. But this was bluff.
The Chinese later revealed that the American bombers did not actually enter the contested air space at all.
Emboldened, China demanded that US airlines must adhere to the new conditions — and Obama gave in, instructing American aircraft to obey China’s instructions.
Japan and South Korea, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, are reeling, left to twist in the wind as Cousin Barry’s continues to underwhelm.