05 June 2015
“In no previous period of modern history have frontiers been so rigidly demarcated, or their character as barriers so ruthlessly enforced, as today.” So wrote EH Carr in his seminal work about the rise of Germany and decline of Britain, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939.
This is not to argue, as do some commentators with febrile minds these days, that we are in danger of lurching into World War III. However, the challenges to established borders in Europe by Russia and to disputed territories in the East and South China seas — as well as in the Himalayas — by China do not bode well for international peace and security.
In this past week, we have seen China issue a defence white paper that accuses some of its offshore neighbours of taking provocative actions and reinforcing their military presence on “China’s reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied”.
… The Australian reported this week that a Singapore-based academic, Richard Bitzinger, stated that Australia would be taking a major risk carrying out maritime surveillance missions in the South China Sea, including by P-3 maritime aircraft. He claimed such an action probably would be seen by China as provocative and that it would be a “pretty significant expansion in Australia’s security interests in an area rather far from its shores and traditional areas of concern”.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015