CHINA MOVING INTO FORMER ”TRIBUTARY TERRITORY” WITH MAJOR INVESTMENTS

Fox News on January 11, 2018 reported that Cambodia and China have signed nearly 20 agreements worth several billion dollars to develop the impoverished Southeast Asian country’s infrastructure, agriculture and health care. Excerpts below:

The agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed during a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang.

Among the major agreements is building a new expressway more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) long linking the capital, Phnom Penh, with the coastal city of Sihanoukville,, and a new Phnom Penh international airport.

Cambodia was part of the tribute system was established during the Chinese Han dynasty. The first tributary missions arrived in China around the first century BC. Cambodia was a tributary state to China from 616 to 1863. Annam (part of Vietnam) sent tributary missions to China and in the case of Laos it was from 1400 to 1912. Burma and Thailand were also linked to China for centuries.

Comment: From the period 2010 to 2012 China has been increasingly assertive even aggressive in its relations with South-East Asian nation but in other areas as well.

China seems to believe that America’s role in the worldwide financial crisis as well as the costly military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened the United States. The soft China policy of Washington DC from 2008 to 2016. The rising China has interpreted this as an indication of Western weakness.

It is important to introduce geopolitical thinking when studying the other Chinese flashpoint of the South China Sea. During the first decade of the 21st century a Greater China has emerged. China must be prevented from having too much influence in the Rimland according to Dutch-American geopolitician Nicholas Spykman (1893 – 1943). He was the founder of the Yale Institute of International Relations. The Rimland of Eurasia from Norway to the Bering Strait is of main importance in geopolitics according to Spykman The upheavals in the Greater Middle East since the beginning of the twentyfirst century and the growing tensions in South Asia and the Korean Peninsula is reason to watch China as both landpower and seapower.

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