In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Hamed Vafaei, referred to the visit of the prime minister of Japan to the United States and the negotiations with the president of that country, described the developments in Southeast Asia in the form of a series of developments in the new geopolitical circuit of the Asia-Pacific region in line with the draining of power potential from the Atlantic area to the Pacific and stated: At the international macro level, the approach of the US and the camp of Western countries is to secure and militarize the equations in that area and they, along with some of China’s neighbors, are trying to move the equations in that area towards containing China.
While referring to the recent positions and measures of Japan, as one of the US main allies in Southeast Asia, against China, he added: At the regional level, in recent years, we have witnessed new multilateral agreements whose common goal is to deal with what is referred to as security threats of the Chinese military. At the bilateral level, although China has made every effort to shift those concerns to economic issues, the conflicting approaches and common concerns of the countries of that region with the United States have still continued.
The expert on China affairs stated that the changes in Japan’s defense doctrine and the move from internal border defense to overseas preemptive aggression represent an attempt to move on the common positions and concerns of that country with Western countries and the more secure and tougher space in the Asia-Pacific, adding: In the negotiations between the US and Japan, both sides agreed that the US, along with the 18,000 marines it has in that region, will deploy a mobile naval force in Okinawa Island to quickly react to emergency situations in southwest Japan. This area is located on the edge of the East China Sea, about 100 kilometers from Taiwan, and China is very sensitive to that area.
Recalling the numerous incidents of a US warship passing through the Taiwan Strait, Vafaei continued: Until now, the space in that region was based on balance and efforts were made to establish a balance between the countries of the region. Today, due to the frequent interventions of the United States and the common concerns that are going on due to the rise of China’s power, the balancing space is moving towards the cold war. Chinese sources emphasize that if the US marines come to that region and the new agreements are implemented, China will also enter into strengthening its military and security means in the region and will not sit quietly.
Referring to the recent exercise between Japan and India and their numerous joint programs, he added: Such conditions will push the situation in Southeast Asia to become more fragile and the cold war and arms competition. However, Chinese sources emphasize that the US is very pleased with the green light that Japan and South Korea are showing them. But the space becoming security is a plan that provides the interests of the United States in the game of powers and the future space of the international system and the new geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region; for this reason, China is exerting utmost efforts to prevent the space from becoming security while maintaining balance in relations with regional countries and regional relations collectively and in the space of international system.
Emphasizing that East Asian countries are not looking for a military conflict in the region, the expert on China affairs said: China is growing economically and with its ambitious economic ideas and initiatives, it is changing geopolitical equations from East Asia to Central and West Asia and defines the West Asia region as its peripheral area and pursues implementation of long-term plans in it. While China is expanding its influence, Western countries, especially the European Union, are not in a favorable economic situation, and the Japanese have a sense of strategic loneliness in the region.
Vafaei explained: In this space, Japan is trying to reduce this loneliness and strategic fear of China’s growing power by signing new treaties with the US. They were almost successful, except that it was also mentioned in the positions of the United States and the statements of the joint meeting of the United States and Japan that they jointly believe that China pursues its foreign policy based on the change in the international order and the use of increasing political-economic-military and technological power and should stand against it, therefore it seems that Japan is achieving its goals in this area.
The university professor, saying that the US is controlling China by using Japan and taking advantage of Taiwan’s leverage, and considered Japan’s interpretation that East Asia is becoming Ukrainian as a mental and propaganda atmosphere, added: Of course, the US is very willing that Southeast Asia will become Ukraine, and with China’s military conflict, it will be contained through military and security measures, in which the United States has a definite superiority. The Ukrainization of East Asia requires an offensive force, and so far China has not moved in this direction in any way, has no plan, and has not intensified its positions.
Emphasizing that Japan is looking for ways to save itself from the strategic loneliness created by the West’s focus on Ukraine and Russia and wants attention and follow-up of its concerns in the face of a power called China, he said: Although the US is trying to maintain its influence in East Asia, this region is located in the neighborhood of China, and China certainly does not fail in that area. One cannot deny the escalation of China’s military activities, but in the propaganda published by the Western media against China, it is emphasized that China is seeking to militarize that region, ignoring the fact that the country is seeking to secure its borders, and most of its activities are a reaction.
Referring to the arms race in the East Asian region, Vafaei continued: militarization of the region and the efforts of Japan and the United States to intensify the security and military environment will bring China’s reciprocal reaction and make the environment more difficult and fragile.