US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will go down in the annals of American history as a tough, no nonsense politician and diplomat.
Here she is once again twisting the Chinese dragon’s tale over the South China Sea, which Beijing claims as a ‘mare nostrum’, but so does Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam defend territorial rights to the same body of water.
For the forgetful minds, Clinton herself threw her two cents into matter by raising ‘sovereignty’ in the South China Sea two years ago at a gathering of Asia Pacific nations. She has taken the bit between her teeth and is tearing down the steeplechase course with what she considers a triumphant belling of the Chinese cat.
Now, she is on a charm offense with ASEAN countries who fear the encroaching shadow of a China who has resurrected centuries old imperial pretensions and claims.
She is visiting Laos: for the first time in 60 years has a US official of such ‘august’ rank visited that land locked nation. A country, JFK was willing to ‘nuke’ more than a half century ago; a country the US used for covert operations against North Vietnam; a country that US mines and unexploded bombs still claim life and limbs of the Laotian peasants.
Clinton comes in deep concern to patch old wounds but also with shallow pockets. She is weaving a coverlet of resistance against China’s influence–welcomed or not–in southeast Asia.
There is no philanthropy here…it’s is cold, calculated ‘reasons of state’ on the US’ part.