China may not admit so, but President Xi Jinping’s call at a little-known regional security forum for Asian states to take charge of Asian security is clearly aimed at eroding the United States’ influence in the region.
However, Beijing’s success at achieving an Asia-for-Asians-only security landscape appears to be a long shot. Rising fears over China’s growing assertiveness in territorial disputes and regional matters may actually drive some of its neighbours to seek a greater US presence, if not US protection.
Chinese foreign policy expert Yun Sun said while Mr Xi did not mention the US in his speech, “it is well-known that the US was certainly a main factor behind China’s calculation”.
“If Cica could become the desired regional security architecture, the US will be excluded,” added the analyst from the Stimson Centre, noting China’s spiel that “Asia is Asians’ Asia, not Americans’ Asia”.
“China will have a dedicated forum to coordinate security cooperation on issues such as anti-terrorism. China will have an additional forum to play its leadership role.”
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