by Dick Pirozzolo, Pirozzolo Company Public Relations, Boston
Throughout 2017, U.S. foreign policy has been conflicted, confusing, and churlish with the US withdrawal from the Transpacific Partnership, spats between the President and the Secretary of State, a paucity of foreign affairs officers and the threat of armed conflict between the US and North Korea involving China and Russia.
In this muddled foreign policy environment comes Great Powers, Grand Strategies, offering a thoughtful analysis of how a regional trouble spot in the Pacific—the South China Sea—can have far reaching global consequences that impact major world powers. The volume, edited by Anders Corr Ph.D., delivers much-needed insight into China’s behavior and desire to project its power worldwide. Its behavior in this vital region for shipping, fishing, and oil exploration has on occasion sparked armed conflict between China’s warships and Philippine and Vietnamese commercial and military vessels. Amidst the ongoing disputes, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and other Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with a stake in maintaining peaceful, multifaceted trade relations with China are being blackmailed by China’s overreach. What is more, the United States needs maintain a Naval presence in the Pacific or cede American influence and power to China.
In an advance copy of Great Powers, Grand Strategies, to be released by the Naval Institute Press on January 15, 2018, Dr. Corr writes, "This book is the first to focus on major power grand strategies including economic, diplomatic, and military strategies, and their interrelationships so that we can explore how global actors are, on the one hand, contributing to the solution and, on the other hand, perpetuating conflict."
Dr. Corr, who publishes the Journal of Political Risk, cites China’s behavior in the Pacific and elsewhere in the world as ample reason for the US Navy to maintain its cautionary
presence in the Pacific, which he regards as, "part of a global system of defense of not only the United States but its allies and values, which include international law, democracy, and human rights. To criticize the United States deployment in the Pacific as offensive without geographic context ignores the global picture and principles the United States is defending.”
He is quick to add, “Viewing China’s actions in the South China Sea as defensive against U.S. forward deployment ignores China’s similar offensive actions in the East China Sea and Himalayan region of India.” He decried China’s suppression of democracy, human rights, and international law in Asia and abroad and its efforts to remake global governance to its own advantage rather than on principles of democracy adding, “China’s South China Sea actions are offensive when viewed in this global context."
Dr. Corr calls into question China’s disputed claims to the Spratly Islands and sea lanes in the South China Sea and its maneuvering to control the territory militarily. After having established its boot print in the area, Dr. Corr notes that China then began to demand joint oil and gas development and sovereignty agreements, with ASEAN nations. “Xi Jinping calls this a 'win-win solution,' I call it China’s take and talk strategy.”
The volume assembles the thinking of foreign policy scholars and practitioners Bill Hayton, Gordon Chang, Bernard Cole, James Fanell, and others who examine the conflict in the context of a global big picture. As editor, Dr. Corr juxtaposes the grand strategies of the great powers to determine the likely outcomes of the dispute, and suggests ways to defuse tensions that are likely to spill over to other regions.
Eric Gomez, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute lauded Great Powers, Grand Strategies “for exploring the strategies of ASEAN, Russia, and other important but overlooked actors in the dispute.”
Alessio Patalano, King's College London credited the book for examining, “the South China Sea as a locus of strategic competition where simmering maritime disputes have significant implications for major powers well beyond its confines, and where the international power balance is being redefined.”
Dr. Corr visited all South China Sea claimant countries, undertaking research in Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Brunei. He has also conducted analysis for USPACOM, CENTCOM, and NATO, including work in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.
Dr. Corr is the founder and CEO of Corr Analytics in New York, which helps governments and businesses evaluate strategic and international political risks as part of their decision-making process.
Dick Pirozzolo is managing director of Pirozzolo Company Public Relations an international corporate communications firm based in Boston, and coauthor of "Escape from Saigon" with Michael Morris that focuses on the events of April 1-30, 1975, the last month of Vietnam War.
NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS
Publication date: 15 January 2018
China & the Asia Pacific | 336 pp.
Hardcover & eBook: $34.95