The United States has been a strong advocate against Beijing in the South China Sea dispute. As part of its initiative to deter China’s territorial ambitions, the West just recently sent a series of warplanes to Philippine waters in light of the tensions but on the other side of things, some say that the United States may be a “hostage” of another country.
It is a tense time in the South China Sea region with world powers like China and the United States challenging each other on several occasions. Whereas China denies militarizing part of the South China Sea, mounting evidence of increased activities are used against such claims – the West being one of the most vocal opposition.
In light of the rising tensions and the goal to deter further activities from the Chinese, the United States has started conducting military exercises with other countries across the region. Likewise, it has also started doing routine patrols and now it just sent a number of warplanes to waters near the Philippines. According to The Japan Times, six U.S. military aircraft were left in the Philippines following the military exercises. Additionally, the said aircraft have started their first air and maritime situational awareness flights across the disputed region of the South China Sea. Information was confirmed by the U.S. Pacific Command last Friday. According to the statement, A-10C Thunderbolt IIs or warthogs and two HH-60G Pave Hawks flew through international airspace and over the Scarborough Shoal near the Philippines.
“Our job is to ensure air and sea domains remain open in accordance with international law. That is extremely important. International economics depends on it — free trade depends on our ability to move goods,” added Col. Larry Card, the air contingent commander.
More importantly, the West’s problem with China only goes deeper because of the latter’s debt holdings and its position in the U.S. Treasury, as noted by Forbes. However, it is also important to see that when looking at the country that can hold US hostage at the moment, China only comes second or at least without the support from the nation’s elite. Saudi may have a bigger hold on the West as many would perceive. As the report goes: “Saudi oil wealth has long made the kingdom a source of investments for U.S. companies. No international fundraising “road show” for private equity or a new hedge fund is complete without kissing rings in Riyadh, or a visit to Dubai, the glamorous Westernized United Arab Emirates city that is basically being built by Saudi money.”
Forbes added that Saudi Arabia is a “one trick pony.” Their investments funnel to certain parts of the economy and the biggest investors do not go into job creation.
“We owe the Saudi government, too. But can the same be said about them using it as leverage? Not if you listen to what their leaders have said about using their capital to coerce U.S. policy makers,” the publication added.