The failure of SEATO, happened a few decades ago, when the geo-political enviroment and the threat perceptions of regional countries was very different. Granted, ASEAN countries till remain politicaly divided on a number of key issues and the possibility of a 'defence alliance', which no country has shown interest in, remains extremely low. This is not to say however that in the coming decades, we might not see an 'alliance', comprising certain countries, who will be forced to take a common stand due to shared interests and threat perceptions.
The difficulty of defence alliance is that it requires members to come to each other's aid. That's not exactly easy to achieve in a small or medium-sized democratic country (why should a small or medium-sized country come to the aid of another against a potentially really big country?)
And trying to secure public support for this is probably an exercise in futility, particularly when there are different interests for different countries.
There is also the issue of political stability. Would a successor administration opt out of the alliance? Or remain committed to it? What happens if there is a coup?
To date, Malaysia has not been involved in any standoffs with Chinese shipping - trawlers, fisheries department, naval or otherwise. There have been some instances - which were reported in the Malaysian press and by Chinese bloggers who also released photos - of Chinese fisheries department boats and naval ships coming into very close proximity to areas occupied by Malaysia but which left without much fuss after the appearance of Malaysian naval ships and aircraft. The fact that Malaysian trawlers do not operate in this area and that Malaysian naval ships only operate within areas that are already occupied by Malaysia would indicate that for the time being at least, the chances of any 'unpleasentness' happening between both countries at sea is remote.
I am not so sure that Malaysian trawlers don't operate there.
But, there is an important point here about the lack of provocations between Malaysia and China. There is no tit-for-tat between these 2 countries despite their competing claims in the South China Sea
. This is in stark contrast to the situation between China, Vietnam and the Philippines. But I suppose this point is lost on some forum members who only see China bullying other claimants and yet fail to see their own country's provocations.
With about the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia at stake, let alone all that natural gas and fishing, the interest of the Chinese is pretty easy to see.
Can you show me a link about the proven oil reserves
in the disputed area of South China Sea? I have only ever seen estimated reserves
. The reserves are not proven because it has been largely an exercise in futility in trying to survey the area for reserves due to the dispute.
Please read my previous posts. I did not mention Sansha and I'm not really threatened by it. That is just some nuisance I expected but the grounding of the PRC ship is another thing. That was threatening (especially since a media said that they carry surface-to-surface missiles, probably just anti-ships, capable of reaching Palawan). The SCS situation is treading on thin ice and I feared that that one incident may break the ice, as it were.
As for strenghtening claims, I mention PEACEFULLY.
As for my mention of war, read:
1.)"I guess an arms build-up is inevitable and it could increase pressure until the time when one party might make a simple mistake and war might come crashing down."
2.) "There would be mass rallies everywhere denouncing the PRC (and it will never help) or issuing our gov't to hasten military modernization (although it might help hasten the modernization, once we have a capable military, our people might immediately clamor for war)."
3.)"Unlike when it's settled by war when we know we're done for and we might never live tomorrow."
Did I mentioned anything about naval warfare? Nada.
And think for one moment. Those paramilitary ships (if they are/will be armed) could trash our navy in probably a week.
And read again post #165. I'm implying that Beijing stop their provocations and act responsively for once. They are what we could call big brother so they should act nicely first not pop balloons. The arms build up by some claimants other than the PRC are acceptable evidence that they are responding to provocations or preparing to respond to it or trying to lessen it by making their rivals see that they could sting back if stung and they should settle it peacefully. Even my country which still has insurgents to worry about is modernizing its territorial defense stuffs.
It seems my previous posts went over your head?
1. I did not mention naval war (read my previous posts properly). I said that China is exercising restrain by not deploying warships during stand-offs. They only deployed paramilitary ships. There is a difference, but I'm not sure you understand that.
2. It seems the point about mutual provocations
is lost on you? There is no such situation between Malaysia and China because there is no mutual provocation. As I have said in my previous posts, neutral observers have highlighted the situation of mutual provocations (tit-for-tat) that resulted in the current situation. But I suppose you choose to believe the reporting from your national media, which has obviously not reported any provocations from your country (for whatever reason).
3. You said other claimants have arms buildup is evidence that there are provocations by China. As far as I can see, Malaysia is also modernising (build up if you will) its military, but I don't see any provocations there.
4. You expect China (Big Brother) to "act nicely". Does this apply if other claimants are acting nastily?
Concerning the first, Japan has a say on that since the PRC could hypothetically strangle Japan when they cut that off.
The economic life-blood of South Korea (in addition to Japan's) run through the South China Sea. Any attempt to strangle it could theoretically lead to a retaliation by cutting the sea lanes somewhere else to strangle China's economy (say the Malacca Straits or Indian Ocean).
Then for the boldface: Kudos to the PRC. What I could see is the opposite. US allies are leaning more and more towards the US as counterbalance. A former enemy of the US is warming up to them. Just a little bit more and Beijing MAY find itself surrounded by angry snarling countries backed by the US.
China isn't USSR. USSR and its allies economy are not linked to the economy. China's is. And China is currently the world's 2nd largest economy that provides a lot of manufactured goods to the rest of the world (including a vast majority of the world's consumer electronics such as the iPhone).
All these economies are inter-twined and any conflict will be so costly that it will probably make the Great Depression look like child's play.
The thing with the article you posted is that, the Chinese media spun it like there are Philippine Vessels near the main island of Hainan.
Anyway, I believe the Philippines have invited the Chinese government to go to the UN and/or go to court. The Chinese simply refuse and say it's an internal matter.
I believe the Chinese article consider all the disputed areas a belonging to Hainan. Hence the impression that foreign fishing vessels went near to Hainan.
The Philippines did indeed want ICJ to arbitrate. Personally, its just as well that didn't happen as I'm not so sure they had a really good case for all of their claims.
My reply was to the statement about the US Navy 7th fleet being capable of somehow reigning the SCS.
That is an interesting assumption. Do you know how many submarines the PLA Navy have?