Been saying this for years: the connectivity skyrockets, but the cooperation does not keep pace. Politics lags behind economics and security lags behind networking, and the widening gaps are dangerous to all involved.
Pacific Command boss Admiral Robert Willard noted China's "assertiveness" in its regional waters, as captured in an FT story prior to the recent Strategic and Economic Dialogue:
Adm Willard said the US viewed China's growing influence in Asia as positive. But Beijing needed to be more transparent, not only with the US but also with its neighbours.
Adm Willard was speaking ahead of talks with Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, the first meeting between senior US and Chinese military officers since Beijing suspended bilateral military-to-military dialogue in January after US arms sales to Taiwan.
"US-China military dialogue is officially still in suspension," said Adm Willard, who visited Beijing at the invitation of Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, in the context of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the bilateral exchanges that concluded yesterday.
But he interpreted the fact that Beijing had agreed to his presence as a sign it viewed some high-level exchanges as beneficial.
"What was very striking yesterday was my impression of the very advanced, sophisticated and mature dialogue that's occurring across a wide range of subjects between China and the US," he said.
"That is in contrast with a very immature military-to-military relationship."
I would say the admiral hit the nail right on the head.