Even for ASEAN nations that seem to be keeling over in front of Chinese might (as per reports) there will be some limits as to how far the Chinese can go.
Taiwan is an interesting story. Red China, it is asserted, can take over Taiwan any moment. The Taiwanese too know that they cannot hold out against a Chinese assault for very long. So why doesn't China take Taiwan over. let me make the excuses for you
- Oh you don't know the Chinese. They are full of guile. They will wait for an international crisis where the US is busy and grab Taiwan
- The Chinese - boy on boy - they have infinite patience. they will wait decades or centuries, but they will get what they want (duh-what?)
- The Chinese live their strategy like their board game dingallawonga (or whatever)
Fact is China is not going to take over Taiwan anytime soon.
What about bullying other countries about resources. OK China is bullying and they are being bullied. How long is that going to continue. A nation has a degree of self pride that the Chinese must assuage and give them something in return. If not there will be a blowback at some time. Japan, Korea and Vietnam are not total pushovers. Maybe the Philippines is. North Korea is one country that has been pushed so far that neither the US nor China can do anything much without profound geopolitical consequences (I won't go beyond this general term)
If ASEAN nations are, as alleged by someone "not taking advantage" of the Doklam standoff it only means they have not been pushed as far by China as we fondly like to think they have.
The idea that "Myanmar: is under the Chinese sphere of influence as is Sri Lanka ignores the fact that China can do jackshit to help these countries if India decides to apply pressure on them. Let me rephrase that. It's not that China cannot do anything. They can - but no point in dismissing eveyrone else including India as complete pushovers
There is a tendency to magnify China in relation ot ourselves and other countries - and a Church Hymn that I had to sing as a schoolboy rings in my mind
The Lo-ord -er China with me
With me exalt
His name er China's name
The European and Americans do not want to get into a war on the scale they had from 1914 to 1945. The Japanese too won't want that. The Chinese could miscalculate - having only gone into small wars and won a stupid brownie versus India. If the Chinese miscalculate their patience and skill at the bolyygillywong board game won;t help them. Even North Korea is no pushover. Let alone India. They can boast as much as they want.
I had a few fistfights in school and I will always recall a friend (now in Amreeka) who was always on my side who said "It's OK if they bash me up, but I'll make sure I'll hit them so hard they will never forget. I will at least break a jaw". The Chinese, after a period of provoking India ceaselessly are asking for it. This is a time to get ready to fight them and not talk peace.