There's a brief technical update scheduled before the final Action Round of the Turn begins, in which we should see Southeast Asia Scoring by Team Blue next. This involves the upgrading of Stability status for Vietnam and Indonesia, who both go from 1 to 2 Stability, reflecting their heightened geopolitical maturity since the Cold War I era. This update is further deemed as ex post facto, which legitimizes previous Influence placement for 1 Ops in Vietnam by Team Red, in Turn 12, Action Round 6. A Chinese foreign ministry official tries to sneak in a few more lines with his permanent marker in the South China Sea as part of the process, but is rebuffed.
Turn 14, Action Round 7 (Team Red)
Team Red plays Vietnam Revolts for 2 Ops.
Last time, you got One Stability, now - Two Stability!
(Original sources: twilightstrategy.com, ketv.com)
1 Ops: Team Red attempts Realignment in Indonesia (2/2), despite Team Blue having Control of the adjacent Philippines (5/2), with the other neighbour Malaysia (1/2) not under Control of either Team yet. Despite Team Blue having a +1 modifier, Team Red gets a 5, while Team Blue manages only a 3, resulting in the latter losing 1 Influence in Indonesia (now back to 1/2) from the move.
Ongoing territorial disputes aside, disagreements between Indonesia and China have perhaps been oversold, with Indonesia long viewing themselves as a natural core player in the Global South/Third World - as exemplified by their hosting of the Bandung Conference in 1955 towards coalescing the Non-Aligned Movement - and probably also ASEAN. Recent months have seen China pour yet more billions into the archipelagic state, in particular a US$7 billion high-speed rail between Jakarta and Bandung, which has been seen as outgoing President Joko Widodo's legacy, alongside the relocation of the capital from Jakarta to Nusantara, in which heavy Chinese involvement is also expected.
The ongoing multi-angled cooperation has in turn seen Indonesia consistently peddle China's official line with respect to opposing a new Cold War, which clearly has to severely stymie Team Blue/America's increasingly unsubtle efforts to "contain" China in the region and elsewhere. While the popular Jokowi is likely not about to try and overturn Presidential term limits to stay in power, all signs are that the post may be staying amongst family and friends in true Southeast Asian kampung spirit, with Jokowi's son Gibran now a (not-so-)surprise vice-presidential candidate for populist right-wing Defence Minister Prabowo, in the upcoming elections.
Well, this... forward thinking, when considered together with the not-overly-covert actions by both Teams to "secure" friendly leaders in relevant countries, brings to mind an old adage to describe how the (globalist) Establishment has dealt with populist movements and other resistance thus far: if you have the judiciary on your side, bang the judiciary; if you have the legislative on your side, bang the legislative; if you have the (social) media on your side, bang the media; if you have none of those, bang bang bang (Coup)!
No hard feelings there*
1 Ops: Team Red attempts Realignment in Vietnam (2/2), having Control of Laos/Cambodia (0/4), with Thailand (2/1) up for grabs. They manage only a 2 this time, however, with Team Blue rolling a 4, and Team Red loses 1 Influence in Vietnam instead (now 2/1)!
Biden's folksy rambling in Vietnam - in which his microphone got cut off by his own handlers - has nevertheless had an impact, as the U.S. upgraded their Vietnam ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, putting the Americans on equal footing with Team Red duo China and Russia on that end. The visit also saw the customary denial of a new Cold War by POTUS, as Vietnam continues to hedge against China, as they have notably previously done with India and Russia.
The French involvement in Vietnam had been briefly touched upon in Action Round 3 on Decolonization, and we might as well explore their relationship with America a little more here, towards their ultimately-successful bid for independence against Western occupation, as shown in Vietnam Revolts. The end of World War II saw Vietnamese leader (and longtime American admirer) Ho Chi Minh repeatedly petition then-POTUS Harry Truman, but this case evidently didn't meet the U.S.A. definition of "freedom" then. Undeterred, Ho went to Team Red instead, and have stayed such to the present day.
Interestingly, despite the damage that the U.S.A. wrought in what was in hindsight probably an(other) unnecessary (and possibly unjust) war, the Vietnamese don't seem to bear that much of a grudge in general, which might be partly down to the more-persistent threat posed by their northern neighbours. Vietnam's part in Cold War I would continue with their involvement in Cambodia in 1978 ostensibly to end Pol Pot's genocide there, the description of which got a little dicey a few years back, when our Prime Minister (technically accurately, IMHO) called it an "invasion" on Facebook.
From Singapore's perspective, a firm posture against outside regime change (i.e. Coups) has ever been a guiding security principle, together with the sanctity of international norms and laws (and a bit of profit) - over and above humanitarian considerations. China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" has perhaps not served them well in their ASEAN interactions, then, and it remains to be seen whether a shift to soft power mode will work out for them, in The Greatest Game!
[*The staunch Vietnamese support for GEOTUS, even after his stepping down, was probably to a large extent due to his principled conscientious objection to the tragic conflict. The future leader of the free world would instead courageously wage a very private and personal Vietnam, emulating Lennon in the spreading of love and not war. But seriously, was he wrong?]
Next: Intra-Round Obit
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