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Study Times: What does the U.S. Signing of the TAC mean?

Asian countries want to leverage the U.S. to balance China’s growing power and the U.S. wants to strengthen its influence there, too, comments Study Times regarding U.S. Secretary of State Clinton’s signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. The article dismissed the speculation that this is a major challenge to China. "The current economic interdependence of China and the U.S. has gone beyond the economic relations between any two great powers." But then it said, “However, undeniably, recently the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries that have intensified disputes and conflicts with China over the ownership of the South China Sea Islands want to leverage the power of the United States to balance China’s influence. The U.S. is more than willing to participate.”

Source: Study Times, October 26, 2009