Day By Day

Friday, June 24, 2011

China Makes a Move [updated]

China and Russia have already cooperated to severely restrict American access to sites in Central Asia. Now China, noting the weakness of the current administration, is moving to exclude American influence from Asian waters. AP reports:

BEIJING (AP) -- China urged the United States on Wednesday to restrain other countries from provoking Beijing in disputes over contested territories in the South China Sea, warning that Washington risks becoming embroiled in an unwanted conflict.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said it would be best if the United States stayed out of the long-standing disputes, but acknowledged that Washington has an interest in freedom of navigation in sea lanes that are vital to trade.
Threats don't get much clearer than that. Read the whole thing here.

The interesting thing here is that Vietnam, seeking to counter aggressive Chinese moves in the area, is desperately seeking support from the United States. It is hard to see in the current political situation just how that is going to happen. More problematic is the Philippines, a traditional American ally and former U.S. territory, which is also seeking support. If the U.S. fails to stand up for its ally, repercussions throughout the entire region could be devastating.


Well, it looks as though the Obama administration is going to stand up to Chinese pressure, at least with regard to the Philippines. AFP, the French News Agency, reports:

WASHINGTON — The United States said it was ready to provide hardware to modernize the military of the Philippines, which vowed to "stand up to any aggressive action" amid rising tension at sea with China.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, on a visit to Washington, said the Philippines hoped to lease equipment to upgrade its aged fleet and called for the allies to revamp their relationship in light of the friction with China.
"We are determined and committed to supporting the defense of the Philippines," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a joint news conference when asked about the hardware wish-list from the Philippines.
Clinton said the two nations were working "to determine what are the additional assets that the Philippines needs and how we can best provide those." She said del Rosario would meet Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Pentagon officials.
Well, good for Obama! Read the whole thing here.

And why is nobody in the American MSM paying attention to this building crisis?

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