Obama: Bowing to Beijing?


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North Korea is furious over the U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercises scheduled to take place July 25-28 off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. Kim Jong Il, the country’s ruthless dictator, went so far as to threaten a “physical response” to the exercises. As the maneuvers were about to commence, however, the North Korean regime predictably retreated to a more passive stance. They toned down their rhetoric and instead warned that they would use “nuclear deterrence” to ward off any American attack.

Such bluster from Pyongyang is to be expected, and it does not necessarily warranted great concern. Rather, it has been China’s objection to the naval exercises that has commanded Washington’s attention. A July 22 editorial in the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times claimed:

[The situation] only reminds people of Washington’s continuation of its Cold War mentality, with a stick in hand, and waving all over the place….. Aggressive show of force only creates enemies, and the US will risk getting mired in the abyss of a Cold War again.

In the real world, meanwhile, the joint exercises are clearly a reaction to North Korea’s recent use of aggressive force. While in Seoul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the War Memorial to pay tribute to the 46 sailors who were killed when the South Korean corvette Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack in March.

The incident has since escalated into a test of naval strength and resolve across Northeast Asia. Beijing’s strong support for Pyongyang is an aspect of China’s drive to dominate the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Yellow Sea. To extend its maritime reach, it needs to drive the U.S. Navy out of the area. Beijing claims this is only a “defensive” move, but the fact remains that control of these waters would threaten critical shipping lanes for raw materials and oil, upon which the trade-based economies of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia depend.

A lengthy commentary by an associate professor at the School of Politics and Public Administration at Guangdong Ocean University was posted on the English language site of China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency on July 13. It made the argument for Beijing’s naval expansion:

History shows no country can be a great power without a strong naval force. And no country in modern times has faced greater threats from the sea as China. It is thus logical for it to develop and modernize its marine force.

By misinterpreting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and basing their actions on the so-called principles of “adjacency, prescription, and security,” some countries have violated its rights over islands, reefs and territorial waters.

By adding the South China Sea to its core interests, China has shown its determination to secure its maritime resources and strategic waters.

But it is Beijing that is misinterpreting the Law of the Sea convention (which the U.S. has wisely not ratified) by trying to illegitimately convert the 200 mile Economic Zone (EZ) allocated by the treaty into a claim of sovereignty. Navigation by ships and aircrafts is permitted through the EZ under the traditional principle of the “freedom of the seas.” Chinese naval strategists, however, want to declare all the waters between China and the “first island chain” that runs from Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, to Singapore and the Straits of Malacca as “territorial seas” under Beijing’s control. In the April issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, retired Cmdr. Peter Dutton, a specialist in international law, argued:

The legal conflict reflects a larger clash between China’s objective of increasing its control over its “near seas” and the American geostrategic interest in maintaining the freedom of navigation on which the health and stability of the global maritime commons rely, and which is essential to support American security guarantees in East Asia.”

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  • jeff

    I would like to see Chinese aircraft carriers floating near Washington on international waters, I guess if the US gets annoyed and China can call US the "aggressor".

    • wsk

      I would like to see a small nuclear device land on th edeck of a Chinese aircraft carrier ( if they have one) . We will have to fight these bastards one day.

  • STA

    The US military just shows it has no morality. China should be more assertive in dealing with the US like Iran.

    • peter

      Yes, and the Communist Party of China has morality by supporting Kim Jong il and every other thug state in the world, not the mention the appalling human rights abuses they commit on their own people. Now the Communists are claiming that the Yellow Sea belongs to them.

      I hope one day the US military smashes the Communist National Socialist regime of China so the Chinese people can be free and the world can be a safer place.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/aspacia aspacia

        Their time is coming, just as the Soviet's time came. After Obama, we will have another Reagan who may choose to target China.

    • wsk

      Yes, I would like the Chinese to deal with us in exactly the same way as Obama is dealing with the Iranians i.e. bending over and kissing our a$$

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/aspacia aspacia

      So China should show more support for the genocidal Iran?

    • Guest

      Let's see (puts Red China in one hand and the U.S. armed forces in the other):

      For morality (holds up Red China hand): China?

      (Holds up U.S. military hand): U.S. military?

      Oh, the difficulty; decisions, decisions…

  • Stewart

    How can the US with 200 years of history tell China with thousands years of history what to do at China's backyard? This is so ridiculous! Chinese people is so incredibly passive and useless.

    • Guest

      It's sort of like when Red Chinese "volunteers" about 300,000 of them, came streaming into North Korea to fight the U.N. back in 1951.

      • Guest

        Or when the Red Chinese Army rolled into Tibet and make the Dalai Lama a refugee, which he still is, to this day.

    • Guest

      Or when a U.S. aircraft landed in China, and the Red Chinese made sure to delay its return to the U.S. until they had taken it completely apart and put it back together again.

    • Guest

      Or when, in the 1948 upheaval, Mao Tse-Tung took American missionaries and put them in prison and tried to brainwash them.

    • Guest

      Or when the Red Chinese brainwashed U.S. POWs in the Korean War and persuaded one or two of them to actually stay in North Korea and Red China.

    • Guest

      Or when U.S. troops were taken prisoner during the Vietnam War and wound up in Red Chinese re-education camps. As far as I know, they haven't been heard from since.

  • THP

    The US military is the only reason you guys aren't speaking German, Russian or Japanese. Go USN!

    • Concerned

      Not just the US, England, Canada and all the other allies

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

    That means the Aussies have bigger stones than we do. They stood up to the chicoms and sailed right through. The commies own hussein, I bet he goes to them for help winning the '12 election like carter did with the soviets (who turned him down, much to their eventual regret).

    Hey look, the three chicom stooges got here first. One wants chicom carriers cruising off DC. Another says the US military is immoral and the mad mullahs are to be emulated. The third thinks our exercises off the coast of prk (which is still at war with us) is telling the chicoms what to do, wishes the chicoms were more aggressive, and despises the Chinese people. Hilarious.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chezwick_Mac Chezwick_Mac

    We already have ample evidence of how the world would be under China's tutelage. Beijing looks the other way at genocide in Darfur as the Chinese expand their economic and political links with Sudan's repressive government. The same is true of China's relations with monstrous regimes controlling North Korea, Burma and Zimbabwe.

    In short, China's foreign policy is governed not one iota by moral considerations. In fact, the only consideration seems to be self-aggrandizement. For all its faults, the US has tried to isolate the worst human-rights offenders around the globe. I rue the day when China has supplanted the US as the world's premier super-power. Certainly, the world WON'T be a better place.

  • jacob

    The Annoited One speaks about economic recovery and jobs…
    Whenever you find an MADE IN USA tag anywhere, play the lottery as you will win …

    What does it take to bring back the MADE IN USA tag ??
    We all know why are RED CHINA products so cheap…

    Therefore, shouldn't be the rol of OUR govmt. to enact protective import barriers to bring
    back manufacturing to the USA ???

    There is not a garment made in the USA any longer and I'm affraid that even American babies come now from Beijing and not PARIS, as we were made to believe as
    children

    HAVEN'T WE BUILT ENOUGH ALREADY A COUNTRY WHICH IS NO FRIEND OF OURS BY ANY STREAK OF THE IMAGINATION ??
    HOW CAN WE AS A NATION BE SO DAMNED STUPID ???

    • Concerned

      Your right however that is the cost of being in a global economy, Free enterprise allows companies like Walmart to import goods and the American people love it, can we have a Walmart without China? That's just one example Apple is another one then there is DELL and on and on. I think this is getting off topic, but I do see your point

      • wsk

        When Sam Walton was alive, he tried to stock Wal Mart with as many products as possible that were mande in the USA.
        Don't buy thing made in China!!!!

        • Guest

          Cheap imports from Red China are cheap because they're made by slave labor.

          Some of those slaves are people who carried their papier-mache Statue of Liberty in Tienanmin Square, demonstrating for liberty.

    • wsk

      My family and I refuse to buy anything made in China. I really don't care much about how they treat theit own people; I don't like what they're doing to our economy and stealing military secrets, etc. It's difficult to not buy things from China, but it is possible.

      • Concerned

        What about the computer you are using? All computers are made else where not in the US, and if it says it was made in the US check the parts they are now allowed to state made in the US, when in fact it was only assembled here. I recently found out that some Pontiac models are made in South Korea. The US and Canada are slowly getting away from dirty manufacturing because of health risk, that's why they don't mind countries like China to do the dirty work, remember rubber maid, I think they do very little manufacturing in the us anymore. There are benefits for some products to be made else where!

  • Concerned

    First off no-one really knows what is going on behind closed doors! We have to rely on the media for the truth and the poker faced politicians with all their scripted dialogue. To dig deep into situations you really have to know about the history of every region throughout the world; when dealing with violence, war, human rights. etc… It is always the outcome that spells it out and I am not about to make any predictions, my only hope in such a situation is peace! But sometimes war is the only option left for peace, sad but true!

  • Ron

    Who knows?? Perhaps it's the Red Chinese that are pulling Obama's strings??

    Somebody sure is!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Wesley69 Wesley69

    The Chinese have been smart. By opening to the West, China has reaped the benefits of capitalism. However, the Communist leadership has subsidized its industries to undercut all other nations including ours. They have rejected, however, western democracy. Don't think for a minute that the Chinese people will trade in their better lives for the right to free speech, press, assembly, etc. If we continue as a debtor nation to them, they may wind up owning this country, or at least Alaska or Hawaii.

    • james

      A good point, but China owning the means of production in their own country eventually means problems. For one, as capitalism grows in China, people are going to clamor for better labor standards, better wages, ,etc. With a potential middle class of 600 million people, China is going to be busy trying to put those fires out. Secondly, India is a much freer and in some ways more productive economy that we should be supporting more, and they are going to butt heads with China in that region. There will come a point when China will reject borrowing money from us, but a rebound from us won't take as long as people think. We are still more productive than the Chinese, as a recent economic report suggested. We just have to realize that technology, defense, and the freest market on earth can guarantee our survival. They are all interrelated and impossible to maintain without freedom. Which is why China cannot match us as long as we remain free.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Wesley69 Wesley69

    As a power, the Chinese will only get stronger. Think how many scientists they can produce in a population over a billion versus the 300 million of the US. As they flex their muscles, the US can not play the role it has played in the past. We may need to to pull back on our interest zones. Financially, we may have no choice. We will need to get skilled with diplomacy. A strong India, Japan and Australia may help the US contain Chinese ambitions. I would prefer that China would be more responsible as a power, but it backs the regimes of North Korea, Sudan and Iran, all of which are enemies of US policy. I fear what will happen if the US has to confront the Chinese in areas of major concern. Obama will probably opt for bowing to President Hu of China.

    • Adrian

      I guess China supported Iran, Sudan for the same reason why the US supported the Talians during the mid 1980's and 1990's. It's not that the US liked the Talibans, because they both were USSR's enemies, so called "enemy's enemy is my friend" theory. 20 or more years from now, things will definitely change. I can see one day Sudan and Iran aligned with US, and be on the other side of China. Isn't it true that some 30+ years ago, Iran was on the US side and Iraq was on the USSR side. After the hostage crisis, US, USSR, Iraq and Iran switched sides.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/themunz themunz

    Obama only bows to those who have a superior intellect or who have credentials that far outstrip his own. Point in fact, last week he was found Bowing to the Burger King.

  • luta99

    For those who talk in favor of China. Have you seen its territorial on water claim? It is ridiculous and a blatant attempt to seize the islands and water areas that belong to the nearby countries, as well as cutting off marine travel path for many other countries including the US? if this is tolerated, China will basically extend its domination throughout Asia and the Pacific.

    • Adrian

      When China laid claims to those islands immediately after WWII, some of the countries there were still colonies of some western countries. There wasn't a Singapore until 1960's, Viewname became fully indepent rather late as well, not to mention that part tof Vietnam had been China's territory before the French seized and colonized it. Malaysia was part of Brit's colony as well.

    • Bud

      How do those islands "belong" to those other countries? The sovereignty of those islands have been DISPUTED for hundreds of years. You're saying China wants to extend its sovereignty over those islands but what do you think Vietnam and all those other countries are trying to do?

  • Tim Pottorff

    We are deeply in debt to the Chinese…one of the most agregious violators of human rights.We really have minimal leverage. The Socialist-in-Chief has an agenda….the US definitely won't be doing anything to upset the Reds. It's amazing actually, Rome incrementally declined to mush over several centuries…..we are doing it in just a couple of years under BHO and his henchmen…with repercusions felt for decades. The stage is being set for Gingrich to run.

  • Guest

    The Communist Chinese own a big piece of the U.S. economy. We better be careful about how we treat them these days.

    Who would have thought we'd have reached this pass?

    • Guest

      Where are the moralists who criticize the U.S. for playing ball with the USSR during World War II now that we're kow-towing to Red China. Mao murdered just as many as, if not more than, Stalin.

      Who cares about the Red Chinese doing it to their own people? I do, at some point. Certainly I care when the number of murdered reaches 38,000,000 or so.

  • Slingblade

    instead of maneuvers maybe we should hace a Fleet Week and have a liberty leave party in the North Korea. if it were not for the PRC then NK would be notheing on the int'l stage. why does't China just invade NK and set-up a new province or offical protectorate. let the NKs be a Chinese problem.

  • Eric

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  • http://www.cashforoldgold.com.au/ jamesboags

    Of course Obama has to bow to China, who else is going to buy his debt to waste on rubbish.
    gold buyers

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