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Obama’s Asia ‘Rebalancing’ Weighted Heavy in China’s Favor

Before China seized airspace over the weekend, Congress learned how the PRC is rocketing toward military superiority and its new world order.

by
Bridget Johnson

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November 25, 2013 - 5:50 pm
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WASHINGTON — President Obama’s “rebalancing” toward Asia is already severely off-kilter as China barrels toward military superiority, bullies its way to territorial control and lengthens its manipulative reach far beyond its continent.

As administration negotiators were busy trying to rush a deal with Iran on Saturday, China announced that it had established an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the disputed Senkaku Islands also claimed by Japan. Under the new rules, all aircraft must get clearance from Chinese authorities or face a military reaction from PRC authorities guarding the zone.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was “deeply concerned” by the announcement, viewing it as “a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region.”

“This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations,” Hagel said. “This announcement by the People’s Republic of China will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region.”

Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement echoed Hagel’s, adding “escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.”

“We don’t support efforts by any State to apply its ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft not intending to enter its national airspace. The United States does not apply its ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft not intending to enter U.S. national airspace,” Kerry said. “We urge China not to implement its threat to take action against aircraft that do not identify themselves or obey orders from Beijing.”

Today aboard Air Force One White House spokesman Josh Earnest called China’s move “unnecessarily inflammatory.”

“There are regional disputes in that part of the world, and those are disputes that should be resolved diplomatically,” Earnest said. “And there should be, in this case, plenty of overlapping common ground to reach a situation — or reach a resolution that doesn’t involve inflammatory, escalating rhetoric or policy pronouncements by any side. And that’s how we hope that this situation will be resolved.”

But Congress learned in a recent report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that the People’s Republic is increasingly poised to obtain what it wants in a less-than-diplomatic fashion.

“While we continue to warn about our military’s readiness and the dangerous effects of budget cuts and sequestration, China’s military spending continues to rise and its new leadership seeks to increase combat readiness,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) at a hearing last week to review the report. “Its current pace of military modernization shows that Beijing is developing the ability to project power and influence further abroad.”

Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), though, said “there is no reason that we should have China as an enemy.”

“I think we have an increasing number of common interests in terms of peace and stability, certainly in Asia, but globally. China has become more and more involved economically throughout the world,” Smith said. “And I think the most important thing is they actually step up and start assuming that role.”

The chairman for this year’s report, Bill Reinsch, noted that China is not exactly acting like a partner for peace with its actions in the East and South China Seas — and this even before Saturday’s airspace decree.

“It is becoming clearer that China does not intend to resolve its maritime disputes through multilateral negotiations or the application of international laws and adjudicative processes, but prefers to use its growing power in support of coercive tactics to pressure its neighbors to concede China’s claims,” Reinsch said.

“Meanwhile, China continued to develop and field advanced military platforms and weapons systems. China’s comprehensive military modernization is altering the balance of power in Asia, challenging decades of U.S. military preeminence in the region,” he said.

The committee found that China is more prepared than ever to strike at Taiwan and that Obama administration officials need to be urged to visit Taiwan to lend their support — with consistent congressional oversight.

They found that China’s rapid, thorough modernization of its military means the People’s Republic has 65 submarines that can employ intercontinental ballistic missiles, torpedoes, mines or anti-ship cruise missiles, and has made even more dangerous strides in its cyberespionage campaign that threatens U.S. industry, infrastructure and military operations. In March the PRC hiked its defense budget by more than 10 percent.

The People’s Liberation Army is “rapidly expanding and diversifying its ability to strike U.S. bases, ships, and aircraft throughout the Asia Pacific region including those that it previously could not reach, such as U.S. military facilities on Guam.”

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A reset button with Russia, a sweetheart deal with Iran, a slap in the face to Israel, a turned back on the Baltics, now a genuflect to China....gee...at some point somebody might begin to see a pattern here...
21 weeks ago
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Greetings:

I'm no China expert, but I do watch a fair amount of East Asian TV, primarily South Korean, with smatterings of ChiCom and Japanese. Mostly, I watch serial dramas, both "historical" and modern. What I see China doing is pretty much Middle Kingdom 2.0.

Historically, China, Japan, and Korea have been involved in long term military and diplomatic dances with strengths and weaknesses ebbing and flowing as each used its advantages. China, by size and population, has been the Big Dog but not always. So, I see a very very long history that is not without racial or nationalistic influences and modern day ramifications. China feels that it is in the ascendancy and wants it due, for now, through a kind of bullying which is very much in line with its very lengthy history and its European domination in recent centuries.

I would also mention another aspect that I find interesting. World War II has not been purged from Chinese and Korean TV the way it has in what's left of America. Dramas in those two country often center on Japan's East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere adventure and not much has been forgiven by the afflicted. In fact, in Chinese dramas, even America scores poorly for its level of effort.

So, my perspective is that China is doing pretty much what it has always done or tried to do. This is not a good thing for an America being administered by people who can't even keep one ball in the air.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two things ought to be pointed out here:

A.] The tragi-hilarious irony of of someone with this illustrious name, Adam Smith, being an elected representative and also pontificating thusly:

Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), though, said “there is no reason that we should have China as an enemy.”

“I think we have an increasing number of common interests in terms of peace and stability, certainly in Asia, but globally. China has become more and more involved economically throughout the world,” Smith said. “And I think the most important thing is they actually step up and start assuming that role.”

B.] Believe it, the xenophobic Chinese will have a dozen rationalized scripts for being America's enemy. Read some Chinese History of their experiences with us foreigners.

But not all of these scenes require Westerners' futile attempts in reading mysteriously settled tea leaves [sorry, that just jumped out of my fingertips...] because at the very same time the Chinese must remain very, very cautious about rocking our economic boat while they are sitting on a growing mountain of United States Dollar Debt.

Who'll buy all of their infected-chip-aimed-at-th'-ol'-N.S.A. -computers rolling off of their robotic assembly lines?

They've [ the Chinese] already experienced the horrors of domestic 20th Century runaway inflation. Above all, they don't relish the thought of all of those electronic credits evaporating. The death of millions from starvation has already been experienced; they don't yet know about USD devaluation.

Yet.
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21 weeks ago
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