China Cancels Security Meeting With US Defense Secretary Hinting Further Growth Of Tensions

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China Cancels Security Meeting With US Defense Secretary Hinting Further Growth Of Tensions

A US assault amphibious vehicle (AAV) takes part in an annual U.S.-Philippines joint military exercise in San Antonio, Philippines on May 9, 2018. FILE IMAGE: Ted Aljibe/AFP

China cancelled an important annual security meeting planned for mid-October with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Beijing, according to an unnamed US official, cited by the NYT. The reasoning behind the decision was that no senior Chinese military official would be available at that moment.

The decision to withdraw from the diplomatic and security dialogue is the latest sign in the escalation of tensions between the US and China, it began with the US-initiated trade war and has now affected other areas of interest, such as Taiwan, arms sales and the South China Sea.

“For us, in the United States, competition is not a four-letter word,” the senior official, Matt Pottinger, who deals with China on the National Security Council. He said that the United States was intent on competing with China — brittle language that is usually absent from formal events.

As reported by the NYT, Vice President Pence is expected to deliver a major speech this week describing the administration’s negative views of China’s international behavior over the last number of years, including what it sees as efforts to influence American domestic politics.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on a Chinese state military company for buying weapons from Russia, and announced sales of $330 million in military equipment to Taiwan.

China was also irritated by a Pentagon announcement last Wednesday that B-52 bombers had flown over the East China Sea and the South China Sea as part of its “continuous bomber presence in the region.”

On September 27th, China condemned the recent US overflights. “As for the provocative action taken by the US military aircraft, we are firmly against it and we will take all necessary means to safeguard our rights and interests,” Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said.

China also held its own live drills, after the B-52 flights over the South China Sea. Jet fighters and bombers from the Chinese military carried out live-fire exercises over the same area. Aircraft from the Southern Theater command of the People’s Liberation naval air force conducted “live fire shooting drills” at a sea range in the South China Sea, according to the People’s Daily official newspaper, which released photos from a broadcast by state-run CCTV.

The Foreign Ministry signaled last week that the arms sale to Taiwan threatened may cause “severe damage” to relations with the United States, including “bilateral cooperation in major fields.” So, the cancelled annual meeting is unsurprising.

On September 25th, China refused a request by an American warship to make a port visit to Hong Kong in October.

US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad also published a strongly worded opinion article on Sunday in his hometown newspaper, the Des Moines Register. He wrote that Trump seeks to level the playing field between US companies and Chinese competitors by imposing the tariffs.

“Unfortunately, China has responded to such action by taking further steps to harm American workers, farmers and businesses through retaliatory actions — and is now doubling down on that bullying by running propaganda ads in our own free press,” he said.

On September 28th, in an obvious provocation, US Navy and Marine Corps carried out a series of live-fire drills in the South China Sea. Units attached to the USS Wasp Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit executed a series of air and sea-based defensive drills, designed to “improve their proficiency when integrating fires [support]” during potential combat operations in the Pacific.

The exercises conducted by Navy and Marine Corps forces were geared toward defensive operations against possible threats posed to U.S. and allied forces in the South China Sea, according to a Marine Corps statement.

“The DATF rehearsal demonstrated the full integration of Marine Corps and Navy capabilities showcasing the intensity of joint firepower available to defend Wasp, and our forces, in a wide range of combat situations,” said Col. Robert Brodie, commanding officer of the 31st MEU. “Our ironclad Blue-Green partnership allows us to continuously hone our lethality through training and exercises, in preparation for any operation.”

This drill follows an assessment by the Pentagon which claimed that Beijing was actively preparing for military strikes against US forces stationed in the Pacific. The assessment concluded that China wants to greatly expand its scope of influence in the region and wants to demonstrate to other world powers, especially the U.S., that the capabilities of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have increased dramatically.

“The PLA may continue to extend its operations beyond the first island chain, demonstrating the capability to strike U.S. and allied forces and military bases in the western Pacific Ocean, including Guam,” the Defense Department analysis said.

On September 30th, the US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur sailed near Chinese territories in the South China Sea in an obvious provocation. The US Navy’s freedom-of-navigation operations “challenge excessive maritime claims and demonstrate our commitment to uphold the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under international law,” an unnamed US official was cited by Business Insider.

The South Korean destroyer Munmu the Great recently sailed close to Chinese-occupied territories in the South China Sea to steer clear of a typhoon. Beijing lodged complaints with Seoul over the incident, accusing South Korea of violating Chinese law, which requires ships to request permission when entering China’s “territorial seas.” According to Business Insider, this practice does not conform with international law.

In addition, on September 25th, China asked Britain to respect its territorial integrity and not risk the trust between the two nations after a British warship conducted a freedom-of-navigation exercise in the South China Sea.

At a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused Beijing of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 US congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies. His aides were caught visibly unaware of his accusations, and he did provide no proof whatsoever.

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  • Feudalism Victory

    Senator feinsteins office was overrun with chinese spies. No doubt they are crawling everywhere trying to buy and control america.

    • as

      Lol as if. Israel run the place.

      • Feudalism Victory

        Not trying to absolve israel of its transgressions. But china is in the game too.

    • Ivan Freely

      You should look up a former CIA station chief Michael Scheuer. The guy had lots of interesting things to say about Israel.

      • Feudalism Victory

        I will thanks.

  • Jens Holm

    Hard times for all. China is an economic problems for many of us, but I dont see it should be handled outside WTO like this.

    • Ivan Freely

      I always get a chuckle whenever I hear about complaints of China. Who would have thought that a semi-communist / socialist nation have outplayed a crony capitalist nation? Did they really believe the Chinese would allow themselves to be used like slaves forever?

      • Jens Holm

        You are far out in the history book in that. As many others, they are and was very much responsible for, what they during many years was.

        And let me remind You USA is not alone in this at all. China makes protected unfair trade to most of the rest of the world. That include an unfair currency in classic way.

  • TiredOfBsToo

    Imagine how peaceful the world would be if the US government practiced defense and trade rather than colonialism enforced by the gun. The problem with guns is that no matter how good you are, someone eventually turns up that’s much better.

    • as

      B,but we’re calling it ‘Department of Defense’ !

    • Feudalism Victory

      Probably be about the same level of violence maybe a little less.

  • χρηστος

    china is totally isolated from the rest of the world….no voice anywere…..US even bombed their embassy in Serbia….and nothing…..now they are completely silent regarding the war in Syria…..they have chinese terrorists operating there as well……The Sultan urged chinese minority to fight for Islam in a meeting in Turkey……china is silent…..cant understand these people. why dont they demand the global role they can have…..

    • Feudalism Victory

      If china wants to wear big boy pants they have to win a war to push america back to at least hawaii.

      Or wait till they leave.

      • Spit

        China can build an island and the Russians will train Chinese Troops on top of Your head… but unlike America. Russia and China are Civilized. They dont place missiles all around You.
        If America wants to talk about big boy things, Maybe Stop sending retards to Russian Space Stations… Hell I think Chinese should take Your Place!
        Hell Build Your ow… Oh wai… Your Diversity will drill holes into that to! pee poop diversity and Who cares.
        China has friends You dont.

        • Feudalism Victory

          States dont have friends. Havent heard of russia being in the south china see. They may get backed into a corner to fight or retreat.

          Then what? Arent they already leaving iran? Screaming under tariffs?

      • χρηστος

        there was a simpler way….SYria….they could demonstrate what they have. navy ,sof ,airforce…..fighting terrorists…..noone could say anaything against their intervension there……a big military parade for china….but they just stood there aand watched

    • Spit

      China has befriended Russia.
      Picture a million drones Manufactured in China…. With the best of Russian Technology.
      China has taken Africa and has a Special Place in the Russian Heart.
      The Chinese are gods when it comes to Manufacture and the Russians will help them at a drop of a Hat.
      Who will Help America? Israel?

      • χρηστος

        China alongside Russia can bring balance to US agression and arrogance. they can stop ISIS by trully fighting terrorists not sponsoring them. But i see nothing in this direction…..SYria was a great chance for China to establish its presence in the global domination game. it chose to be a by stander.dissapointed!!

    • Sinbad2

      Who do you think is paying for the Russian effort in Syria?

      • χρηστος

        even with crimpled economy from the sanctions Russia can stand a short scale war such as the one in Syria….only a 12 aircrafts there, sof etc….not even 10% of what the US has in the area ‘fighting terrorism’

  • RichardD

    The sanctions look like an excuse for a big tax increase on the middle class in the US. That will raise the cost of goods in the US, with the increase being a hidden tax that will go into servicing the ever increasing US debt. Trump is expanding the military budget while keeping all of the ongoing wars intact, and the massive overseas basing in 70 countries totaling 800 bases. All straight out of the Jew world order hegemony plan to conquer and enslave the planet using the US as their main stalking war horse at the expense of the American people. The US needs to be dejudified and the Jews and their collaborators gotten out of control positions in the US where they do so much harm.

    • Spit

      Most American people are good.
      Do not hate the people, Hate the Politicians.

      • Americans don’t have idea how hard are people working in China.
        Literally whole the day, sometimes only for food and few pennies, especially children.
        May be American suspect that it works like this but it does not matter to them because 99% of American are arrogant self-contained short sighted uneducated supremacists.

    • Sinbad2

      That’s exactly what the sanctions are, a tax.
      US debt has risen by $1.27 trillion in the last year, the Government needs the money.

  • Spit

    The Chinese have a Culture and the west is Going to Fail in its attempts to influence Chinese opinion because Americans are probobly going to make a Fatal mistake because they Lack information regarding China.
    On Paper, Imposing these Sanctions looks like a 100% guaranteed victory… but If Trump imposes Sanctions without understanding the Culture of His Enemy, he will fall hard.
    Learn Everything about China and be Smarter. Learn What exactly the Dollar means and Why it is Valued.

    • Sinbad2

      There is a book called the ugly American, they also made a movie of the book.
      And your comment reflects the American attitude back in the 1950’s and nothing has changed.
      They simply don’t want to understand others.
      The movie was a flop, because Americans don’t want to see themselves in the mirror.