China Justifies Strategic Bombers Drills In South China Sea, US-China Trade War “On Hold”

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China Justifies Strategic Bombers Drills In South China Sea, US-China Trade War "On Hold"

A July 2016 file photo shows a Chinese H-6K bomber patrolling islands and reefs, including Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. (Xinhua/Liu Rui)

On May 21, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang stated that the landing of the Chinese Air Force’s H-6K strategic bombers in the islands of the South China Sea had been a part of usual military drills:

“The South China Sea Islands are China’s territory. The relevant military activities are the normal training of the Chinese military and there is no need for other parties to over-interpret that,” Kang stated.

“As to the so-called “militarization” mentioned by the US, the normal training on our own territory is totally a different thing from certain country’s threat to others by sending military vessels and aircraft to this region from thousands of miles away.”

On May 21, Filipino Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque stated that the Philippines had expressed “serious concerns” over the China’s strategic bombers presence in the South China Sea and Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs had taken an “appropriate diplomatic action”, Reuters reported.

“But we take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact to efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” Roque said.

The Pentagon criticized China’s “continued militarization” of island outposts in the South China Sea, the US ABC News reported on May 19.

“We have seen these same reports and China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region,” a spokesman for the Pentagon Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said.

On May 18, the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily posted a video revealing that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force of China had carried out the first landing of the strategic bomber H-6K in the islands of the South China Sea.

On May 18, the US-Philippine joint military exercises including amphibious landing contributed to the strengthening of “the US-Philippines military partnership”, according to a speech of Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Michael Klecheski.

The joint drills started on May 3 as a part of the annual Balikatan military exercises focused on developing skills in disaster response, fighting terrorism and chemical attacks.
The recent drills in the South China Sea came after the PLA Air Force had carried out patrol near Taiwan, when Su-35 fighter jets had flown over the Bashi Channel with the strategic bomber H-6K on May 11 and the May 9 training of the China’s Chengdu J-20 stealth fifth-generation fighter jets.

Trade talks

On May 21, Kang stressed that the “trade consultations” between the US and China in Washington from May 15 to 19 had been “constructive” and “meant to address each other’s concerns, increase mutual understanding, and work toward compromise”.

“I would like to say that China is never willing to see any tension between the two sides, including that in trade or other areas. If we, as two major countries, can maintain sound bilateral relations as well as interaction and cooperation across the board, it will surely better serve the interests of the two countries and peoples and bring benefits to the world than otherwise,” Kang said.

On May 20, in an interview to the Fox News TV channel, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the trade war between the US and China is “on hold” after the world’s powers had the second round of trade negotiations. Mnuchin stated that Washington and Beijing had agreed to drop their tariff threats for a while as a wider trade agreement is in work.

“We have made very meaningful progress, and we agreed on a framework,” Mnuchin said. “We’re putting the trade war on hold.”

On May 19, the White House released a joint statement of the US and China over the trade consultations declaring the reached “consensus” between countries in order to reduce trade tensions:

“There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China. To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services. This will help support growth and employment in the United States.”

According to the statement, both sides agreed the increase in the US agriculture and energy exports. Washington is to send a team to Beijing “to work out the details”.

The first round of the trade talks began on May 3, when the US delegation arrived in Beijing to carry out 2-day talks with Chinese officials. The negotiations’ aim is to stop the standoff between two world powers over the economic issues, which started in April when the sides imposed punitive tariffs each against other.

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  • Hisham Saber

    Trump blinked. Don’t mess with mighty, rich and intelligent China.

    The Chinese hit Trump where they knew it would hurt the most, the U.S. agricultural sector. Billion dollar purchases of Soy were cancelled by China, and they instead approached Brazil for soy.

    U.S. farmers were in a state of panic, as such a move would be the death knell for them. And indecently, the U.S. Mid-west , where soy is farmed, happens to be Trumps voter base stronghold. The Chinese are very clever.

    The Chinese will give Trump major headaches, like offsetting U.S. sanctions on Iran. The Chinese Premier has stated on multiple occasions that Iran is a crucial, indispensable part of the gargantuan OROB initiative. So is Iraq, so is Syria.

    The U.S. is increasingly losing strategic leverage internationally, and look for the Chinese ( who ironically are performing a ‘forward leaning posture’) to fill in the void. The Chinese are a no non-sense people and they are very serious. Calculating in the infinite, and wise to a maximum, Trump and his reactionaries stand no chance.

    • Tudor Miron

      Very well noticed – that’s exactly what made US country level elites to think twice. Overall result of this so called “trade war” is just that China receives needed technologies faster.

      • observerBG

        They were receiving them during previous administrations too. Now they will have to buy between 50 and 200 billion $ more in US goods. Thus a loss for China.

        • Tudor Miron

          Thats an aparent loss. Those money would not help US and there’s no shortage of money on China’s side. Notice technologies that are about to be transfered to China that’s the actual result of that little “trade war”.

          • observerBG

            What technologies would be transfered to China that weren’t transfered before?

            And yes, the US won this round, destroying China’s phone industry is far worse than China not buying some low tech food from the US. ZTE can not operate without american chips. That threat forced China to buy much more US goods. So China is weaker, it is they who gave up, not the US, who will trade under the old conditions.

          • Tudor Miron

            Lets wait and see.

    • BMWA1

      Hmm…lots of soy is grown in Central Ukraine (alongside sunflower the major crop, else, maize). I wonder why China didn’t go there? Did something happen there?

      • Daniel Castro

        Ukraine can’t compete with Brazil on this field…

    • observerBG

      Its the other way around. US forced China to buy more US goods. According to various infos between 50 and 200 billion dollars more. Big win for the US.

    • Ivan Freely

      Bigly. ;)

  • Serious

    As expected, Duterte is USA bitch. XD. I knew he was stupid.

    ISIS in Phillipines is not a coincidence.

  • Serious

    China has a huge advantage : Chinese don’t believe in Abraham.

  • Attrition47

    Let’s hope that Russia-China-Iran and allies give the Seppoes a taste of overstretch.

  • Dr. Pro Liv

    Nothing is “ON HOLD” as long as those bombers keep landing on SOUTH CHINA sea islands.
    That is new stage starting, actually….

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    on hold………. turnip trump, try to bully a country that with out her, Useless Sh*t of As*holes, will become within the space of a month, into a 4th world economy.

    Slowly the morons handling trump and the rest of the morons, in europe, began to realize that threats and blackmailing, that used to work on defenseless countries, no longer has any effect on countries that not only hold almost all the external debt of usa, but also most of the europeans countries.

    Beside the fact that are military already stronger, than they are.

  • Serious

    China is reversing the game created by USA. That’s why China is way more clever than Russia even if China has lower capabilities.

    China is using american threats to grab everything she can. If USA tries to attack, China will respond and gain lands. Phillipines don’t have nuclear weapons, so Phillipines can’t stand a chance against China. If Phillipines attacks, China has the opportunity to gain lands.

    Russia didn’t take the opportunity of american attacks in Syria and Ukraine to reinforce her position.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      The first one to use nuclear weapons open his own country to a massive nuclear attack. They may use them to threaten countries but none is going to actually initiate a nuclear attack with today’s realities.

      So what ever is going to happen will happen with conventional means.

      • Serious

        If USA attacks, even by conventional means, China can retaliate with nuclear weapons. So, USA will never dare to attack China military. Too much to lose.

        If Phillippines attacks, China will respond and has the ability to level Phillippines.

        So, China has the advantage and is now using USA to take whatever she can.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          I dont think china will retaliate with nuclear weapons if USA attack her for the simple reason they can destroy everything send against them conventionally. They can sink all the american fleet, floating coffins, as well down any aircraft come against them. Boots on the ground is out of the question.

          So why you think chinese are that stupid to open pandoras nuclear box? Remember they are not moronic americans, and are far more intelligent than the handlers of americans and europeans.

          • Serious

            China can’t win with conventional weapons. But, like they have intercontinental nuclear weapons, they can send thousands of nuclear missiles into USA. Like USA never want to fight on their own soil, USA is trapped and is always talking while China is winning.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            china dont have thousands of nuclear weapons to use and is your assumption that they can not win a conventional war, against americans. All they need to do, is sink their fleet and game is over. americans, have nothing that china or russia, can not counter act and destroy.

            But keep thinking as you think, is some of you here, that have an obsession, to go nuclear. Good think none of the countries in SCO, are like minded, as some posters here are.

          • Serious

            China can’t stand a chance against USA unless China use nuclear weapons, which is enough. USA will never attack alone. USA will use Japan, Phillipines and SK into her war. China will destroy easily the vassal states but to do so, China must remove their master.

    • TrumanSparks

      Gain lands for what?

      China is not going to attack Philippines. Philippines is not going to attack China. US is not going to attack China. China is not going to attack the US. Nobody is going to attack anybody.

      These games in the SCS are for show, nothing else. No side has any interest in exposing their military to the other side’s military. Too much risk vs too little reward.

      This is purely an economic conflict. Any military posturing is nothing more than that- posturing.

  • Serious

    USA is playing monopoly but Putin is playing chess. XD.

    • Jesus

      Putin has no interest in the South China Sea. China will take care of the southern flank of Eurasia.

      • Serious

        China doesn’t give a fuck about others. China works for China. Period.

        • Jesus

          Qualify that as your uninformed opinion.

          • Serious

            China has :
            1. own language
            2. own millenium culture
            3. own religion
            4. own race
            5. no democracy

            China is pratically impossible to infiltrate.

          • Jesus

            So what? China does not have the same arrogant view as US, that they do not need any allies. “China works for China”. China promotes its interests by being fair minded when dealing with other countries.

          • Serious

            China doesn’t want to be bothered in their neighborhood. USA has forced China to become capitalist and imperialist. China is learning fast.

          • Jesus

            US does not think SCS is Chinese neighborhood, the Chinese mindset is far different than the neocon psychopath mindset. USA did not force capitalism on the Chinese, Wall Street did, moving industrial assets from US to China. As far as China not needing anybody, Chinese and Russian naval units conducted joint drills on many occasions.

        • Barba_Papa

          And that is bad because……?

          I’d say that pretty much goes for any country. A normal healthy of relations between states. The distortion comes from states that don’t work for their own interests but who are hijacked for the interests of others.

    • Daniel Castro

      You’re obsessed with Putin, this article is not about Putin, go see a psychologist.

  • Jesus

    South China sea is China’s sphere of influence, they can exert their influence in the area anyaway they see conducive to their best interests.

  • Serious

    China knows that if she didn’t militarize the region, USA will do it. USA is making things worst for Phillipines and Vietnam.

  • Serious

    Remùeber that the go game is harder than chess. XD.

  • Ivan Freely

    “The Pentagon criticized China’s “continued militarization” of island outposts in the South China Sea…”

    Meanwhile, the US continues building illegal outposts in Northern Syria. Loads of horse manure coming from Washington.

  • Samantha Green

    The Philippines can never have any claim against China without ABORTION RIGHTS!