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Is America Up for a Naval War with China?

Does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:

Is the U.S., preoccupied with a pandemic and a depression that medical crisis created, prepared for a collision with China over Beijing’s claims to the rocks, reefs and resources of the South China Sea?

For that is what Mike Pompeo appeared to threaten this week.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” thundered the secretary of state.

“America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources … and (we) reject any push to impose ‘might makes right’ in the South China Sea.”

Thus did Pompeo put Beijing on notice that the U.S. does not recognize its claim to 90% of the South China Sea or to any exclusive Chinese right to its fishing grounds or oil and gas resources.

Rather, in a policy shift, the U.S. now recognizes the rival claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines.

To signal the seriousness of Pompeo’s stand, the U.S. sent the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz carrier battle groups through the South China Sea. And, this week, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed close by the Spratly Islands.

But what do Mike Pompeo’s tough words truly mean?

While we have recognized the claims of the other littoral states of the South China Sea, does Pompeo mean America will use its naval power to defend their claims should China use force against the vessels of those five nations?

Does it mean that if Manila, our lone treaty ally in these disputes, uses force to reclaim what we see as its lawful rights in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy will fight the Chinese navy to validate Manila’s claims?

Has Pompeo drawn a red line, which Beijing has been told not to cross at risk of war with the United States?

If so, does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?

Consider what happened to the people of Hong Kong when they thought they had the world’s democracies at their back.

For a year, they marched and protested for greater political freedom with some believing they might win independence.

But when Beijing had had enough, it trashed the Basic Law under which Hong Kong had been ceded back to China and began a crackdown.

The democracies protested and imposed economic sanctions. But the bottom line is that Hong Kong’s people not only failed to enlarge the sphere of freedom they had, but also they are losing much of what they had.

The Americans, seeing Hong Kong being absorbed into China, are now canceling the special economic privileges we had accorded the city, as the British offer millions of visas to Hong Kong’s dissidents who fear what Beijing has in store for them.

In June, Pompeo also charged Beijing with human rights atrocities in Xinjiang: “The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression.”

These reports, said Pompeo, “are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity.”

China has rejected U.S. protests of its treatment of Uighurs and Kazakhs and of its handling of Hong Kong as interference in its internal affairs and none of America’s business.

As for the South China Sea, China dismissively replied, the U.S. seems to be “throwing its weight around in every sea of the world.”

These American warnings, and Beijing’s response, call to mind the darker days of the Cold War.

So, again, the question: Is America prepared for a naval clash in the South China Sea if Beijing continues to occupy and fortify islets and reefs she claims as her own? Are we prepared for a Cold War II — with China?

While China lacks the strategic arsenal the USSR had in the latter years of the Cold War, economically, technologically and industrially, China is a far greater power than Soviet Russia ever was. And China’s population is four times as large.

Can we, should we, begin to assemble a system of alliances similar to what we had during the Cold War — with NATO in Europe and Asian security pacts with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand? Should we adopt a policy of containment of Communist China, which, says Pompeo, is an expansionist and “imperialist” power?

Should we start issuing war guarantees to China’s neighbors? Should we start putting down red lines China will not be allowed to cross?

Before we plunged into our half dozen Middle East wars, we didn’t think through where those would end. Have we considered where all our belated bellicosity toward Beijing must invariably lead, and how this all ends?


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robert
robert
July 18, 2020

rhetorical

  • used for, belonging to, or concerned with mere style or effect.
  • marked by or tending to use exaggerated language or bombast.
  • of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric, or the effective use of language.

P.J.B.’s article is rhetorical or delusional depending on what one thinks of P.J.B.

Last edited 3 months ago by robert
Olivia Kroth
July 18, 2020

“For that is what Mike Pompeo appeared to threaten this week.” Really?

The only thing threatening is pompous ass Pompy’s exploding waistline. He is “morbidly obese”, to use Nancy Pelosi’s wording.

Sue Rarick
Sue Rarick
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 18, 2020

Thank goodness intelligence is decided by a person’s waistline…… Making Karen Carpenter one of histories smartest people.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Sue Rarick
July 18, 2020

Any anorectic would be smarter than the fat pompous ass with his bellicose loud mouth.Typical US degenerate debile fool on the hill …

peter mcloughlin
July 18, 2020

This “bellicosity toward Beijing”, as Patrick Buchanan puts it, must eventually end in war. Neither China nor America might want it, but the perceived collision of core interests makes it inevitable. Conflict between these two economic and military titans can only escalate into world war. Interests lead nations into war: wars destroy interests – and nations.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  peter mcloughlin
July 18, 2020

There will be no war against China. The cowardly US will not dare attack China. Russia and China are both military allires in SCO. They help each other in case of war. Together, they are invincible. Russia regularly patrols the Japan and China Seas.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 18, 2020

TASS:

Russian Pacific Fleet holds drills in Sea of Japan

https://tass.com/defense/1172867

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 18, 2020

TASS:

Iran, Russia and China complete all stages of joint naval drills

https://tass.com/defense/1104761

Bipartisan Press Corpse
Bipartisan Press Corpse
Reply to  peter mcloughlin
July 18, 2020

Storm clouds are forming on multiple fronts. Anyone’s guess where lightning strikes first.

Don’t know who to thank first, Pompey’s army or the Democrat’s Dodos.

Sue Rarick
Sue Rarick
July 18, 2020

Basic realities are; war with Russia, Russia wins. War with China, USA wins.
What war has China won? Even when they invaded Vietnam, as soon as the NVA returned from Cambodia China beat feet back to their border. How’d they do in WW2 or Korea?
They have bodies they can use as canon fodder but that’s about it.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Sue Rarick
July 18, 2020

The USA have not won one single war yet, neither World War II nor anything else. Without the Soviets, the Second World War would have been lost by western “powers” or rather western weaknesses. The US did not win the Vietnam War either. Got kicked out, without leaving any results. The Russians are back at their base in Vietnam. The US still hanging on in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Syria, getting bashed on a daily basis. The US with their old rusty hardware and stupid military underlings are a laughing stock. LOL – LOL – LOL!

Lou
Lou
July 18, 2020

Here is the problem about a war with China. Militarily the US has a very big mouth and not much else otherwise that military would have been used by now. The useless wars in the Middle East saw to US ground forces becoming a thing of the past. A naval battle with China would ensure the last rights to US power since the Chinese have advance weaponry than the US. Don’t be fooled into believing the spin about the greatness of US weapons. I only have to remind you that about 3 weeks ago Pompeo met with Chinese officials in… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Lou
July 18, 2020

The US has got rusty potties instead of ships, planes that are expensive but do not function and underlings in the military that are there because they cannot find any decent jobs. Who would want to hire idiots? Nobody in their right mind would do that.

pogohere
pogohere
Reply to  Lou
July 18, 2020

A naval battle with China would ensure the last rights rites to US power . . .”

Hypersonic Hullabaloo
Hypersonic Hullabaloo
July 18, 2020

I don’t see how anyone’s up with a naval war with anyone when whoever is in anyone else’s backyard can be sunk within seconds.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Hypersonic Hullabaloo
July 18, 2020

Unfortunately, silly Pompy will not be on any of those ole rusty US potties, when then they go down under in the Chinese Sea. He will be sitting in McDonald’s, devouring his 1ooth hamburger to pamper his enormous waistline.

pogohere
pogohere
July 18, 2020

But when Beijing had had enough, it trashed the Basic Law under which Hong Kong had been ceded back to China and began a crackdown.. . .The Americans, seeing Hong Kong being absorbed into China, are now canceling the special economic privileges we had accorded the city, as the British offer millions of visas to Hong Kong’s dissidents who fear what Beijing has in store for them. Hong Kong is a territory of China which the Brits seized by force. China is asserting its sovereignty by insisting that the provisions of Article 23 of the Basic Law, adopted in 1990… Read more »

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