Imagine the following scenario. One or more Chinese or Russian warships provocatively enter the Gulf of Mexico, or perhaps intrude close to America’s east or west coast, sailing into its territorial waters – after being warned not to.
Washington would likely consider the intrusion an act of war – with full media support. Yet US warships provoke Russia in the Black Sea and China near its Xisha and Nansha Islands repeatedly – showing its own sovereignty matters, no one else’s.
In response to Washington’s latest intrusion, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded sharply, saying:
“Under the (phony) pretext of ‘freedom of navigation,’ the US side once again sent a military vessel into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without (its) approval.”
Washington clearly “violated Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China’s sovereignty, and disrupted the peace, security and order of the relevant waters.”
“China dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel. (Beijing) is dissatisfied with, and opposed to, the relevant behavior of the US side.”
It’s responsible for another “serious political and military provocation – deliberately stirring up troubles in the South China Sea, as well as running in the opposite direction from countries in the region who aspire for stability, cooperation and development.”
China’s Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian made similar comments.
On Monday Beijing time (Sunday evening in Washington), Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping over heightening Sino/US tensions.
China Central Television reported Xi saying bilateral relations with America deteriorated since leaders of both countries met in Mar-a-Lago, Florida last April. It quoted Xi saying:
“We attach great importance to the US government’s reaffirmation of the one-China policy, and hope the US side will properly handle the Taiwan problem by adhering to the one-China principle and the three communiques between the two sides.”
A White House statement said “(b)oth leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula. President Trump reiterated his determination to seek more balanced trade relations with America’s trading partner.”
No further details of their conversation were added or explained if Trump got Xi to toughen his pressure on Pyongyang.
Separately, Beijing sharply criticized US imposition of illegal sanctions on China’s Bank of Dandong, Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co., and two Chinese business officials – accused of running front companies for North Korea.
It strongly objected to its announced $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, and Senate Armed Services Committee approval to let US warships regularly sail into Taiwanese ports.
Tensions between both countries are high over the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem provocatively entering Chinese territorial waters.
In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report to Congress, Trump’s State Department called China among the world’s worst human trafficking offenders, riling Beijing further – the accusation coming from the leading human rights offender on a global scale. It’s deplorable record is unprecedented.
US relations with China and Russia remain dangerously unstable, compounded by Trump’s unpredictability and advice gotten by neocons and hawkish generals infesting his administration – a combustable mix, risking almost anything.
Hoped for improved US relations with Russia and April bromance with China seem light years away in light of hostile Trump administration actions against both countries.