US Warships Challenge China Near Its Territory

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US Warships Challenge China Near Its Territory

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

US freedom of navigation provocations close to Chinese territory happen with disturbing regularity.

Along with surrounding China with US military bases and waging trade war on the country, unthinkable US-provoked confrontation could follow – the madness of possible military action between two powerful thermo-nuke-armed nations, risking catastrophic global war.

America’s military footprint worldwide threatens nations everywhere. Will its madness for Asia/Pacific control launch regional and perhaps global war?

Is China on Washington’s target list? Hostile US actions against the country risk something far more serious than already. What’s unthinkable could be inevitable.

On Wednesday, China’s Global Times accused the Trump regime of “deteriorating China-US ties…refusing to accept (its) rise” – along with “significantly crippl(ing) transatlantic solidarity and creat(ing) serious conflicts with Europe.”

International relations reflect “(h)igh) uncertainty.” China isn’t “deluded” by the results of US midterm elections, Dems regaining House control for the first time in eight years – changing nothing in Washington’s hostile actions toward Beijing, including repeated South China Sea provocations.

On September 30, a Chinese destroyer interdicted the USS Decatur’s South China Sea incursion, provocatively close to the country’s territory, sailing within 45 yards of a possible collision.

It warned that the US vessel would “suffer consequences” if it didn’t change its “dangerous” course. The ship responded, saying “(w)e are conducting innocent passage.”

Virtually no US political, economic, financial or military actions are “innocent.” Geopolitically they have hostile imperial aims in mind.

A US Pacific Fleet spokesman accused Beijing of an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” – ignoring the US provocation, something Washington would never tolerate if the tables were turned.

Chinese or Russian warships sailing near America’s east or west coasts or Gulf of Mexico might be treated by Washington as a casus belli, an action justifying war on the countries by Republicans or undemocratic Dems.

In response to the September 30 incident, chief of US naval operations Admiral John Richardson said the following:

“We will continue to progress this program of freedom of navigation operations. We do dozens of these operations around the world to indicate our position for…illegitimate claims, maritime claims.”

Time and again, Washington and its imperial partners act provocatively and belligerently – actions peace-loving nations abhor.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier said Beijing will “work together to be vigilant against and prevent interferences and disruptions coming from the outside as China and the Philippines and other littoral states of the South China Sea are cooperating to uphold peace and cooperation.”

Separately, China’s Foreign Ministry demanded Washington stop “provocative actions, “threat(ening) its sovereignty.”

China’s Defense Ministry at the time said its destroyer “took quick action and made checks against the US vessel in accordance with the law, and warned it to leave the waters.”

Beijing respects freedom of navigation rights, but “resolutely opposes” provocative actions by other countries, threatening its sovereignty and security.

Beijing’s strong response showed its patience with Washington is wearing thin. Professor Ni Lexiong said “(t)he US keeps testing our bottom line by sailing within 12 nautical miles” of Chinese territory. “So by sailing close to their ship, we show(ed)” readiness not to tolerate repeated US provocations short of military confrontation.

Professor Brendan Taylor warned of “an ongoing risk around Asia’s flashpoints of an incident such as this escalating into a larger crisis.”

Beijing naval expert Li Jie accused Washington of being more provocative in the South China Sea as its government improves relations with regional countries, along with defending its sovereign territory against US actions it considers unacceptable.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.