Trump to risk 'war' with Beijing?
Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong, in the Guardian uk, Friday 13 January 2017
Threats by Rex Tillerson, would-be secretary of state, to stop access to islands are ‘mish-mash of naivety and shortsightedness’, says China Daily. China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts a drill in the South China Sea. State media has warned of conflict if the US attempts to block access to islands there. Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters
(Note: When two cowards meet, threatening each other with a duel to death, who will win? Is there anyone who has any doubt about the final outcome? The winner is: (say who) “The one who strikes frst!” Because the other, being the worse coward, will scoot with his life in both hands!
You are going to see it once Trump is crowned warrior par excellence on 20th, so please wait till then. But there is real thrill in conjecturing, in dreaming about possibilities. “It is too long since the second world war got over. How to live through it really (not mentally) just for the kick of it, instead of going to a movie, which everybody knows, won’t give the real stuff?” some may ask.
To such a crowd, the TV screen popular Bishop Fulton J.Sheen of heavenly memory gave the answer already: “Just go behind an Ass and give a small prick, you’ll get the sought after unforgettable kick!” So is a third world war going to break out? If so how soon? You have the clear answer in the advise of Peter Navarro in the last para of report below, where he advises the president elect “to pursue a “peace through strength” policy in the region, which in essence means that trump should excel in the art of diplomacy. What is that art? That is to indulge in that diplomacy which keeps on firing even when you are totally out of all ammunition, that is, to keep on making the loudest noise even when you don’t have any bullet, not even a pellet to go with it.
In the case of Trump, Putin and China we wish to think, all three are doing just that, although in the case of China and Russia both are driven to occupy their neighbor’s garden, as in the case of “Naboth” in the Bible. Perhaphs Trump can succeed where Modi, Japan and Vietnam have failed in the South China sea. So let all barking tigers, especially Trump prove that they are just toothless ones to bite. The world may be growing stupid in 2017, but not that stupid as to start a third world war. james kottoor, editor)
The US risks a “large-scale war” with China if it attempts to blockade islands in the South China Sea, Chinese state media has said, adding that if recent statements become policy when Donald Trump takes over as president “the two sides had better prepare for a military clash”.
China has controversially built fortifications and artificial islands across the South China Sea. Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, said China’s “access to those islands … is not going to be allowed”. China claims nearly the entire area, with rival claims by five south-east Asian neighbours and Taiwan.
Tillerson did not specify how the US would block access but experts agreed it could only be done by a significant show of military force. Tillerson likened China’s island building to “Russia’s taking of Crimea”. “Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories,” said an editorial in the Global Times, a Communist-party controlled newspaper.
“China has enough determination and strength to make sure that his rabble rousing will not succeed … Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, appears before the US Senate foreign relations committee for his confirmation hearing and indicates he would take a strong stance on China’s claims over the South China Sea. Telling the hearing that a ‘clear signal’ should be sent, Tillerson also criticises China’s ‘empty promises’ over North Korean reform‘No access’: Rex Tillerson sets collision course with Beijing in South China Sea
Under Barack Obama the US remained neutral on sovereignty claims, not recognising any ownership, but often challenged China’s control of the area by sailing warships past islands in what it called freedom of navigation exercises.
If that policy became more confrontational, including denying China access to islands it already controls, “it would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US”, declared the state-run China Daily. China’s official response was more tame. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China-US relations were based on “non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation”.
Both newspapers also dismissed recent statements by Trump and his team – taking a similar stance to the Chinese government, which is waiting for Trump to be sworn in before equating his words with policy.
Tillerson’s remarks “are not worth taking seriously because they are a mish-mash of naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices and unrealistic political fantasies”, the China Daily wrote. “Should he act on them in the real world it would be disastrous.”
There are signs, though, that Trump shares Tillerson’s views and they will be carried into the White House. In December, Trump made similar comments in an interview with Fox News, accusing Beijing of “building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing”.
Peter Navarro, Trump’s pick to head the newly created national trade council, has been extremely hostile to China and encouraged the president-elect to pursue a “peace through strength” policy in the region. “Beijing has created some 3,000 acres of artificial islands in the South China Sea with very limited American response,” Navarro has previously written.