Archive for the Yellow Sea Category

China regrets ROK coast guard’s death [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Lee Myung-bak, Seoul, south Korea, Yellow Sea on December 17, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I don’t know what’s really happened with the Chinese fisherman and the S. Korean Coast Guard. However, after the false reporting and cover-ups courtesy the S. Korean military and SK’s obeisant media for both the Cheonan sinking and the S. Korean provocation of the Yeonpyeong Incident just one year ago, no one should be taking either of these entities’ word for anything. As far as I know, neither S. Korean media nor the government have yet to produce evidence of the crime(s) with with the Chinese suspect is charged. – Zuo Shou

By Zhang Yunbi and Liu Ce (China Daily)
December 14, 2011

BEIJING – China regrets the death of a Republic of Korea (ROK) Coast Guard officer during a clash with crewmembers of a Chinese fishing boat in the Yellow Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Two ROK Coast Guard officers clashed on Monday with Chinese fishermen. One person was also injured in the incident.

“It is an unfortunate incident,” ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a daily news conference, adding that China regrets the loss of life.

Related authorities from both countries are updating each other and trying to verify the details of the incident as quickly as possible, said the spokesman.

Liu said Beijing is willing to coordinate with Seoul to achieve an appropriate solution.

The ROK’s Yonhap News Agency said on Tuesday that the country’s Coast Guard accused the Chinese captain of stabbing the 41-year-old officer to death when his boat was caught “illegally fishing” in the Yellow Sea, and it would seek an arrest warrant for the captain.

However, the 42-year-old captain of Chinese fishing boat Luwenyu 15001 denied the accusations during questioning, the Coast Guard officials said.

The Coast Guard also accused the Chinese captain of violating the ROK’s exclusive economic zone.

More details are needed to get a clearer picture of the incident, experts said.

Lu Chao, a researcher on Korean Peninsula studies at Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily on Tuesday that whether the crewmembers were fishing in transitional waters or in the ROK’s exclusive economic zone makes a huge difference in defining responsibilities.

Amid media and public anger in the ROK toward the incident, more than 100 people were reported to have protested outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul, including a driver who rammed his car repeatedly into a police bus, according to AFP.

The ROK media’s playing up of fishery disputes between the two countries may give rise to more ill feeling between people in the two countries, said Lu.

Meanwhile, ROK President Lee Myung-bak called for measures to add funding and manpower to its Coast Guard to “avert such tragedy” when addressing a cabinet meeting earlier in the day.

The ROK’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted on Tuesday an unidentified senior Seoul official as saying that Lee’s planned visit to China next January may be postponed as a result of the incident.

The official’s statement may give the dispute a diplomatic dimension, and this would only complicate the situation, said Lu.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90883/7675506.html

Experts: China not affected by Japanese nuclear leakage [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Japan, Nukes, Yellow Sea on March 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 14, 2011

Chinese citizens have no reason to be concerned over the potential harm caused by damage to Japan’s nuclear facilities from the recent earthquake and tsunami, according to an analysis from Chinese meteorological and nuclear security experts.

Zhou Bin, a senior engineer in Beijing regional environmental emergency response center under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the radioactive materials in the middle and lower atmosphere are expected to go northeast, and those in the higher atmosphere will go southeast within the next 60 hours due to the westerly wind above Japan.

Proliferation is predicted to go north after 60 hours.

He further explained that China is to the west of Japan with the Sea of Japan, Korean Peninsula, Yellow Sea and the East China Sea laying in-between, thus the radioactive contaminants need to travel difficultly a long way to possibly reach China in terms of proliferation routes.

No unusual radioactivity was found at home so far, the inspection data showed, so the public has no need to worry. Continue reading

The US-China summit – US politicians, media insult Chinese leader while stoking hostility in Asia [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Beijing, Black propaganda, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Brazil, Capitalist media double standard, Cheonan sinking, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, Corporate Media Critique, Currency wars, DPR Korea, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Encirclement of China, Germany, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Hu Jintao, Japan, Julian Assange, Media smear campaign, Obama, Pentagon, S. Korea government cover-up of Cheonan incident, south Korea, Torture, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Western nations' human rights distortions, Wikileaks, Yellow Sea, Yuan appreciation on January 21, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

20 January 2011

Behind the pomp and diplomatic niceties, what dominates the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington is the growth of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Contrary to the general presentation in the US media, which echoes the Obama administration in portraying Beijing as the aggressor, the primary responsibility for the escalation of tensions in East Asia lies with the United States. Since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared 18 months ago that the US was “back in East Asia,” Washington has worked relentlessly to isolate China and contain its growing influence in Asia and internationally.

This has involved a three-pronged attack—economic, diplomatic and military. Only a month ago the world was holding its breath in fear of the outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea, with US support and participation, was holding a live-fire military exercise in the same disputed waters where a similar exercise the previous month had provoked North Korea to fire on a South Korean-held island, killing two South Korean Marines and two civilian inhabitants.

…North Korea pulled back from its threat to retaliate militarily in the face of such a provocation. This, however, has not altered the US policy of stoking up tensions in Asia in order to maintain US dominance at the expense of China.

The standoff between North and South Korea was the most recent in a series of crises in East Asia involving murky naval incidents which were utilized, at the direction of the United States, to demonize North Korea and its main ally, China.

Last July, Secretary of State Clinton intervened into longstanding disputes between China and its neighbors over islands in the South China Sea, lining up against China and declaring “freedom of navigation” in the South China [Sea] to be a vital US interest. This is a direct threat to Chinese control over sea lanes that are critical to its trade and security.

Only last week, the US held a joint naval exercise with South Korea in the Yellow Sea, deploying the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

Notwithstanding such provocations, Obama insisted at the joint press conference with President Hu on Wednesday that the United States welcomed China’s rise. At the same time, he reiterated US demands that China sharply raise the exchange rate of its currency and remove subsidies to its industries in order to provide a “level playing field” for American firms. He also criticized China’s human rights record.

The carefully scripted news conference allowed only two questions each from American and Chinese reporters. Obama left it to the US reporters to express overt hostility toward Hu and China.

Ben Feller of the Associated Press asked how Obama could justify an alliance with a country “known for treating its people so poorly, for using censorship and force to repress its people.” [sic]

The question reflected the selective and hypocritical outrage of the American media…No such questions are ever put to Obama, who has absolutely no standing to lecture China…or anyone else on human rights.

Obama has, after all, kept…Guantanamo open; ordered the assassination of alleged terrorists, including an American citizen; upheld the “right” of the president to imprison people for life without a trial; continued the practice of “rendering” people to countries that practice torture; rejected the prosecution of Bush-era torturers; expanded domestic spying; and is currently seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for exposing the lies and crimes of US imperialism.

The second US reporter, Hans Nichols from Bloomberg, asked how Obama would allay the fears of congressmen who see China as “an economic threat,” and followed up by asking how badly China’s “depressing its currency” harmed the White House’s efforts to create jobs and lower unemployment in the US.

The US has kept up a steady drumbeat that China is manipulating and undervaluing its currency in order to lower the price of its exports and gain an unfair trade advantage. In fact, the biggest currency manipulator by far is the United States. By keeping interest rates near zero and electronically printing hundreds of billions of dollars, the US is massively devaluing the dollar, cheapening its exports relative to rivals such as China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Brazil.

It is also flooding the world with hot money, forcing up the exchange rates of a host of countries, stoking inflation and creating asset bubbles. China has, as a result, been hit with rising inflation, forcing it to raise its interest rates twice within the past several months.

In a speech last week in advance of the summit, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expanded Washington’s economic demands, suggesting that China could gain wider access to the US market and technology only if, in addition to sharply raising its exchange rate, it reduced the role of the state in its economy, ended policies that “discriminate against US companies,” and removed preferences for domestic firms.

In other words, China should open its economy to the unfettered exploitation of American capitalism and accept the status of an economic colony.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking in Japan on Friday, called on Tokyo to expand its military and step up its military cooperation with the US, praising in particular Japan’s decision to shift the focus of its forces to its southwest islands—i.e., facing onto the Chinese mainland. He also invoked the US-Japan security treaty of 1960, which obliges the US to militarily defend Japan in the event of an armed conflict between it and China.

Open anti-China hysteria on the occasion of Hu’s state visit was left to congressmen and senators from both parties. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Hu a “dictator” and refused to attend the White House state dinner in his honor Wednesday night. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner also boycotted the event.

Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat of New York) introduced a bill targeting China that would impose punitive tariffs on “currency manipulators” and bar firms from such countries from receiving US government contracts. “This legislation sends a message to China that says we are fed up with your government’s intransigence over currency manipulation,” he declared, adding, “If you refuse to play by the rules, we will force you to do so.”

The New York Times editorialized [with a pack of distortions, hypocrisies and lies]: “For Mr. Obama, the top items include: China’s currency manipulation; its enabling of North Korea and Iran; its abuse of human rights; and its recent challenge to American naval supremacy in the western Pacific… Mr. Obama has made clear that he won’t stand by while China tries to bully its neighbors.”

The Wall Street Journal in its [extremely falsifying and reactionary] editorial raised the prospect of war with China and World War III, writing: “But China’s new truculence is once again raising concern that Beijing is intent on dominating its region and destabilizing the world order, much as the Kaiser’s Germany did a century ago.”

In fact, as leaked WikiLeaks cables have shown, Secretary of State Clinton and the then-prime minister of Australia and current foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, discussed the need to prepare for the eventuality of war with China.

This year’s US Joint Forces Command’s Joint Operating Environment report—a strategic guide to perceived threats and future US military engagements—includes the following chilling warning: “The course that China takes will determine much about the character and nature of the 21st Century—whether it will be ‘another bloody century’ or one of peaceful cooperation.”

The mounting danger of war between the US and China, which would almost certainly escalate into a global conflagration, is rooted in deep-going shifts in the world economy and the global balance of forces: China’s rise to become the world’s second largest economy and the decline in the global economic position of the United States.

American imperialism has turned ever more violently to the use of military force to offset its economic decline, and it has no intention of peacefully ceding to China the dominance [sic] of Asia or any other region.

The only answer to the growth of militarism in general and the incendiary role of US imperialism in particular is the struggle to unite the working class internationally in the fight for socialism.

Barry Grey

[Edited by Zuo Shou 左手]

Article link:http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/pers-j20.shtml

US adopts bellicose posture in advance of state visit by Chinese president [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Beijing, Brazil, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, China-US relations, Diaoyu Islands, DPR Korea, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Economy, Encirclement of China, Germany, Hu Jintao, India, Japan, NATO, NATO invasion, Philippines, Protectionist Trade War with China, Russia, South China Sea, south Korea, Taiwan, Tokyo, US imperialism, USA, Yellow Sea, Yuan appreciation on January 17, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Barry Grey
15 January 2011

In the run-up to next week’s state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Obama administration has escalated its diplomatic, economic and military campaign to contain Chinese influence and assert US interests in Asia.

In a speech delivered Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner broadened the parameters of the ongoing US economic offensive against Beijing, adding to the demand that China more rapidly revalue its currency injunctions to reduce state control over its economy, fully open its markets to US capital, end preferences to Chinese firms, and more forcefully uphold intellectual property rights.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking Friday in Tokyo after a two-day visit to China, called for Japan to expand its military and collaborate more intensively with US forces operating in the region.

Speaking at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, Geithner placed the blame for global economic imbalances in general, and rising currency exchange rates and inflation in emerging economies in particular, squarely on China. He simply ignored the central role played by the United States, which is pursuing a cheap dollar policy to obtain an advantage for US exports to the detriment not only of China, but also other exporting nations such as Japan, Germany, Brazil and South Korea.

By debasing the dollar, the leading world trade and reserve currency, the US is flooding global markets with cheap credit, which is wreaking havoc on emerging economies in Asia and Latin America, forcing up the value of their currencies, curtailing their exports and fueling inflation and asset bubbles. The cheap dollar is also driving a surge in food and commodity prices, raising the prospect of another global food crisis.

China has been forced in recent weeks to raise its interest rates twice in an attempt to stem inflation, and South Korea on Friday lifted its interest rates and imposed new controls on capital inflows. Over the past two years, the Brazilian real has risen 39 percent against the dollar, the Chilean peso has soared 25.7 percent, the Columbian peso has surged 19.1 percent, the South African rand has risen 47.6 percent, the Thai baht has gone up 14.8 percent, the South Korean won has increased 22.2 percent, and the Indonesian rupiah has jumped 22.3 percent.

While hailing China’s rapid economic development as presenting “enormous opportunities for the United States and for the world,” Geithner declared that “its size, the speed of its ascent, and its policies are a growing source of concern in the United States and in many other countries.”

In an implied threat to curtail China’s access to US markets, Geithner said, “But China’s growth was also made possible by the access China enjoyed to the markets, the investments, and the technology of the United States and the other major economies.”

Geithner baldly asserted that the Chinese renminbi (or yuan) is “substantially undervalued.” Again employing thinly veiled economic blackmail, he added, “We believe it is in China’s interest to allow the currency to appreciate more rapidly in response to market forces. And we believe China will do so because the alternative would be too costly—for China and for China’s relations with the rest of the world.”

He then listed what it would take for China to obtain its objectives, including greater access to high technology products and investment opportunities in the US. “As China reduces the role of the state in the economy,” he declared, “reforms policies that discriminate against US companies, removes subsidies and preferences for domestic firms and technology, and allows its exchange rate to reflect market forces, then we will be able to make more progress on China’s objectives.” This is essentially a prescription for China’s transformation into an economic colony of the United States.

Speaking Friday at Keio University in Tokyo during the second stop in his three-country tour of East Asia, Defense Secretary Gates said, “I disagree with those who portray China as an inevitable strategic adversary of the United States. We welcome a China that plays a constructive role on the world scene.”

However, to insure that China plays a “constructive” role, Gates outlined a strategy for its military encirclement and implied that the US would intervene on Japan’s side in any armed conflict with Beijing.

Gates claimed that “questions about [China’s] intentions and opaque military modernization program have been a source of concern to its neighbors.” He raised the issue of “territorial disputes” and cited the confrontation between Japan and China that erupted last September when Japanese coast guard vessels arrested the captain of a Chinese fishing boat near the disputed Senkaku islands (known as Diaoyu in China).

He said the incident “served as a reminder of the importance of America’s and Japan’s treaty obligations to one another.” This was a reference to the 1960 US-Japan security treaty, cited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the time, which includes a provision obliging the US to support Japan militarily in the event of a conflict over the islands.

The US staged provocative joint naval maneuvers with Japan following this episode in the East China Sea. Two months later, the US supported South Korea when its military maneuvers in disputed waters with North Korea prompted the latter to fire on an island occupied by South Korea, killing two South Korean civilians and two marines.

The US encouraged South Korea to reject attempts at mediation by China and Russia. Washington used the crisis to accuse China of not doing enough to restrain its North Korean ally and staged a series of naval exercises with South Korea in waters off China, defying Beijing’s protests.

In his Tokyo speech, Gates cited “advances by the Chinese military in cyber and anti-satellite warfare” as a “potential challenge to the ability of our forces to operate and communicate in this part of the Pacific.” He went on to praise Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines, released last month, for envisioning “a more mobile and deployable force structure; enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; and a shift in focus to Japan’s southwest islands.”

The last point signifies a shift to regions facing onto China. Gates underlined the significance of this proposal, saying the new guidelines “provide an opportunity for even deeper cooperation between our two countries—and the emphasis on your southwestern islands underscores the important of our alliance’s force posture.”

Gates went on to say that a critical component of the enhanced US-Japanese military alliance was “the forward presence of US military forces in Japan.” Without US troops on the ground in Japan, he warned, “North Korea’s military provocations could be even more outrageous—or worse” and “China might behave more assertively towards its neighbors.”

Gates’ speech came just four days after the Japanese and South Korean defense ministers, at the urging of Washington, held talks in Seoul over the first-ever military agreements between the two countries. The US is pushing for a trilateral military alliance with Japan and South Korea, which would be directed first and foremost against China.

The US has formal military alliances with the Philippines, Japan and South Korea, which, together with Taiwan, constitute an encirclement of the Chinese mainland, from the Yellow Sea to the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The US and NATO also occupy Afghanistan to China’s west, and Washington has established closed ties with India, including nuclear technology exchanges.

In Gates’ talks in Beijing, the Chinese defense minister rejected his call for “in-depth strategic dialogue” on nuclear missile defense, space and cyber warfare. The Chinese conducted a successful test of their J-20 stealth fighter jet, an act widely interpreted as a signal of the Chinese military’s anger over US provocations, including Washington’s agreement last January to supply Taiwan with over $6 billion in military hardware.

For its part, the US is deploying the USS nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and its battle group in joint exercises with the South Korean Navy to coincide with Gates’ arrival in Seoul. The war games are being held in the Yellow Sea in defiance of warnings by Beijing against any deployment of US carriers in those waters.

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/chin-j15.shtml

Being an amicable neighbor – China’s recent territorial disputes in context of US’ decline [Xinhua]

Posted in China, China-US relations, Economic crisis & decline, Hillary Clinton, India, Japan, Obama, South China Sea, south Korea, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam, Yellow Sea on January 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Tao Wenzhao

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) — The territorial disputes involving China and some neighboring countries in the Yellow Sea and South China Sea over the past months have to some extent disrupted the otherwise good relations between them. But that does not mean there is something wrong with China’s long-cherished foreign policy of developing friendly relations with its neighbors.

Even the high-profile return to Asia of the United States is not expected to erode decades-long friendships between China and other regional members, despite Washington’s assertion that it has a stake in China’s disputes with Southeast Asian nations,

The good-neighborly and friendly diplomacy embraced by China over the past decades has improved its relations with its neighbors and boosted its status in the Asia-Pacific region and created a good regional environment. Rapid economic growth has helped the country replace the United States as the largest trading partner of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) and in Southeast Asia, China has accelerated steps toward improving ties with regional countries, especially since the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

The timely and tangible assistance that China gave hard-hit Southeast Asian countries after the crisis deepened their understanding that the country’s development offered them opportunities instead of posing a threat. This understanding helped China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) clinch a deal on the establishment of a free trade area (FTA), which was formally launched on Jan 1, 2010. China’s participation in the 10-member ASEAN and China (10 plus one), as well as in the ASEAN, China, Japan and the ROK (10 plus three) mechanisms, together with its active involvement in the ASEAN regional forum, has greatly boosted Beijing’s influence in the region.

The global financial crisis has had a noticeable influence on the established international pattern, partly indicated by the rise of China and its increased influence on the international stage. In this context, it is understandable that some of China’s neighbors keep a vigilant watch on its development.

The return to Asia momentum of the US appears strong, but in reality it is superficial, in essence it is Washington’s forced defense of its declining dominance in Asia.

In the eyes of some US politicians and scholars, China’s growing influence in East Asia over the past decade – coinciding with the decline in US influence – will break the decades-long balance of power in this region and threaten US interests. These worries have prompted the US administration of Barack Obama to seek a larger presence in East Asia in order to regain its dominance in the region.

At an ASEAN regional forum held in Hanoi, Vietnam in July, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the South China Sea issue, saying the US has a stake in South Asian nations’ disputes with China. But the US has miscalculated if it is attempting to sow discord between China and ASEAN.

After Clinton’s remarks, some ASEAN members claimed territorial disputes with China should be resolved on a bilateral basis and no third party should be involved. As neighbors, China and Southeast Asian countries share many common interests. At a US-ASEAN Summit in September, ASEAN countries expressed opposition to listing China as a topic.

China’s friendly relations with surrounding countries have been built on a solid basis and now enjoy bright prospects. A typical example is China’s ties with India, an emerging nation in South Asia. Ties between the two Asian heavyweights have substantially improved since 2003. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has on many occasions expressed his view that China and India have more opportunities for cooperation than for competition. During Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent visit to India, consensus was reached between the two government heads that there is space for both countries to develop and play a bigger role in international affairs.

China has long valued and attached great importance to friendly relations with neighboring countries. But the pursuit of such relations will by no means be made at the sacrifice of its sovereignty.

In fact, it is natural for different countries to have disputes. What matters is that they should not let these disputes block the development of their relations.

China’s territorial disputes with neighboring countries have all been left over from history and they should not lie in the way of bilateral ties if no once-for-all solutions can be found for the time being. Any excessive exaggeration of existing disputes, while turning a blind eye to common interests, will only compromise relations.

The author is a senior researcher with the Center for US-China Relations under Tsinghua University.

(Source: China Daily)

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-01/05/c_13677317.htm

US defence secretary warns China not to “underestimate” US military power – as US warships skulk around Northeast Asian waters [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Currency wars, Diaoyu Islands, DPR Korea, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Encirclement of China, George Washington aircraft carrier, Hillary Clinton, Japan, Obama, Pentagon, South China Sea, south Korea, Taiwan, Tokyo, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Yellow Sea, Yuan appreciation on January 11, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Chan
11 January 2011

In an extraordinary statement while flying to China for a three-day visit last Sunday, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates warned Beijing not to underestimate the United States and its military power.

“I’ve watched this sort of cyclical view of American decline come around two or three times, perhaps most dramatically in the latter half of the 1970s,” Gates told reporters. “And my general line for those both at home and around the world who think the US is in decline is that history’s dustbins are filled with countries that underestimated the resilience of the United States.”

Gates was responding to a journalist’s suggestion that China now viewed the US as a declining power. Gates’s reply was clearly aimed not only at Beijing, but at any country seeking to develop closer political and military ties with China. He was also putting paid to any conception that Washington would peacefully cede its dominant position in the Asia-Pacific region to Beijing.

Far from accepting China’s rise, Washington is aggressively seeking to undermine Beijing’s influence in Asia. Gates’s remarks are a further indication of preparedness to use military means to offset the waning position of the US, which has gathered pace since the 1970s. American capitalism is today in an unmistakable historic decline, with mounting public debts and industrial decay, and mired in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

Gates was officially heading to China to restore military-to-military exchanges, which Beijing cut off when the Obama administration last January announced a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan. His comments highlight the depth of tensions created over the past 18 months since the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared in mid-2009 that the US was “back to Asia”—that is, determined to actively contain China strategically and diplomatically.

Following the arms sales to Taiwan, President Obama met with Tibet’s Dalai Lama, despite strong Chinese opposition. The tensions accelerated after Clinton proclaimed at an Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit last July that the US had a “national interest” in maintaining “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. She also effectively backed ASEAN member states in disputes with Beijing over islands in the South China Sea.

In September, Washington also tacitly backed Tokyo in its diplomatic row with Beijing after Japanese coastguards arrested a Chinese fishing captain near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islets. After an exchange of shelling between the two Koreas on November 23. Washington encouraged and joined with South Korea in carrying out a series of military drills near North Korea in December and rejected Chinese diplomatic efforts to ease the danger of open conflict.

These ongoing tensions dominated Gates’s visit. China apparently leaked photos of its new “stealth” fighter, J-20, just ahead of Gates’ arrival. The jet is widely regarded by military analysts as designed to rival the advanced US F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. The photos prompted US media criticism that Gates had “underestimated” or “misjudged” China’s military build-up. He declared in 2009 that China would not have a stealth fighter before 2020.

At his same airborne press briefing, Gates responded, saying of China’s J-20s, as well as cruise and ballistic missiles: “They clearly have the potential to put some of our capabilities at risk. And we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programs.” Gates said the Pentagon would prioritise the development of military capabilities against China’s new weaponry.

In Beijing, Gates met with China’s Defence Minister Liang Guanglie yesterday, but relations remained cool. Only tentative steps were taken towards reestablishing military relations between the two countries. Moreover, Liang again raised China’s concerns about US arms sales to Taiwan—the reason relations broke off. “US arms sales to Taiwan seriously damaged China’s core interests and we do not want to see that happen again,” he declared.

The Pentagon chose to show off its own might just as Gates was in China, announcing it would deploy 15 F-22 fighters in Okinawa, Japan from this week for four months. In addition, the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its associated battle group arrived in Japan, to carry out exercises with the Japanese navy on Monday. The USS Carl Vinson has been deployed to replace the USS George Washington, which was recently involved in joint naval drills with South Korea and Japan.

When Gates heads to South Korea on Friday, the USS Carl Vinson will hold joint exercises with South Korean navy in the sensitive Yellow Sea. China had previously warned against any deployment of US aircraft carriers in the Yellow Sea, but was ignored by Washington…

Sections of the Chinese ruling elite have responded to US military exercises in China’s backyard by calling for more military spending. Major General Jiang Luming of China’s National Defence University wrote in an official journal Study Times last week that Beijing must permanently double military spending from 1.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product to 2.8 percent…

Chinese President Hu Jintao is due in the US on January 19. In order to ensure a smooth visit, Beijing sent Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to Washington last week to meet with President Obama, Clinton and other senior US officials. The Obama administration has already made clear that it will use the visit to press the Chinese president for major concessions.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced last Wednesday that a major theme would be Obama’s demand for a rapid revaluation of the Chinese currency—a step that could devastate large sections of Chinese industry. Gibbs indicated that Obama would press Hu on other sensitive issues, including “human rights” and Korean tensions. While encouraging South Korea to take a tougher stand, the US has repeatedly criticised China for failing to curb North Korea’s supposedly “rogue” behaviour.

The trip by Gates to Beijing makes clear the Obama administration has no intention of accommodating to China, but rather will continue to its aggressive push to counter China’s military buildup and to undermine its influence in Asia.

[Edited by Zuo Shou 左手]

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/gate-j11.shtml

Is North Korea a Convenient Scapegoat for America’s Northeast Asia Strategy? [The 4th Media]

Posted in Beijing, Black propaganda, Cheonan sinking, China, DPR Korea, Encirclement of China, George Washington aircraft carrier, Japan, Korean War, Obama, S. Korea government cover-up of Cheonan incident, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Yellow Sea on January 3, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Kiyul Chung | December 23, 2010

Through one of the latest and most serious war crises in Korean peninsula since the temporarily-paused but never-completely-ending Korean War since July 1953, the world in general, the Northeast Asia region in particular seemed to have further realized several crucial facts.

~ Not between North and South, but North with the US ~

The first fact is Korean conflicts’ historical background that has been distorted, forgotten and/or hidden, so that those ongoing conflicts for over 60 years in Korean peninsula have been seen as the one “between North and South Korean brothers.”

However, as a matter of fact, both November 23rd and December 20th, in addition to the March 26th when Cheonan mysteriously sank, all three major military drills took place directly under America’s “(both peacetime and wartime) operational control.”

South Korean President Lee Myungbak, like all of his predecessors, does not have any legal, military and political power or authority to order or control over his own nation’s military whatsoever.

This extremely dependent (so many call it “puppet”) system is known seemingly the only case in the world in which a sovereign nation has let other country’s foreign (local) military commander has the host nation’s military (army, navy and air) operational control.

This very much subordinated thereby servile, captive, even enslaved relationship in nature has been cemented since July 14, 1950 when ROK’s first US installed-president Rhee Syngman handed over his military operational command to the then UN (US) commander General MacArthur.

All three military drills in 2010, too, in addition to each and every one (countless number) of military operations on Korean soil since September 1945 when US military occupied the southern part of Korea which was supposed to be liberated from the Japanese 40 year long colonial rule, were operated by America’s military and geopolitical strategic decisions.

Therefore, like in the past, this year’s war crisis and extremely heightened military confrontations in Korean peninsula must not be considered the conflicts between North and South, but North with the US.

Most South Korean governments in the past, except a couple of exceptions such as late Presidents Kim Daejung and Roh Moohyun, seem hardly avoidable to escape from a critique that they have been ”America’s proxy regimes in Northeast Asia region.”

~ DPRK Convenient Scapegoat for America’s Northeast Asia Strategy ~

The second fact lies in a new strategic phenomenon that this year’s three major military drills where air carrier USS George Washington was involved with had consecutively taken place in the West Sea of Korean peninsula, not in the East Sea.

However, throughout the past since 1953, most, if not all, war crises such as at the time of North Korean seizure of US spy ship Pueblo in 1968 and other major conflicts took place in the East Sea, not in the West Sea.

As many analysts argue, it’s due to the fact that China has risen in all aspects, most distinctively its continued economic development and its rapidly growing influence onto the global affairs in general, the Northeast Asia region in particular.

As many including Chinese strategists have already pointed out, the reason why US moved its war games from Korea’s East Sea to the West is doubtlessly America’s strategic intention to continually pressure China militarily, economically and politically.

The West Sea of Korea which is also called [the] Yellow Sea, as both Koreans and Chinese call [it], is within the geopolitical and military proximity from missile shooting range of US warships to the most important power centers of China, including Beijing the Capitol City.

Needlessly to say, it’s also a US psychological warfare. However, in order to justify and hide its utmost but hidden strategic target China, the US has repeatedly made DPRK (North Korea) a convenient scapegoat.

Undoubtedly, America’s utmost strategic goal in Korean peninsula is to topple North Korea. This is often termed “regime change.” US, Japan and South Korea now even publicly talk about it as their common goal.

By doing so, they want people believe North Korea’s collapse is imminent. Of course, it’s also another set of war propaganda, a psychological warfare.

As in the past for over 60 years, from the 1950-53 Korean War to the Cheonan sinking incident and Yeonpyong Island conflicts in 2010, the US has continuously employed its stereotypical war propaganda tactic, i.e., the demonization of North Korea as the “aggressor”!

~ South Korean Presidency in Jeopardy and Need for Constant State of War Crisis ~

The third fact is that Lee’s extremely right-wing “pro-US” government is in irrecoverably free-falling domestic political crises due to its massive financial, political and moral crimes with unbelievable degrees and volumes of corruptions, frauds, and fabrications.

Unprecedented financial, political and moral crimes have taken place since he’s assumed the power three years ago. Illegal use of government powers is rampant. Most challengingly, in order to cover up those crimes, unimaginably dangerous military crises seemed to have been fabricated.

There is a distinctive example: According to South Korean mainstream media, “more than 2/3 of South Korean people do not believe the so-called ‘Official Int’l Joint Investigation Report’ on the Cheonan sinking incident.” Rather they are very much suspicious if it might not have been fabricated, as many in the world have already argued.

It’s a well-known fact the March 26th’s sinking incident took place just before the scheduled South Korean Local Election on June 2 when Lee’s regime then was already in big troubles.

In that election, even if, while fully being backed by Obama administration, Lee’s conservative ruling party manipulated the sinking incident at maximum level until the Election Day, as previous pro-US (flunkey) regimes did similar things in the past; they lost miserably, however.

Since the failed election in June, unfortunately, a police or fascist state in a form of national security state, like the times of Park Junghee and Chun Doohwan in the past, has been reestablished into South Korean society.

Political cronyism in extreme degree, almost like an “organized crime,” goes beyond imagination. In order to cover up all those crimes, while suppressing all sorts of sociopolitical oppositions, his failed regime desperately needs a constant state of war crisis, the “national security state.”

It means, for his political survival, he has dared to push his own people, the nation he was supposed to serve and his neighboring countries in the region to the brink of an all-out war.

Article link: http://en.m4.cn/archives/2574.html