President Obama infamously stated his “foreign policy” strategy was to pivot away from the Middle East and focus on China.Well, China seems to welcome that pivot as they have assumed territorial control of the Japanese Senkaku Islands and had another direct confrontation with the US Navy in the South China Sea earlier this month.
According to Bill Gertz in the Washington Free Beacon:
A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials. The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident. What an amazing turn of events. Back in the late 1930s it was Japan who sought more natural and energy resources and built a huge naval force, with supplemental air forces, to extend its regional hegemonic dominance. I’m quite sure China remembers that. It’s always amazing how history plays such games on those who fail to learn from it.
The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters. Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.
Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa. China is laying claims to the islands, which are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.
Regardless, we find ourselves in a dangerous situation with Chinese expansion and incursion not just into the South China Sea, but also threatening the Philippines. I’m not a Navy guy but would guess this little maneuver by the Chinese navy towards the USS Cowpens was an intentional act of belligerence — our response seems to have been to issue a protest statement. I bet that was really scary to the Chinese.
Welcome to the inept foreign policy world of President Obama. We pivot from the Middle East, destabilizing it and promoting the rise of Islamic totalitarians. Then we negotiate with the Iranians while they march forward to a nuclear capability. When we “pivot” to the Pacific, China threatens one of our ships. We hit the reset button with Russia, and it’s stuck on stupid. Whatever happened to “peace through strength?” I’m not digging this “lead from behind” stuff — down South we call that following.