On September 11, an op-ed in the Beijing-based Global Times, which often reflects the views of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said that since September 11, 2001 (the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York), the US has disgraced itself.
The article said the US counter-terror war has been effective by overthrowing or containing the ability of terrorist organizations to launch 9/11-style mass attacks. It also admitted that on the terror front the US is relatively safe now.
However, the article said that terrorism has also spread across the world during this period while terrorists have taken advantage of regional issues for more specific goals. It also laid the blame on the US for what it calls “hatred and misunderstanding” which has “not shrunk in the world, which makes it harder to uproot terrorism.”
The article adds that the “US is the most powerful country in the world. We believe it has special responsibilities in making the world more peaceful and orderly. Regrettably, Washington has failed to do so, and has set a bad example for the word by being selfish, capricious and even rude.”
The article complains in length about what it sees as failed US policies in the Middle East, slams the US “for undermining the post-Cold War major power relations,” by labeling China and Russia as two strategic competitors, as well as “launching an insane trade war against China, leading to unprecedented tensions the world.”
The article continues to place blame on the US, stating in an obvious reference to the US withdrawal of the nuclear accord with Iran, that Washington “refused to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations as a super power, and withdrew from several international treaties and mechanisms, leaving the already formed major global cooperation incomplete, stagnant and paralyzed.
The Global Times piece wraps up stating that “turbulence and uncertainty has surfaced when the US has stirred things up.”
“The 9/11 attacks were a high tragedy,” the article said. “It is hoped that Washington political elites recall how the world sympathized and helped the US in 2001 and think about how the country has acted since then.”
China has become an international law breaker
At first blush, it’s apparent to see the motivation behind this line of thought in China. President Trump has stepped up and finally confronted China for its violation of international trade norms and laws and what has to be called plain old fashioned cheating in trade by Beijing’s currency manipulation, overt mercantilism, albeit state support of companies in key sectors, and other World Trade Organization (WTO) violations.
Beijing has been caught flatfooted by Trump, which had a free pass from previous presidential administrations to run the gambit on the US in trade, the stealing of intellectual property rights on an unprecedented scale and a host of other actions that make China an international law breaker.
However, Beijing hasn’t been complacent just to cheat on trade against the US, the EU, Japan and virtually every other country it has trade relations with, Beijing has been engaged in one of the largest land grabs since the start of World War II when both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were carving up both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
China’s land grabbing and military build up in the islands, reefs and formations in the heavily disputed South China Sea, often at the expense of the Philippines and Vietnam, should be the next front for more vigorous American leadership.
Washington’s South China Sea Options
An argument has been made that the US, since it has no territorial claims in the South China Sea, has little recourse other than enforcing freedom of navigation in the region’s waters.
However, a counter argument can be made that Washington has a moral imperative to not only keep the South China Sea open for trade but to help smaller nations, again mostly the Philippines which has a long-standing mutual defense treaty with the US, and Vietnam, fend off aggressive Chinese actions in the body of water. China lays claims to around 90% of the South China Sea, based on dubious historical claims. The area is rich in both fishing resources and hydrocarbons reserves, mostly natural gas.
One way to blunt China’s aggressive South China Sea push would be overt US aid and assistance to help both Manila and Hanoi beef up their own defenses and infrastructure on islands they already have control over to dissuade further landgrabs by China. It would also help thwart obvious and aggressive Chinese hegemony ambitions in the South China Sea that sees as much as $4 trillion in trade each year, including vital oil and natural gas shipments to US allies, including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
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