As noted here, our
holders of our debt taskmasters “friends” the Chinese have developed a quaint little ritual for welcoming our new chief executives over the last two administrations; this tells us that they played games with allowing our diplomats to enter our EP-3 plane that landed on a Chinese island after it collided with one of their fighter jets in April 2001 soon after Dubya took over (according to the story, “Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, (had) complained that in recent months Chinese intercepts of American flights had become so aggressive ‘that we felt that they were endangering the safety of Chinese and American aircraft’.” – by the way, Blair is now Obama’s Director of National Intelligence).
And speaking of the president, it looks like Beijing is giving Obama “the treatment” also (noted here)…
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Pentagon said Monday that Chinese ships harassed a U.S. surveillance ship Sunday in the South China Sea in the latest of several instances of “increasingly aggressive conduct” in the past week.
During the incident, five Chinese vessels “shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity to USNS Impeccable, in an apparent coordinated effort to harass the U.S. ocean surveillance ship while it was conducting routine operations in international waters,” the Pentagon said in a written statement.
The crew members aboard the vessels, two of which were within 50 feet, waved Chinese flags and told the U.S. ship to leave the area, the statement said.
“Because the vessels’ intentions were not known, Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the vessels in order to protect itself,” the statement said. “The Chinese crewmembers disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25 feet.”
After the Impeccable alerted the Chinese ships “in a friendly manner” that it was seeking a safe path to depart the area, two of the Chinese ships stopped “directly ahead of USNS Impeccable, forcing Impeccable to conduct an emergency ‘all stop’ in order to avoid collision,” the statement said.
“They dropped pieces of wood in the water directly in front of Impeccable’s path.”
A Pentagon spokesman called the incident “one of the most aggressive actions we’ve seen in some time. We will certainly let Chinese officials know of our displeasure at this reckless and dangerous maneuver.”
And of course China denies any wrongdoing in the incident with the Impeccable and blames us instead.
I have an idea about all of this which is tied to this story; I’ll provide this excerpt and then tell you what I think…
JALREZ VALLEY, Afghanistan — In this Taliban stronghold in the mountains south of Kabul, the U.S. Army is providing the security that will enable China to exploit one of the world’s largest unexploited deposits of copper, earn tens of billions of dollars and feed its voracious appetite for raw materials.
U.S. troops set up bases last month along a dirt track that a Chinese firm is paving as part of a $3 billion project to gain access to the Aynak copper reserves. Some troops made camp outside a compound built for the Chinese road crews, who are about to return from winter break. American forces also have expanded their presence in neighboring Logar province, where the Aynak deposit is.
The U.S. deployment wasn’t intended to protect the Chinese investment — the largest in Afghanistan’s history — but to strangle Taliban infiltration into the capital of Kabul. But if the mission provides the security that a project to revive Afghanistan’s economy needs, the synergy will be welcome.
“When you have men who don’t have jobs, you can’t bring peace,” said Abdel Rahman Ashraf, a German-trained geology professor who’s Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief mining and energy adviser.
China’s willingness to gamble so much in one of the world’s poorest and riskiest nations testifies to its determination to acquire the commodities it needs to maintain its economic growth and social stability.
In Mt. Toromocho in the Peruvian Andes, for example, the only copper deposit said to be larger than Aynak, China is relocating a town and its inhabitants to get at a mountain of copper ore.
“Why the Chinese? Because they have money, they have lots of money,” Ashraf said. “One day, when there is no more copper elsewhere in the world, the Chinese will have copper.”
(And copper, in its unrefined state, is an ore, and Hu Jintao is the president of China – hence the post title.)
The story also tells us, by the way, that the European-based group Integrity Watch Afghanistan said that the Chinese firm mentioned in the story, MCC, performed similar work in Pakistan, but it “had virtually no spillover effect on the local economy to date.”
Anyway, here’s my idea; tell the Chinese to stop screwing around with our planes in international air space and our ships in international waters, and we won’t even bother to consider the possibility of pulling our forces from the Jalrez Valley, thus forcing the Chinese to provide their own damn security while they mine for copper.
I realize that there is a very real possibility that we would ultimately lose if we engaged in a game of tit-for-tat with Beijing, but as long as they’re going to give “the treatment” to our recently sworn-in chief executives, we would look like chumps if we failed to respond.