World View: China Blames U.S. for Anti-China Violence in Vietnam

This morning's key headlines from
  • China blames U.S. as anti-China violence grows in Vietnam
  • U.S. asks Vietnam to permit additional Navy ship visits
  • Japan moves toward reinterpreting its pacifist constitution
  • Palestinian commemorate founding of Israel as 'Nakba Day'
  • Lebanon accused of discriminating against Palestinians from Syria

China blames U.S. as anti-China violence grows in Vietnam

On Thursday, a mob of a thousand Vietnamese protesters stormed a Taiwanese steel mill in Vietnam, hunted down Chinese workers, killed one, and torched the complex. Taiwanese companies, many of which employ Chinese nationals, have born the brunt of Vietnam's anti-China protests and violence. The protesters are furious over China's installation of an oil rig in waters in the South China Sea historically claimed by Vietnam.

Also on Thursday, China's top military leader, the head of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Fang Fenghui, was in Washington, meeting at the Pentagon with U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey. At the joint press conference, Fang blamed President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia, saying that Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan had seized on it to cause trouble in the South and East China seas. (This is China's standard message: all of Asia could live in peace and harmony, as long as the U.S. and all the Asian countries are docile and obedient to the commands issued by China.)

As for the oil rig, Fang made it clear that China would make no concessions at all:

I think it’s quite clear... who is conducting normal activity and who is disrupting it. 


Territory which has passed down by our ancestors into the hands of our generation – we cannot afford to lose an inch.

He added that China does not seek conflict but is not afraid of it. War between Vietnam and China has never been closer. AP and Reuters

U.S. asks Vietnam to permit additional Navy ship visits

With tensions growing sharply between Vietnam and China, the U.S. Navy asked Vietnam Thursday to permit the Seventh Fleet to have additional U.S. port calls. Currently, Vietnam limits U.S. port calls for one visit of up to three ships each year to avoid antagonizing China. Now that Vietnam has reversed policy and is willing to antagonize China by permitting peaceful anti-China protests, it's thought that Vietnam may make a similar change of policy with respect to U.S. naval port calls.

Because of China's increasingly offensive military activity in the South China Sea, Vietnam has felt it's had no choice but to develop closer military relations with the U.S., India, and Russia. Reuters

Japan moves toward reinterpreting its pacifist constitution

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially announced Thursday the intention to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to permit using the armed forces for "collective self-defense." I discussed this issue recently in detail.

This reinterpretation of the constitution will permit the armed forces to use the military to defend allies, particularly the United States, if the ally is being attack but Japan is not. It will also permit Japan to rescue Japanese civilians in remote locations. In his announcement, Abe alluded to China when he mentioned as an example a case in which an armed group disguised as fishermen land on the country’s remote islands. Many Japanese oppose the reinterpretation of the constitution, fearing that it's the first step on a slippery slope to war. Japan News

Palestinian commemorate founding of Israel as 'Nakba Day'

Palestinians on Thursday commemorated the 66th anniversary of the founding of Israel on May 15, 1948, as "the Nakba" or "the catastrophe." Palestinians remember May 15 as the day in which Palestinians were expelled from Palestine as the region fell into a bloody war between Arabs and Jews. According to one Palestinian official, "There is no backing out from the right of the refugees to return, for the Palestinian revolution was launched in 1965 for the implementation of this right, and tens of thousands of martyrs and hundreds of thousands of wounded have fallen for this cause." Daily Star (Beirut)

Lebanon accused of discriminating against Palestinians from Syria

Palestinians are accusing Lebanon of implementing new regulations on the border with Syria that are indiscriminately harming Palestinians. The new regulations were triggered by the arrest last week of 49 Syrians and Palestinians previously living in Syria on suspicion of possessing forged documents. However, the new regulations are even forcing Palestinian families to split up when they're faced with a medical emergency. Like Israel, Lebanon has been the target of terrorist attacks by jihadists and is implementing new regulations with the intention of preventing new terrorist attacks. Daily Star (Beirut)

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