Pentagon officials said Thursday that five Chinese warships that appeared near Alaska during President Barack Obama’s visit this week passed through U.S. territorial waters–and hastened to defend China’s actions as being consistent with international law.
The rush to avoid an international crisis contrasts sharply with China’s own aggression any time the U.S. approaches Chinese waters or airspace, even where Chinese claims are dubious.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the Chinese vessels were participating in a joint military exercise with Russia: “China’s Defense Ministry also confirmed for the first time that its navy ships had sailed to the Bering Sea for training after joint exercises with Russia in late August, but said the activity was routine and not aimed at any particular country.” There is no other country except the United States that borders the Bering Sea.
The Pentagon’s rush to excuse Chinese behavior fits a pattern across the Obama administration. Throughout the spring, the State Department was determined to ignore or spin Iranian violations of the interim nuclear deal. The main goal is to prevent any conclusion being drawn that would require an assertive U.S. military or diplomatic response, which would interfere with President Barack Obama’s political claims to have ended war.
In fact, what the advances of Russia, China, and Iran all show is how weak the U.S. has become under a president who refuses to defend the country’s most basic national security interests, and fails to respond to clear provocations. Obama’s passivity is all the most striking given the timing of the Chinese incursion into Alaska, which seems to have been aimed at him personally. They are mocking Obama, along with the U.S–and he allows them to do so.