Mattis in China
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
America and China are rivals, not partners. The US seeks dominance over all parts of the world not its own by whatever means it takes to achieve its objectives.
That’s how imperialism works. US regimes force their will on other nations, demanding subservience, targeting countries unwilling to bend to America for regime change.
China is no ordinary independent state. It’s not about to roll over or be co-opted by Washington – with plenty of political, economic and military strength to protect its sovereign rights and interests.
On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US war secretary James Mattis in
Beijing – at a time major trade and military disputes separate the agendas of both countries.
According to reports, Xi was politely unequivocal. China won’t relinquish one square inch of its longstanding sovereign territory.
Its activities in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits it considers legitimate will continue. Washington’s position and actions won’t deter them.
According to Chinese academic Diao Daming, “(t)here are some issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity which have become increasingly tense because of US (political, economic and military) moves.”
Xi’s meeting with Mattis “sen(t) a warning to the US by reaffirming (his) bottom line.” It’s not an issue for negotiation or compromise.
The region is China’s part of the world, not America’s – just as US offshore east and west coast waters, along with the Gulf of Mexico, are in its sphere of influence, intrusion by uninvited other nations considered hostile.
For Beijing, Washington’s 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unacceptably included joint US/Taiwanese joint military exercises.
The Pentagon may also send warships through the Taiwan Straits as a show of military support for the country China considers a breakaway province, eventually to be reunited with the mainland in its view.
Beijing considers increased US arms sales to Taiwan’s military a hostile act. Mattis’ visit changed nothing.
Mutual trust and cooperation Xi seeks from Washington aren’t forthcoming. Bilateral differences remain unresolved – especially over trade and provocative intrusions near China’s territory by US warships on the phony pretext of freedom of navigation in international waters.
Earlier Mattis accused Beijing of “intimidation and coercion” in what Washington considers disputed waters.
China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe was unequivocal, telling Mattis the nation’s military will “firmly defend national sovereignty, security and developmental interest.”
He’ll visit Washington ahead to continue discussing issues of mutual interest, seeking to resolve what’s always be unresolvable.
According to Chinese military expert No Lexiong, Mattis’ visit changed nothing. Major differences separate the interests of both countries. “(T)he room to change the situation is getting smaller.”
Continuing communication between both sides is the most positive aspect of bilateral relations – despite no progress on resolving major disagreements.
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