Monday, July 03, 2017

Trump has lost patience with China...N. Korea is back on the burner...

Thanks to Kenneth for the link!

via Bloomberg.
The Trump administration has sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, according to a U.S. official, which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart this week.

The U.S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The warship was passing through those waters on the basis of innocent passage, the official said.

China, Taiwan and Vietnam all lay claim to Triton, a tiny speck that’s one of the Paracel Islands in the waters between Vietnam and the Philippines. Operations such as this are typically planned at least weeks in advance, the official said.

Still, the sea patrol move could signal that the U.S. is displeased with China based on the extent of its efforts to pressure North Korea to curb its missile and nuclear programs. The White House has made several moves in recent weeks, including announcing economic sanctions against Chinese companies with ties to North Korea.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs termed the operation “trespassing” and said Beijing had dispatched military vessels and planes in response. China is “dissatisfied with and opposed to the relevant behavior of the U.S. side,” Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said in a statement on the government’s website.
Story here. 

This is beyond interesting on a couple of levels.  First many thought that a good meeting with the Chinese Prime Minister would make everything nice and that N. Korea would go back to the usual status quo of provocation, reaction, de-escalation and repeat.  Trump long ago signaled that US strategic patience with N. Korea was over but unlike other occupants of the White House I think he means it (with all the risk it entails).

Next China is back in a hurt locker with regard to the US.  Trump was willing to play nice with China if they delivered.  They didn't and what do we see next?  We see banks that laundry N. Korean funds being blacklisted and excluded from the US market and serious rumblings about severe tariffs on some of their products that they're dumping on our shores.


Now we see this.  You don't send a guided missile destroyer off someone's coast unless you want to send a message.

China had their chance and they failed.  N. Korea is back on the burner and you don't keep forces on trigger for shits and giggles.

N. Korea is far from over folks.  Get the force of connection and accept that reality.

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