President-elect Donald J. Trump. Photo credit: AP/LM Otero.
December 4, President-elect Donald Trump sent out a couple of tweets
that the “liberal media” immediately pounced on as “warmongering” by an
obviously unqualified diplomatic novice who will soon be moving into
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There were concerns that Trump could start a
trade war with China. As well as reminders that China holds a
significant portion of United States’ debt and thus the incoming
president should tread lightly least China decides to call in all those I.O.U.s.
however, we believe it is high time the U.S. took Communist China to
task for the belligerent, heavy-handed, and bullying tactics it has been
using on its Southeast Asian neighbors, specifically the Philippines,
over the past five years.
China’s claim to most
of the South China Sea is based on a map concocted in 1947 showing a
“U-shaped” nine-dash line that delineates Chinese sovereignty. The
United Nations Arbitral Tribunal that rules on United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) matters already ruled in July, 2016 that
China’s nine-dash claim has no legal standing whatsoever.
However, for two years
(2014-2015), the Obama administration looked the other way as China
built-up one reef, atoll, or shoal, after another, into mini islands so
China could project its military power all across the South China Sea.
U.S. generals and admirals demanded a tough U.S. response to China’s
overtly aggressive behavior—but the Obama administration instead chose
to stick its head in the sand and pretend nothing was happening.
Even when China
underhandedly took control of the Scarborough Shoal (less than a hundred
miles off the west coast of Luzon, Obama took no action—other than
reiterate some form of commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Agreement
between the U.S. and the Philippines.
So Trump’s tweet
calling out China is like a breath of fresh air. As noted above, America’s military
experts have been warning the government about China’s very aggressive
military buildup especially over the past decade. China appears bent on
regional hegemony, and sees itself as the rising global super-power,
just as it sees the U.S. in decline.
China believes it can
“outmaneuver” the U.S. and other western democracies with its
authoritarian form of government which allows it to cut corners and
trample on its citizens’ human rights. The only way to stop China is for
a country like the United States to put China in its place and force it
to play by global rules. Otherwise, the whole world might one day be
ruled by authoritarian regimes like China where individual freedoms are
sacrificed at the altar of expediency and autocratic rule. Published 12/11/2016