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US, China scoreless after one
NRO via AEI ^ | November 30, 2013 | Michael Auslin

Posted on 12/02/2013 11:38:25 AM PST by 1rudeboy

Xi strikes out, Biden comes to the plate, score tied

A lot has been written in the past week about China's new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, including by me both on NRO and Politico. Given the Obama administration's recent flailing on Iran and Syria (not to mention Obamacare), it was easy to assume that the distracted White House would try to sweep China's new policy under the rug.

I'll be the first to admit I was too pessimistic, though part of me also assumed that the Chinese challenge was such low-hanging fruit that the administration couldn't possibly miss out on an easy chance to swat Beijing's pretensions. Now the first inning has been played, and what follows is my geopolitical box score:

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping has struck out (remember, though, this is only his first plate appearance in this particular game).

Just a week after reports surfaced about how he had taken extraordinary power over defense and security policymaking at the latest Communist-party gathering, he has been shown to be way too overconfident at the plate. China's ADIZ itself is not a new instrument; as has been noted, Japan has one that's even larger (for a good article and map, see here). Xi's attempt to carve out a sphere of predominance backfired because it was so clearly aimed at confronting Japan over the Senkaku islands, and indeed overlapped Japan's ADIZ, in addition to South Korea's. Beijing further riled feathers with its precipitous demands that all flights had to identify themselves, regardless of whether they were actually approaching Chinese territory, or it would engage in "emergency defensive measures." All this made Xi and the government seem like loose cannons.

So far, their strategy has backfired on the military side, hence the strikeout analogy. Within 24 hours, the U.S. Air Force flew two B-52s from Guam into the new zone, and Japan sent up to ten planes, including early-warning and surveillance aircraft and fighter jets. While China said it scrambled its own fighters to monitor the allied planes, it clearly did nothing to get them to identify themselves or change flight path. Moreover, China's demands were immediately rejected by the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Australia. After years of accommodating China's "legitimate" security claims, this latest move was too much.

Before striking out, however, Xi may have fouled off a few balls. As of this writing, I haven't seen any reports of exactly where the U.S. and Japanese planes flew. Did they stay only within Japan's ADIZ, thereby showing that they would not give up long-established areas of control, or did they fly purposefully into de novo areas of China's zone, which hitherto had been unchallenged international airspace? Maybe the U.S. and Japanese were less bold (some say confrontational) than has been reported. Suddenly giving up the right to fly unmolested through airspace that Japan has administered for over four decades would indeed have been appeasement. However, not flying into areas newly claimed by China is just as much of a waffle.

2. Washington and Asian civilian airliners have also struck out.

Within 24 hours of Beijing's announcement of the new ADIZ and rules, civilian airlines from Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and Japan accepted the new conditions. This was a prudent move, given that the lives of their thousands of passengers are suddenly in the hands of 25-year-old Chinese fighter pilots with no record of dealing with fast-moving crises. Yet it also was a huge victory for China, giving legitimacy to its claims to have administrative control over huge swaths of the skies of Asia. Again, if reports are to be believed, Japan requests information only if undocumented flights appear to be approaching Japanese territory, and not simply flying through the airspace. China's more intrusive demands were quickly met with resignation by most civilian airlines in Asia. Later, Japanese carriers ANA and JAL were pressured by Tokyo not to accept China's demands, and so flew through parts of the zone without complying.

In a moment of true weakness, however, the Obama administration flailed at the ball, telling U.S. airliners to use their best judgment and do what they felt necessary to operate safely. This is a clear strikeout: The State Department should have categorically rejected Beijing's new demands and told U.S. airliners that they would be escorted, if necessary, through the newly contested area. Instead, Washington seemed indecisive and all too ready to turn the other cheek when it came to the right of freedom of navigation for commercial aircraft. The fact that the State Department could not confirm whether the Chinese restrictions applied to commercial aircraft as well was irrelevant to the larger issue of free passage. China's claim should have been flatly rejected out of the box.

From my perspective, that ended the first inning, with both sides striking out. Now the second inning begins, with Vice President Joe Biden's visit to East Asia starting on Sunday. He'll visit Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo. He will strike out, as well, with all three nations if the Obama administration doesn't have a clear position on all facets of the challenge and a plan to back it up. If Biden doesn't encourage Japanese and South Korean military planes to fly with the U.S. Air Force and Navy through the contested zones, it will be a missed opportunity. If he displays any indecision, it will be a signal that U.S. resolve may not be as strong as has been presumed so far.

Most importantly, if Biden does not make crystal clear that China's restrictions will not stand for either civilian or military flights, for both the U.S. and any other nation that requests protection, then he will have struck out. If he bunts on the question of whether the U.S. will fully support Japan in protecting its airspace over the Senkakus, he will be thrown out at first. That will bring Xi Jinping back to the plate, now having "read the book" on the opposing pitcher and quite likely better prepared for America's next pitch. This game is far from over.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: australia; barrysurrender; china; japan; republicofkorea; singapore

1 posted on 12/02/2013 11:38:25 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Raise the import tariffs. China won’t be so aggressive when they are trying to figure out how to feed their people.


2 posted on 12/02/2013 1:07:09 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: 1rudeboy

Raise the import tariffs. China won’t be so aggressive when they are trying to figure out how to feed their people.


3 posted on 12/02/2013 1:07:10 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

Hell, we should drop all domestic taxes and only fund the government with a tariff... then shoot any politician who is bribed by foreign power to lower the tariff...


4 posted on 12/02/2013 1:26:06 PM PST by GraceG
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To: 1rudeboy

I’m wondering when the US will surrender to China so as not to interrupt the traffic in cheap, Chinese-made crap for the Christmas mercantile season.


5 posted on 12/02/2013 1:26:10 PM PST by MeganC (Support Matt Bevin to oust Mitch McConnell! https://mattbevin.com/)
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To: GraceG
"Hell, we should drop all domestic taxes and only fund the government with a tariff... then shoot any politician who is bribed by foreign power to lower the tariff..."

I don't know that we could fund everything with tariffs. But I like the idea of shooting bribed politicians.

If the tariff works the way I want it to,


6 posted on 12/02/2013 1:32:43 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: GraceG
"Hell, we should drop all domestic taxes and only fund the government with a tariff... then shoot any politician who is bribed by foreign power to lower the tariff..."

I don't know that we could fund everything with tariffs. But I like the idea of shooting bribed politicians.

If the tariff works the way I want it to,


7 posted on 12/02/2013 1:32:44 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: MeganC
"I’m wondering when the US will surrender to China so as not to interrupt the traffic in cheap, Chinese-made crap for the Christmas mercantile season."


8 posted on 12/02/2013 1:35:43 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: MeganC

“I’m wondering when the US will surrender to China”

Don’t be so sure it has not already happened.


9 posted on 12/02/2013 2:51:24 PM PST by RS_Rider (I hate Illinois Nazis)
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To: DannyTN

Starve the Chinese by starving ourselves!


10 posted on 12/02/2013 3:14:20 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

pretty sure I’m not depending on the chinese to feed me. I guess I missed your point.


11 posted on 12/02/2013 3:28:49 PM PST by Hugh the Scot
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To: DannyTN

12 posted on 12/02/2013 3:34:07 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Hugh the Scot

Do you keep an eye on your pocketbook? How is raising taxes going to help feed you?


13 posted on 12/02/2013 3:36:13 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Oh, I get where you’re coming from now... Oddly enough, I don’t eat money either. Must we, as a nation, display such cowardice that we will submit to any insult, any offense, no matter how grievous, rather than give up a few pieces of green paper?
I’m serious: when, if ever, will it be enough for you?


14 posted on 12/02/2013 3:48:13 PM PST by Hugh the Scot
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To: Hugh the Scot

I’m not entirely sure I’m following you. The Chinese have funded a good portion of our government’s debt. Whether or not you choose to buy plastic lawn furniture made in China makes no difference. And if some protectionist rolls in and claims you need to pay more for plastic lawn furniture because it’s made in the U.S., for your own good, you probably should be wary.


15 posted on 12/02/2013 4:06:14 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Obviously I’m no economist... I have been to China’s FTA site though, and the very first dropdown on the menu bar takes you to a tariff calculator.

Rather than advocating for inport tariffs, which would affect my own livelihood; I’m advocating for worship of a god other than Lucre. It appears to me that raising tariffs on Chinese imports only constitutes a tax if you are willing to continue buying Chinese imports. Your argument “appears” to presuppose that there is no inherently greater *value* in U.S. made goods that would offset the increased cost. As a manufacturer of U.S. made goods, I disagree with that supposition.

I’d like to offer another chance to address the question though.... I’m not baiting you, I’m genuinely curious. Where would you draw the line? At what point would another nation’s actions rise to the level that you would actually be willing to pay more to defeat them?


16 posted on 12/02/2013 4:27:08 PM PST by Hugh the Scot
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To: 1rudeboy
"Starve the Chinese by starving ourselves!"

Starve the Chinese by putting Americans back to work and Chinese out of work.

17 posted on 12/02/2013 6:14:52 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: 1rudeboy

18 posted on 12/02/2013 6:19:41 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Hugh the Scot
It appears to me that raising tariffs on Chinese imports only constitutes a tax if you are willing to continue buying Chinese imports.

The horror!

And I bet you're just the kind of super-enlightened demigod who can make a moral transgression out of that.

19 posted on 12/02/2013 6:24:03 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (There should be a whole lot more going on than throwing bleach, said one woman.)
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To: 1rudeboy; Hugh the Scot
"The Chinese have funded a good portion of our government’s debt."

If we had not let China devastate our industries and throw our people out of work, maybe we wouldn't have much government debt to fund.

20 posted on 12/02/2013 6:24:04 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Trailerpark Badass

And I bet you’re an idiot. Are you a leftist too? Is this you Saul Alinsky?

How, exactly, did you jump to your confusions? Is the statement factually incorrect? Maybe the idea that people can choose how to spend their money is repugnant to you?

In other words; what point exactly, are you trying (but failing) to make?


21 posted on 12/03/2013 2:42:55 AM PST by Hugh the Scot
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To: DannyTN
If we had not let China devastate our industries and throw our people out of work, maybe we wouldn't have much government debt to fund.

I notice you're a big fan of the words "if," and "maybe."

22 posted on 12/03/2013 4:20:06 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

rudeboyson stir defend the Dlagon. Vely nice.


23 posted on 12/03/2013 4:24:22 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Hugh the Scot
It appears to me that raising tariffs on Chinese imports only constitutes a tax if you are willing to continue buying Chinese imports.

The above is a common misconception 'round these parts. Ask yourself, is a tariff necessary because of cheap imports that are putting American businesses at risk? Then the purpose of the tariff is to allow American business to charge more for their product.

So when you buy that American product, you are paying a "tax." Call it a tax imposed by the politically-powerful in DC.

24 posted on 12/03/2013 4:25:09 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: GraceG
"fund the government with a tariff

You mean you want to do what the Constitutions said we should do to fund the federal government? My my you are way behind the times. How could we possibly afford the giant government we have without taxing the rich via a progressive income tax? I am afraid you will not find much support for a small constitutional federal government here.

25 posted on 12/03/2013 4:36:08 AM PST by jpsb (Believe nothing until it has been officially denied)
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To: 1rudeboy

I see the logic in that. Thank you.

It’s a price I’m willing to pay to avoid selling my grandchildren into bondage.

I honestly have no idea what to do about greed; but to limit the ability of the politically-powerful to pick our pockets through purchased legislation, I recommend adherance to constitutionally limited government.


26 posted on 12/03/2013 5:11:54 AM PST by Hugh the Scot
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To: 1rudeboy

“If” is used to convey an alternative to the choices we made. It doesn’t imply uncertainty.

“Maybe” is used to convey uncertainty. The uncertainty arises because politicians are still involved. Had we kept the tariffs up where they were and all other choices the same, government debt would certainly be a lot less.

But the politicians we’ve been electing may well have chosen to spend even more than they did, thus the source of uncertainty.


27 posted on 12/03/2013 8:24:27 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks 1rudeboy.
Xi's attempt to carve out a sphere of predominance backfired because it was so clearly aimed at confronting Japan over the Senkaku islands, and indeed overlapped Japan's ADIZ, in addition to South Korea's. Beijing further riled feathers with its precipitous demands that all flights had to identify themselves, regardless of whether they were actually approaching Chinese territory, or it would engage in "emergency defensive measures." All this made Xi and the government seem like loose cannons... Within 24 hours, the U.S. Air Force flew two B-52s from Guam into the new zone, and Japan sent up to ten planes, including early-warning and surveillance aircraft and fighter jets... China's demands were immediately rejected by the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Australia. After years of accommodating China's "legitimate" security claims, this latest move was too much.
Red Line ping.


28 posted on 12/03/2013 3:51:47 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: DannyTN

Damn straight. Raise the tariffs on the Commies.


30 posted on 12/10/2013 8:49:04 PM PST by TomasUSMC
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