- New Mexico decides to use HealthCare.gov for 2015
- Satanists to use Hobby Lobby rule to skirt state abortion laws
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- HHS: ‘Donut hole’ reforms saved Medicare enrollees $11.5 billion since 2010
- Boston-area tornado rips 100 homes: ‘Are we in Kansas?’
- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
- Hamid Karzai’s cousin killed by suicide bomber at Eid al-Fitr party
- Obama thanks Muslims for ‘building the very fabric of our nation’
Inside the Ring: Blunt warning on China
Question of the Day
A senior Navy intelligence official issued a blunt warning last week that China’s growing “hegemonistic” threat to security is destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region.
“Make no mistake, the [Chinese] navy is focused on war at sea and about sinking an opposing fleet,” said Capt. James Fanell, deputy chief of staff for intelligence and information operations at the U.S. Pacific Fleet, at a defense conference in San Diego on Jan. 31.
The comments come amid growing tensions between Japan and China over Chinese claims to the Senkaku Islands, near Okinawa and Taiwan, as well as increasing Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea.
“They now regularly challenge exclusive economic-zone resource rights that South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam once thought were guaranteed to them by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.
The Chinese naval harassment expanded outward over time to cover most of the South China Sea and East China Sea.
“China is challenging other nations’ rights,” he said, under the rubric of “what’s mine is mine, and we’ll negotiate what’s yours.”
Chinese surveillance ships in the region “have no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China’s claims,” Capt. Fanell said, noting that for Beijing, the sea- surveillance agency is “a full-time maritime sovereignty harassment organization” with no other mission.
Capt. Fanell said his use of terms “expansion” and “expand” to describe Chinese activities might be considered controversial and could be used by critics to promote the caricature of a Pentagon that is promoting what China calls the “China threat theory.”
“But for those of us who have watched this on a daily basis over the last decade, there is no better description for what China has been doing,” he said.
China’s seizure last year of Scarborough Shoal, a reef claimed by the Philippines, is a clear example of “Chinese aggression,” he said, adding that, in carrying out the aggression, China “bullies its adversary” as part of a careful series of actions and statements.
“Predictably, China’s conduct is destabilizing the East Asia maritime environment,” he said.
Chinese aggressiveness has increased the welcome for the U.S. Navy by all states in the region concerned about “a hegemonic China,” he said.
“We now have more places to send ships than we have ships to send them,” he added.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
TWT Video Picks
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- EPSTEIN: All IRS roads lead to the archivist
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq