Donald Trump takes his war with China to the United Nations
The new Cold War between China and the US: the end of Hong Kong’s preferential treatment and the dispute in the South Sea
Let’s say China were the eyes and mouth of a great face. Then it could be said that the last tour of Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States, consists of touring the left ear (Japan), chin (Indonesia) and jugular (India, Sri Lanka and Maldives). The purpose of the Trump administration’s top diplomatic officer, who travels accompanied by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, is to seek support in the midst of their offensive against Chinawhen the presidential elections are just a few days away.
“I’m sure my meetings will include discussions on how free nations can prevent threats from the Communist Party of China,” Pompeo said before getting on the plane. In the context of China’s nationalist and authoritarian stride these months, the US secretary landed on Monday in New Delhi.
A year ago, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi were drinking coconut water together and walking through a temple in South India. In front of the cameras there was a good harmony between the Chinese president and the Indian prime minister. But in June came the last battle in the Himalayas, starring soldiers from the two Asian giants. It was a hand-to-hand fight in a border terrain at 4,300 meters high. A score of Indian servicemen died. It is not known how many casualties there were on the Chinese side. It was him first confrontation with fatalities on the border shared by both countries in the last 45 years.
Since then, diplomatic relations between China and India have collapsed and the threats of more border fights have not stopped growing. At least, this dispute was embraced by only two protagonists. Until America has come to get into the mud.
On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper met with their Indian counterparts, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh. From that meeting came the signature of an unprecedented military agreement. India and the United States agreed to exchange data via satellite that will allow New Delhi to obtain greater precision in handling its missiles.
The government of the nationalist Modi will have access to topographic, nautical and aeronautical data that will help increase the accuracy of the systems from automated hardware of the Indian Army and to weapons such as drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
Also, according to Reuters, the US military will provide aid to indian air forces. And there will be a Washington liaison officer at the Indian Navy clearinghouse. In the last decade, US companies have sold more than $ 21 billion to India in arms.
“Our leaders and citizens see more and more clearly that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not a friend of democracy, the rule of law, transparency or the freedom of navigation that is the basis of a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Pompeo said.
“MALICIOUS ACTIVITY OF CHINA”
Two weeks ago, the US secretary was already meeting with his Indian counterpart at a summit in Tokyo, which was also attended by the foreign ministers of Japan and Australia. America’s strongest allies in the region sat at the same table to address their Common concerns “about malicious China activity”. In particular, the representatives of Japan and the United States discussed the escalation of tension in the East China Sea.
1,900 kilometers southwest of Tokyo are the rocky and uninhabited Islas Senkaku, controlled by Japan. Although Beijing, which calls them the Diaoyu Islands, also claims them as yours. That has been the front of the conflict between these two Asian countries in recent months.
Japan has denounced that Chinese fishing boats have invaded its waters several times, forcing the Japanese coast guard to block them. From Tokyo they also ensure that war planes of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have flown over the area in dispute. This is where the United States will come in. Thanks to a mutual defense pact with Tokyo, in a future military conflict in that area, Washington will be obliged to defend the islands as part of Japanese territory.
This week, American and Japanese soldiers have begun joint military exercises in the East China Sea, in a clear message of warning to Beijing, which in mid-October sent two ships of its coast guard to waters near Senkaku.
These military games have been going on for even longer in another part of the Pacific, in the South China Sea. “China cannot be allowed to treat that area as its maritime empire,” Pompeo said in July. From Washington they stand as the power to ensure the “freedom” of the Indo-Pacific region before the movements of Beijing, which is consolidating positions in waters full of islands and reefs that it claims its own.
CHINA AND TAIWAN, THE MAIN CONFLICT
An increasingly militarized area, but of special importance for its strategic position and key step in world maritime trade. Here the main conflict – already old – is between China and Taiwan, the island with a young democracy – although for China it is one more province – to which the United States has already thrown the pincer as an ally against the neighbor above. In September, Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, denounced that more than 30 Chinese fighters had crossed his territory, and called on the international community to create a “global coalition” to defend his country of the “aggressions” of China, warning that at this moment “there is a real possibility of war”.
On October 13, during a visit by Xi Jinping to a Marine Corps base in the southern province of Guangdong, the Chinese president told the soldiers to “focus all your mind and energy on preparing for war”. A few words that later some Chinese newspapers, controlled by the Communist Party, used to hint in their editorials that the possible invasion of Taiwan was imminent.
This week, the US State Department approved the sale to Taiwan of 100 coastal defense systems, including 400 anti-ship missiles, worth $ 2.37 billion of dollars. On Wednesday, Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, demanded that Washington “end the arms sale to Taiwan because it seriously violates the one-China principle” and announced sanction American companies involved in the business. In July, Beijing already sanctioned Lockheed Martin, the largest US arms company, after it signed a $ 545 million contract to upgrade Taiwan’s defensive missiles.
A few hours ago, Mike Pompeo’s Asian tour took him to Sri Lanka. The next stops for the US secretary will be the Maldives and Indonesia. A five-day trip in which the United States tries to strengthen its relations in the face of the growing influence of China, which has invested large amounts of money in infrastructure in this region.
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