Saturday, March 14, 2009

As the U.S. sends a Destroyer, China 'Worries'

Tensions between the two countries continue to simmer.

The U.S. sends a destroyer escort :
A potential conflict is brewing in the South China Sea after the United States dispatched heavily armed American destroyers to the scene of a naval standoff between the US and China at the weekend.

The US has decided to provide heavily armed destroyers to escort US surveillance ships operating in the South China Sea, a US official said on Thursday. "Right now they are going to escort these types of ships for the foreseeable future," the defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

China 'worries' about the dollar:
In forthright remarks on the intertwined nature of US and Chinese finances, Wen (Jiabao) told a news conference he was "worried" about Beijing's holdings of American government debt..."We have lent a huge amount of money to the US. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried." In rare comments on another country's financial health, he added: "I'd like to take this opportunity here to implore the United States ... to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets."

More on the destroyer:
On Friday Chinese navy officers warned the dispatch of US destroyers was an inappropriate response, state media said Friday.

A press report quoted unnamed Chinese navy sources as saying the deployment signalled a US intention to "keep on pressing" Beijing in the South China Sea.

"The timing and the extent (of the deployment) have gone beyond what you could call proportionate," one navy officer was quoted saying by the China Daily.
A case of political poker, with each side holding cards. But this is the real world, and barring either country collapsing, the long-term trajectory of this relationship points to economic, and then military, warfare.

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