You have to hand it to the brass at the Pentagon, not to mention the commander in chief.
With foreign policy crises either erupting or about to erupt in places like Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, North Korea and sub-Saharan Africa, the folks at the Pentagon decide to provoke China by flying B-52 bombers into airspace the Chinese claim as their own.
China has declared ownership of space over some mineral-rich islands near the coast of Japan. The Japanese also claim that territory. Who’s right is just about anyone’s guess.
Now comes the United States, with its immense military presence in the region. The Air Force launched a couple of B-52s over the disputed area. The Chinese responded by sending their only aircraft carrier into motion, along with a couple of guided-missile frigates.
Nothing happened. No shots were fired.
I’m betting the United States isn’t going to let China bully Japan — our key ally in East Asia. Heaven knows the Chinese have done a number on Taiwan for many years, claiming that the now-independent nation remains part of the mainland empire, given that Taiwan created a separate government after fleeing the mainland in 1949 after losing a bloody civil war with the communists who now run China.
I also should add that Vietnam, another ancient foe of China, is worried about Chinese aims on the region. Vietnam and China fought a fierce border war in the late 1970s after the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1975.
What are the Chinese up to remains anyone’s guess.
They do understand the showing of force, which is the United States did with the B-52 flyovers. Yes, the birds were unarmed — but there’s plenty of firepower nearby.