Chinese flotilla off Alaska entered US territorial waters
There’s no mistaking the message China was sending while President Obama was in Alaska. The days of US dominance of the seas are over. President Obama has gotten his way as far as the Chinese are concerned: the US is an exceptional nation in the same way that the Greeks see their nation as exceptional, as President Obama said.
The Chinese were actually playing by the laws of the sea when they entered US waters, as Jeremy Page and Gordon Lubold of the Wall Street Journal explain:
Pentagon officials said late Thursday that the five Chinese navy ships had passed through U.S. territorial waters as they transited the Aleutian Islands, but said they had complied with international law and didn’t do anything threatening.
“This was a legal transit of U.S. territorial seas conducted in accordance with the Law of the Sea Convention,” said Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban. (snip)
The passage was seen as significant as Beijing has long objected to U.S. Navy vessels transiting its territorial waters or operating in international waters just outside.
China’s Defense Ministry confirmed that its navy ships had sailed to the Bering Sea for training after joint exercises with Russia in late August, but said the activity was routine and not aimed at any particular country.
This is balderdash, of course. It is far from routine, and a calculated message to the United States. The new game is one of Chinese initiative and forays into America’s sphere of influence and sovereignty. The unspoken corollary is that those oil fields in Alaska, including the vast resources that America is refusing to develop, can no longer be taken for granted. China is capable of projecting military force there.
The huge cuts to our military budget and readiness have consequences.