Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friends in Need

We've offered our assistance to resolving island control issues in the South China Sea, which the Chinese won't thank us for since they claim them all, pretty much:

The administration’s decision to get involved appeared to catch China flat-footed and angered its foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, at a time when the country is already on edge over naval exercises the United States and South Korea will hold starting this weekend off the Korean Peninsula.

Twelve of the 27 countries at the security meeting spoke out in favor of a new approach to the South China Sea, prompting Mr. Yang to observe that the American effort seemed orchestrated.

We have interests in maintaining freedom of navigation in international waters. So it doesn't hurt to contest China's claims that they will then use to try and cordon off the area as their territorial waters.

And it helps make China's neighbors more friendly to us since we are effectively providing help in their disputes.

It's nice to remind people that for all the talk of a rising China, it hardly means we are expelled from their neighborhood. Neighbors of China aren't totally happy with how China is using their rising power and are glad to have our help.

And it doesn't hurt to let China know that we really don't appreciate their lack of support on the North Korea issue.

UPDATE: More on the issue.