Hostile US Legislation Targets China
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
On December 31, Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) into law, a White House statement, saying it "establishes a multifaceted US strategy to increase US security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region" - mainly by its military footprint in a part of the world not its own, the way it operates globally.
ARIA authorizes $1.5 billion in spending to advance US regional interests. Likely many multiples this amount will be spent, aside from military expenditures and actions.
ARIA's provisions follow from the Trump regime's National Security and National Defense Strategies, wanting control established over the Indo-Pacific region, and everywhere else, by whatever it takes to achieve its objectives - mainly by challenging China, Russia, Iran, and other countries economically, financially, politically, and maybe militarily.
North Korea is targeted, wanting sanctions and other toughness on the country maintained, demanding its ruling authorities denuclearize entirely and abandon their legitimate ballistic missile development - in return for hollow US promises to be broken, how Republicans and Dems operate time and again, never to be trusted.
AIRA calls for "develop(ing) a diplomatic strategy that includes working with United States allies and partners to conduct joint maritime training and freedom of navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific region, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea, in support of a rules-based international system benefiting all countries."
The measure is sure to heighten tensions with China. Beijing considers US naval and aerial operations near its territory unacceptable provocations.
They happen with disturbing regularity. Washington abuses what freedom of navigation operations (FONOP) are all about, threatening other nations by intruding close to or in their waters and airspace.
On Wednesday, acting US war secretary Patrick Shanahan said China is a top Pentagon priority. US militarism, belligerence, and permanent wars threaten world peace, stability and security.
An anonymous US war department source was quoted saying "(w)hile we are focused on ongoing operations, acting secretary Shanahan told the team to remember China, China, China."
Trump and China's Xi Jinping agreed to continue discussing major differences for another 90 days until March 1.
Key ones are too irreconcilable to resolve. It's unclear if compromise can be reached on enough issues to prevent differences between both countries from escalating.
On Thursday, China's Global Times said more US provocations can be expected. "Whether Washington will add military pressure on Beijing in 2019 still remains to be seen," it said, adding:
"China has no capability to infringe on the US, but the country has sufficient power to make Washington pay an unbearable price if the US infringes on China, so as to form a powerful deterrent against the White House."
"Beijing must respond by accelerating construction of a deterrent against the US. In the face of strategic US pressure, peaceful development does not mean grin and bear it."
"Confronting malicious provocation, China must resolutely clarify our attitude, not being afraid to pay some prices, in order to set up rules that all external forces must respect China's core interests."
China and Russia alone stand in the way of unchallenged US global dominance, especially united against a common adversary.
US initiated confrontation against both countries seems inevitable, the risk of possible nuclear war, a terrifying prospect.
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