Peoria Journal Star cautions about "rising military tensions" with China
With the latest round of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED) now underway in Beijing, the Peoria Journal Star is astutely questioning whether China's growing military aspirations are being taken seriously. In an editorial, the paper says that a conversation on China's belligerence "has long been inevitable and is arguably quite overdue between the world's two great powers":
China has heretofore concentrated its efforts on becoming an economic superpower but now may be turning its attention to commanding more military respect, as well, with significant investments in new weapons systems such as hyper-quiet submarines, aircraft carrier-destroying missile technology, and a cyber-warfare program aimed at disabling enemy command-and-control functions.
More alarming, perhaps, has been China's new aggressiveness in pushing territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, which would include U.S. ally Taiwan. In something of a precursor to more extensive military conversations, China has insisted that the U.S. stop selling arms to Taiwan, as well as cease airborne surveillance - a nice word for spying - of the Asian nation and lift the embargo on technology sales to China that might have weapons implications. Now you know why much won't get done today.
It's likely that this week's S&ED will accomplish little toward a rebalancing of U.S. trade and economic interests with Beijing, and the Journal Star's editorial offers a realistic assessment of why such a lack of progress would be unfortunate.
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