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China

Our nation is in real trouble—in a lot of ways. Our military is the most effective one in the world by a long shot, but it’s worn out. The people are beat down from repeat deployments and the equipment is wearing out. We’ve stopped most R&D on new weapon systems. We’re cutting back on acquiring new equipment. Let’s forget the Mideast for a minute. How about the far-east.

Well, China is so dependent on selling to us that we don’t have to worry about them, do we? I mean, we’re bound to each other economically. We have a strange relationship, but we’re basically friends.

A retired Army guy who specialized in SE Asia recently pointed out that China and its old friend and ally Vietnam are not so friendly any more. It seems the “friends” are in dispute over South China Sea island groups, mainly the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
• China demanded June 10, 2011 that Vietnam halt all business activities on the Spratly archipelago so Chinese fishermen can work there. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Vietnam is illegally exploring gas and oil in the Wan’an Bank and harassed a Chinese fishing boat in the process. A Chinese boat’s fishing net was caught up in the Vietnamese boat’s cable. The Vietnamese put the safety and lives of the Chinese fishermen in danger, the spokesman said.
• More than 200 Vietnamese websites have been attacked, an Internet security firm said June 10, 2011. The foreign affairs and agriculture ministries sites are included in those that have been targeted since the beginning of June. Hackers left Chinese flags and information in Chinese on some sites.
• Vietnam will hold six hours of live-fire naval exercises on June 13, 2011 around Hon Ong island, which is about 25 miles off Quang Nam province, its reported. No reason was given for the night drill or how many vessels would participate. There will be two exercises over nine hours; the state-owned Northern Maritime Safety Corp’s website warned boats and ships to stay out of the area.

A naval exercise 25 miles off-shore doesn’t appear to be significant, unless one considers the short notice, the fact there will be two separate live fire exercises and considering the maritime shoving matches that are going on.
Another observer in Hong Kong says: “Much of this has to do with China’s maritime periphery strategy and beyond. There is greater risk of conflict as there is a growing imbalance between PLA (Chinese) capabilities and the militaries of neighboring countries, China has expanded its core interests, and there is still remains a legacy of settling scores.”

But, not to worry, folks. China would never do anything to upset good old America—just because China is growing their military (and we’re not).

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