Thursday, 02 December 2010

China Urges “Restraint” as United States and South Korea Plan Naval Exercises

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Voice of America reported on December 1 that the Chinese government has urged all sides (the United States and both Koreas) to exercise “restraint” as the U.S. and South Korean governments engage in talks to plan another major naval exercise to take place as early as this month.

The VOA report cited Xinhua, the official Chinese government news agency, which quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s statement that all sides should "keep calm and exercise restraint."

The VOA report referred to the recent U.S.-South Korean naval exercise, continuing :

The joint naval exercise ending Wednesday was the largest in a series of drills staged by South Korea and the U.S. in recent months. It involved thousands of sailors, 75 aircraft and 10 warships including the nuclear-powered USS George Washington.

South Korean officials said they have not yet decided on the timing or nature of the next joint exercise. They said it would come later this month or early next year.

In New York, diplomats say China is blocking efforts at the United Nations Security Council to draw up a statement condemning North Korea for its [November 23] attack on Yeonpyeong island and its development of a uranium enrichment facility.

In addition to its recent military attack on the South, North Korea has come under severe criticism from U.S. allies because of Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment program. In an ongoing scenario similar to that taking place in Iran, North Korea claims that the uranium is being enriched to power a light water nuclear reactor under construction, but foreign officials fear it could be used to make fuel for nuclear weapons.

Back on June 10, 2009, seven world powers agreed on a draft UN Security Council resolution to expand sanctions against North Korea in response to the communist nation’s underground nuclear test and several ballistic missile tests. The draft text was the result of weeks of negotiations among the five permanent Security Council members — the U.K., China, France, Russia, and the United States — as well as non-permanent council members Japan and South Korea.

China’s Xinhua news service in a December 1 report quoted Foreign Minister Yang’s statements at a forum on Asia Pacific issues in Beijing: The parties concerned should keep calm and exercise restraint, and work to bring the situation back onto the track of dialogue and negotiation.

As a big responsible country, China decides its position based on the merits of each case and does not seek to protect any side.

Xinhua reported that on November 28 China had proposed emergency consultations among the heads of delegation to the Six-Party Talks in Beijing in early December. The group includes China, North Korea, the United States, South Korea, Russia, and Japan.

Yang said the emergency consultations would "help ease the current tensions and create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks."

As tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated, the New York Times reported on December 1 that South Korea’s intelligence chief warned that day that the North was likely make repeat attacks such as the November 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island that left four South Koreans dead.

The Times also quoted an unnamed South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman who said more military exercises were being planned but he declined to say if they would be staged next week, revealing only: “They will be held at the appropriate time and under the appropriate conditions.”

The report also included a November 30 statement from Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, saying: “I think the Chinese have a duty and an obligation to greatly impress upon the North Koreans that their belligerent behavior has to come to an end. I think you’ll see progress on multilateral discussions around this over the next few days.”

The irony of the West’s reliance on China as a “moderate” arbitrator in the Korean crisis is underscored by the historic fact the communist regime in North Korea owes its very existence to direct military intervention by Chinese forces in the early 1950s.

And the current situation is made even more unfathomable when one considers the shameful U.S. acquiescence to that Chinese aggression back in the ’50s when a stronger stand would have eliminated the possibility of today’s divided Korea, with the northern half of the peninsula suffering under one of the world's most brutal and oppressive regimes.

The New American website published an article by journalist Steve Farrell on November 30 entitled “Korea: The No-win War That Keeps Giving” that described how the Truman administration pulled the rug out from under the brilliant military strategist, General Douglas MacArthur, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Farrell writes:

But the celebration never came. Communist China, frenzied over its loss, massed its hordes upon the borders of North Korea at the Yalu River and began to flood its men, tanks, and military hardware (Japanese military hardware acquired from Russia, which received it as a post-WWII gift from Truman) over the Yalu River bridges, head-on into North Korea, and MacArthur and his men. A new war began in earnest.

The solution for MacArthur and company was simple. Bomb the bridges. Communist China lacked the technological ability to successfully launch an invasion across the river without them.

Common military sense, a respect for human life on both sides of the conflict, the granting of time to secure Korean liberty, all bore witness that this was the intelligent, the moral, the instinctive thing to do.

But intelligence, morality, and instinct somehow managed to flee from Korea from that moment forward. President Harry Truman and a shady list of State Department buddies were not very happy with MacArthur’s success. Pretending that MacArthur had not been fighting the Chinese all along, and that his actions would provoke China into the war, MacArthur was incredibly ordered not to bomb the bridges, and thus not to adequately protect his men and his victory against an enormous invading force. Call it what you will, Democrat Harry Truman ordered the abandonment of our troops in the field and altered the methods and objectives of war, and in particular this war, which was supposedly fought to stop the spread of Communism.

Reading the entire article is highly recommended, if the reader does not suffer from high blood pressure, which it is guaranteed to exacerbate.

Photo: rotator graphic and above: North Korean envoy to six-party talks Kim Kye Gwan, left, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, before a meeting in Beijing, China, Dec. 11, 2008: AP Images

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