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China says hi: Provoking Obama in Alaska

EDITORIAL
September 05. 2015 6:34PM




Usually U.S. Presidents are tested by hostile powers shortly after they are sworn in. China is testing President Obama in his seventh year in office, and in a deliberately alarming way. This late in a presidency, tests tend to be given only when the answers are predictable, which ought to concern the American public.

While President Obama visited Alaska last week, the Chinese sent five naval ships — four warships and a supply vessel — into U.S. waters between Alaska and Russia. Though the ships obeyed international law, this was a clear provocation.

The Chinese said the ships were sent on a joint military exercise with Russia in the Bering Strait. That would be the Russia that weeks earlier put two Crimean opponents of the Russian annexation on trial — in military court — on trumped up charges of terrorism.

After Russia took Crimea by military force last year, President Obama said, “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors — not out of strength, but out of weakness.

The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more.”

And how has Russia's influence been felt since then? It owns Crimea and joins China to taunt an American President by conducting military exercises in U.S. waters just miles from the President.

This is what happens when the President sets red lines and then retreats when they are crossed.


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