02 February 2024

Because You Do Not Stop Your Enemy from Stepping on His Own Penis?

Over at the New York Times, Isaac Kardon and Jennifer Kavanagh, ostensibly experts in Chinese maritime power and foreign relations respectively, are wringing their hands because the People's Republic of China has not offered military aid to the US mission attempting to protect shipping in the Red Sea.

There has been plenty of hand-wringing in the West about the prospect of China displacing — or at least rivaling — the United States as the world’s leading superpower. But the evolving security crisis in the Red Sea makes clear that this remains a distant prospect.

China, with a trade-led economy dependent on the free flow of commerce through chokepoints like the Bab el-Mandeb strait off Yemen, relies on the United States to protect international sea lanes. The U.S.-led military response to the Houthi militia attacks on international shipping may not ultimately be the answer to the current crisis — the Houthis, so far, appear undeterred — but the United States has at least demonstrated a clear commitment to keeping open vital trade routes that connect China to the Middle East and Europe.

Rather than acting like the global leader it purports to be, China has made no appreciable move to shoulder the costs or risks of ensuring security in the Red Sea, despite having its sole declared overseas military base in Djibouti, adjacent to the strait. Nor has it publicly offered a viable alternative to America’s actions. Instead, it seems content to largely sit back and offer veiled criticism of the U.S. military response.

The idea that China should blithely support the United States when it is already in a major (thankfully non-military) conflict with the United States, is absurd.

The authors assert that China has an obligation to support the international community, (Defined as supporting the interests of the United States) the  global consensus, (Defined as supporting the interests of the United States) and the rules based order, (Defined as supporting the interests of the United States) and its own interest in being a global leader (Defined as supporting the interests of the United States).

To quote Emilio Estevez in Repo Man, "F%$# that."


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