Friday, October 16, 2009

U.S. Must End Spying to Better Relationship with China

According to yesterday's Washington Post,

[Obama] aims to improve the U.S. relationship with China's military.
The once-insular nation is broadening its international interests and investing around the globe, and its military is rapidly modernizing. So there is concern that U.S. and Chinese forces may find themselves bumping into each other without formal mechanisms in place for the two militaries to iron out disagreements.

The article goes on to mention instances where the two nations have already bumped into each other. The interesting thing about these examples is they happened during U.S. espionage/reconnaissance missions in or near China. The most memorable of these examples is of the 2001 incident where a Chinese fighter jet brought down a U.S. Navy plane in China, where the crew was held for 11 days.

Some may brush this off as the inept foreign policy of the Bush White House, but at least five times since Obama has been in office, Chinese vessels have cornered U.S. ships conducting reconnaissance missions in Chinese economic maritime zones. While most countries view these areas of the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea as international waters, China has explicitly claimed waters upwards of 230 miles off its coasts.

One thing the Obama administration is going to have to do in order to better relations with China is to cease reconnaissance/espionage missions. It is unlikely that Washington would be complacent if China started reconnaissance missions 75 miles off the coast of California.

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