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China Warns U.S. on ‘Bottom Line’: U.S. Military Should Keep Its Distance from China’s Core Interests; Sputnik Covers the Point

May 5, 2016 (EIRNS)—China’s state-run Global Times wrote yesterday on China’s refusal to allow entry into Hong Kong’s port by the U.S.S. John C. Stennis convoy, to assert the general warning, that various actions by the United States, such as in the South China Sea, are approaching China’s "bottom line." The United States should stay away from China’s "core interests." Stern coverage by the Russian agency Sputnik, of this warning, appeared today.

The China Daily’s May 4 editorial was titled, "Do Not Misread U.S. Port Visit Refusal." The article first reviewed how, since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, China’s approval must be given to port entry by foreign vessels. Most of the time this has been approved for the U.S., except when "there was a chill in Sino-U.S. ties." And, normally, "A few US warships being denied entry to Hong Kong should be of no consequence to Beijing and Washington." As long as the two countries "wish for cooperation instead of confrontation, the respective militaries will not cross the bottom line of one another..."

However, today,

"strategic confrontation between the two is becoming a trend... The U.S. military should keep its distance from the area of Beijing’s core interests..."

The Global Times indicated certain instances of confrontation, including the U.S. military voyages in the South China Sea, and backing for the Philippines-raised arbitration over the Sea. The article concluded that, "...the White House has touched China’s bottom line. Washington should now reflect on this."

The Russian news service, Sputnik, immediately picked up the warning, reporting that, "U.S. Defense Department spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban expressed surprise at the decision" to refuse the Stennis port entry to Hong Kong. "But in an op-ed published by the state-run Global Times on Wednesday, the paper asserts that the US has no one to blame but itself for the incident."

Liberally quoting the Global Times editorial, Sputnik indicates its complete support for the Chinese position, noting that "The Pentagon has launched provocative naval patrols within the territorial limit of China’s land reclamation projects," while "The US has no territorial claims in the region."

Expressions of the strategic solidarity between Russia and China across a vast range of issues have been numerous, loud, and direct over the past week. Yesterday, for example (see May 5th briefing), China and Russia announced that they were to hold missile defense drills, amid opposition to US plans to deploy a THAAD "missile shield" in South Korea. The drills will use "the combined operations of Russian and Chinese air and missile defense task forces" to provide protection "from sudden or provocative ballistic or cruise missile attacks", the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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