Friday, January 13, 2017
China Daily: Tillerson's "Disastrous" Actions Would Set The Course For A "Devastating Confrontation"
At Zero Hedge by Tyler Durdem --
We were surprised by how contained China was this morning after yesterday's confirmation hearing of Rex Tillerson, in which the former Exxon CEO said that a failure to respond to China had allowed it to “keep pushing the envelope” in the South China Sea and added that:
“we’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first the island-building stops and second your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed” and that putting military assets on those islands was "akin to Russia’s taking Crimea” from Ukraine."
Traditionally such a direct threat would be i) perceived as very undiplomatic and ii) prompt an immediate, and angry rebuke from Beijing, with China immediately shifting to the offensive.
“This is the sort of off-the-cuff remark akin to a tweet that pours fuel on the fire and maybe makes things worse,” Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra told Bloomberg. “Short of going to war with China, there is nothing the Americans can do.”