U.S. military breathes down China’s neck – China’s latest political and current affairs news

Politics

A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for July 7, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

FILE PHOTO - A B-1B Lancer from the U.S. Air Force 28th Air Expeditionary Wing heads out on a combat mission in support of strikes on Afghanistan in this file picture released December 7, 2001. Cedric H.Rudisill/USAF/Handout via REUTERS

Following North Korea’s successful test of its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4, and the American president’s exasperated tweet that intoned, “So much for China working with us,” the U.S. has sought to quickly ramp up diplomatic and military pressure on China to push for containment of the Hermit Kingdom:

  • The U.S. military again flew bomber planes over disputed territory in the South China Sea, as it did last month, Reuters reports. This time, however, the planes were not accompanied by warships sailing within 12 miles of China’s artificial islands, as happened in May.
  • America and Japan conducted their first nighttime flying drills in the East China Sea, also near disputed territory, claimed by China but administered by Japan, the South China Morning Post reports.
  • Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN, said that her delegation would soon introduce another resolution to tighten sanctions against all companies and countries that do business with North Korea, SCMP says. Reuters reports that Japan and South Korea agreed to support the U.S. in pushing this resolution. China and Russia are united in opposing such further sanctions, but Haley threatened that if they vetoed the proposal, America would go on its “own path” — which could include military options.
  • Trump is also apparently using the North Korean crisis as a pretext to take a tougher line on China and trade. A quote in SCMP from Arthur Kroeber, an expert on China’s economy (listen to a Sinica Podcast with him here), explains the dynamic well: “The basic deal Trump thought he offered Xi at the Mar-a-Lago summit — a light touch on trade in exchange for more cooperation on North Korea — was absurdly unrealistic, given China’s obvious unwillingness to change its North Korea policy.”