Three small stories from around the world illustrate the discomfort — to China and everyone else on the planet — that is accompanying China’s global growth.
British FONOP in South China Sea
- The voyage was a “freedom of navigation operation” (FONOP) intended to challenge Beijing’s “excessive claims” in the region. The ship was on its way to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, “where it docked on Monday following a deployment in and around Japan.”
- “China resolutely opposes this and has lodged stern representations with the British side to express strong dissatisfaction,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in reaction to the news.
- State-owned China Daily weighed in: “During her visit to Beijing early this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to intensify ‘the golden era’ of Sino-UK relations. To achieve that, the country should refrain from being Washington’s shark sucker in the South China Sea.”
- “The U.K. didn’t complain when Chinese warships sailed through U.K. territorial waters last year. China doesn’t have a valid argument here. This is what international law looks like,” tweeted Bill Hayton, author of The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia.
Nauru: The mouse that roared?
On September 4, we noted that China’s representative to a dialogue session at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) stormed out of the meeting, after a tense exchange with the Forum chair, President Baron Waqa of Nauru.
- Waqa now intends to seek a formal apology from China over the “disruptive and bullying” behavior of the Chinese delegate at the PIF meeting, reports Radio New Zealand. He vowed to take up the matter not only with PIF but also at the United Nations.
- “Look at him. He’s a nobody. He’s not even a minister,” said Waqa in a video clip tweeted by Australian ABC reporter Stephen Dziedzic. “And demanding to be recognized, even before the prime minister of Tuvalu? Is he crazy?”
- Chutzpah (?) is not something the Chinese government lacks. Even though China was a guest at PIF and is clearly not itself a Pacific island nation, state-owned CGTN says that a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson “slammed Nauru” saying that “Nauru, as the host of the forum, violated international norms and the rules of the forum, and put on a clumsy farce.”
- Further coverage:
Frictions in Kenya
- “A Chinese man will be deported after a video emerged of him making racist comments, Kenya’s immigration department says,” according to the BBC. The man…was captured in a video calling all Kenyans, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, ‘monkeys.’” See also our SupChina video.
- “Kenyan police apologized on Thursday for briefly arresting journalists from Chinese state television’s international English channel China Global Television Network,” reports Reuters.