Le Roi Soleil as a Responsible Regional Player: L’Affaire Kitty Hawk Michael Turton has an interesting take on the Hong Kong/U.S. Navy Incident.

Michael is unabashedly pro-Taiwan and pro-DPP, and although I feel indirectly calling Chinese leaders “children” is over the top, he generally has an excellent global take on most topics in this area, even if I disagree with his analysis of the facts.

He did mention something that I have not read about before, the U.S. Congressional reaction. Apparently, Republicans in the House Armed Services Committee are calling for a re-assessment of America’s relationship with China. Even in the current Sino-phobic environment on Capital Hill, I do not think much will come of this, as too much money is flowing between countries and Neocon Hawks no longer control Congress.

I reject the idea that China is acting as if it is still the Middle Kingdom and sending orders down to barbarians as if Hu were on the Dragon Thrown of old. All of that is hyperbole. I think, Michael, in this Pro-Taiwan Ecstasy, fails to see the power relationship between America and China is not one of equals, not economically; politically; or militarily; and this, as well as vast cultural differences, should be factored into any signaling from China. That being said, China has a right to display displeasure with the United States over issues they find contrary to their national interest. America would not tolerate China flying spy planes 2 miles off our border, bombing our embassies, funding armed groups in Hawaii we see as rebels, awarding medals to those we consider separatists, etc. Unlike China, we can do more than “deny entry to a port” and likely would. So China’s response is rather tame.

One thing I do know. In this world people (and nations) will not respect you unless you make them. Power respects power.

PS: As far as the Vietnam angle, who cares? Vietnam has been sending officials to kowtow to China since the early 1990’s. They are not about to make serious waves with China at this point. For more on that see Kenny (2002).