Permissions of the PRC

Tom Shorrock, who touts himself as having been raised in Japan and South Korea during the Cold War, has an interesting, if incoherent, piece in his Wednesday TomDispatch article.  He opened with a repeat of President-Elect Donald Trump’s tweet in response to the faux outrage of the NLMSM and the People’s Republic of China over his brief telecon with Republic of China President Tsai Ing-wen, a tweet that was concerned with whether the PRC had asked permission before building “a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea.”

Shorrock then supplied a series of potential PRC President Xi Jinping tweets.

“Did America ask us if it was OK to…maintain a massive military complex of more than 100 bases in nearby Japan? I don’t think so!”

“Did America ask us if it was OK to…rent space at the massive U-Tapao military complex in nearby Thailand? I don’t think so!”

“Did America ask us if it was OK to…use portions of the military complexes at Antonio Bautista Air Base, Basa Air Base, Fort Magsaysay, Lumbia Air Base, and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in the nearby Philippines? I don’t think so!”

And on and on, ad ridiculum; you get the idea.

What’s missed here, or ignored, you pick ’em, is that the PRC seized and occupied islands that are either sovereign territory of other nations rimming the South China Sea or are well within those nations’ Exclusive Economic Zone, and so the PRC is present—vandalizing those islands with its construction—wholly illegally.  On the other hand, the US did, indeed, ask permission and conclude formal, freely negotiated treaties with the owning nations to allow our presence in the named locales.

The comparisons are so inapt as to be risible.  Which may well be why Xi didn’t make those tweets.  Or make those responses in any milieu.

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