Friday, May 18, 2012

Steve Mixes Business with Pleasure

The business part is selling bitumen sludge to China, as much and as fast as possible.   The pleasure part is playing Commander-in-Chief and sending Canadian forces to distant corners of the world for a bit of muscle-flexing.   In this case it's RimPac2012, the largest international naval exercise in the world, right in China's maritime backyard.

And Canada isn't making a token appearance either.   The forces we're sending -  destroyers, frigates, even CF-18s - will make our presence second only to the U.S.

"China's antipathy toward this exercise may explain why highly informed Canadian reporters, such as David Pugliese of Defence Watch, have complained of an almost total clampdown on information about Canada's impressive participation.

"The federal government no doubt finds it a bit sensitive to be wooing Chinese business interests one moment, while embracing efforts to contain China's naval ambitions the next.

"Of course the 22 nations, which are sending 47 surface ships and subs as well as possibly 200 aircraft and 25,000 personal, deny that their combined five-week exercises, beginning June 29, has China's rapidly expanding navy in mind.

"But no one is fooled, least of all Beijing.

"China and North Korea are the only countries excluded from the exercise — at Washington's insistence. Even Russia is to take part for the first time."

According to the CBC's Brian Stewart, Canada is even sending along HMCS Victoria, the recently rehabilitated Upholder-class sub we got years ago from Britain and promptly docked for repairs.


Anyong said...

Is this action a result of China moving inside the Philippine Islands limit and the month-long standoff over a shoal in the South China Sea?

kootcoot said...

This is like some kind of personality disorder, at one moment Stevie is on knees before China begging, take me, and then with his frat brothers in NATO he is threatening his bondage master......kinky indeed!

The Mound of Sound said...

I had expected a much larger Australian presence but, as the Sydney Morning Herald reported just Wednesday, China has put Oz on notice that it's tired of its passive-aggressive posturing.

China is confident it is on the brink of becoming Top Dog and expects other Pacific Rim countries to acknowledge that. It would be unrealistic to expect China not to use its economic and political muscle to back up its military presence in its home region.

@Anyong - I don't think this is directly influenced by the recent Spratley incident. It's more a reflection of America's recent "pivot" from the Middle East to East Asia and the Central Pacific/South China Sea/Indian Ocean corridors.