International ties

US engaging in gunboat diplomacy

By Luo Yuan (People's Daily Online)
Updated: 2010-08-13 15:54
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The United States will dispatch the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the waters west of South Korea (the Yellow Sea) to participate in a series of US-South Korean joint military drills, a spokesperson for the United States Department of Defense recently announced during a press conference. This is a 180-degree turn from the statements made by an official from the Pentagon in mid-July.

The Chinese government has reiterated that it firmly opposes the activities of foreign naval ships in the Yellow Sea and other offshore areas of China that affect China's security interests and urged relevant sides to pay serious attention to China's concerns and stance. However, the United States has insisted on sending aircraft carriers to the Yellow Sea to provoke China. What information has this transmitted? At least it shows that the foreign policy of the United States is still showing three features that have long been part of its global strategy.

The first is hegemony, under which the United States claims, "Since I am the dominant player in the world, I can go anywhere I want and others have no rights to interfere." The philosophical foundation of the American hegemonic mindset is the deep-rooted "manifest destiny" theory held by some Americans.

According to the theory, the American Nation is the most outstanding nation in the world. Its leadership in the world, which is bestowed by God, is undeniable. Therefore, Americans have the responsibility to handle world affairs and will appear wherever problems take place. Nevertheless, the results are usually the opposite – things become worse with the involvement of the United States.

The reason behind this is that they are convinced that the social system of the United States is the most advanced in the world. Therefore, they strive to sell their "democratic values" across the world, which sometimes means resorting to military action. They believe that the American nation is the most excellent, so they must "lead the world" and other nations have no choice but to follow them.

The United States will exercise its military power to punish the nations that do not follow its will. In their eyes, the security of other countries and nations is always put in the second position and even considered to be insignificant. They do not need to pay attention to security concerns raised by any other country.

The second is gunboat diplomacy. It can be summed up by the position that, "If you do not obey me, I will flex my muscles first. Then, if you do not behave better, I will teach you a lesson with my fists." The best example of US gunboat diplomacy is the Naval Operations Concept 2010 approved by the US president in May this year, which vividly described US "maritime interests." According to the concept 2010, the US naval forces will develop six core competencies: forward presence, deterrence, maritime security, sea control, power projection and humanitarian assistance.

What high-sounding language! First, the so-called forward presence means that the United States can send its gunboats to every corner of the world, tyrannize the weak and extend its security boundaries to others' doorsteps. This way, the United States can even claim the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea is covered within its security boundary.

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