While it appeared that U.S. President Donald Trump was ready and willing to bring China back into the ally fold, the world’s most populace nation has been a great disappointment.
President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping very early into his first term at the helm of the United States, in what originally appeared to be an extremely valuable and effective meeting. The topic of North Korea was one of the most heavily debated, of course, with China vowing to help by pressuring the rogue nation via massive economic sanctions. While some of the sanctions have taken effect, there has been some unfortunate failures as well.
Last week, President Trump thanked Xi for his attempt to stymy North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, also saying that his sanctions and actions were not enough. Time for action in North Korea was nigh, according to the Commander in Chief, no thanks to Chinese intervention. Now, China’s volatile presence in the South China Sea is being tested by the U.S.; a sure sign of renewed tensions between the superpowers.
“The USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer based in Japan, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, which is part of the Paracel Islands located in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam.
“The destroyer was trailed by a Chinese warship during its Sunday voyage.
“While occupied by China, Vietnam and Taiwan also lay claim to the island. A defense official said the operation challenged Vietnam and Taiwan’s claims to Triton Island in addition to China.
“Twelve nautical miles is the territorial boundary that extends beyond the shores of all nations, sailing inside that distance sends a signal the United States does not recognize the claim.”
This is hardly the first time that Trump and the Chinese have had a spat over the South China Sea and Taiwan.
Late in 2016, shortly after Donald Trump became President-Elect, the businessman-turned-politician took a congratulatory phone call from the leadership in Taiwan – a move that infuriated Chinese government officials. China immediately scolded the soon-to-be leader of the free world as if he were a child, claiming that he should “learn his place” as it pertains to China’s place of power in the Asiatic regions.