Well, I was going to do this post yesterday, but was too tired – anyway, there was an update in the story, so it worked out for the best. Anyway…
The whole thing started about a week and a half ago when the Chinese government denied 2 U.S. minesweepers refuge during a storm. They also wanted to take on supplies. The minesweepers were forced to endure the storm and be refueled at sea. Days later, the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk was denied harboring in Hong Kong so that the crews could visit their family members for Thanksgiving. The government later overturned the denial stating “humanitarian grounds,” since some family members had traveled to Hong Kong in anticipation of seeing the sailors, but the Kitty Hawk was already back out to sea.
In a meeting with President Bush, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told the President that the reason that the ships were denied was a “misunderstanding,” but apparently the scripted “It’s a misunderstanding” excuse didn’t make it to all of the government officials. Liu Jianchao, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that it was not a misunderstanding, but the denial stems from severing U.S.-Chinese ties. He cites that one of the main problems is the U.S.’s sale of Patriot II missiles to Taiwan (i.e.: REAL China – free China, the one that SHOULD have stayed on the UN Security Council). He also said that Bush’s meeting with the Dalai Lama back in October had further hurt U.S.-Chinese relations.
So – what disturbed me most here was not the denial of the Kitty Hawk (which was somewhat harsh – keeping sailors away from their relatives on a Holiday) – but the denial of the minesweepers to take refuge during a storm. If the Chinese truly want to better ties between the U.S. and themselves, they wouldn’t endanger our ships to pass through their waters to Hong Kong.
But, this came out today … China has now denied the U.S.S Reuben James to come to the Hong Kong port on New Years Eve. The Chinese government has not yet given a reason for the denial.
I’ll put out another update on this situation, but this all just enforces my theory of a major war between China and Taiwan, sparking many other countries to get involved, possibly starting World War III.