I’ve got a new post up at the USNI blog replying to the concerns of a PLA general to the propose US-RoK combined naval exercise in the Yellow Sea. Here’s a tease:
Major General Luo Yuan, deputy secretary general with the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, recently engaged in an unprecedented online debate about the U.S. intent to conduct a major, combined US-RoK exercise in the Yellow Sea in response to North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan. Following are the summaries of his arguments, courtesy of People’s Daily, with my responses:
First, in terms of security, Chairman Mao Zedong once said, “We will never allow others to keep snoring beside our beds.” If the United States were in China’s shoes, would it allow China to stage military exercises near its western and eastern coasts? Just like an old Chinese saying goes, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you,” if the United States does not wish to be treated in a specific way, it should not forcefully sell the way to others.
Would the US allow such exercises? In a word, yes. Unless Washington was willing to publicly abandon freedom of navigation as a vital interest, it would have no other choice but to permit such an exercise. In fact, while many Americans have forgotten, for decades it was rather routine for Soviet naval forces to prowl up and down the Eastern Seaboard. The American response was merely to track, observe and wait for the next time.