[Ed. – More on this at a later time. Obviously, Trump won’t be the chump Obama has been. But there’s no going back to the pre-2009 situation. China is wrong to say that there will have to be intense thinking about maritime rules — unless, that is, China decides to violate those rules. But China can’t violate them by doing anything the U.S. has done in East Asian waters. There is no “parallel” to be invoked here; the U.S. has no excessive claims. If China wants to operate in EASTPAC, the U.S. Navy will just get some great training and intelligence collection opportunities.]
Japan’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said it’s the first time it could confirm the Liaoning, which China bought from Ukraine in 1998, then rebuilt and commissioned in 2012 as a training vessel, had gone into the open Pacific. …
China’s state-run Global Times media agency published an editorial on Christmas Day, timed to coincide with the aircraft carrier Liaoning’s maneuvers.
The piece called on China to build up its fleet of aircraft carriers, make them combat ready, sail them to Eastern Pacific and look to set up naval supply bases in South America.
The Global Times also said the drill is a sign the Liaoning’s combat capability has been enhanced and its areas of operation expanded, and could soon include the Eastern Pacific, including off the US West Coast.
“When China’s aircraft carrier fleet appears in offshore areas of the US one day, it will trigger intense thinking about maritime rules.”