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After China snubs Japan, U.S. pulls out of naval ceremony


The United States has decided not to send a warship to a naval ceremony in China after learning Japan was not invited.

The international fleet review is being held to mark the 65th anniversary of the Chinese navy and Washington had intended to take part in the event off the eastern coastal city of Qingdao later this month.

"Japan was not invited. So in solidarity, we decided not to participate," said a senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But the chief of the U.S. Navy, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, and the head of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Harry Harris, will go ahead and attend a symposium in Qingdao that coincides with the flotilla ceremony, the official said.

The sail-off of warships was "not a drill" or exercise and Washington's move did not signal a major rupture with China, the official said. The Pentagon informed the Chinese of its decision about 10 days ago, the official said.

Japan appears to have been invited to the naval symposium, which involves top naval officers from more than 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The row over the ceremony comes amid tensions between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea administered by Japan as the Senkaku Islands, but which China calls the Diaoyu Islands.

Chinese government ships and planes have been seen off the disputed islands numerous times since Japan nationalised them in September 2012, sometimes within the 12 nautical-mile territorial zone.

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel, who has called for restraint, will take up the issue when he visits Japan this weekend and China next week.

Hagel on Thursday wrapped up more than two days of talks with ASEAN defense ministers in Hawaii, where discussions touched on territorial disputes involving China and joint humanitarian aid operations.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Interesting, but ineffective. It merely proves the US is Japan's big brother who pities the younger, and China will just go about the show anyway, with more defiance.

-15 ( +12 / -27 )

There is more sense and intelligence coming from children in an elementary school playground.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Good. I hope the US shows as much solidarity with Japan when they talk to them and China next week.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

smithinjapanAPR. 05, 2014 - 07:18AM JST Interesting, but ineffective. It merely proves the US is Japan's big brother who pities the younger

I disagree with your viewpoint. The USN is at the top of the class and for the USN to refuse to participate in the fleet review in support of its ally, Japan, affirms the commitment to standing by Japan as a partner. Having the world's best navy sit out your own country's naval ceremony in support of a slighted ally is a significant reminder to the CCP that China needs to take Japan-US ties seriously.

Your characterization of this move as "pity" is off the mark.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

It took long enough to make the decision, but it is the correct one. Both countries should not go even if China apologizes. Was NK and/or Russia invited? Another good reason to not play the little game.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Sounds good to me.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The incoming generation of Chinese leaders are thoughtful people who will manage China and its relationship with the Japan, U.S. and other nations. However, the ability to judge the character and capabilities of the Chinese communist elite are questionable. There is a perceptive short history of Chinese leadership since the Communist revolution. Unfortunately, there is a great deal missing from that history, especially concerning the Cultural Revolution, which to this day is officially ignored by Mainland Chinese historians. The experience is in some way responsible for cultivating a sense of political maturity in the incoming generation of leaders is doubtful because of the little the west know about the Cultural Revolution. Unfortunately, as the old footings of cooperation crumble, misunderstanding, miscommunication and mistrust are inhibiting the construction of new ones.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Sorry, the recently approved defence budget did not include this. We can't afford it. Good opportunity to blame our supplicant for not participating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Without US participation, all ships looks like junk.

If only all countries were so disinterested in military hardware. Yes, indeed, America loves its weapons like no one else! And as an American, all those pretty and sleek tools of death a point of shame.

I suppose I should look on the bright side and be glad America won't be showing them off that day.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The US and Japan are ally for a long time. That seems to be only reason but SKorea would willingly send war ship to the ceremony.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Love geopolitics. Nosense after nosense. It will never stop. Sadly... china is the bully

6 ( +8 / -2 )


Sadly... china is the bully

Right. And America just has everyone's best interest at heart. Pfffft!

Even though I agree that China is becoming quite a bully, China has learned from the best, even if Chinese copying is as second rate as all their other knock-offs.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Given the current situation it was a good move on the part of the US. But the US needs to do a bit more if it wants East Asia to remain stable. Conspicuous absence has been a fairly consistent staple of recent US policies towards Asia. Hopefully that will start to change in the near future. It does look like Obama will be finally making his way over soon. There have been a lot of talks on North Korea, but the 500 pound elephant in room (China) needs more engagement, discussion, dialogue and action.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The incoming Chinese leaders are...." What a strange choice of words. "Incoming" is a deadly word, especially for vets. Yes, the incoming leaders would love to visit the islands that are the property of Japan, plant the flag, and bow to the Capitol. Taiwan looks good too. The Chinese may become more capitalistic but that means ownership of property by whatever means is acceptable.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

boweevil, a 500 pound elephant is tiny... are you saying China has no presence in the room, ie nothing to see there?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It proves US is just acting like a elementary child

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Sorry I mixed metaphors...I meant to say gorilla. And by no means was suggesting that China was a minor factor...In fact precisely the opposite. All these meetings about North Korea as a security concern are overlooking China as a major factor in the possible destabilization in the region.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so Asia politics is the same as a baseball game junior high schoolyard picking teams.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is a move just to reassure Japan and also to let China know it isn't totally pleased with its peovocative conduct. But its not really going to affect chinas celebrations.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

China shouldn't had dis-invited Japan in the first place. This is supposed to be a celebration, but they let their politics ruin it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nor Japan or USA. The most capable navies in the world will not attend the celebration. Cry me a river china.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A snub for a snub.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A snubmarine?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ineffective? Wow, you don't know anything about international politics do you? The fact that America is there not doesn't inherently change the behaviors that China will be able to do at that time and place. However, it affects their decisions about future actions and how much they want to act on it because the fact of the matter is China knows that the United States is being firm on its decisions to take care of its Ally.

This may be inconsequential to you because you're not involved in the process at all and not even aware of how it works. You may think that Japanese-American relationships are somehow firm because a treaty that people sign on a piece of paper fact that up and it's "in law and in effect"

The treaty is just a proof of commitment, but the commitment is shown by actions. It is tested every day, and it is enforced and weekend based upon the political views of both parties and their commitment to keeping now I'll peaceful place, in the future hopefully secure, based on past agreements.

So before you act like a know-it-all, please think before you post

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ "Job Dod" - United States is being firm on its decisions to take care of its Ally.

Perhaps U.S. need to solve Syria and Crimea issues first to prove that point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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