The title of the linked article, “Smiles and Barbs for Clinton in China”, by Steven Lee Myers and Jane Perlez, may seem odd at first. The article, from today’s NY Times, is as follows: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/world/asia/a-harsh-reception-for-clinton-in-chinas-state-media.html?ref=stevenleemyers.
Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton, arrived in Beijing today to meet with Senior Chinese Officials. This stop is part of a ten day, six nation tour of Asia. She was met by harsh words from the Chinese Official News Media (both print and broadcast); however, she received a warm reception form the Senior Officials that she was there to meet.
The Harsh Words in the Official Media, I believe, are for the local audience; however, the kind words are the normal “Diplo-Speak” that both sides tend to exchange. In other words, it takes two to play the game.
China has been flexing its Military Muscle lately by trying to push its claims for islands that are jointly made–by China and a number of much smaller countries. Ms. Clinton had just met with some of the Southeast Asian Nations that claim possession of the islands. Secretary Clinton stressed to the Chinese that the US Position is for a peaceful settlement of the overlapping claims.
The US has recently positioned Troops and Materiel, in Australia (quite a distance from Southeast Asia) and the Philippines. In total, however, I don’t believe that that the Troop level is major in any way. But, I believe that the real intent of the trip was to caution the smaller countries about allowing a build-up into military action. Of course, that’s where the US would come in–to offer reassurance of its support
Now, I believe that both the US and China realize that military action between the two World Powers wouldn’t be in either’s best interest. But, China does probably have its sights on the reported Oil and Minerals under the South China Sea.