OXFORD, England -- China seems to be trying to "create facts on the ground" -- what Admiral Harry Harris, the US commander in the Pacific, calls a new "great wall of sand." The U.S. response is designed to prevent China from creating a fait accompli that could close off large parts of the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the original policy of not becoming embroiled in the sovereignty dispute continues to make sense.
Many in China perceive that the United States has not, and never will, accept the fundamental political legitimacy of the Chinese administration because it is not a liberal democracy. There is also a deeply held, deeply "realist" Chinese conclusion that the U.S. will never willingly concede its status as the pre-eminent regional and global power, and will do everything within its power to retain that position.
BEIJING -- The fact that China and the U.S. have agreed to pursue the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula has kept the issue from getting out of control. The year 1950 witnessed violent confrontation between China and U.S. in the Korean theater, but 2015 is a long way from 1950. China-U.S. cooperation has been a significant factor in keeping the lid on this conflict.