World News and Trends: Serious U.S.-China diplomatic conflicts

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Serious U.S.-China diplomatic conflicts

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Not long after being appointed U.S. secretary of State, Hillary Clinton flew to China for her first important diplomatic encounter abroad. She emphasized mutual national interests, like trade and climate policy, just as President Barack Obama later did on his first presidential trip to China.

But a number of months down the road, the diplomatic relationship between these two nations lies pretty much in tatters. According to The Daily Telegraph, "China has accused the United States yesterday of 'rude and unreasonable' Cold War thinking" ("China attacks US 'Cold War' Mentality Over Taiwan Arms Sales," Feb. 2, 2010). What has happened?

A Time magazine article initially stated that "nobody, not even China, can afford to let the row over Google intensify into a broader dispute." Yet the same article later added, "The Google issue has crystallized a whole range of discontent with China, economic and otherwise" ("The China vs. Google Dispute: Hold Fire," Feb. 8, 2010).

For instance, recently President Obama has stated his intention to meet with the Dalai Lama. The Chinese reacted swiftly ("China Warns US of Further Damage to Relations if Obama Meets Dalai Lama," Financial Times, Feb. 3, 2010).

In recent months the perennial Taiwan issue, in which mainland China lays claim to the island, had at least appeared to be cooling somewhat. But Washington recently announced its intention to sell Patriot antimissile batteries, Blackhawk helicopters and two minesweeper ships to Taiwan. China instantly voiced a very strong objection.

Other intractable issues remain on the diplomatic docket. Beijing's stubborn blocking of stronger UN sanctions, intended to curb Iran's march toward acquiring nuclear weaponry, continues as another sore spot from the American standpoint.

Nearly a year and half ago, China had its first spacewalk, serving as a reminder of its growing might and influence. Then in mid-January of this year China announced success in testing advanced missile-interception equipment, continuing the persistent upgrade of its military capabilities. Recall also that "China holds most of America's $12.4 trillion debt" ("Analysis: The Worsening Relationship Between America and China," The Daily Telegraph, Feb. 2, 2010).

Focus attention back to the autumn of 2009. At that time the Daily Mail articulated a disturbing view of this East Asian powerhouse: "An army of 2.25 million. Chilling imperial ambitions. Today, as China celebrates 60 years of communism with an awesome display of military might, the West should be very, very worried" ("Marching to World Domination," Oct. 1, 2009).

To read about where Bible prophecy says these stunning events in East Asia will ultimately take us, download the article "The Enormous Expansion of Chinese Influence: What Does It Portend?" from the archives of our World News and Prophecy newsletter at (August 2009 issue). (Sources: The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Financial Times [all London], Time, Newsweek.)