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Testing the Waters
China Schedules Another 'Routine' Naval Drill

China announced it will be holding naval exercises in the East China Sea starting tomorrow, adding these maneuvers to those already underway in the Bohai Strait to the north and live fire drills off Beibu Bay—the Gulf of Tonkin to the Vietnamese.

Chinese papers, however, downplayed the significance of these drills—nothing to see here! Bloomberg:

While the scale of the current drills is bigger than in the past, it’s a coincidence the annual exercises are being held at the same time, Beijing News reported yesterday, citing Zhang Junshe, a researcher at Navy Military Research Institute.

The Western press may have forgotten about Asia as it stares transfixed at the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, but the game of thrones goes on—and China’s leadership is taking careful notes about the degree to which events in the Middle East and elsewhere can distract America’s attention.

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  • qet

    Dear Via Meadia: This “they’re ignoring China” hobbyhorse is getting very tired. By its very definition, focus cannot be maintained on everything at once. Passenger planes getting blown out of the sky in a war zone bordering NATO and anti-Semitic riots (sorry, public demonstrations expressing passionate disagreement with Israel’s current policy towards the sovereign Palestinian people, for any “activist” or CNN reporter riots in Paris and other Western cities who might be reading) accompanied by the civil war in Syria and Iraq with Iran feeding the fire all the while–these are not unworthy of our focus. I think even our ignorant feebleminded press can be forgiven for not reporting from China’s cabbage patch. We can’t even get the citizens of this country to care about the overwhelming of our own border. They’d rather use their crayons to color swastikas inside the Star of David while checking Facebook to see which of their friends is going to today’s happening over at the public square. To expect them to care about a cabbage patch is to expect a miracle.

    • Dan

      sigh…. it’s sad because it’s true.

    • Corlyss

      I think a lot of citizens care about our border fiasco. But until the media decides the invasion itself, and not how “xenophobic racist bigots,” (i.e., beleaguered citizens/taxpayers in the invaded and confiscated territories) feel about the invasion, is the story, the rest of the nation will not be mobilized to demand a reasonable response from the government. I dare say, many more citizens are upset about the border than are “coloring swastikas inside the Star of David.” But in both cases, the media drives both narratives in a specific manner.

      • qet

        A fair point. In my little corner of Blue Heaven, there was in fact a well-attended (well, I guess that conclusion depends on who you ask) protest over the border debacle last week or over the weekend, which I must say surprised me. But I think the protest may have just been about bringing the illegals here and not a more general protest against the Administration’s unashamed partisan engineering of the whole situation.

        • Corlyss

          Probably true about what they were protesting, but unless we attend personally, we may not know the whole story. I’ve written here about what Kathleen Hall Jamieson calls “the press effect.” If the media think it’s worth covering it becomes news; if they don’t, it might as well not exist.

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