BEIJING (Rooters agency) – The Chinese government today announced that two of its destroyers have entered the Gulf of Mexico in an operation to “maintain freedom of navigation in international waters.”
The Chinese Navy has not made public the details of the destroyers’ planned course, but the government has made it clear that they will sail well within 12 nautical miles of numerous US oil-drilling platforms in the Gulf.
The Chinese newspaper Unofficial Thought, believed to reflect the views of influential members of the government, has recently argued, “The US can call these hundreds of artificial bases ‛oil-drilling platforms’ or whatever it likes, but what they are used for at present – oil drilling – is not relevant to the international law of the sea, and in any case the use can always be changed.
“The word ‛platform’ is similarly deceptive. The structures are artificial islands constructed in international waters, hundreds of miles from the US coast. As such, any claim of sovereignty over the area around these structures would be an illegitimate usurpation of the property of all humanity.”
A spokesperson for the Chinese government, announcing the arrival of the destroyers in the Gulf, stressed: “The Gulf of Mexico is an important avenue of international trade linking Mexico, Central America, and South America with Europe and the rest of the world. We will sail, fly over and operate everywhere in the Gulf of Mexico that is permitted by international law – that is, everywhere more than 12 nautical miles from the coastlines of the states bordering the Gulf.”
In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jed Lee Earnest, asked for the US response, said, “Jeepers, they’re using our arguments. Nobody in the Pentagon told us this might happen. I think they may have us by the short hairs.”
Two or three busloads of Republican presidential candidates were scathing about the “appeasement” by the White House. One leading candidate, hair stylist and rich person T. Ronald Dump, said that, as President, he would build a wall around the Gulf of Mexico “to keep out the Chinese – and the Mexicans too.”
Another leading candidate, Dr. Bent “Rambo” Colonoscope, said, “To prevent a Chinese attack on our oil platforms, all workers on the platforms should carry pistols and tactical nuclear weapons to defend themselves.”