NSC MEDDLING ON CHINA HIT
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee this week criticized the White House for restricting the Pentagon and U.S. military from accurately describing the growing threat posed by China.
“Protecting our national security starts with the truth,” Rep. Mac Thornberry said.
“China is not our enemy, but they are our competitors in many areas,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “Ordering the military to use politically-correct language does not change the reality we face.”
Mr. Thornberry said the U.S. would be better off if National Security Council staff member put more effort into addressing real problems faced by the nation instead of micromanaging politics.
The chairman was responding to a Navy Times report this week that stated a presidential directive ordered Pentagon leaders to stop using the term “great power competition” and similar phrases in public references to China. The restrictions are part of politically correct policies of the White House that has sought to play down the threat posed by China, which has turned increasingly hostile toward the United States despite close trade and financial ties.
Retired Navy Capt. Jim Fanell, a former Pacific Fleet intelligence director, criticized the restrictions.
“The notion that the People’s Republic of China is not a competitor to the United States of America is a denial of reality,” he said. “The PRC today is challenging the United States every time a U.S. Navy warship enters the South and East China Sea. Confrontations at sea over the past decade have largely been more assertive in their approach and complete in their coverage.”
Additionally, China has turned away Navy ships from port calls, and has demanded to take part in large U.S.led military exercises.
China’s new deep-water naval forces is part of what President Xi Jinping has called the “China Dream,” a policy based a strategic competition with the United States, Capt. Fanell said.
“No matter how much we may wish to deny this reality, the fact is that China is a great power and, more worrisome, has become an increasingly aggressive competitor whose sights are set on displacing the United States and her allies from their current positions on the