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The China question

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

America's military should continue interactions with Chinese forces that enhance safety and security, particularly at sea. But it must never let such interactions weaken U.S. national security.

When it comes to China, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, worries most about its buildup of ballistic and cruise missiles that can hit land and sea targets and do so at greater range, The Washington Free Beacon reports. And as China works toward making its first aircraft carrier fully operational and building a second, it has a new cruise missile designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers.

Chinese military leaders' requests to tour U.S. aircraft carriers so far have been denied. Mr. Greenert has indicated he's open to the idea. But the notion of allowing such Chinese spying should be rejected. Flatly.

Writing in The American Spectator, Gerald D. Skoning, a Vietnam-era aircraft carrier officer, suggests the sort of balance that U.S. military leaders must strike in dealings with their Chinese counterparts: “A proper level of cooperation should be designed to reduce misunderstanding and prevent miscalculations in international waters, not to share technology, training or tactical planning.”

Yes, we need to know our enemies. But we know the Chinese well enough already to know that inviting them aboard our aircraft carriers is a very bad idea indeed.

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