China Could Use Europe’s Financial Crisis to Get Foothold in Atlantic
While Washington orchestrates America’s “pivot to Asia,” the Chinese are already looking at taking over facilities much closer to U.S. shores, according to one report.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s “technical” stop at Terceria — an island in the Azores — this summer indicates the increasingly global country is considering stepping into a U.S. airbase there, according to the National Review. A Chinese installation could replace facilities downsized by the Department of Defense on the islands, an autonomous region that is a part of Portugal.
Though this would pose a significant economic and security threat, the Navy’s top officer believes bureaucracy and allegiance would intervene.
“I wouldn’t connect those two directly,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert of the DoD reductions and Jiabao’s visit.
“It would really be about what [Portugal] wants to do with the Chinese,” he says. “Remember, you’re dealing with a NATO country. That’s an upstream swim.”
But one expert believes the current state of world affairs could create just the window the Chinese would need to create a presence on the Atlantic islands, which played a critical role during World War II and are closer to New York City than Pearl Harbor is to Los Angeles.