No more ‘red lines’? Chinese, N. Korean aggression tests US response

The White House no longer talks about “red lines,” but it seems more are being crossed every day.


From the Middle East to Asia, U.S. adversaries are taking provocative and aggressive actions, raising concerns they are feeling emboldened – ever since President Obama backed off the threat of military action against Syria’s Bashar Assad.


North Korea has now tested a fourth nuclear device under orders from Kim Jong Un. China over the weekend brazenly landed its first aircraft on a runway built atop one of its man-made islands in the South China Sea weeks after the U.S. indicated it had no plans to send warships there, and later flew a large civilian airliner to the artificial land mass.


The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that three Chinese planes have landed on the disputed island chain in recent days.


“We can now confirm that there may have been three flights that have landed,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters. “We clearly are concerned by these flights.”


He would not say if the Pentagon planned to respond.


Many at the Pentagon fear the disputed islands will be used as a military base that could threaten maritime security.


But House Speaker Paul Ryan pointed the finger at the administration, blasting the president for talking of cutting the Navy as tension builds in the South China Sea.


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