At first blush what has joint chief of staff admiral Mullen's show of temper have to do with China's Confucius Peace Prize? Mullen's represents the military, Confucius shows an inclination towards irenic pursuits.
Well there is a connexion: North Korea
As GuamDiary reported, president Obama's 30 minute telephone conversation with China's Hu Jintao did not bring about the results he was hoping for: Beijing's twisting North Korea's arm to calm rising tensions on the divided Korean peninsula. Yesterday [8 December 2010] Mullen put his two cents in; the unhappy admiral took China to task for doing little to muzzle its client North Korea, charging Beijing with 'reckless behaviour'.
The redlight of warning went on when North Korea replied to the shelling of its territorial waters from the island of Yeonpyeong by live fire and joint South Korean & US increasing naval and air exercises along the NLL [Northern Limit Line] within a cat's whiskers of North Korea's territorial waters.
China, after consultation with Russia, issued an call for an emergency meeting of the six power participants to smooth out ruffled feathers. As Guam Diary noted, the US, South Korea, and Japan rebuffed China, on the shaky grounds that first North Korea has to 'repent' and 'apologise' for its aggressive behaviour.
The US then went on a charm offensive after raining on China's initiative, by throwing down on the carpet the snake eyed dice of its demands. Washington's insulting roll of the dice acted as a double whammy of insult and humiliation
for the Chinese.
So, during the hastily arranged ceremony to award the first Confucian peace prize, China struck back: as is China's diplomatic wont, it was a smart slap in the face by a lesser official. In his speech at the award ceremony, he challenged the award of the 2009 Nobel peace prize to Barack Obama, on the grounds that the 45 US president was a purveyor of war not peace as witnessed by the escalating military posturing of the US and South Korea against North Korea.
In essence, China was calling Mr. Obama on his insistent and insolently bold bet to bend China to US designs against North Korea. By challenging Mr. Obama's credentials as anything but peaceful, the Chinese have returned his serve with a deft turn of the wrist.
On top of that, China's foreign ministry spoke up on the matter: it called for diplomatic means, not war manuevers and threats and saber rattling, to resolve long standing issues on the Korean peninsula.
China could not let either Obama or Mullen get away with tarring China, let alone North Korea, with the sins of commission of the US and South Korea.
Conditions are very taut in Korea. They are desired by the US if, as GuamDiary has long exposed, the reactionary policy recommendations which seem to echo Mr. Obama's North Korea policy: in the CFR's [Council on Foreign Relations] unanimous recommendations to 'roll back' North Korea to the edge of collapse or to giving the US and its allies an excuse to end the frozen Korean war on its own terms of victory.
China is well aware of US hawkish designs and thus for the first time, it is responding with a strong condemnation of US motives and actions, which have been growing more bold and more ill conceived and executed without a thought that they could and would ignite war again in Korea.