Commentary: China And The U.S.: The Sparks May Start Flying

For most of the past two decades, when China Ocean Shipping Co. docked its cargo vessels at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., the giant commercial carrier was considered a model neighbor of the nearby Long Beach Naval Station. Today, the station is closed, and the property is overgrown with weeds. But when COSCO signed a lease for the site in 1996, right-wing lawmakers scurried to block it. Why? COSCO customers in Asia used its ships to transport automatic weapons to Los Angeles and strategic materials to the Middle East. "It would be foolish for America to surrender control of a West Coast port to an arm of the Chinese military," fumes Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.).

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