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Webb warns of 'Munich moment' with China


Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said all the national attention paid and money spent on the Middle East over the past decade has distracted Washington from an area of equal or even greater importance: The Western Pacific. Webb told David Gregory on "Meet the Press" Sunday that the U.S. had kept too little watch on China's expansion at its peril, and things today are moving so rapidly that they could come to a head:

And we, right now, are in a situation where we have to look at this in terms of our broader national security interests in addition to the nation-building questions. We still have 45,000 troops in Iraq. They're supposed to be out by the end of the year. I'm not holding my breath. We have this new situation in Libya where the president made a unilateral decision, which I, among others, have serious problems with. And most importantly, because this is something that does not get discussed, as we have focused for the last 10 years on this part of the world, our situation in East Asia with respect to China and China's expansionist military activities has deteriorated. We are at a point in the South China Sea right now where we are approaching a Munich moment with China, and it's not being discussed.
In other words: Is Washington going to step back and let China continue the show of force it has been making against Vietnam and the Philippines? Or will it say or do something about it? You haven't heard any politician a anything about it -- they have been to eager to hammer President Obama on Libya or his planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

What do you think -- is a "Munich moment" approaching between Washington and Beijing?

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