There’s a good chance that I’ll take part in a panel discussion on security issues where I’ll be making a case on China’s behalf. So, in order to stay in character…
Reuters claims in a report entitled “Obama delivers veiled message to China” that “[t]he United States is a Pacific power committed to its Asian allies and will not tolerate small nations being bullied, President Barack Obama said,” but the only direct quote that it provides is the following: “"We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace; that an effective security order for Asia must be based not on spheres of influence, or coercion or intimidation where big nations bully the small, but on alliances of mutual security, international law and norms that are upheld, and peaceful resolution of disputes.” So I go to the White House website and confirm said fact.
So, a) where did “will not tolerate” come from, and b) what the heck does it mean? My guess: a) The Obama WH press minders, working correspondents writing against a deadline, and one of those minders scored an ace; and b) the WH will stand by its allies and issue supportive statements for the others if and when “big nations bully the small.” And the US cut-off date for new bilateral alliances in the neighborhood came and went a long time ago.
Don’t laugh. It’s more than most other states will do.