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Old 08-16-2012   #1
carl
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Default Islands in dispute in the East China Sea

This is an interesting article from the Financial Times. It is about how some in Red China think it would be a fine idea if Red China were to have the Ryukus, a prefecture of Japan.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9692e...#axzz23jBc2wWj

Now the importance of this article isn't that a Red Chinese invasion fleet will be setting sail for Naha next week. The importance is that some powerful people in Red China think is a good enough idea to promulgate it officially (seeing as how there is no free press in Red China, if it gets out like it did, it's official).

That some powerful people think this is a good idea and should be pursued illustrates to a nebbish like me the folly of trying to appease an aggressive police state. They are never satisfied and if appeased will only want more since they have been rewarded for aggression.

JMA said something a while back about a rocky road ahead for Japan.
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Old 08-19-2012   #2
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I looked it over a few times, and really don't see anything very confusing about it, unless you really wish it to be so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Now the importance of this article isn't that a Red Chinese invasion fleet will be setting sail for Naha next week. The importance is that some powerful people in Red China think is a good enough idea to promulgate it officially (seeing as how there is no free press in Red China, if it gets out like it did, it's official).

That some powerful people think this is a good idea and should be pursued illustrates to a nebbish like me the folly of trying to appease an aggressive police state. They are never satisfied and if appeased will only want more since they have been rewarded for aggression.

JMA said something a while back about a rocky road ahead for Japan.
Not necessarily official, but with some backing in official circles, or at least some interest in floating the idea. There's a great deal of factionalism within "official" in China, and many different people pursuing different agendas for different reasons.

Coincidentally, I recently discussed these matters with a recently retired US Naval officer, of the submarine persuasion (a lot of USN types still retire in Subic). He had a very high opinion of the JMSDF, and expressed the belief (he had strong opinions) that anyone taking a bite at them in their own turf would be in for a very rocky road of their own. That's not an opinion I'm in a position to evaluate, of course, but it was strongly held. I do suspect that one reason the Chinese will likely avoid large-scale confrontation is that they have a fair array of opposition, much of it well equipped and capable. The Japanese and the Koreans are not pushovers, and any move aimed at conquest would be anything but easy.

Seems to me all this talk of aggression and appeasement is somewhat inconsistent with what's actually happening on the water, and in any event I don't see what practical alternative course of action really exists beyond more of what's already being done, as reviewed above. I've yet to hear any persuasive argument for threats, bluster, and ultimatums, nor do I see what they're meant to accomplish.
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Old 08-21-2012   #3
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Of course they don't. FONOPS are simply a declaration that the US cares as little about China's declaration of sovereignty as China cares about UNCLOS. A gesture, of course, but most of what goes on in the SCS is composed of gestures of one sort or another. I've yet to see any very credible suggestions for what the US - or anyone else - could or should do that isn't already being done.
The pot is boiling.

It is still to boil over to see the effects.

Japan has also jumped into the fray.

And Japan is no pushover!
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Old 08-21-2012   #4
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I'd say the pot's simmering, rather than boiling. The Japanese are certainly not pushovers, but of course from the standpoint of Chinese domestic politics standing up to the Japanese carries a lot of flag-waving nationalist points that the Chinese government will be eager to score. They will not want that to boil, though, let alone boil over, so I'd expect them to keep just enough heat on to generate a simmer without ever pushing too near the boiling point.
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Old 09-05-2012   #5
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China, japan, and the islands...

One version:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-...sputed-islands

Quote:
The Japanese government has agreed to buy several privately owned islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China, media reports said Wednesday.

The government has agreed to buy three of the five main islands, called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, from the Kurihara family for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million), Kyodo News agency and the Yomiuri and Asahi newspapers reported, citing anonymous sources....

...While the move would clearly anger China, media reports said that the purchase is intended more as a means of squelching Ishihara's more inflammatory proposal, which includes development plans. The islands are near key sea lanes and surrounded by rich fishing grounds and untapped natural resources.

No development would take place under the national plan, the reports said.
A Chinese version:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion...t_15735941.htm
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Old 09-11-2012   #6
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More on the above...

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/0...8KB3S620120911

Quote:
Japan brushed off stern warnings by China and bought a group of islands on Tuesday that both claim, in a growing dispute that threatens to deepen strains between Asia's two biggest economies.

Chinese official media said Beijing had sent two patrol ships to waters surrounding the islands to reassert its claim and accused Japan of "playing with fire" over the long-simmering row. The army warned that further, unspecified steps could follow.
I would not expect the Japanese to back down, or to be intimidated.
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Old 09-11-2012   #7
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Living in interesting times.

Quote:
BEIJING (AP) — A territorial flare-up between China and Japan intensified Tuesday as two Beijing-sent patrol ships arrived near disputed East China Sea islands in a show of anger over Tokyo's purchase of the largely barren outcroppings from their private owners.

The China Marine Surveillance has drawn up a plan to safeguard China's sovereignty of the islands and the ships were sent to assert those claims, said the Chinese government's official news agency, Xinhua. The marine agency is a paramilitary force whose ships are often lightly armed.
http://news.yahoo.com/china-sends-pa...051725925.html
Quote:

RUSSKY ISLAND, Vladivostok – Singapore is fully behind the Philippines in its claim over the Spratly islands that is being contested by economic and military giant China and four other neighboring countries, a top Philippine diplomat said here yesterday.
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx...bCategoryId=63

Quote:
On Aug. 31, National Security Council Secretary-General Hu Wei-chen visited the island with a group of senior government officials to assert Taiwan's territorial claim, but he did not comment on whether the government will redeploy marines there.

Coast Guard Administration (CGA) personnel have been responsible for defending Taiping, one of the Spratly Islands, since 2000, after the government decided to withdraw marines stationed on the island to reduce tensions in the region.
http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNe...D=201209050019
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Old 09-11-2012   #8
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Wow, I'm surprised the Chinese are becoming so assertive over the Senkaku/Diaoyutai spate. Panetta made it pretty clear that US security guarantees to Japan extend to the disputed islets by offering UAV overflights. Between this and Xi snubbing Hillary I'm starting to worry the weakening Chinese economy and pending leadership transition may be pushing the CCP off the deep-end.
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Old 09-11-2012   #9
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Re this item:

Quote:
RUSSKY ISLAND, Vladivostok – Singapore is fully behind the Philippines in its claim over the Spratly islands that is being contested by economic and military giant China and four other neighboring countries, a top Philippine diplomat said here yesterday.
Singapore has specifically denied this:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09...rt-sea-dispute
Quote:
The MFA spokesman clarified it does not take sides in the dispute. “We have seen the reports in question. You all know how free the Filipino media is; they can even be very free with the facts. There has been no change to Singapore's position.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cuyahoga Kid View Post
Wow, I'm surprised the Chinese are becoming so assertive over the Senkaku/Diaoyutai spate. Panetta made it pretty clear that US security guarantees to Japan extend to the disputed islets by offering UAV overflights. Between this and Xi snubbing Hillary I'm starting to worry the weakening Chinese economy and pending leadership transition may be pushing the CCP off the deep-end.
The Japanese have also been fairly assertive, notably with the recent decision to purchase the islands from private owners despite Chinese warnings that the move would be ill received. US security guarantees are in no way the only issue for China in the area: Japan is not the Philippines or Vietnam, and I'd be very surprised to see China push anywhere near the shooting point, though of course they'll feel obliged to put on a show of defiance. I don't think the Chinese would be at all interested in provoking a shooting incident at sea with the Japanese.
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Old 09-13-2012   #10
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China must teach Japan a lesson, says Chinese daily


Quote:
A strongly worded editorial - "Discard illusion of friendly ties with Japan" - in Global Times said that Sino-Japanese relations suffered a serious blow on Tuesday when the Japanese government signed a deal to purchase the Diaoyu Islands with the self-proclaimed "owner".

"The friendly ties between the two countries established in the 1970s collapsed completely," it said.

The daily added: "Chinese anger of over a century toward Japan was awakened Tuesday, and will in turn affect Japanese feelings toward China. It appears inevitable the two sides will be overwhelmed by hatred again now that more conflicts can be expected. China needs to be prepared for further deterioration of bilateral ties. For Beijing, the future priority isn't to maintain stable ties, but to protect its core interests as Sino-Japanese relations sour."

The editorial said that though China was committed to building friendly ties with neighbours, the Diaoyu issue has turned China and Japan into opponents.

"China isn't used to having an adversary close by.

"...Japan inflicted painful atrocities against China in the past. It is now more developed than China, but is in decline. The balance of national power is shifting between the two. With such a close opponent, China can be spurred to action," it said.

The daily noted that Japan depends on the Chinese market more than China does on the Japanese market......

"But its behaviour toward the US and Russia demonstrates its inferiority toward strong countries. China cannot repeat what the US and Russia did to Japan. But a lesson is necessary to dispel its contempt toward China..."....

"Keeping friendly neighbouring ties is a good policy. But it cannot be achieved through one-sided begging and compromising."
http://m.timesofindia.com/world/chin...w/16363360.cms

Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-13-2012 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Citation in quotes
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Old 09-13-2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
China must teach Japan a lesson, says Chinese daily
There's a lot of verbal spear-shaking and saber-rattling going on, but the response on the water has been pretty restrained. The PLAN has kept well away. A couple of CMS ships have been sailing around, but the Japanese Coast Guard has ignored them.

"Teach Japan a lesson" is easy to say but doing it could be complicated. In a full scale war China might prevail due to attrition, but war is an unpredictable business and a full scale war could have all kinds of very negative ramifications for China. I doubt very much that the Chinese would want to try to initiate a naval skirmish or other limited conflict in order to "teach Japan a lesson". The Japanese may call their navy a Maritime Self Defense Force but it is in fact one of the most modern and capable navies on the planet within its range of influence, and the Chinese could easily come off second best, which would be politically excruciating. Japan is a poor candidate for bullying, and going out to teach a lesson and coming back with a black eye and a bloody nose is not the message anyone wants to send to the domestic audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
I suspect that mostly China wants respect.
I don't know that it's possible to say what "China" as a unitary entity "wants". Certainly there's a widespread desire to be recognized as a big player, and on some levels a widespread desire to show some muscle and slap someone around. I don't think China's leaders care as much about "respect" from abroad as they do with maintaining just enough jingoist spirit to keep the public eye away from domestic sources of friction. Nationalism and pride are useful things for a government, especially when the populace has good reasons for discontent.

Of course the Chinese leadership has to walk a thin line. They want to keep that pride and that nationalist spirit going, but they also have to consider that actually getting involved in conflict would not necessarily be a good thing for them. There's certainly some in China who would like to have a "splendid little war" to confirm China's arrival in the global circle of great powers, but keeping wars splendid and little is not always assured. Taking a bite at Japan or Vietnam would be risky: either could bite back, and a fight with a less than victorious outcome would be a political disaster. The Philippines would be easy, but there remains the matter of that treaty with the US. I think the Chinese could probably contrive an incident, sink the Philippine Navy and get away with it without the US actually doing any shooting, but "probably" carries some risk as well.

We shall see. So far the preferred approach seems to be to talk aggressively but studiously avoid armed confrontation, doing the pushing and shoving with the unarmed CMS as the proxy for the PLAN. I don't think there's any plan to escalate beyond that, though of course what's planned and what happens ain't always the same...
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Old 09-21-2012   #12
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...which are getting even more interesting

Quote:
Alaska’s fleet of F-22 fighter jets and their elite pilots have been deployed to an airbase in the Pacific U.S. territory of Guam, according to officials at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The deployment has been planned for some time, but happens to coincide with a period of escalating tension in the Pacific Theater, as Japan and China dispute who has the rights to a set of uninhabited, resource-rich islands.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...en-china-japan
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Old 09-25-2012   #13
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China and Japan sailing ships around the disputed islands and issuing protests. Meanwhile, 100 Taiwanese ships escorted by 10 Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels are moving in to assert Taiwan's claim:

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/japan-prote...090542527.html

Water cannon battle between Japanese and Taiwanese ships:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukp...1348572069352A

The party looks set to end fairly soon, though, as a Category 5 supertyphoon is headed straight for the area:

http://www.maybagyo.com/t2kgraphsat.gif
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Old 10-01-2012   #14
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Quote:
Massive U.S. Fleet Nears Disputed Islands



It’s probably just a coincidence; no need to worry yet. But the U.S. has quietly assembled a powerful air, land and sea armada not far from where Japan and China are squaring off over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Two Navy aircraft carrier battle groups and a Marine Corps air-ground task force have begun operating in the Western Pacific, within easy reach of the Senkaku Islands. That’s where Japanese and Chinese patrol boats are engaged in an increasingly tense standoff....

Navy officials confirmed Sunday that the USS George Washington carrier strike group has begun operating in the East China Sea, near the disputed islands. The USS John C. Stennis group is only slightly further away in the South China Sea. Each carrier is armed with more than 80 warplanes, and strike groups typically include guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, submarines and supply ships.

In the nearby Philippine Sea, some 2,200 Marines are embarked aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard and two escorts. The Marines are equipped with amphibious assault vehicles, light armored vehicles, artillery, helicopters and Harrier fighter jets.....

While the big U.S. fleet might have been intended as a warning to China not to escalate the islands dispute, it may have been intended to focus Japan’s attention, as well.
http://nation.time.com/2012/09/30/bi...-but-what-for/
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Old 10-01-2012   #15
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Default Sino-Japanese dispute

The latest IISS Strategic Comment ended with this;
Quote:
Both sides are reluctant to contemplate anything that might amount to a loss of sovereignty, and both have a keen interest in the possible resources underneath the sea. The continued use of maritime paramilitaries for diplomatic means rather than more muscular military assets suggests that conflict remains a distant possibility. Nonetheless, periodic paroxysms of protest and friction are likely to continue to characterise the Sino-Japanese relationship, with the islands acting as a trigger.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...nese-tensions/
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Old 10-01-2012   #16
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Default Islands in dispute in the East China Sea

There are a number of posts on this historical dispute between China (PRC), Taiwan and Japan over several small islands in the East China Sea, which are in different places - 'China's Emergence as a Superpower' and 'South China Sea and China' - so I have created this new thread.
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Old 10-01-2012   #17
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Quote:
Massive U.S. Fleet Nears Disputed Islands
That sounds terribly melodramatic until you read the article:

Quote:
The George Washington battle group and the Marine task force, both based in Japan, were scheduled to conduct separate but overlapping exercises in the Guam region well before the Senkaku dispute heated up. Guam and nearby Tinian Island have been tabbed as a hub for the “re-balancing” of U.S. forces in the region — a hedge against China’s growing military power and ambitions in the region.

The Stennis is being sent from its homeport in Washington state to the Persian Gulf, four months ahead of schedule in response to the escalating crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. The Guam exercises allowed the Stennis to grab a few days of extra training with the George Washington group en route.
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Old 10-02-2012   #18
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One must never forget that the US believes in - Speak softly, but carry a big stick.

Nothing melodramatic.

Merely pragmatic!

They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven.
New Living Translation Hebrews 8:5

Last edited by Ray; 10-02-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012   #19
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Sailing ships around the Pacific during a crisis doesn't necessarily mean the US is waving a big stick in response to that crisis. The US sails ships around the Pacific pretty much all the time, it's only noticed when there's a crisis going on.
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Old 10-02-2012   #20
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I wonder if you understand the nuance in the military term 'threat in being'.

Indeed the US Navy roams the Pacific, but I wonder if they do it for pleasure as Aristotle Socrates Onassis.
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