Wednesday, November 27, 2013

China's Dangerous Game

Over the past month the People's Republic of China have been engaged in a war of words with neighboring Japan over the long disputed Sankaku Islands in the East China Sea. As the saber rattling between the two nations escalated, the PRC declared a "Air Defense Identification Zone" which over lapped into Japan's existing Air Defense Identification Zone which includes the small group of tiny uninhabited Islets claimed by both nations. As part of our security alliance with Japan, the United States has chosen not to recognize the new PRC zone over the Senkakus.

In a move that was meant to demonstrate where the USA stands on the issue, two USAF B-52's were dispatched to enter China's declared zone and deliberately fly over the disputed resource rich islands. This of course does not sit well with Beijing's Defense Ministry. While unarmed, the B-52's flying from their base in Guam has sent a clear message to the PRC that the United States stands by it's ally Japan. This has been met with a formal complaint from Beijing calling the move both unjustified and irresponsible effectively telling us to but out and not take side with Japan.

Japan and the People's Republic of China normalized relations in 1978 but up until now Beijing has turned a blind eye to Japanese administration which dates back to 14 January 1895 during the Meiji era. It is possible that the recent speculation of potential oil resources may be the real motivation for the dispute. In any case, no one is anticipating an out break of war between China and Japan. However with the PRC moving it's one aircraft carrier into the region and with continual escalation of tensions between the two nations, incidents can happen. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the naval forces of the PRC continue to come within close proximity of each other with each nation scrambling fighter jets with each further escalation. We at American Mishima hope for the sake of all nations that a peaceful solution can be found.

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