War clouds are gathering in the East China Sea as the Beijing government as sent a none-too-veiled threat to Tokyo over the now-disputed international airspace, as well as airspace over sovereign Japanese soil at the very south of the East Asian nation, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon on Dec. 3, 2013.
The communist super-power has decided to flex its muscles by claiming hundreds of square miles of international airspace at the geographic juncture of southern Japan, northern Taiwan and eastern China. To complicate matters, a sizable chunk of the disputed area also happens to be over the Japan’s uninhabited but reportedly resource rich Senkaku Islands and surrounding waters.
A New Sino-Japanese War…?
China announced late last month that their new claim on the additional airspace is “a necessary measure in China’s exercise of self-defense rights.”
In what the Chinese have labeled the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone), the nation’s Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yangsheng accused Japan of “making trouble” as well as warning that Chinese warplanes would enforce the newly imposed claim.
As quoted in the Communist government’s official propaganda organ, the Xinhua News Agency, Geng charges the Japanese have taken actions that “have seriously harmed China’s legitimate rights and security interests, and undermined the peace and stability in East Asia. China has to take necessary reactions.”
In a separate announcement published by Xinhua, Beijing’s Defense Ministry warned that a military option is very much on the table:
China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions.
The Chinese Minister also cited what he considers Japan’s aggressive acts in the recent rise in tensions:
- Japan’s frequent deployment warships and aircraft to areas near the disputed islands.
- Tokyo’s threats to shoot down Chinese drones that enter Japanese airspace.
- A general “escalation of regional tensions.”
China Warns Obama to Fall in Line…
As The Washington Free Beacon further noted, Geng warned that “other countries” have the responsibility to “correct wrong remarks and wrongdoings” of the Japanese. Leaving little doubt who the target of the thinly veiled remarks were aimed at, Geng “insisting that China adheres to peaceful development and defensive policies,” but added:
Other parties should not be incited, or send wrong signals to make a very few countries go further on the wrong track, which will follow the same old disastrous road and undermine regional and world peace.
Republicans Hammer Obama’s Weak-Kneed Response..
Back in the States, the ranking GOP Senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee James Inhofe (R-OK) blamed the Obama Administration for “the latest tensions highlight the administration’s ‘confusing and inconsistent messages’ to Japan, a key ally.”
The Free Beacon writes that “the administration for months before China’s imposition of the air zone had said it was neutral in maritime disputes. It then belatedly backed Japan, invoking defense commitments under the U.S.-Japan defense treaty.”
In a statement to the Free Beacon, the Sooner Senator was quoted as saying:
In an obvious attempt to placate China, the United States is sacrificing the assurance to our allies in the region that we are a reliable and steadfast security partner.
Inhofe couldn’t help but note that 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty:
The belated invocation of our treaty obligation clearly falls well short of an appropriate response to this latest provocation by China that would be consistent with the spirit and intent of the treaty.
Unfortunately, this follows a pattern of fumbled reactions by the Obama administration in other regions of the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.”
A Marine by Any Other Name…
Constrained by the provision in their constitution to have forces only for self-defense, the Japanese government’s 2014 budget allocates funds for their own version of our Marine Corps.
With a 700 man nucleus, the amphibious branch of the Japanese Self-Defense Force is seen to expand to 3,000 warrior elite in time.
The 2014 Ministry of Defense budget states the new “Amphibious Preparatory Unit” has as one of its primary missions the re-capture of seized Japanese “remote islets” by Marines:
The amphibious force will be set up as early as fiscal 2015 to bolster the nation’s defensive capabilities for the Nansei Island chain, which includes the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.