Take a look at this feedback loop in both China and Japan. Both countries are in the process of electing new leaders. China’s Xi Jinping may have to heed military hot heads who are an important part of his power base. Also, public opinion in China is for tougher action toward Japan.
New Japanese leaders leading in the polls are advocating a much tougher stance toward China.
Both sides of this conflict will be moving in the direction of escalation once the change in leadership is complete. At this point it doesn’t look like it will take a lot of escalation for a conflict between China and Japan to move into war.
Protests Expose China, Japan Weaknesses – WSJ.com
The flare-up between China and Japan over a small group of islands has exposed vulnerabilities in the governments of both nations that make diplomatic compromises difficult despite their deep economic ties.
The protests also threaten to raise the stakes for China’s next generation of leaders, including Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to succeed outgoing President Hu Jintao. In addition to pleasing their own political power bases, leaders like Mr. Xi increasingly have to consider how to handle raucous and increasingly vocal nationalist constituencies.Sponsored Ads
In Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda—the sixth person to hold that title in six years—faces potential defeat by the end of the year in a general election campaign shaped by an increasingly assertive nationalist movement. Public opinion surveys show Mr. Noda’s ruling party is all but certain to get squeezed, possibly coming in third behind two rival parties led by politicians advocating a much tougher stance with China.
Xi Jinping May Have to Heed Military Hot Heads [Who are Threatening War] | Epoch Times
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) next leader may have to acquiesce to hawkish generals in the military in order to consolidate his rule, according to a senior China analyst.
Willy Lam, who has written about CCP elite politics for several decades, characterized the prospect as “a worry” at a conference on China security and defense issues on Feb. 16.
Xi Jinping, who is completing a four-day tour of the United States, is expected to take the helm of the regime in fall of this year.
But, according to Lam, “Xi Jinping’s major power base is not in the Party, not in the government, but in the PLA,” or the People’s Liberation Army.