Tag Archives: beijing

If China and Japan Went to War: What Would America do? | The National Interest Blog

Picture it: It’s March 1, 2015. Tokyo and Beijing are headed towards what was once the unthinkable.

Over the last several months China has instituted daily non-naval maritime patrols around the hotly disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Beijing is even sending fully-fledged naval assets within the islands’ 12 mile exclusion zone while its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, exercised only 50 miles away from the islands back in February — truly the end of Beijing’s small-stick diplomatic strategy.

But on 1 March the plot thickens. Two Chinese SU-27 fighters come within 25 feet of a Japanese P-3 Orion surveillance plane just 10 miles west of the Senkakus (sound familiar?). The Japanese pilot gets nervous. A slight tweak at the controls and the Japanese plane collides with one of the Chinese fighters. Both aircraft crash into the ocean, with no survivors.

If China and Japan Went to War: What Would America do? | The National Interest Blog

Any one scenario is not that likely, but the possibility there exists at least one escalation scenario is not insignificant. The fact that we are even reading this type of article should give you reason to pause. People are worried about a China-Japan war that will escalate and drag in the US. And each passing day seems to make things a little worse.

The Asian powderkeg could blow the world back into a 1914-style disaster | City A.M.

For many analysts, last week’s most recent dust-up – this time between Beijing and Vietnam in the South China Sea – is simply more of the same. A flotilla of Chinese ships have been ramming into and firing water cannon at Vietnamese government vessels trying to stop Beijing from constructing an oil rig 140 miles off the Vietnamese coast. Yes, the Chinese are playing hardball and it’s not very nice, say the gormless analytical descendants of 1914. But after all, Beijing wouldn’t jeopardise the present world order, particularly as they are doing so well by it.

Much the same was said after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, that a rising Germany surely wouldn’t risk its improving global standing over an unpleasant – but seemingly peripheral – incident. But if history teaches us anything, it is that states and especially statesmen do not always act in their best interests. 1914 reminds us that sometimes mini-crises ignite powder kegs beneath them.

Perhaps most hauntingly, the outline of the present order in Asia that surrounds these events resembles nothing so much as the supposedly “unsinkable” pre-1914 world. Barack Obama’s America is Edwardian Britain incarnate. For their time, both were easily the most powerful country in the world, while both being in relative decline. Alone among the great powers, Britain and America were omnipresent – both economically and in terms of their first-class navies – while not being omnipotent. Nothing could be done without them, but they alone did not possess enough power to guarantee the global international order on their own.

The Asian powderkeg could blow the world back into a 1914-style disaster | City A.M.

Beijing’s South China Sea strategies: consolidation and provocation | East Asia Forum

Instead, China is seeking to avoid international law altogether by strengthening effective control and changing the status quo little by little. Eventually Beijing expects that fellow claimants will be forced to accept the reality of Chinese control. Until then, the international community’s railing against the illegality of China’s claims will have little effect. As long as Beijing refuses arbitration, avoids international courts, and refrains from outright aggression, it assumes it will win the long game.

But the region is waking up to this danger. Malaysia in recent weeks seems to be aligning more closely with its fellow claimants. Vietnam continues to vocally oppose each new Chinese provocation. And most importantly, the Philippines has brought an arbitration case that could embolden its neighbours and pull back the curtain on Beijing’s policy of skirting the law while changing facts on the ground.

Beijing’s South China Sea strategies: consolidation and provocation | East Asia Forum

Taiwan Watching Crimea with Nervous Eye Toward Beijing

Days ahead of a referendum that could result in the loss of the southern territory of Crimea to Russia, Taiwan, which like Ukraine lives in the shadow of a great power, is watching closely to see whether Moscow’s gambit could embolden Beijing to adopt similar strategies toward the island democracy.

While Crimea serves as an imperfect analogy for Taiwan’s situation, there are enough parallels to warrant an exploration of the current crisis and its denouement to determine if they can possibly create a precedent for Chinese behavior. Key to this effort is the fact that both Moscow and Beijing have notions of the “Near Abroad”—that is, territories that, while foreign and sovereign, their governments regard as fair game.

Taiwan Watching Crimea with Nervous Eye Toward Beijing

1914 and Today: Will Beijing repeat the errors that led to war in 1914?

Beijing, in its dispute with Japan, risks repeating the errors of an earlier era that led to war

Will we sustain an open global economy while also managing tensions between a rising autocracy and democracies in relative economic decline? That was the question posed by the arrival of imperial Germany as Europe’s leading economic and military power in the late 19th century. It is the question posed today by the rise of communist China. Now, as then, mistrust is high and rising. Now, as then, actions of the rising power raise risks of conflict. We know how this story ended in 1914. How will the new one end, a century later?

China must not copy the Kaiser’s errors – FT.com

China has thrown down a gauntlet to America – FT.com

Beijing has turned control of the air space around the Senkaku Islands into a test of the US

At first glance, Beijing’s designation of an air defence zone in the East China Sea marks a calibrated escalation of its longstanding dispute with Japan about sovereignty of the Senkaku or, in Chinese, Diaoyu islands. A more worrying, and plausible, interpretation is that Beijing has decided to square up to the US in the western Pacific. East Asia is looking an ever more dangerous place.

China has thrown down a gauntlet to America – FT.com

Tens of Thousands Petition During the Third Plenum – The Epoch Times

I spent hours observing them. There was an endless flow of crowds. Judging from this, there could be over 50,000 petitioners a day.

A multitude of hopeless petitioners in China are in Beijing now, not because they actually think their grievance claims will be heard, but during the Chinese Communist Party’s Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee, they hope at least, to get noticed. The sheer volume of people lining up is hard to ignore.

On Nov. 11, tens of thousands of petitioners swarmed in to register complaints at the three main petitioning bureaus in Beijing (the State Letters and Complaints Bureau, the Letters and Visits Bureau of the National People’s Congress, and the Central Discipline Inspection Commission Complaints Bureau), waiting in lines stretching along the roads.

In addition, there were more than one thousand petitioners gathered in front of the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing. Armed policemen and vehicles were on high alert.

Tens of Thousands Petition During the Third Plenum – The Epoch Times

The Battle for the Senkakus Moves to the Skies | Flashpoints | The Diplomat

Tensions have, of course, been running high between Beijing and Tokyo since the latter purchased three of the five islands in late summer 2012, and Beijing responding by increasing its maritime patrols of the waters around the Senkaku/Diaoyus. These recent exchanges in the skies should not, however, be taken as business as usual: the fact that the conflict is now airborne raises the potential for escalation beyond its already-uncomfortably-high levels. 

There are at least two reasons why these aerial activities, and drones in particular, may present new challenges in the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute.

The Battle for the Senkakus Moves to the Skies | Flashpoints | The Diplomat

Will the United States and China get along?

If the best hope for good US-China relations is a highly restrained grand strategy by Beijing, and this type of strategy by Beijing would be historically unprecedented, then we are in trouble. Indeed, there is quite a bit of evidence that China seeks to be regional great power suggesting that the US and China will not get along.

Historically, if a rising power comes into conflict with a hegemonic power, then the chance of war is very high.

The paramount question looming over twenty-first century international politics is: will the United States and China get along?

The best hope for amicable U.S.-China relations rests on Beijing adopting a highly restrained grand strategy, but it would be historically unprecedented if it did so. …

Indeed, a look at China’s national-security policy—its pursuit of antiaccess capabilities, its territorial claims, and discussions of claims to “second island chains”—suggests that it is (at a minimum) aspiring to be a regional great power. The remaining questions are the extent to which Beijing will confine its ambitions to East Asia (as opposed to pursuing a global strategy), and the extent to which it will tolerate U.S. global leadership or seek to undermine U.S. influence.

Commentary: The Sources of the Sino-American Spiral | The National Interest

India tests nuclear capable missile with range as far as Beijing – The Express Tribune

India successfully test-fired for a second time a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent.

“The test was successful,” said Ravi Kumar Gupta, spokesman for the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). “It hit the target in a predefined trajectory. It met all the mission objectives”

A video distributed by the DRDO showed the Agni-V rocket blasting off from a forest clearing on an island off India’s east coast state of Odisha.

India is trying to keep up with China’s growing military strength and wants to have a viable deterrent against its larger nuclear-armed neighbor.

India tests nuclear capable missile with range as far as Beijing – The Express Tribune