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The passage of the collective self defense bills– enabling Japanese participation in military activities beyond its home territory under restrictions that appear to be rather elastic

In case Japan faces “a survival-threatening situation,” in which the United States and other countries that have close ties with the nation come under an armed attack by a third country and that poses a threat to the existence of Japan and the livelihoods of Japanese people, Japan now can use minimum necessary force.

–had a feeling of inevitability to me.

They give more freedom of movement to the Japanese government in its security policy, more leverage in its foreign relations, and more gravy to the corporate sector. These are opportunities that most modern governments, especially a right-wing government like Abe’s, would be eager to exploit.

And I think it’s accurate to describe them as a “normalization” of Japan’s international status, especially if “the norm” is understood to be a downgrade from the Japan’s previous condition, in other words a decline from the idealistic, pacifist aspirations of Japan’s US-imposed constitution to ordinary government-business-and-media driven war-grubbing.

The Japanese people as a whole appear to be more at home with these aspirations—which they grew up with—than the Abe ambition to restore Japan as a regional security player despite the risk it poses to Japanese lives, treasure, and honor.

Abe had to abandon his plans to revise the constitution to make “collective self defense” legal, and ignore the fact that an overwhelming majority of constitutional lawyers regarded his Plan B—“reinterpretation” of Article 9—as BS. Then he had to turn his back on massive demonstration against the bills to push them through the legislature.

It was ugly. And Japan’s somewhat less special now.

The temptation is to blame rising, scary China and the PRC’s messing with the Senkakus.

However, Abe’s been pushing an anti-PRC containment “diamond” ever since his first administration in 2007, when the PRC was not yet officially “scary”.

Abe has always wanted his “normalized” “remilitarized” “no more apologies” Japan and he got it…with an assist from the United States.

The United States under President Obama decided to take the plunge and openly commit to a China containment strategy keystoned on Japanese participation.

Even as many Asian nations—not just the PRC—expressed ambivalence over the re-emergence of Japan as a potential regional military force—US strategists have enthusiastically promoted the process, doing their best to dismiss popular opposition, the violence done to the constitution, and to the grotesquely counterproductive effort to force the Futenma base plan down the throats of the Okinawans.

The feeling, I suppose, is that all this shall pass—or can be managed—and we’ll have a capable, willing ally ready to help us execute our China strategy and toeing the US line thanks to the restraints imposed by the constitution and the security legislation.

US Asian-natsec strategists are, I believe, delusional.

I predict we’re not going to get Japan as our “UK in the Pacific” i.e. a slavishly obedient ally that has decided, as a fundamental national principle, to join itself to the hip to the United States in security policy.

We’re going to get something more like our “Israel in the Pacific”, an occasional, contentious, and conditional partner advancing its own agenda, an agenda that may well turn out to be more reckless and confrontational than it would be otherwise thanks to the moral hazard of strong US backing.

A while back I wrote in Asia Times Online:

Japan, the linchpin of the US pivot strategy — and a source of orgasmic pleasure to US China hawks when it revised its defense guidelines to permit joint military operations in East Asia with the United States — already plays its own hand in Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar, as well as the Philippines.

Historically inclined readers might note 1) these are all countries that Japan invaded and/or occupied as a matter of national interest in World War II and 2) Japan is run by the spiritual heirs—or in the case of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the direct heirs — of people who ran Japan back then and implemented that policy until the United States defeated them.

When you anoint Japan as a theater-wide anti-PRC military ally, you’re not getting the same ally you had when Japan’s main job was hosting US bases and poking around in its own territorial waters and airspace.

And the ability of the United States to “manage” Japan and “lead” Asia is on a downward trajectory:

[T]he pivot to Asia is, in my mind, fundamentally flawed because it is built upon the premise of US leadership in Asian security, and ‘US leadership’ looks to be a wasting asset.

It’s not just the PRC. Everybody’s getting bigger, and the US’s relative share is shrinking.

PricewaterhouseCoopers took the IMF’s 2014 GDP numbers and worked the spreadsheet magic using projected growth rates.

In 2050, here’s how they see the GDP horserace playing out, in trillions: China 61; India 42; USA 41; Indonesia 12; Brazil 9; Mexico 8; Japan 7.9; Russia 7.5; Nigeria 7.3 and Germany 6.3. Poodlicious Euro-allies UK, Italy, and France will be out of the top ten in 2050. Australia drops from 19th place to 28th.

Put it another way, the US will have 14 percent of the world’s GDP and Asia, the region we’re purporting to lead, will have 50 percent.

America’s Pacific Century…is not going to be pushing around overmatched, grateful, and anxious allies like the UK, Poland, and Germany while trampling on small borderline failed states in the Middle East. It’s going to be contending with half a dozen rising Asian nations, all with experiences of empire and aspirations to at least local hegemony…and on top of them, there’s China.

I think Asia is robust enough to accommodate and restrain the ambitions of the PRC…and resist US attempts to “lead” it.

Ditto for Japan.

I wouldn’t be surprised if historians look back at the passage of the Japanese security bills and regard them as a milestone in the decline of American influence in Asia…one that was eagerly and shortsightedly celebrated by US strategists at the time.

Maybe we’ll be saying September 19, 2015 didn’t just mark the end of Japanese pacifism. We’ll say that the sun began to set on America’s Pacific Century…before it even had a chance to rise.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Japan 
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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    “I think Asia is robust enough to accommodate and restrain the ambitions of the PRC…and resist US attempts to ‘lead’ it.”

    But you Chinee and you no care about small Asian nation. You for Chinee power.

    If Chinee no act so big in Asia, dinky Asian nation not get so alarm. There no be ‘chinky’ vs dinky.

    • Replies: @Rdm
    , @Anonymous
    , @Fran Macadam
  2. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The bright side is that future Japanese governments can use the bills as a rationale to close the US military bases which blight Japan.

  3. Rdm says:
    @Priss Factor

    The supreme Uncle Broke never cares about small nations. The only small nation it cares is Israel, thanks to Jews lobbyists to cater to the needs of their Zionists.

  4. Rdm says:

    I wouldn’t worry about Japan ratification of their newly minted bill into law.

    All China needs to do is just show some respect to their Chinese diaspora and all Chinese 华人 will support their homeland. There are millions of Chinese diaspora in South East Asia. No matter how much Japan has changed over 50 years, those in 60 years old still can remember the atrocity of Japanese troops. They never forget.

    The only regret they have is Chinese government from China never take initiative to respect their diaspora. When China was very poor, those diaspora used to send money back to their homeland to support their family. Now with China rising, a huge thanks to the US FDI, mainland Chinese have no respect, no manners, they even think it’s because they are smart.

    So far, Chinese from mainland China still need to work on their parts. Their attitude, their manners, their social skills, all suck to death.

  5. Japan has a right to arm it self. If there is a war, china has a right to do the same thing japan did during WWII.

    It is just war. It is how it is.

    “PricewaterhouseCoopers took the IMF’s 2014 GDP numbers and worked the spreadsheet magic using projected growth rates.

    In 2050, here’s how they see the GDP horserace playing out, in trillions: China 61; India 42; USA 41; Indonesia 12; Brazil 9; Mexico 8; Japan 7.9; Russia 7.5; Nigeria 7.3 and Germany 6.3. Poodlicious Euro-allies UK, Italy, and France will be out of the top ten in 2050. Australia drops from 19th place to 28th.

    Put it another way, the US will have 14 percent of the world’s GDP and Asia, the region we’re purporting to lead, will have 50 percent.

    America’s Pacific Century…is not going to be pushing around overmatched, grateful, and anxious allies like the UK, Poland, and Germany while trampling on small borderline failed states in the Middle East. It’s going to be contending with half a dozen rising Asian nations, all with experiences of empire and aspirations to at least local hegemony…and on top of them, there’s China.”

    Wow, this was fucking golden.

  6. Old fogey says:

    Am I the only one who remembers Pearl Harbor and the horrors of the war in the Pacific? I’m a dyed-in-the-wool isolationist but I have always been willing to have my tax dollars used to ensure that Japan and Germany would not be militarily strong ever again.

    • Replies: @Flower
  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Was that supposed to be funny? Or make a point? Because it did neither.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  8. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website

    The temptation is to blame rising, scary China and the PRC’s messing with the Senkakus.

    However, Abe’s been pushing an anti-PRC containment “diamond” ever since his first administration in 2007, when the PRC was not yet officially “scary”.

    Anyone with frontal lobes could see even earlier than 2007 that China would grow into a threat. Dating Abe’s push proves nothing, when in fact it could have been in anticipation of this easily predicted fact.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if historians look back at the passage of the Japanese security bills and regard them as a milestone in the decline of American influence in Asia…one that was eagerly and shortsightedly celebrated by US strategists at the time.

    No. Historians will look back on Nixon’s opening to China — and the eventual trade agreements that resulted — as the beginning of China’s rise and America’s fall.

    The United States capitalized and facilitated China’s growth into a superpower. Now the US is unleashing a competing tribe to offset that mistake. This arming and allying with competing tribes is something Americans have done since they arrived in America itself.

    • Agree: Linh Dinh
  9. Kiza says:

    “We’re going to get something more like our “Israel in the Pacific”, an occasional, contentious, and conditional partner advancing its own agenda, an agenda that may well turn out to be more reckless and confrontational than it would be otherwise thanks to the moral hazard of strong US backing.”

    This sentence is the summary of this whole article. But, when Peter concludes: “the sun began to set on America’s Pacific Century” he is jumping a bit far into the future. Because, the outcome in which the US has reduced influence in the Pacific and this vacuum filled by Japan and PRC is the medium-term future (20-30 years). Before this, Japan and US will do a lot of mischief together in the Pacific.

    Can’t you see a similarity in the US and Japan’s economic-decline-turn-to-military? Japan sees the solution for its economic woes not in restructuring its industry, then in producing armaments and exporting military influence to throttle China’s ascendance. That is, by definition, a nation in decline.

  10. 5371 says:

    Herbivorous, waifu-besotted Japanese youth doesn’t seem like very promising cannon fodder for Abe’s would-be Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    • Agree: Epaminondas
  11. Sherman says:

    PriceWaterhouseCooper’s projections about the world economy in 2050 are nonsense. These projections are based on extrapolating past economic growth rates and assuming these rates will continue indefinitely.

    China’s growth rates have been spectacular because they started from such a low base. These growth rates are unsustainable and the Chinese economy is already rapidly slowing down.

    Japan’s economy is also anemic and Japan faces many economic challenges in the coming decades.

    The U.S. will continue to remain the world’s major economic power for years to come.

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  12. As someone else noted, it’s going to be difficult to revive a warrior culture among the Japanese.

  13. George123 says:

    Its really tragic. China is making everyone else aggressive in order go deal with them and thus ruining the region as a whole.

    All it takes is one bad actor to spoil the whole region.

    And to think china ws once exceptional mong great civilizations in its wise pacificism and mature indifference to petty natiolust ambitions.

    Now china is just one more adolescent, somewhat less mature than the others. Its scary how easily a wise old country can be knocked back into adolescence.

    Of course chinas current bumptiousness is a ripple effect from western and japanese aggression in the 19th century. Back then eurooe and japan were the bad actors spoiling the system.

    And so the cycle goes on. Just as europe becomes buddhist, china becomes natiobalistic and militaristic.

  14. Flower says:
    @Old fogey

    Yes, your memories of Pearl are a rapidly dwindling (but necessary and valuable) resource. However, over Pearl Harbor, I would ask if anyone remembers the results of the “Greater Southeast Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”, and do we want a second try at it?

  15. unit472 says:

    Vietnam’s president enthusiastically embraced Japan’s new military policy and, if South Korea was more circumspect, stating they would have to approve any Japanese military assistance, having the option to decline military aid is a lot better than not having an offer to accept. I haven’t heard the Philippine position but I suspect it is positive too.

    On the chessboard that is roughly 250 million people in Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines now able to call upon Japan’s industrial and military resources in a crisis. A huge geo-political shift as Japan is now allowed to export its military equipment for the first time. Its best in the world conventional submarines are being offered to Australia now and the reality that Vietnam and other regional powers may now also acquire top of the line Japanese military equipment a real game changer in the years ahead.

    As to the GDP projections for 2050. I wouldn’t put too much stock in them. If you were to go back 35 years from now the great fear then was Japan would be the dominant economy in the world! My guess is it will be Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines as the new Asian Tigers as China hits the same wall Japan hit when its bubble burst in 1989 only China will be stuck in a middle income trap owing to its political system refusing to liberalize.

    • Replies: @Rdm
    , @Kiza
  16. Rdm says:
    @unit472

    By the same token, I feel that Jamaica and Cuba are well poised to take over the U.S. as other western tigers.

  17. Realist says:

    When will Germany be afforded the same privilege?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  18. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist

    When will Germany be afforded the same privilege?

    When it commits to invade Russia on NATO’s whim.

    • Replies: @Realist
  19. Realist says:
    @anonymous

    You are probably right. Germany should tell the US to go shit in it’s hat.

  20. @Priss Factor

    You really are completely offensive. Glad Ron has the software feature to ignore commenters. You’ve graduated to it.

  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    To Anonymous above: The priss factory thinks Mr Lee is Asian when he is actually a white guy. And he thinks that Mr. Lee is gloating about Americas decline and Asias rise. A sensitive topic amongst a lot of white people.

    So The Priss Factory countered with a Ching Chong comment, presumably to put Mr. Lee in his place which should be tending some rice field and not rubbing dirt in the white mans face.

    This is something white people are known to do.

  22. [In 2050, here’s how they see the GDP horserace playing out, in trillions: China 61; India 42; USA 41; Indonesia 12; Brazil 9; Mexico 8; Japan 7.9; Russia 7.5; Nigeria 7.3 and Germany 6.3. ]

    I just can’t see how Nigeria’s GDP can be larger than Germany’s.

    • Replies: @5371
  23. Kiza says:
    @unit472

    FYI, Australia is on the cusp of walking away from the Japanese subs and buying French (first choice) or German (second choice) submarines, because Japan did not offer a good local construction option (in the Australian shipyards). Besides, I never heard anyone say – my wares are NOT “best in the world”, yours about the Japanese conventional submarines is pure sales BS.

    But the real plan behind all this is just what you say. It is the same old pattern: the US and Japan corrupt the governments of the region and through the bought media constantly scare the population of the big bad China, in order to get them to buy US and/or Japanese weapons. This old pattern is called the arms race. The only question is – will Japan and US find a way to amicably share the corruption cake of the increased regional military spending or will the US walk all over Japan. After all, most of the corruption of governments and most of the manipulation of the media will be done by the US.

    This is exactly the same racket that Germany has done to Greece (which has a problem with Turkey), by selling submarines at inflated prices on credit, by bribing Greek politicians.

    The same pattern of military racket, buy weapons and our protection, has been started already in SE Asia too. The question is how many loans will the corrupt politicians of Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and so on take to “protect themselves from China” by buying US and Japanese weapons.

    It is this corruption and money flowing from it that individuals like you are salivating upon.

  24. unit472 says:

    Kiza, are you making an argument or simply gnashing your teeth at the new reality? If Japan is simply going to sell 2nd rate military hardware to a bunch of corrupt governments then what is the problem? You should be happy.

    I don’t think that is what has just happened and neither do you which is why you grasp at straws to mock it. The reality is that Japanese industrial and military resources can now be deployed throughout the Pacific Rim to counter China’s inferior capabilities. It is a huge geo-political shift

    • Replies: @denk
  25. 5371 says:
    @Michael Daniloff

    Yes, extrapolation is one thing (if you feel the urge to predict what the world will look like in 2050, there’s no better way). Extrapolation based on present data that are complete bullshit is another.

  26. @Sherman

    Not likely. There are serious red flags waving on the US economy. Given the stupidity of those who have run FedGov over the last 80 years, it’s quite likely that US economic, and with it military, dominance is about to come crashing down.

    You’re correct about the rest, however. Still, it’s the best we have to make predictions with.

  27. @George123

    kinda hard to remain a pacifist when the barbarians are at the door with missiles in 2015 🙂

    joking aside, there is no cycle. eu and usa has always been the bad guys for the last 500 years or so. with a small different blip that was japan 70 years ago. That is what happens when a few civilizations got much more advance military tech. the chinese leaders are just doing what they must. what is the point of having the biggest economy if they can’t protect it. Because there countries just itching to ruin it all for china. THAT is a fact. I am completely fine with china doing whatever it can to secure it self. how can I fault china from doing that? that would be extremely idiotic. It is akin to telling home owners to not defend themselves during an armed home invasion.

    • Replies: @roelm
    , @Mike
  28. @George123

    The bad actor is, of course, the US.

  29. denk says:
    @unit472

    *The reality is that Japanese industrial and military resources can now be deployed throughout the Pacific Rim to counter China’s inferior capabilities. It is a huge geo-political shift*

    u should tell that to the wh, pentagoons or our pissfactory here !
    all this while they’ve been telling us uncle sham is once again
    dragged [sic] into a conflict, screaming and kicking all the way coz…..
    oh so *defenceless* jp is pissing in its pant at the sight of the big bad
    dragon, hehehe

  30. denk says:
    @George123

    *Its really tragic. China is making everyone else aggressive in order go deal with them and thus ruining the region as a whole.

    All it takes is one bad actor to spoil the whole region.*

    the above is the classic unitedsnake m.o since 1875.
    1] set a house on fire,
    2] offer to put it out…for a price !
    they dont call unitedsnake the world’s no1 shxt stirrer for nuthin u know ?

    robber crying robbery !

    add that to another reason why do they hate us ?
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article42915.htm

  31. roelm says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    ” I am completely fine with china doing whatever it can to secure it self. how can I fault china from doing that? that would be extremely idiotic. It is akin to telling home owners to not defend themselves during an armed home invasion.”

    That is not all China is doing. It is being aggressive against neighboring countries especially in the South China Sea, which China is practically claiming in it’s entirety as their territory. These neighbors have done no historic crimes whatsoever to China to merit this treatment. It seems as if China is trying to undo the humiliations inflicted on it by the colonial powers but in the process itself becoming an imperial power, or at least, the regional bully against the other countries in east and southeast asia.
    This is what is at stake here. This is why Japan is passing this new law. Japan realizes that it has to ally with other countries if it has to have any hope of standing up to China. Asian countries are nervous for a reason; no need to bring in the EU and US to account for what is happening.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    , @Rdm
  32. Mike says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I’d agree that Europe and to some extent the us were the bad actors for the past few centuries, but it’s absurd to suggest china’s bullying behavior is defensive. there is absolutely no call for China to bully it’s neighbors like it’s trying to do. China is acting like a second rate European power trying to prove itself.

    I understand the psycholofy, I get that China was abused and traumatized, and like many abused children the cycle of abuse gets passed on, but it’s gotta stop if the human race is to survive.

    how cool would china be if it built up its power but refused to throw it’s weight arpund, showing the world how an old Asian civilization refuses to worship the barbarian god of power.

    China is tapping into the worst sides of its old culture, the craving for ‘recognition’ which manifested itself in childish antics like paying menacing tribes to offer ‘tribute’ (worth less than the payment) to shore up the fiction of Chinese doninance.

    this childish side of the old chinese culture was amusing and could be greeted with an indulgent smile as long as it was balanced with the mature wisdom of a ripe old culture.

    now, with its legacy of trauma, and acquired nationalism, it’s sinister.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  33. @roelm

    south china sea and those islands north of taiwan have to do with it’s national security. and it isn’t just china doing the claiming. they are all doing. be fair and accurate please. not the msm drip feed bs.

    • Replies: @roelm2
  34. @Mike

    how is china bullying it’s neighbors? do tell? your entire comment is 99% reaction to the bullying. I would like to know the bullying listed.

    • Replies: @George123
  35. Rdm says:
    @roelm

    You must be an idiot to believe that China is claiming entire SCS as theirs. Look at the Vietnamese hogging so many islands. Regional bully?

    Philippines gunning down Taiwanese boat? bully?

    Hey I’d say China, go for it, gun down those weaklings because those weaklings are also bully to another weaklings.

    • Replies: @roelm2
  36. George123 says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    You know the facts. Youll try and spin it that its not bullying. Western imperialism has its apologists as well.

    • Replies: @denk
    , @Astuteobservor II
  37. denk says:
    @George123

    mike
    *Of course chinas current bumptiousness is a ripple effect from western and japanese aggression in the 19th century. Back then eurooe and japan were the bad actors spoiling the system.

    And so the cycle goes on. Just as europe becomes buddhist, china becomes natiobalistic and militaristic.* [sic]

    i see, its all europes fault, the unitedsnake has nothing to do with it, ?
    hehehe

    here’s from the horse mouth, from someone who experienced it first hand, lived to see the same shxt repeated 70 yrs later…..
    *Many Chinese today may hate the Japanese, but they also know that America is doing to them today what America did to Japan before the Pearl Harbor attack. They may hate to openly admit this, but America is slowly trying to put a chokehold on China’s oil supplies by conquering Iraq, Libya, South Sudan and, soon, Iran. America is already stirring up trouble in South China Sea.*
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2012/01/01/reader-mail/what-drives-a-war-loving-culture/#.VgIIF31K8SF

  38. @George123

    so you concede? good.

    nice labeling at the end of your comment 🙂

  39. roelm2 says:
    @Rdm

    “You must be an idiot to believe that China is claiming entire SCS as theirs”.

    Please look at any nine-dash line map and tell me that again that I’m mistaken. Publish any such map and you immediately antagonize your neighbors. It’s as as if all the countries are living on one street and then one of the countries decides to claim the road in front of your house as it’s own.

    “Look at the Vietnamese hogging so many islands. Regional bully?”

    The Vietnamese are claiming those islands which is not the same as bullying. Why are the other countries in the region not reacting then to Vietnam’s “bullying”?

    “Philippines gunning down Taiwanese boat? bully?”

    You are using a case of possible trespassing and excessive reaction as bullying when this has nothing to do with territorial claims?

    • Replies: @Rdm
  40. roelm2 says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I get that China has security concerns. However, the nine-dash line is too much,

    allowing China control of most of the South China sea to the detriment of it’s neighbors. This claim could not be justified by the Law of the Sea. Remember that many ships cross this sea including those delivering crude oil from the Middle East, etc. This sea is a traditional fishing ground for neighbouring countries. It isn’t just claiming: China is trying to deny access to other countries’ fishermen (e.g Scarborough shoal), building installations on the islands and creating artificial islands in the Spratlys, openly exploring for oil on areas disputed with Vietnam near the Paracel islands, etc. Are the Southeast asian countries that much of a threat to China?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  41. roelm says:

    “Hey I’d say China, go for it, gun down those weaklings because those weaklings are also bully to another weaklings.”

    So you are egging on the bigger bully (China) against those weaklings you claim are bullies too. What kind of logic is that? Are these weaklings worse bullies than China? I ask: what did these Southeast asian countries do to China to deserve this treatment? The scenario is looking somewhat like this: because Britain attacked China and occupied Hong Kong in the 19th century, China is now retaliating against Vietnam and the Philippines?

  42. @roelm2

    I am not denying anything you just typed. I am just commenting on how China is being singled out when every damn country around the south china sea have their own version of the chinese 9 dash line. you should check out the map with all the reclaimed islands by all the countries involved. That alone should answer your questions and make you do a double take on all the stupid/planned/engineered media boohaha on the chinese man made islands.

    and to answer your last question, the land reclamation isn’t directed towards other south east asian countries, it is directed towards USA. China needs a usa free zone to release their nuke subs. Nuke subs is the most effective deterrent. That is my understanding from what I have read.

    • Replies: @roelm
  43. roelm says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    “I am just commenting on how China is being singled out when every damn country around the south china sea have their own version of the chinese 9 dash line. you should check out the map with all the reclaimed islands by all the countries involved. That alone should answer your questions and make you do a double take on all the stupid/planned/engineered media boohaha on the chinese man made islands.”

    There is a difference however, in that those other countries were claiming areas relatively right on their doorstep, not far from their continental shelf, so to speak and more in accordance with the Law of the Sea. China is claiming an area so far from the mainland that it’s ridiculous. No other country has also claimed as much of the South China sea region as China.

    Land reclamation is multipurpose and can be used against countries other than the US. It may have been intended against the US mainly but the US is far away and it is the neighbors that feel the threat. Perhaps China feels the need to put bases since it’s so far from the mainland. Land reclamation is far from the only issue. I know that, at least, Malaysia had done it too but China is perceived as a potential threat judging by the totality of it’s actions. China by it’s actions is effectively signaling that they don’t particularly care for the claims of other nations, as if their claim is not problematic. Whether this is intended or not, that is the perception.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  44. denk says:

    roelm
    *This is what is at stake here. This is why Japan is passing this new law. Japan realizes that it has to ally with other countries if it has to have any hope of standing up to China. Asian countries are nervous for a reason; no need to bring in the EU and US to account for what is happening*

    what a load of bull…..
    u probably miss the part where jp uber militarists project that when the shit hits the fan, they’d resurrect the glory of 甲午. they’re talking about a replay of the 1894 sea battle when jp annihiliated the chinese northern fleet. tw was lost to the jp following that defeat.

    thats not an entirely empty boast .
    in case u havent noticed the jp idf is rated amongst the top five, if not three, in the world.
    may be u also miss that memo from unit472 above, uncle sham is the mastermind of jp’s remilitarisation, so that the *idf* can be used against the *inferior* chinese , at least that’s the plan.

    spare us from that *trembling jp bravely standing up to the chinese bully bs*
    forchrissake, its getting rather stale.

    • Replies: @roelm
  45. denk says:

    roelm
    *allowing China control of most of the South China sea to the detriment of it’s neighbors. This claim could not be justified by the Law of the Sea. Remember that many ships cross this sea including those delivering crude oil from the Middle East,*

    what utter rubbish. !
    u read too much WARsj, wapo or guardian per chance ?
    thats bad for your health !
    you’r parroting uncle sham’s fon [1] craps verbatim.
    show me one case of chinese violation of fon !
    show me one case where the chinese announce they plan to stop or inhibit international shipping thru scs ?
    may be they wanna shoot themselves in the foot when 90% of chinese oil pass thru these sea lane ?
    hehehe

    [1]
    freedom of navigation.
    thats the bs uncle sham has been regurgitating ad nauseam

  46. Rdm says:
    @roelm2

    Please look at any nine-dash line map and tell me that again that I’m mistaken. Publish any such map and you immediately antagonize your neighbors. It’s as as if all the countries are living on one street and then one of the countries decides to claim the road in front of your house as it’s own.

    When you don’t publish, what happened? Vietnamese hogging any islands in sight as theirs.

    The Vietnamese are claiming those islands which is not the same as bullying.

    The islands if disputed over time, and someone secretly stealing when nobody is making a noise, is called “hogging.” Granted that now there are disputed islands between China, Vietnam, and Philippines. But the fact that Vietnam has been secretly stealing those islands is not something on the radar for MSM.

    You are using a case of possible trespassing and excessive reaction as bullying when this has nothing to do with territorial claims?

    Possible trespassing? Ok I’ll rest my case here.

    I wish China will gun down those “possible trespassing” Vietnamese, Filipino boats since they don’t reflect the “bullying” act.

    • Replies: @roelm
  47. @roelm

    I told you to look at maps and this is the answer you came up with? disappointing, so disappointing.

  48. roelm says:
    @denk

    “what a load of bull…..
    u probably miss the part where jp uber militarists project that when the shit hits the fan, they’d resurrect the glory of 甲午. they’re talking about a replay of the 1894 sea battle when jp annihiliated the chinese northern fleet. tw was lost to the jp following that defeat.”

    It really depends on whether you consider China or Japan to be the greater danger at this point or in the foreseeable future. There are risks of course in Japan’s current course of action given their militaristic past but there are risks also in inaction. We cannot be so obsessed with the past that we overlook current dangers. Why do you think Vietnam and the Philippines welcomed the Japanese gov’t’s action? Think about it … The phrase “the enemy of your enemy is your friend” springs to mind …

    “may be u also miss that memo from unit472 above, uncle sham is the mastermind of jp’s remilitarisation, so that the *idf* can be used against the *inferior* chinese , at least that’s the plan.”

    Mastermind? The Japanese gov’t wouldn’t it be doing it if they didn’t think it was in their interest. You are giving too much credit to the US.

    “*trembling jp bravely standing up to the chinese bully bs*”

    You’re the one using such emotive words, not I. Perhaps I can rephrase my previous statements. Japan realizes that it is in it’s interest that the other countries in East and Southeast asia not be intimidated into submission by China. Once the other countries have become chinese “vassals”, how can Japan avoid following on the same path? Remember that in the past, imperial China considered itself the overlord of East and Southeast Asia. Korea and Vietnam especially felt the implications since they had land borders with China.

    • Replies: @denk
  49. roelm says:
    @Rdm

    “When you don’t publish, what happened? Vietnamese hogging any islands in sight as theirs.

    The Vietnamese are claiming those islands which is not the same as bullying.

    The islands if disputed over time, and someone secretly stealing when nobody is making a noise, is called “hogging.” Granted that now there are disputed islands between China, Vietnam, and Philippines. But the fact that Vietnam has been secretly stealing those islands is not something on the radar for MSM.

    I do not mean to justify any Vietnamese actions. However, this does not nullify the fact that China is acting as a bully and it is definitely the bigger bully. Why are you backing the bigger bully against the weaker “bullies”?

    ” You are using a case of possible trespassing and excessive reaction as bullying when this has nothing to do with territorial claims?

    Possible trespassing? Ok I’ll rest my case here.

    I wish China will gun down those “possible trespassing” Vietnamese, Filipino boats since they don’t reflect the “bullying” act.”

    Again, I think the gunning down was an overreaction and should be dealt with the proper legal processes. This was a singular case of police action but I don’t think this was in disputed waters.

    We are talking here about disputed seas: what right has China to take any police action AT ALL, much less gun down boats in the disputed areas of South China sea? If they gun down or merely interdict boats in the South China sea outside their proper territorial waters, that is bullying because they are asserting jurisdiction over areas where other countries have the rights.

  50. denk says:
    @roelm

    roelm
    *It really depends on whether you consider China or Japan to be the greater danger at this point or in the foreseeable future.*

    should be a no brainer innit ?
    http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-america-the-most-dangerous-country-in-the-world

    *Mastermind? The Japanese gov’t wouldn’t it be doing it if they didn’t think it was in their interest. You are giving too much credit to the US.*

    u seem too innocent to be delving in geopolitics , its a jungle out there.
    uncle sham is the pro arsonist who make a living setting houses on fire then offer to put it out for a hefty price.
    abe the fascists might be a willing patsy of the unidedsnake, but would he be in his position today if not for the shenanigans of uncle sham ?
    the snake got rid of all those former jp pms who wanna reconcile with china, thus paving the way for abe and his ilks ascension !

  51. India bigger GDP than USA, eh? Seems unlikely, the USA in 2050 will stay well ahead on human capital even with a majority Mestizo population. China in 2050 by contrast may actually have superior human capital, albeit with some continuing institutional weaknesses.

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