Up a notch

The US has drawn a Red Line around the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by China, and the line was drawn personally by the LDIC. NYT:

the disputed islands fell under the United States-Japanese mutual defense treaty. “And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands,” he said in a written response to the newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun. A Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Qin Gang, said Wednesday that China was “firmly opposed to treating the U.S.-Japan security treaty as applying to the Diaoyu Islands.”

“The United States should respect the facts, in a responsible manner abide by its commitment not to choose sides over a territorial sovereignty issue, be cautious on words and deeds, and earnestly play a constructive role for peace and stability in the region,” Mr. Qin said during a news conference.

Encounters between military vessels in the region have prompted concerns about the risk of escalation. Last year, a Chinese Navy vessel cut within about 100 yards of the Cowpens, an American cruiser that had been monitoring China’s aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the South China Sea.

Chinese and Japanese vessels in the East China Sea have also had several potentially dangerous encounters in recent years. In 2013, Japan said Chinese warships used radar that helps target weapons on a Japanese military vessel and a helicopter near the disputed islands. In an interview on Tuesday, the day the rules were approved, Adm. Wu Shengli, the commander in chief of the Chinese Navy, said the tensions with Japan remained serious and the risk of incidents at sea persisted.

“Nothing can be excluded,” Admiral Wu said in the interview with Phoenix Television, a satellite service based in Hong Kong. “That’s what we often call accidental discharge when cleaning a gun. The gun is an objective fact, but what we need to study is how to avoid accidental discharge when cleaning a gun.”

We see a pattern forming as we noted the other day. Wretchard has more of course. The question has become, not whether dangerous adventurism will take place over the next two years in the Pacific, but what form it will take.

2 Responses to “Up a notch”

  1. gs Says:

    1. IMHO occupying Philippine territory would give China maximum gain for minimum pain. It would advance China’s agenda in the South China Sea, and it would signal to the world’s smaller countries that the USA will not support them in a crunch.

    2. The Wretchard link:

    But it is always some unspecified mystical force — never Washington itself — who will square the account. For example, you have the administration’s assurances that Putin will be punished for invading the Ukraine by some ineffable force, just as long as you remember that force won’t be the administration.

    For a town that doesn’t believe much in God, Washington is more full of ghostly invocations than a whiskey preacher; as if the god of history were a palpable presence, standing at their right hand, waiting to clean up after them.

    Meanwhile, the government is claiming an ever-growing amount of domestic omniscience, power, and control.

    3. It’s like they’re penny-ante thugs & grifters who have swindled their way into running a faltering culture—and know full well they’d better stay out of the way of the real thugs.

  2. Neil Says:

    “It’s like they’re penny-ante thugs & grifters who have swindled their way into running a faltering culture…”

    Yes, exactly. That’s the reason for the laser-like focus on messaging, always aimed at the true believers and the gullible. That’s the reason for the focus on maximizing income during the post-presidency. That’s the reason for all the effort spent on sweeping the scandals under the rug. It’s the Big Con, and the more power they’re given the longer it will go on. If allowed, they’ll happily milk it for all it’s worth until the final crash, with their wealth stashed offshore.

    I think, however, that they’re on the cusp of taking it too far. In the Big Con, you’ve got to have a little restraint, or you’ll never be able to enjoy your takings. All those new tax laws aimed at offshore accounts (if used artfully and with purpose) can make life awfully tricky for a newly-wealthy grifter….

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