Tue, October 16, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

US antagonism seen in China-Japan tussle

2012-10-16 05:16:00 GMT2012-10-16 13:16:00(Beijing Time)  SINA English

Amid the standoff between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands dispute, the United States has dispatched its aircraft carriers into the waters thereabout. As a tough response, the Chinese military proceeded with large military exercise.

Recently, China has stepped up its sovereignty claims by sending seven Chinese naval vessels through the international waters between the Okinawa and the Miyako Islands without noticing Japanese side.

The question here is still about the actual role the U.S, plays in the gluey China-Japan islands dispute.

At the beginning of the dispute, the United States simply insisted the Diaoyu Islands fall under the scope of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which stipulates that the United States is bound to protect "the territories under the administration of Japan," with the hope to pressure China into making concessions.

China, however, shows the unyielding stance on standing up for its territorial sovereignty, thus adopting countermeasures decisively. Under this circumstance, the U.S. customarily turned to its carriers.

When Pentagon chief Leon Panetta visited China last month, the United States announced to step up its military deployment in Japan-- an attempt to mount pressure on China. But both Japan and its strong ally miscalculated the situation, as China has since intensified its countermeasures.

In this regard, the United States embraced a "carrot and stick" policy. On the one hand, it claims to "not take sides over islands", and urges a peaceful solution. But in fact, it is a stalling strategy to give Japan more time to prepare once its flare-up with China evolved into a war. On the other, the United States is strengthening its military deployment around the disputed waters, a muscle-flexing move to pressure China and contain its manoeuvres.

But Washington’s strategy also betrays its real intention and has ruined China's trust in its role. China will therefore react in tit-for-tat way.

On October 2, Chinese military conducted a large-scale military exercise in the waters off the Yellow Sea, the East China and South China seas. Four missile boats from North Sea Fleet participated in the exercise, of which the Type 022 missile boat has the ability to implement strikes by aiming at the enemy ships via its airborne warning and control system. For that matter, analysts now hold the consensus that the exercise is directed at the entry of American aircraft carrier battle groups into the West Pacific.

On October 4, seven Chinese navy vessels navigated in waters some 110 kilometers northeast of Miyakojima into the Pacific Ocean--around 200 kilometers east to the Diaoyu Islands. This marks the first time that Chinese military vessels pass through the waters since the "nationalization" farce by the Japanese government.

Before that, Chinese Navy's East China Sea Fleet also launched its fighters, strategic bombers, and missile destroyers in a large-scale live-fire air/naval exercise in East China Sea on September 30. The Fleet in question, as a matter of fact, is to be deployed to oversee the disputed waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

The United States, realizing China's resolution, sent its carrier into the disputed waters to show its readiness for the potential Sino-Japanese warfare.

The U.S. seeks a “pleasant situation” where there is a rift between China and Japan, but not that serious to be a military clash; and even if there is one, the situation must be put under its control.

While beefing up its military deployment, the U.S. is waiting for the momentum to fish for benefits from the all-round conflict between the two Asian powers. The mindset of the U.S. is worrisome, and a real hazard.

No. 2 US diplomat in Beijing today, as mediator or listener?

By Mei Jingya, Sina English

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Williams Burns is set to arrive in Beijing today for a two-day visit and exchange views with the Chinese side on Sino-US relations as well as regional affairs of mutual concern.

The No.2 U.S. diplomat is now on his five-country trip touring Asia, with Beijing his third leg after wrapping up his trip to Japan and South Korea.

Japanese media said Burns, in Japan yesterday, told Liberal Democratic Party (LD) leader Shinzo Abe not to escalate the East China Sea tension.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at Monday’s routine press briefing that Japan's attempt to seek support from other countries on the Diaoyu Islands spat with China is completely futile. Full story

Chinese navy vessels sailed away from the islands: Japanese official

Chinese navy vessels, having passed the contiguous zone around an Okinawa island, are sailing towards the East China Sea without entering the waters close to the Diaoyu Islands, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

7 Chinese navy vessels sail towards Diaoyus: Japanese media

By Yu Runze, Sina English

Japan confirmed that 7 Chinese navy vessels is sailing towards Diaoyu Islands, Fuji News Network reported Tuesday morning.

According to the Defense Ministry, seven Chinese ships were spotted sailing at around 6 a.m. (Beijing time) about 49 kilometers south-southeast of the Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and 200 kilometers south of the Diaoyu Islands, Kyodo news reported.

The ministry said the ships were two destroyers, at least one of which had missile capacity, two frigates, two submarine rescue ships and one supply ship.

If the vessels went in Diaoyu Islands’ adjacent waters, it would be the first Chinese military intervention since Japan’s nationalizing the islands, FNN reported.

Abe talks tough on China over island dispute

Shinzo Abe, head of Japan’s main opposition the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)and former Prime Minister, voiced tough stance over the China-Japan Diaoyu dispute during his meeting with the U.S. deputy Secretary of State Williams Burns.

According to Japanese media reports, hawkish Abe held talks with the No.2 US diplomat at the LDP headquarters and asked him to “accurately” pass on a message to Chinese officials: Japan will not yield a single centimeter of its territory to China.

Abe was quoted by Jiji press as saying “there is no room for talk" with China, because no territorial dispute exists surrounding the islands.

Abe reportedly also expressed discontent with Washington’s stance on the spat, accusing it of keeping neutral while claiming at the same time the islands are covered by Japan-U.S. security treaty.

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