Wednesday, November 27, 2013

China In A Bind

When China declared a new airspace defense zone that goes over disputed territories they claimed against several other nations. The most famous dispute are the islands known as the Diaoyu Islands in China which is also claimed, and controlled by, Japan but the new zone by China also go over or come very close to territories claimed by South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

So it's comes as no surprise to me when America, strong ally of Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, decide to sent a strong message to China. Two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers on a "training mission" flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing. Basically telling the Chinese the China's declaration of the new airspace defense zone is not worth the paper it is printed on.

This should come as no surprise. Not only is America a strong ally of Japan, China has no legal leg to stand on in their claim on Diaoyu. After World War 2, America was looking to give back the island and asked for nations to stake their claim on the island. Japan did, China did not. Now some people may argue Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek were too busy fighting against each other in a civil war to bother about making a claim on some islands in the middle of the East China Sea but the fact remains that they did not. Of course back then no one knew there were oil and gas beneath the islands so no one cared. 

Even Japan was guilty of this. Oil and gas were discovered in 1969, and the islands were only given back to Japan in 1972. That year, only then did the Chinese government began to declare ownership of the islands. Amazing what oil and gas could do right?

Personally I think China got itself into a real bind with this move because they are just going to lose face on the matter. America, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and maybe a few others will just ignore the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone and there's not much China can do about it. If China really want it, then they need to defend and enforce the zone, which means going up against the whole region.

Frankly, this zone by China just do nothing but create more problems for China. 

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