We’re in Charge Now: China Tells Japan to Butt Out of Sea Disputes

Rome–(Updated with link to Philippines position) China has told Japan in no uncertain terms that the business of sea lanes and disputed Pacific territories is China’s and China’s alone.

The notification came in response to Japanese plans to intensify defense relations with The Philippines over China’s construction of air harbors and lighthouses atop South China Sea reefs. The reefs are claimed not only by Beijing and Manila but also Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Japan is also considering joint sea patrols in the region with the United States Navy.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi: Japan Ought to Stuff It.

China has called these activities “abnormal” and accused Japan of having “maliciously created tensions in the South China Sea.” Moreover, because of Japan’s World War II history, it doesn’t have a say in East Asian affairs, China asserts. China’s Foreign Minister Wang YI has offered the similar prickly advice to the US about meddling in the seas of China’s coasts.

Beijing was outraged when the recently-concluded G-7 meeting in Germany backed Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his maritime worries.

At stake are the sea lanes through which huge amounts of world trade pass. disputes not only include reefs and outcroppings but invisible maritime borders/ But there are other factors at work: by claiming hegemony over the seas in the western Pacific, China asserts a military big brother role over all Southeast Asia. Claiming control of the China Seas  would enclose the commercial harbors of Taiwan, which China regards as merely a renegade province in the smothering embrace of China’s navy. To bring Taiwan to its knees, China need not invade. It needs only a blockade.

And for the first time since WWII, someone is challenging America’s dominance of the Western Pacific. There’s a new sheriff in town.

It’s a volatile mix of concerns and rivalries and the tensions are not going to be doused soon.

China criticizes G-7 for sympathizing with Japan’s concerns.

Xinhua calls Abe an “illiterate.”

Beijing to Secretary of State Kerry: Drop Dead.

Philippines rebukes China.

The stakes in the South China Sea dispute.

From Forbes, a brief history of the changes in US-Japan relationship that coincide with China’s rise.

 

Daniel Williams

Published by Daniel Williams

I am a former correspondent who, for more than 30 years, did time in China, Southeast Asia, Central America, Mexico, the Middle East, Europe and Africa and covered wars that went from episodic to non-stop. My book, "Forsaken," about Christian persecution in the Middle East came out January, 2016. NextWarNotes is a news and analysis blog designed to fill gaps, provide background and think about what’s next. The name of the site comes from a 1935 article by Ernest Hemingway in Esquire Magazine called “Notes on the Next War,” in which he predicted the coming conflagration in Europe, told why it would happen and warned Americans to stay out.

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