Increasingly dangerous chest-thumping by Japan and China has its origins in Beijing, which fears American-led efforts to contain China, argues international affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. Excerpt:
Miyako Island, usually known as Japan’s best beach and snorkelling holiday destination, is now on the front line of the increasingly militarised confrontation with China as Tokyo orders the deployment of anti-ship missiles to the island.
The deployment comes after weeks of aggressive naval and air force exercises by China, incursions by Chinese Coast Guard vessels into Japanese territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands, and bellicose statements from both Beijing and Tokyo.
Late last month Japan threatened to shoot down any unmanned drone aircraft China flies through air space over the Senkakus Islands, which China calls the Diaoyu.
In response, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Defence said attacks on any of its surveillance drones would be “a severe provocation” amounting to “an act of war.”
Last week China accused Japan of interfering with exercises by the People’s Liberation Army Navy in the Western Pacific by tailing its fleet with warships and aircraft … read more (paywall).
Manthorpe’s column, Japan deploys anti-ship missiles to China’s Pacific gateway, is available to subscribers or with a $1 day pass to Facts and Opinions.