Tuesday, November 26, 2013

American Bombers over Chinese Sea

We're not beating them economically, maybe we can beat them militarily.

From CNN: "Two U.S. military aircraft flew into China's newly claimed and challenged air defense zone over the East China Sea, a U.S. official said, an action that could inflame tensions between the world powers. The U.S. Air Force B-52 planes -- which were not armed because they were on a training mission -- set off Monday from Guam and returned there without incident. The mission lasted for several hours, and the aircraft were in China's newly declared air zone for about an hour, according to the U.S. official."

Instead of reporting "newly claimed", CNN might have reported "re-newly claimed" --- but later in their article they wrote "long-running dispute over islands" --- and then gave some historical background.

Japan (and by proxy, the U.S.) and China are currently engaged in a territorial dispute concerning a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in China, and the Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan.

Aside from a period of administration by the United States following WWII (between 1945 to 1972) the area of dispute in the East China Sea has been controlled by Japan ever since 1895.

For ten years, starting in 1885, Japan conducted field surveys on the Senkaku Islands, scrupulously confirming that the islands had never been inhabited and showed no traces of having ever been under the control of China’s Qing Dynasty.

Based on this research, the Japanese government decided in January 1895 to erect national territorial markers on the islands, officially incorporating the Senkaku Islands into the territory of Japan. This administrative action was consistent with international law, namely the internationally accepted legal theory of terra nullius (land belonging to no one) concerning the rights of acquisition through occupation.

Evidently, Japan then sold the islands in 1932 to descendants of the original settlers.

After WWII, and after Okinawa prefecture was provisionally placed under U.S. administration in 1945, the U.S. military used some of the Senkaku Islands as firing and bombing ranges.

As of 1950, Chinese government officials were using the Japanese name “Senkaku Islands,” indicating that they also considered the Senkaku part of Okinawa prefecture.

The islands were included within the 1952 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, meaning that a defense of the islands by Japan would require the United States to come to Japan's aid.

With the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese rule in 1972, the Senkaku returned to Japan, as part of the prefecture. China had disputed the proposed U.S. handover of authority to Japan back in 1971, and has asserted its claims to the islands ever since that time. (Taiwan also claims the islands.) But before 1971, neither China nor Taiwan made any claims to "territorial sovereignty" over the Senkaku Islands. For 76 years, neither government expressed any objection to Japanese sovereignty over the islands.

China and Taiwan are now claiming that the islands were seized from China during The First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and that the islands should be returned, just as the rest of Imperial Japan's territorial conquests were returned at the end of WWII in 1945.

In April 1992, China unilaterally enacted a domestic law, the Law on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone of the People’s Republic of China, under which it incorporated the Senkaku Islands into its own territory. The Japanese government immediately issued a strong protest at the act.

The Diplomat reports: "News reports this year have a high-ranking Chinese government official suggesting China could also claim sovereignty over Okinawa." The U.S. has military installations in Okinawa.

The disputed area surrounding the islands in the East China Sea is close to key shipping lanes and rich fishing grounds, and there may be large oil reserves in the area as well. Taiwan is mainly worried about fishing. In April of this year, after long and careful preparation, Japan and Taiwan signed a fisheries agreement. This was a groundbreaking event that deepened friendly Japan-Taiwan relations and is a positive development on the Senkaku sovereignty issue. But China, which still regards Taiwan as part of its territory, objected to the Japan-Taiwan accord.

The Diplomat also reports: "In April, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson appeared to indicate that the Chinese government regarded the Senkaku Island issue as a "core interest" for China. This was the first government use of a term normally reserved for highly sensitive Chinese political concerns such as Taiwan, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. And in recent days, China has made the very provocative decision to establish an air defense zone that encompasses the Senkaku skies."

China holds most of the United States' debt and many major American corporations have offshored hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of domestic jobs to contract manufacturers in China, which has recently overtaken Japan as the world's undisputed second-largest economy.

China has achieved economic growth averaging 10% since it initiated market reforms in 1978 and, in the process, lifting almost half of its 1.3 billion population out of poverty. The United States has been the world’s largest economy since 1871, but that may soon change.

Rather than using the measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but instead, by using another measure known as Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), China is forecast to race past the U.S. in just a few more years.

Last year the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a study that concluded that on the basis of PPP rates, China may surpass the Euro area’s GDP within a year, and that of the U.S. in another few years to become the world’s largest economy.

Bob Hall: "I wonder what George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower would have to say about American consumers giving so much money to the Chinese that we cannot afford to protect ourselves from the Chinese army without first borrowing money from the Chinese."

No comments:

Post a Comment