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Tillie

China, Japan heading towards war, says US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

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Tillie

CHINA and other Asian countries could end up at war over territorial disputes if governments keep up their "provocative behaviour", US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said.

Speaking to reporters before arriving in Tokyo on a trip to Asia, Mr Panetta appealed for restraint amid mounting tensions over territorial rights in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

"I am concerned that when these countries engage in provocations of one kind or another over these various islands, that it raises the possibility that a misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conflict," Mr Panetta said, when asked about a clash between Japan and China.

"And that conflict would then have the potential of expanding."

The Pentagon chief's trip coincides with an escalating row between Asia's two largest economies over an archipelago in the East China Sea administered by Tokyo under the name Senkaku and claimed by China under the name Diaoyu.

Tensions have steadily mounted since pro-Beijing activists were arrested and deported after landing on one of the islands in August. Japanese nationalists then followed, raising their flag on the same island days later.

On Tuesday, Japan announced it had nationalised three of the islands in the chain, triggering protests in China. Tokyo already owns another and leases the fifth.

The uninhabited islands are in important sea lanes and the seabed nearby is thought to harbour valuable mineral resources.

Sometimes violent demonstrations have been held in China near diplomatic missions in the days since Tokyo's announcement, although there have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries.

Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV showed footage of clashes on Sunday in Shenzhen between riot police and demonstrators, with some holding a banner calling for a "bloodbath" in Tokyo.

Mr Panetta is due to hold talks on Monday with his Japanese counterpart, where the dispute is expected to top the agenda, before heading to China, then New Zealand.

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea also have Washington worried, as China has refused to withdraw claims to virtually all of the strategic waterway and has been accused of bullying smaller states in the area.

The Philippines and Vietnam have alleged Beijing has used intimidation to push its claims in the South China Sea, through which about half of the world's cargo passes.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/china-japan-heading-towards-war-says-us-defence-secretary-leon-panetta/story-e6frg6so-1226475484583

This can't be good...

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Hidi

No, it's certainly not good for both countries and the surrounding area. Hopefully Peace Talks will go well, otherwise this could affect a lot of people.

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ballisticwaffles

But... Japan has no standing Army. Who the hell is going to fight for them? The JSDF is too busy handling Godzilla!

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unoservix

But... Japan has no standing Army. Who the hell is going to fight for them?

us

hence the problem

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Vulvokunvrii

Oh great....if China attacks, WE have to go and help them.

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unoservix

seriously, i doubt there's actually going to be a war.

that is because if there was, we would have to side with Japan, which means we would be going to war with China--meaning we would be going to war with the world's most populous nation which just so happens to have nuclear weapons and also makes all our cheap shit at Walmart and holds a shit-ton of our debt. neither China nor the US wants to actually go to war with each other. neither China nor the US is stupid enough to do so.

so there will be pissing and moaning and beating of chests and the world will keep on spinning.

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Vulvokunvrii

seriously, i doubt there's actually going to be a war.

that is because if there was, we would have to side with Japan, which means we would be going to war with China--meaning we would be going to war with the world's most populous nation which just so happens to have nuclear weapons and also makes all our cheap shit at Walmart and holds a shit-ton of our debt. neither China nor the US wants to actually go to war with each other. neither China nor the US is stupid enough to do so.

so there will be pissing and moaning and beating of chests and the world will keep on spinning.

Yeah well said!

I'm just hoping Romney doesn't become the President. He's a serious dipshit and would say or do somethign to offend China so much they'd want to fight us for it.

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LoneWolf

United States is prolly going to sit this one out in favor of economic benefit, since China manufactures the majority of our electronics. President Obama would not support going to war with China either, as far as I can tell. We're busy enough as it stands.

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sroberson

<begin angry cynical rant>

Oh good, the world needs a little more chaos!

Seriously, I think the collective mindset of civilization needs to just up and decide to burn itself to the ground if they are going to play such grand phallic symbol measuring instead of just teasing everyone.

</ends angry cynical rant>

Seriously though, Japan isn't alone being upset with China. I am pretty sure everyone in the area is upset with China. Not the South Koreans, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Tibetans, etc etc etc. Japan probably wouldn't be alone in this issue and China could find itself in a bad situation of having to protect itself from a multi-pronged threat. Think the only support they might receive is from the North Koreans and that may not mean much, unless the Russians want to jump in and throw their weight around. Then we might as well kiss ourselves goodbye.

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"User"

The islands are uninhabited. Turn them all into a national park and change their name to the friendship islands.

There, problem solved!

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Xortberg

The islands are uninhabited. Turn them all into a national park and change their name Equestria.

Fixed.

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unoservix

The islands are uninhabited. Turn them all into a national park and change their name to the friendship islands.

There, problem solved!

it's not about the islands, it's about the oil, minerals, and fishing around them

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"User"

it's not about the islands, it's about the oil, minerals, and fishing around them

In the Friendship Islands, all of these things would be shared in the name of friendship, love, and tolerance! :-)

On a more serious note, you pretty much said everything I was going to say. I've been following this since it made headlines a few days ago even though the underlying problem goes back to the late 19th century, perhaps even earlier. No one's going to war anytime soon.

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ballisticwaffles

Okay, lets get this out of the way.

China will not use nuclear weapons, even saying they have them is just asking for fear mongering. No one in there right mind would use nuclear weapons when the goal is conquest. And Before you say anything, yes people are in their right minds.

Also, what is with people and the assumption that a populous nation is hard to fight against? This is the 20th century people, i think that the Soviets proved the numbers point in Afghanistan where they lost. In Modern warfare numbers mean the same as a screendoor on a submarine. Not as usefull as you would think.

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Faisul

The US and China are a lot closer now than they've ever been, at least economically. It would make no sense for either to get involved in a war with another, and as Uno says, it's likely just going to amount to a lot of sable-rattling. What I'm concerned about is the possible increase in the xenophobia both nations hold for each other as politicians capitalize on people's insecurities and prejudices. The Chinese and Japanese don't exactly see eye-to-eye with one another on average, for reasons both good and bad. Get it over the tipping point and things will get ugly, war or no war.

And Waffles, in the hypothetical scenario of a war between the US and China, it would not at all be like the Soviets vs. Afghanistani hill people and goat herders with AK's, neither would it be like the more recent US vs. Afghanistan fight we've been groaning over for nearly a decade. My understanding is that China has a modern army with modern weapons, and the economy to get more. Whether or not a nuclear exchange would be involved is uncertain, but in either case it would mean complete economic devastation. Modern warfare, as far as we've seen it, has been about asymmetric warfare since the second world war. Numbers may not mean much in the long run of a war, but a healthy manufacturing sector does, and China has a lot of that.

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Fana McCloud

My totally flippant and sarcastic response to such things is the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iiv-6fMKyY

My less flippant response is that war won't ever come of it, neither China nor the USA want a war with each other, nor could either afford it because we're way too dependent on each other.

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ballisticwaffles

And Waffles, in the hypothetical scenario of a war between the US and China, it would not at all be like the Soviets vs. Afghanistani hill people and goat herders with AK's, neither would it be like the more recent US vs. Afghanistan fight we've been groaning over for nearly a decade. My understanding is that China has a modern army with modern weapons, and the economy to get more. Whether or not a nuclear exchange would be involved is uncertain, but in either case it would mean complete economic devastation. Modern warfare, as far as we've seen it, has been about asymmetric warfare since the second world war. Numbers may not mean much in the long run of a war, but a healthy manufacturing sector does, and China has a lot of that.

We have never seen an example of modern warfare. Iraq VS the United states has been the last regular war the world has seen. A hypothetical situation involving two modern countries going to war would involve heavy air strikes against targets of vital inportance, namely powerplants and other vital industries. In this situation the country with the largest defense against such attacks would win in a war of attrition, or even in a normal war.

This is where the Navy would be the saving Grace of the US. The US has the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with enough carriers to be considered a small army where each travels. a Cursory google search reveals China has Two Supercarriers. The same search engine reveals the United states has 11. Industrial capacity would be a deciding factor, if the two opponents were connected somehow by land. Being continents apart, the US has the advantage of coming out of the Cold war Swinging.

As to Nuclear Weapons, please. They will not be used. Using them would result in global genocide, and thus making the point of the war moot. No one wants to fight a lossing war, and a nuclear war only results in defeat by all sides.

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unoservix

that same search engine also reveals that Chinese submarines are fully capable of attacking US warships at will if they so choose. in a general naval war with China, the US will almost certainly lose some ships, including aircraft carriers--and those things are awfully expensive.

of course, it's also worth noting that it's the Chinese who fund all our wars, and they're probably not going to fund a US war against China because i mean hey that would be silly amirite. then again, trying to predict how a war with China would go (other than "lots of pointless destruction for both sides") is rather silly anyways, because if the situation has deteriorated so badly that the US and China are actually seriously shooting at each other in defiance of all political and economic sense, there is no telling what will happen next. so i'm automatically skeptical of the premise that we can predict how a US-China war would go (other than "incredibly badly for everyone"), when such a war necessarily entails that the two countries adopt policies towards each other radically different from what they've got now.

but then, the question of a war with China is pretty much moot anyways because it will not happen. China and the US are too econmically intertwined and a war would be so costly to both that nethier of them actually wants to risk it. so when the US Secretary of Defense is all "yo guys imma let you finish imma let you finish but you're gonna start a war if you keep this shit up" it's meant to step on the brakes for everyone.

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DZComposer

I'm not up on my history of the region, so I can't comment deeply, but I have doubts that China and Japan will go to all-out war. Their economies are too dependent on each-other. A LOT of Japanese-designed products are made in China now. There is also the chaining alliances that could potentially pull Russia and the US into the mix. I'm pretty sure both countries do not want WWIII.

China has nukes, Japan, being the only country that has ever been nuked and has first-hand experience of the horror these weapons can bring on civilians, does not. But I doubt China would nuke anybody. Nukes are not practical weapons of war anymore. They're more of a national missile-penis that a country can wave around and say "don't fuck with me, I has nukes," but actually using them will bring international shame that any serious world player does not want.

This doesn't mean some Japanese and Chinese ships won't trade some shells, but I think a full-scale invade-the-other-county conflict is unlikely. At worst, I think it would go like the 2008 South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia. A few tanks, a little shooting, no major warfare, everyone goes home a week later.

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Hidi

I'm not up on my history of the region, so I can't comment deeply, but I have doubts that China and Japan will go to all-out war. Their economies are too dependent on each-other. A LOT of Japanese-designed products are made in China now. There is also the chaining alliances that could potentially pull Russia and the US into the mix. I'm pretty sure both countries do not want WWIII.

China has nukes, Japan, being the only country that has ever been nuked and has first-hand experience of the horror these weapons can bring on civilians, does not. But I doubt China would nuke anybody. Nukes are not practical weapons of war anymore. They're more of a national missile-penis that a country can wave around and say "don't fuck with me, I has nukes," but actually using them will bring international shame that any serious world player does not want.

This doesn't mean some Japanese and Chinese ships won't trade some shells, but I think a full-scale invade-the-other-county conflict is unlikely. At worst, I think it would go like the 2008 South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia. A few tanks, a little shooting, no major warfare, everyone goes home a week later.

Japan does not have Nukes because of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That said, they also have the world objective of stopping the production of such weapons.

Like you said, I really don't see this going very far as it would put everybody in economic trouble, not that there isn't enough of that anyways.

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DZComposer

Japan does not have Nukes because of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That said, they also have the world objective of stopping the production of such weapons.

That was my point, hence the "being the only country that has ever been nuked and has first-hand experience of the horror these weapons can bring on civilians" in that post...

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sroberson

I'll remain skeptical of human logic taking place in the event of feeling oppressed, offended, or slighted, and ultimately war. However the one thing true of humanity is its never ending creativity in inventing new means of creating carnage and death. That much is true. Whether we implement said weapons depends on the ability to be reasonable.

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Faisul

Also important to take into account is the Chinese 'common' sense of victimization by the West and the Japanese. Imperial Japan was not very nice, to put it in the most cautious possible terms, during its colonial adventures in Asia (the same to be said for the ventures of European nations). I have heard it said that it is this, as well as deliberate policies of national representation by the Chinese state media apparatus, that has fostered such strong feelings amongst the Chinese. Going after the islands could then be seen as an attempt at avoiding to 'lose face' in the context of perceived on-going Japanese colonial oppression, such as when notably right-wing Japanese state ministers visit shrines devoted to known war criminals who partook in campaigns of mass extermination in China. Of course, these occurrences do not represent the majority of Japanese policy (i.e. a hatred for Chinese), but that is hard to acknowledge when your government pretty much tells you to think it does.

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Scourge

Were screwed.

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Thu'um

this isn't going to happen, US won't profit from a victory or even engaging in this war. China doesn't need to have a war right now, let alone against the ally of their greatest consumer, and japan has weenie baby army.

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