I am glad that my respected friends Joy Ocampo and Gene S. commented my post Naval War between China and Japan Seems Imminent soon after it was posted. Joy Ocampo said:
Even the Philippines & it’s neighbouring countries are eager to defend their ownership, but due to small & poor, they can’t…
However, they may form alliance with one another, and even with Japan in dealing with China. That will be quite a great trouble for China. China has to handle the disputes with them one by one as soon as possible before such an alliance has been formed.
Gene S. believes that war is not imminent as China is no match to Japan which has US support. He says:
China is sending it’s MARINE SURVEILLANCE AGENCY vessels. These are not Chinese PLA Navy or even Chinese Coast Guard. They are predominantly civilian controlled tasked to monitor Environmental issues and enforecement of fisheries laws within the Chinese EEZ. They are only lightly armed and do not call for a military/naval response. This is why Japan has only sent Japan Coast Guard vessels to inderdict them. So the above article misses the point entirely. A war is not as ‘imminent’ as it appears.
It is China which may, under any number of excuses, decide to send PLA Navy warships. In which case Japan will undoubtedly send Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) vessels. their equivalent of a Navy. Simultaneously, should Chinese naval vessels enter the Senkaku waters Article 5 of the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty which obligates us to defend Japan from foreign invasion will kick in and the U.S 7th Fleet will be sailing from Yokosuka and Sasebo Japan and we will find out just how much China wants to play hardball over some uninhabited rocks.
China’s PLA Navy admirals are fully aware of this which is why no Chinese warships have been sent to the Senkakus.
Gene S. is right that China merely sent civilian ships lightly armed to the disputed waters while Japan acted with restraint and did not tell its coast guard vessels to drive Chinese ships away from the waters it claims sovereignty over, to avoid clash with those lightly armed vessels. However, if Chinese ships and fishing boats continue to operate regularly in those waters, will Japanese vessels not try to drive them away?
If Japanese vessels are unable to drive away Chinese vessels as they are inferior in arms or size, will Japan send its navy to drive away Chinese vessels as promised by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda?
As pointed out in my post War with Japan or the Philippines? on July 18, “I believe Chinese military strategists always follow Sun Tzu’s teaching and will not conduct a naval war with Japan as China does not have overwhelming naval superiority over Japan and China will surely be defeated if the US is involved.”
That is why before Japan’s nationalisation of the disputed islands, the Chinese government always acted with restraint and did not allow Chinese Diaoyu Islands activists’ vessel to go to the islands to claim Chinese sovereignty. At that time, there was lots of talk on Chinese TV about a naval war in 2015 to revenge China’s naval defeat in 1895.
The situation is different now. Reading Chinese media and watching Chinese TV, you sense a strong smell of gun powder. Under popular pressure, the Chinese government will be forced to fight a war even if it does not want to and even if it clearly knows that it is unable to win.
Let’s recall Chinese history. When Japan invaded China’s Northeast in early 1930s, the Chinese KMT government did not resist, knowing well that Chinese troops were much inferior to Japan’s as China was very poor and backward then. But there were nationwide mass protests urging the KMT government to fight. College students (a rare species very influential in China at that time) even lay on railway tracks in protest.
The KMT became unpopular for that and lost the civil war later in spite of its stronger army and the strong support from the US.
Now, China is the second largest economy in the world. If the Communist government refuses to fight when the Japanese navy drives away Chinese vessels, there will be mass protests on a larger scale than the Tiananmen protests. The Chinese Communist regime will certainly collapse!
To fight or not to fight, that’s the question, the dilemma the Chinese Communist government faces now. Of the choice of two evils, the government will choose war instead of collapse.
That is why war is imminent unless Japan does not employ its navy in the disputes.
As an American, you are in a better position to judge whether the United States wants to fight a war with China now to help Japan in the disputes over some small islands.
To fight or not fight, that’s also the question for the United States.
The United States was not prepared before Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Is it prepared for a war with China which may be the commencement of World War III?
War between China and Japan is imminent.
- Anti-Japan protests widen, China struggles to rein in anger – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Meanwhile In Beijing: “For The Respect Of The Motherland, We Must Go To War With Japan” (zerohedge.com)
- PLA mobilizes nationwide saber-rattling over Diaoyutais (wantchinatimes.com)
- China struggles to channel anger as anti-Japan protests resume (news.yahoo.com)
- China and Japan wise in acting with restraint in East China Sea (chinadailymail.com)