For those of you watching corporate media or living inside salt shakers – because the view of the world is roughly the same – China and Japan are close to blows over a set of rocks in the East China Sea. These rocks have lots of petrochemicals underneath them, but that’s not the big contention.
It’s the 81st anniversary of Japan’s unapologized-for invasion of Manchuria, and Japan’s assertion of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands right up on that anniversary makes their move infinitely more insulting to China. Think of how we’d feel if Japan took control of a few outlying Hawaiian Islands on or about December 7. Well, it’s worse than that in China on account of their millions more of casualties from their war with Japan.
Anti-Japanese riots are all over China. The Chinese are sending 1000 fishing boats into the waters around the disputed islands. Each of these boats are updated with the latest in technology and have a multi tool to them that does everything. If the Japanese don’t stop them, then the Chinese will declare that they have a stronger claim on the islands. If the Japanese try to stop them, then China will claim a causus belli. China either gets the two points or the penalty shots, to use a basketball metaphor.
I’m flipping my lid over this because the US has a treaty with Japan and this will directly affect us even more than the anti-American rampages going through the Muslim world. That stuff, we pretty much expect. This business between China and Japan is something we need to be focused on, and our focus needs to be in finding a way to keep this conflict from escalating. Even if it only leads to a trade war, its effects will be devastating.
China makes nearly all the rare earths used in wireless technology – imagine a world in which there are no new cell phones or other like telecom devices. That’s just the start. Never mind preventing a shooting war, we need to halt the trade war.