Tag: Political geography

Japan v. China

It seems to be Protest Week around the world:

BEIJING — Anti-Japanese demonstrators took to the streets again on Sunday in cities across China, with the government offering mixed signals on whether it would continue to tolerate the sometimes violent outbursts.

Protesters burned a replica of the Japanese flag at a protest in Wuhan, in central China, on Sunday.
The protests were orderly in Beijing, with several hundred people circling in front of the Japanese Embassy demanding Chinese control over a small island group known as Senkaku in Japan and as Diaoyu in China. Protests were also reported in other cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Qingdao.

On Saturday, protests occurred in more than 50 cities, with some violence reported. A factory for the Panasonic Corporation was set on fire in Qingdao, and a Toyota dealership was looted, according to photographs posted on social media sites and local residents reached by telephone.

Poor China. They picked the wrong week for this.

I have to believe that there is a certain amount of staging going on here. Common sense tells us that the Chinese people do not all of the sudden get angry because of some obscure uninhabited island Japan has occupied since 1895 (and one China only became interested in once oil was speculated to be there). The official excuse is because the islands were nationalized by the Japanese government. That nationalization may indicate Japan plans to exploit them soon. So, again, I suspect this is really a dispute over who controls a precious resource; oil, most likely.

(I was just a reading a primer on this and, apparently, China thinks they should be part of Taiwan, a nation neither China nor Japan acknowledges. Foreign relations get very strange sometimes.)

Keep on eye on this one. It sounds like China is rattling the saber a little bit. They do this periodically, usually to distract the populace from some internal trouble (China’s economy is looking bad in the near term). I seriously doubt they want to do anything since we are obligated to protect Japan and a couple of aircraft carrier groups would take out their entire navy and air force.