Tensions gripped East Asia in November as Beijing announced an air defense identification zone covering the East China Sea. Aircraft flying through the zone are supposed to report their movements to the Chinese military. Washington meanwhile, has emphasized that it will protect its ally Tokyo in territorial disputes, including islands that are claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing.1
Reuter’s Ian Bremmer comments2:
Beijing continues to use Tokyo as a release valve for nationalistic pressures as it softens foreign policy on other fronts – particularly with U.S. relations, the charm offensive is motivated, in part, by an effort to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Japan. In Japan, Shinzo Abe views China’s rise as a longer-term threat to Japan’s standing in the region, and he’s intent on pushing back.[…]
Things could get worse, Bremmer argues, because both sides will ‘push the envelope…’ Escalating provocations as far as possible, expecting the other side to capitulate before initiating an all-out war.
Tokyo has courted the support of governments in Southeast Asia, looking to up their weight against Beijing.3
The South Korean regime in Seoul has also entered the fray, expanding its own air defense zone for the first time in 62 years, including airspace that is claimed by Beijing and Tokyo.4
Richard Maybury has authored the Early Warning Report since 1990. I talked to him recently about his latest claim:
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