Paul Joseph Watson
January 13, 2014
Reports out of Chinese state media indicate that Beijing is set to invade an island in the South China Sea “illegally occupied” by US ally the Philippines, stoking concerns that the tension filled region could explode.
The article originally appeared at qianzhan.com under the headline, ‘Sudden major move of Chinese troops this year to recover Zhongye Island by force’, and was translated by the China Daily Mail.
Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it has illegally occupied for years.
It will be an intolerable insult to China
According to experts, the Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea.
The report goes on to state that the “battle” will not include a Chinese invasion of Filipino territories, although the Philippines will undoubtedly view Beijing’s attack on Zhongye Island as precisely that since it has been occupied by Filipino troops for over 40 years.
“Of course, claims that “battle will be restricted” are nothing but taunting and should China launch an offensive here, we suspect the already dry and brittle tinder box in the South (and East) China Sea could rapidly escalate,” reports Zero Hedge.
The report arrives hot on the heels of Japan’s announcement that it will “nationalize” around 280 islands in the disputed region, the latest shot across the bow in a tit-for-tat build up that experts have warned heralds the beginning of a new cold war.
China’s latest act of aggression arrives after months of military posturing and bellicose rhetoric.
In October, China sent a surveillance ship to Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which was described as a provocative retaliation to the U.S. naval presence in the East China Sea.
A lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explained how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war in response to US aggression in the Asia Pacific, developments which have prompted “major changes” in China’s national security situation.
Strident rhetoric about Beijing’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as the release of a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force also turned heads.
Following discussion in state media about plans to to turn the moon into a Star Wars-style “death star” from which the PLA could launch missiles against any target on Earth, a display to promote China’s Jade Rabbit Moon rover also included a background photograph of a mushroom cloud over Europe
January 13, 2014
Japanese paratroopers recaptured an island from an enemy in a wargame as its Defense Minister vowed to defend a disputed East China Sea territory. China’s ships sailed near the contested islets as Beijing reportedly expanded its air defense zone.
The location of the disputed islands (circled in red) in the South China Sea. Credit: Jackopoid via Wiki
Tokyo’s military on Sunday held a military drill dubbed “Island Defense,” in which the country’s elite airborne troops simulated the retaking of a remote island from an enemy nation.
The plot for the annual drill, which took place at an exercise field east of Tokyo, stayed the same for the second year in a row as the dispute over the group of tiny islets in the East China Sea, claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan, showed no signs of resolution.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who was overseeing the drills, vowed to protect the territory around the islands, which Japan considers to be its own.
“We can never overlook China’s repeated entries into our territorial waters. In addition to diplomatic efforts, we will cooperate with the Coast Guard to securely defend our territory and waters around the Senkaku islands,” Onodera said.
The islands, which are known as Diaoyu in China and as Senkaku in Japan, have again found themselves in the middle of regional tension less than two weeks into the New Year. Three Chinese patrol ships briefly entered the disputed waters early Sunday, the first time since controversial fishing rules approved by China’s southern Hainan province took effect January 1.
The fishing rules require foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval before entering the disputed waters in the South China Sea, as the local government maintains they are under its jurisdiction.
Both the boats’ venture and the reminder of the unilaterally imposed fishing law sparked angry official reactions from Japan and its ally the United States.
“Setting something like this unilaterally, as if you are treating them as your own territorial waters, and imposing certain restrictions on fishing boats, is not something that is internationally tolerated,” Onodera said, claiming that China is “threatening the existing international order.”
Washington earlier branded the fishing rules “provocative and potentially dangerous,” prompting a rebuttal from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday.
Patrol ships from China and Japan have often shadowed each other in the disputed area, since Tokyo moved to nationalize its control over three of the islands, with the state buying them from a Japanese family for 2 billion yen in September 2012.
Beijing considered the move to be a breach of its territorial sovereignty, as it holds that the islands were returned to China in 1945, half a century after their annexation by Japan in an earlier Sino-Japanese War.
After World War II, the US took control of the islets, until the US Senate voted to return them to Tokyo in 1972. The decision followed a discovery of potential oil and gas reserves in the vicinity of the islands by a UN commission in 1969. Both Chinese and Taiwanese governments also declared their ownership of the territories in 1972.
Tensions over what are believed to be resource-rich territories have soared in recent months, particularly after China announced the creation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) covering a large swathe of the East China Sea, including the disputed isles.
Both Japan and its ally the US strongly condemned the creation of the Chinese air defense zone, which was announced in November, ostensibly sending their ships, jets and bombers to pass through the territory. China also scrambled its fighter jets to shadow the military aircraft passing through the area and kept patrolling the nearby waters.
A report Sunday by Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, however, suggested that Beijing was serious on taking a hard-line stance over the disputed territories, expanding its defense zone even farther toward Japan.
In response to an inquiry from the Japanese newspaper, China’s Defense Ministry confirmed the eastern tip of the zone is just 130 kilometers from the Japanese island of Kyushu. This makes it as close to Japan as Tokyo’s own declared air defense zone is to China. The report suggests the newly decided Chinese identification zone has been revised since its introduction on November 23.