Japan, U.S. Prepare Plans For Conflict With China Over Contested Islands In East China Sea

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Japan, U.S. Prepare Plans For Conflict With China Over Contested Islands In East China Sea

SOURCE: twitter.com/USPacificFleet

The US and Japan appear to be preparing for a conflict with China over the Senkaku Islands, according to News Corp Australia.

The tiny islands are located between the northern tip of Taiwan and the Japanese home islands and have been under dispute for a while, however they appear to be heating up.

Beijing claims that the islands are part of its historical inheritance. According to the Australian outlet, Chinese fishing boats are continuously performing aggressive incursions, in a way that they appear to be organized as a state militia. The Chinese coast guard was also recently militarized and is seeing tensions in the East China Sea.

Reportedly, Japan and the United States are drawing up battle plans to enable their forces to fight together against any Chinese incursion.

This is reinforced by the on-going military drills aimed at demonstrating the interoperability of Japanese Self Defense Forces with those of the US and Canada. These exercises are the biggest ever that have taken place around Japan. The Keen Sword exercise includes more than 57,000 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel, as well as the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan.

The Japan Times also cited government sources which claimed that there are on-going discussions to establish a joint response to any “emergency” on or around the Senkaku Islands.

“The plan being drawn up assumes such emergencies as armed Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needing to be mobilized after the situation exceeds the capacity of the police to respond,” the outlet reported.

“We are here to stabilise, and preserve our capability should it be needed. Exercises like Keen Sword are exactly the kind of thing we need to do,” Rear Admiral Karl Thomas told a media briefing aboard the USS Ronald Reagan with its 90 F-18 Super Hornet strike fighters and 5000 sailors.

“The US-Japan alliance is essential for stability in this region and the wider Indo Pacific,” Japanese Rear Admiral Hiroshi Egawa added.

Keen Sword “remains an expression of the commitment of like-minded allies and partners. To really see what we can do in terms of demonstrating advanced capabilities together to ensure peace and stability in the Indo Pacific,” the Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said.

He also added that the US would continue its freedom of navigation operations in the East and South China Seas to emphasize on its opposition of “illegitimate maritime claims.”

Japan is also actively attempting to boost its military strength. In August 2018 it increased the maximum age for recruits. Due to the aging population the number of soldiers in the country is dwindling.

In May 2018 Japan also increased its military spending for the 6th consecutive year.

China is also not sitting idle. It is rapidly expanding and modernizing its Navy. On October 29th, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the military chiefs overseeing the South China Sea to prepare for war.

This followed the warning of Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges who claimed that it is very likely that the US will be at war with China in 15 years.

There are constant provocations by the US in the South China Sea, to which Beijing does not fail to respond.

Significantly, in late September the USS Decatur was taking part in a freedom of navigation when it had a close encounter with a Chinese destroyer.

A video released on November 4th shows the near-collision of the two warships:

The Chinese warship warned the US vessel would “suffer consequences” if it did not divert away from the contested waters.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve had a direct threat to an American warship with that kind of language,” Chatham House international affairs analyst Bill Hayton was cited by the South China Morning Post.

“The Chinese Luyang destroyer issued the stern verbal message to the USS Decatur before sailing within 45 yards of the vessel in the September 30 incident,” the Post reported, claiming that it is citing information obtained from the British Ministry of Defense.

“We are conducting innocent passage,” the USS Decatur responded.

Beijing stated the destroyer Luyang “took quick action and made checks against the US vessel in accordance with the law, and warned it to leave the waters.”

Beijing’s claims on the South China Sea are not recognized under international law, because The UN convention of the sea does not recognize sovereignty being established through artificial islands.

The escalation in tensions is apparent and is putting the region at the very high risk. Australian and New Zealand officials have repeatedly warned against a conflict between Japan, China and the US.

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  • Promitheas Apollonious

    I wonder if russia and china will coordinate their answer to this pathetic bullies.

    • No as Russia and China are historically, culturally, industrially and geopolitically fierce rivals. But in case of nuclear confrontation, both (Russia and China) would be unwanted allies against NATO countries.

      • You can call me Al

        Nonsense. Russia and China are as 1 as it comes to defence now against the US and it’s lap dogs.

        • beypuutyina

          ru and ch are bitter rivals

          • You can call me Al

            NO THEY WERE.

          • beypuutyina

            were, are and will be. for ever.

  • You can call me Al

    “Chinese fishing boats are continuously performing aggressive incursions, in a way that they appear to be organised as a state militia.” ……….. NOW, I have heard everything. Talk about fooking delusional !!.

  • Brother Ma

    Turncoat Americans. Until the Cold war all nations knew that these disputed islands were China’s .What changed?

  • Veritas Vincit

    “Australian and New Zealand officials have repeatedly warned against a conflict between Japan, China and the US.”

    Australian and NZ concerns of war do not change concurent preparations of these nations for the situation of war:

    ‘Australian preparations for allied military conflict with the PRC’
    – “the Australian military is being integrated into the US military’s AirSea Battle doctrine. Under this plan, US forces will launch attacks on the Chinese mainland, while Australian forces will cut off China’s maritime trade links…. starving its economy of oil, gas and other essential resources.” (Sydney’s week-long military extravaganza foreshadows new wars, WSWS, 11 October 2013)

    – “The report [‘Australia-Japan-US Maritime Cooperation’ by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies] contains specific recommendations to enhance “inter-operability” on intelligence and surveillance, submarine and anti-submarine warfare, amphibious forces and logistics….. The report’s author, Andrew Shearer, is a senior figure in the Australian foreign policy and military establishment…. Shearer is also very well connected in Washington…… Shearer makes clear [the] main “hard security” objective is to prepare for war with China.

    The Pentagon’s preoccupation with “freedom of navigation” and China’s A2/AD [s[Anti-Access, Area Denial] systems flows directly from its military strategy for war with China—Air Sea Battle. This is premised on being able to launch massive missile and air attacks on the Chinese mainland from warships and submarines in nearby waters, as well as from military bases in Japan and South Korea. Australia and Japan are central to Air Sea Battle and associated strategies, which include a naval blockade of China to strangle its economy…… “In the event of a conflict with China, the United States and its allies could adopt a range of strategies to counter its A2/AD capabilities,” the report explains. All are based on Air Sea Battle, which “relies on networked, integrated forces to take the offensive across air, maritime, land, space and cyberspace to disrupt, destroy and defeat an adversary’s A2/AD capabilities, allowing friendly forces maximum flexibility to defeat opposing forces.” (CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China, By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016)

    – “the [Australian] navy is being made ready to play an essential part in the US-led build-up for war against China. The French “Barracuda” class submarines have been chosen for their long-range offensive capabilities, suited in particular to deployment in the South China Sea. The US military, which was closely involved in the evaluation process, expects them to be fully interoperable with the US navy, equipped with American combat and weapons systems.” (Submarine project no solution for South Australia’s employment crisis, By John Braddock, 14 May 2016)

    – “The expanding scope of this integration into US war preparations is being underscored by the latest biennial Talisman Sabre military exercises, involving more than 33,000 troops and other personnel across Australia, the Pacific and the US…. The exercises are rehearsing “Special Forces activities, amphibious landings, parachuting” and other offensive operations in the Asia-Pacific. Their stated purpose is to display the interoperability and “battle-readiness” of the US-Australia alliance, and send a threatening message to China. Briefing journalists on board the USS Bonhomme Richard, Admiral Harris was asked how he thought China would view the exercises. He said the size of the deployment was intended as a signal. “I’m pleased about that message it sends our friends, allies, partners and potential adversaries,” Harris stated.” (Australian government lines up behind US threats to North Korea and China, WSWS, 6 July 2017), etc……

    • Veritas Vincit

      In the event of war, Australia will be integrated into allied bloc operations. It is logical targeted nations would respond accordingly. As Australia is violating a non-nuclear status due to the hosting of nuclear capable allied assets (being employed as an ‘unsinkable’ allied force projection platform), with open discussions on the domestic acquisition/development of nuclear capabilities and noting recent procurements include nuclear compatible systems/technology (F-35s/B61-12 LEP, Mk-41 VLS with Mk14 [W80/nuclear device] cruise missile launch canisters, etc.), such behaviour would not have gone unnoticed. In response, China may adjust its strategic policies accordingly.

      In short, a war in the region would involve Australia in a military capacity (augmenting allied operations). As capabilities not rhetoric determine responses, it is reasonable to assume Chinese military analysts would consider these factors in calculations and contingency plans.

      References:
      1. “In a recent essay, Dr Stephan Fruhling, the Associate Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the ANU, contemplated the “unthinkable option”, and suggested that a nuclear-armed Australia is more likely than ever before” (Does Australia need a nuclear arsenal? And what would be the cost?, By Joey Watson [Australian] ABC News, 24/10/2018)

      2.Report: Renewed push for Australia to build nuclear weapons, WSWS, 30 January 2018

      3. “The US military-intelligence complex is engaged in systematic preparations for World War III. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, a military conflict with China and/or Russia is inevitable, and this prospect has become the driving force of its tactical and strategic planning…. Each of the hearings presumed a major US conflict with another great power (sometimes unnamed, sometimes explicitly designated as China or Russia) within a relatively short time frame, years rather than decades.” (Washington prepares for World War III, WSWS, 5 November 2015)

      4. “According to a report in China Military Online, escalations between the two superpowers will lead to the inevitable. “The problem is not whether the war will break out, but when,” the report said. “Our task is to develop the ‘trump card’ weapon for China before the war.” (New Arms Race: China, US Prepare for Missile Warfare, Sputnik, 24/08/2016)