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1 lostlakehiker  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 9:58:57pm

This is nuts, alright. Each of the nations concerned would do best to back down. It's just not worth it.

But China most of all. China can back down without strategic consequences, because China's power is relatively greater in the commercial realm, and is growing steadily. Why rock the boat? Every geopolitical thing that China needs becomes easier to get by the year, because of her increasing economic strength and the military bump that comes with that.

What China does not need is a symbolic victory, assuming it works out that way, that would alarm Japan and the rest of her neighbors and set them to work building stronger militaries of their own. That would harden attitudes among her neighbors.

And what if it didn't work out that way? Pandora's box then flies open.

2 aagcobb  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 8:17:15am

Situations like this is one big reason I'm glad Obama is President and not Romney.

3 EiMitch  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 9:55:51am

re: #1 lostlakehiker

What China does not need is a symbolic victory

Ah, but growing economic wealth can lead to growing dissent. "Why doesn't the 'People's Republic' take better care of the people? They can clearly afford it now, can't they?"

Suppression of dissent helps, but the government also needs a strong image. The more nationalism is ingrained in the culture, the harder it is to rock that boat.

In other words: symbolic victories count, if not in the sense you were thinking.

Oh, and don't forget hubris. Leaders sometimes do buy their own bulls***. If cooler heads always prevailed, there would be no such thing as war.

This unhelpful message brought to you by Frustrated inc.

4 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 6:34:29pm

re: #1 lostlakehiker

This is nuts, alright. Each of the nations concerned would do best to back down. It's just not worth it.

But China most of all. China can back down without strategic consequences, because China's power is relatively greater in the commercial realm, and is growing steadily. Why rock the boat? Every geopolitical thing that China needs becomes easier to get by the year, because of her increasing economic strength and the military bump that comes with that.

What China does not need is a symbolic victory, assuming it works out that way, that would alarm Japan and the rest of her neighbors and set them to work building stronger militaries of their own. That would harden attitudes among her neighbors.

And what if it didn't work out that way? Pandora's box then flies open.

The problem remains that past events loom large in this matter. An example is the fact that while the governments of North Korea and South Korea regard each other with great hostility, they both have announced they are on the same page in support of China in the matter of the Senkakus. The reason? They both hate Japan, because of Japan's horrible treatment of Korea and Koreans in the first several decades of the 20th Century (ending in 1945 with Japan's defeat in WWII). Japan for its part refuses to really admit its misdeeds and partially caters to nationalists who see the Senkakus as Japan's by right and consider ceding claim to them akin to treason. Thus compromise is made almost impossible because national pride.

Frankly, if fighting erupts over these islands the US should stay out of it. We should just order our forces out of the area. because to risk war with China over islands Japan originally took by unjust force strikes me as insane.


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