While the Middle East Burns, Border Tensions Grow Between China and Japan
The Obama administration’s Middle Eastern policies have already run into a hard reality check this week. Next, the president’s ability to deal with two Far East powers could be about to receive a life-or-death test.
China and Japan have a longstanding territorial dispute over a small chain of islands known as Senkaku (in Japanese) and Diaoyu (in Chinese). That feud was ratcheted up several notches this week, when the Japanese government decided to purchase the islands from their (Japanese) private owner. China responded by accusing Japan of theft and sending two patrol ships toward the islands.
On Wednesday, the Chinese government laid out “territorial baselines” that is says demonstrate that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands lie within its territorial waters. Around 8pm EDT Thursday (Friday morning local time), six Chinese vessels disobeyed the Japanese Coast Guard’s orders and entered the waters surrounding the islands (a rollout of media reports was timed to coincide with the action). The Japanese Prime Minister responded by “ordering [his] Ministers to take appropriate actions” in response to the violation. | Read more >>Read More »