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Japan, US Prepare Plans for Conflict with China in East China Sea

In recent months, we have seen increased military provocations by the US on the edge of China’s territorial waters. More worrying however, if the fact the US are attempting to drag Japan into their geopolitical chess match. In addition to this, British Royal Naval ships have also being used to provoke China in near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

All of this is happening amid a backdrop of a new US-led international trade war, in which the Trump Administration is attempting to renegotiate the legacy system of globalization and multilateralism, and into a new phase of nationalist-oriented neomercantilism, and possibly new regional power blocks. For this reason, it’s difficult to know exactly how much of this sabre rattling is part of the the new realignment, and how much represents a genuine American thirst for a new world war.

Regardless, Japan remains the key power-balancer in the East Asia region, and which direction it swings will likely determine to over-arching direction of events. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye on this recent development (see below).

Southfront reports…

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…

Continue this story at South Front

READ MORE CHINA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire China Files

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