China: Japan “Playing with Fire” by Conducting Joint Naval Drills with US in S. China Sea

china-japanBy James Holbrooks

On Thursday, China warned U.S. ally Japan it’s “playing with fire” with any plans to hold joint naval drills with the United States in the South China Sea. Reuters reports:

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, asked about Japan’s plans, said it had constantly been trying to stir things up in the South China Sea for its own purposes.

‘We must solemnly tell Japan this is a miscalculation. If Japan wants to have joint patrols or drills in waters under Chinese jurisdiction this really is playing with fire,’ Yang told a monthly news briefing.

‘China’s military will not sit idly by,’ he added, without elaborating.

China and the U.S. are at something of a standoff in the waters off China’s southern coast. China, who claims those waters, despite a U.N. arbitration court ruling that says those claims are invalid, has been flexing its muscles and warning the U.S. against intervention in the region.

The United States, for its part, has been responding in kind, with drills launched by troops stationed in Guam and the Philippines. The U.S. contends the military’s presence in the region is a check against China monopolizing access to the South China Sea.

Currently, neither the U.S. nor China have signaled any inclination toward backing down.

What’s worse, China has the military backing of Russia, whom the U.S. is currently at extreme odds with regarding the conflict in Syria. Additionally, China has a separate, direct conflict unfolding with Japan — again, a U.S. ally — in the East China Sea, as Underground Reporter has covered:

Since the beginning of August, Japan has been accusing China of violating its sovereign space by sending hundreds of fishing boats — accompanied by armed government vessels — across its maritime boundary lines and into Japanese waters. These claims were substantiated when the Japanese Coast Guard released video of the violations on [August 16].

“Further ratcheting up the tension is the fact that Japan has begun development of land-to-sea missiles in the name of protecting its space. China, of course — who doesn’t acknowledge the boundary line and claims territorial rights to those waters — took this news as proof that Japan was ‘eyeing a shift to an offensive posture,’ according to a recent article in China’s state-run Global Times.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is holding joint naval drills with Japan and South Korea in the Sea of Japan, and considering further coordinated action in an effort to “defend against North Korea’s unprovoked acts of aggression.”

The Sea of Japan, incidentally, borders the southeastern coast of Russia.

This article (China: Japan ‘Playing with Fire’ by Conducting Joint Naval Drills with US in S. China Sea) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to James Holbrooks and If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to [email protected]. Image credit: Flickr/Official U.S. Navy Page.

Also Read: U.S. Preparing To Launch Submarine Drones Into Disputed Territory Of The South China Sea

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2 Comments on "China: Japan “Playing with Fire” by Conducting Joint Naval Drills with US in S. China Sea"

  1. Two pieces of the geopolitical puzzle balance this story. The first is acknowledging **UN 2030 treaties affected the governance of the oceans and seas signed this last April by virtually all nations place jurisdiction in the hands of the UN and multinational corporations**. Media reports of heightened tensions in the S. China Sea region likely portend an orchestrated demonstration of the “need” for the new global oversight.

    Second is the Chinese government has strenuously repeated in its public media that any kind of nationalist jingoism encouraging rancor and protest directed at Japan / US over the S. China Seas issue is strictly forbidden and considered “anti government” and, further, boycotts are foolish because in a globalized economy these boycotts only hurt China’s workers. Thus the China govt has taken a very moderate tone – wisely so as it works ambitiously on its UN coordinated Silk Road mega project building regional governance infrastructure.

  2. China and North Korea quote from the same book. Notice the similarities in their statements. China has been funding North Korea’s weapons programs for decades. Remember when North Korea pulled a Khaddafi (which obama ignored) and begged Bush for a unilateral conference and Bush said no? That was our last chance to turn them. They’ve been working for China ever since.

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