U.S. Defense Secretary warns Japan-China territorial spat could lead to war; urges calm on both sides
September 17, 2012 – JAPAN – US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called for diplomatic efforts to resolve a worsening territorial spat between Japan and China on Monday, the day after warning disputes could draw East Asia into war. Speaking after meetings in Tokyo with senior Japanese figures, Panetta urged “calm and restraint on all sides” in a row over disputed islands that has rapidly escalated in the last week into sometimes violent protests in China. “Obviously we’re concerned by the demonstrations and the conflict over the Senkaku islands,” Panetta said, referring to the Japanese-administered archipelago that China claims and calls Diaoyu. “It is extremely important that diplomatic means on both sides be used to try to constructively resolve these issues,” he said, adding a resolution of the dispute has to be based on “clear principles” and international law. “It’s in everybody’s interest for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation,” said Panetta, pounding the podium for emphasis. Panetta arrived in Tokyo on Sunday evening after days of anti-Japanese protests had rocked cities across China, with diplomatic missions being targeted in some instances. Speaking to reporters travelling on his plane, Panetta said intemperate actions over the disputed East China Sea islands could have serious consequences. “It raises the possibility that a misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conflict,” he said. “And that conflict would then have the potential of expanding.” Japan and China, Asia’s two largest economies, have long been at loggerheads over the island chain, but tensions have spiked recently. Last week, Japan announced it had nationalized three of the islands, triggering an angry reaction in China. Tokyo already owns another and leases the fifth. The uninhabited islands lie along important shipping lanes and the seabed nearby is thought to harbor valuable mineral resources. Panetta said Monday the US commitment to Japan, in the form of a mutual defense treaty, was unwavering. “Obviously we stand by our treaty obligations. They are longstanding, and that does not change.” The US has around 47,000 troops stationed in Japan. But he said the United States as a matter of policy does not take a position on the territorial dispute.
Beijing demonstrators damage US ambassador’s car
DEBKAfile September 19, 2012, 6:57 AM (GMT+02:00)
A car carrying the US ambassador to China was mildly damaged after becoming the target of boisterous anti-Japan demonstrators who were expressing outrage over a territorial dispute and marking the 81st anniversary of Japan’s invasion of China.
The State Department said in a statement Wednesday that Ambassador Gary Locke was unhurt in the incident, and that diplomats have expressed concerns to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Around 50 protesters surrounded Locke’s car as he tried to enter the embassy and were eventually removed by Chinese security personnel.
The incident comes amid heightened vigilance for American diplomats following unrelated violent attacks on US embassies and missions in more than 20 Muslim countries.
U.S. and Japan agree to deploy second missile defense shield
September 17, 2012 – JAPAN – The US and Japan have agreed to set up a second missile defense system on Japanese soil in an effort to counter the ballistic missile threat from North Korea, officials say. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement in Tokyo with Japan’s defense minister. But the exact location of the system has not yet been determined. While both sides insist the system is not aimed at China, analysts say the decision is bound to anger Beijing. Mr. Panetta’s trip comes amid fresh tensions between Japan and China over disputed islands known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, after Japan sealed a deal to buy three of the islands. Japan and the US have worked on a joint missile defense system over the years. This new system would enable Japanese ships to cover other parts of the region, officials say. “It will enhance the alliance’s ability to defend Japan, our forward deployed forces and the US homeland from a ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea,” Mr. Panetta said. In April, North Korea conducted a failed long-range rocket launch that it said was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit. Critics said the launch was a disguised test of missile technology, banned under UN resolutions. Mr. Panetta also discussed with Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto the deployment of US Osprey aircraft to Okinawa, which has angered local residents concerned about safety. Mr. Panetta is on a week-long tour of Asia that includes China and New Zealand.
A World On The Verge Of War?
Here is a summary of where the world stands: -
- Unable to reach a compromise over the weekend, South Africa is now in an all out labor strike, with the police again firing rubber bullets at miners with lethal escalation guaranteed
- Japan “appropriating” China-contested islands provoking a firestorm of retaliation including demands for “war with Japan”
- The Japanese ambassador to China dying mysteriously
- Netanyahu telling Meet the Press Iran will have a nuke in six-seven months and must be stopped beforehand
- Warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launching a military exercise in the Straits of Hormuz
- A third US aircraft – the CVN-74 Stennis – carrier is en route to Iran with an ETA of about 10 days
- And finally, a potential catalyst to light this whole mess on fire, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announcing that its troops are now on the ground in Syria.
Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are providing non-military assistance in Syria and Iran may get involved militarily if its closest ally comes under attack, commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Sunday.
Jafari’s statement is the first official acknowledgement that Iran has a military presence on the ground in Syria where an 18-month-old uprising has left tens of thousands dead.
Western countries and Syrian opposition groups have long suspected Iran has troops in Syria. Iran has denied this.
“A number of members of the Qods force are present in Syria but this does not constitute a military presence,” Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Jafari as saying at a news conference.
Qods is an IRGC unit set up to export Iran’s ideology. It has been accused of plotting attacks inside Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Jafari did not indicate how many IRGC members were in Syria but said they were providing “intellectual and advisory help”.
The Islamic Republic has backed Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad since the crisis began and regards his rule as a key part of its axis of resistance against Israel and Sunni Arab states.
Jafari also said Iran would change its policy and offer military backing if Syria came under attack.
“I say specifically that if Syria came under military attack, Iran would also give military support but it … totally depends on the circumstances,” he said.
Next up: satellite photos somewhere “confirming” beyond a reasonable doubt that weapons of mass destruction are being prepared for usage, and a preemptive war is the only way to not only preserve peace, but to be awarded the Nobel prize in said activity.
What is perfectly obvious to anyone but the most jaded and biased, is that the West will use any opportunity of conflict escalation which in turn will send crude, and gas, prices soaring, to commence the launch of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve release, arguably at just the right time to push down gas prices, which as we showed on Friday have never been higher on this day in history. “Right time”, because any SPR release will have the short-term benefit of boosting Obama’s re-election chances even more, even if it means surging gas prices after the election.
The reality of course is that the bulk of upside pressure on commodity (crude and gas included) prices is as a result of the Fed and ECB’s recent monetization expansion and liquidity tsunami, which does the usual: soothes the symptoms for a few weeks, crushes volatility and creates the impression that all is well…. if only to lead to yet another far more grave outcome. And since there is now officially no limit much debt the Fed will monetize, there is so no limit on how high commodity prices will go.
So while in reality any war, supposedly one which is “regional” and “contained” will merely be a smokescreen to the central banks officially taking over ownership of the insolvent developed world, the likelihood is that a war will neither be “regional” nor “contained” as both countries that make up the axis of a future hard-backed currency, China and Russia, have already made it quite clear that any intervention by the US in regions they themselves consider strategic, such as the Senkaku Islands, Syria and/or Iran, will result in retaliation.
And retaliation by one or more rising superpowers to another fading superpower, will inevitably lead to yet another World War.
Needless to say, nobody could possibly foresee war as the outcome to the global depression ver 2.0: certainly not the Princeton historian who will be, more than anyone else, responsible for it.
China, Japan Heading Towards War, says US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
September 17, 2012
China and other Asian countries could end up at war over territorial disputes if governments keep up their “provocative behaviour”, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said.
Speaking to reporters before arriving in Tokyo on a trip to Asia, Mr Panetta appealed for restraint amid mounting tensions over territorial rights in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
“I am concerned that when these countries engage in provocations of one kind or another over these various islands, that it raises the possibility that a misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conflict,” Mr Panetta said, when asked about a clash between Japan and China.
In a First, Indian Tank Brigades to Defend China Border
The army’s defences on the China border will get a major offensive boost with the impending deployment of two tank brigades, one each in Ladakh and north-east India. This is the first time that India will deploy armoured formations on the China border. Such formations, equipped with main battle tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, are traditionally used for striking into enemy territory.
Authoritative MoD (Ministry of Defence) sources tell Business Standard that the plan, cleared by the MoD, involves raising six new armoured regiments, equipped with 348 tanks (58 tanks per regiment, including reserves). In addition, three mechanised infantry battalions will be raised, amounting to about 180 BMP-IIs.
The decision to deploy tanks to beef up India’s light, mountain infantry divisions was taken due to doctrinal changes in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA has deployed armoured and motorised formations in both their military regions across the Line of Actual Control, as the de facto Sino-Indian border is called. According to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Lanzhou Military Region, which faces Ladakh, has 220,000 PLA troops, including an armoured division and two motorised infantry divisions (a division has three brigades). The Chengdu Military Region, opposite India’s north-eastern states, has some 180,000 PLA troops, including two armoured brigades and four motorised infantry divisions.
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