The Chinese Defense Ministry last week expanded its Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, unilaterally increasing its claim on the Japanese-administered Senkakus Islands. China is demanding that any aircraft in the Zone must identify themselves and obey air traffic control from Beijing. Any “threats” over the disputed area will be identified, monitored, or engaged according to Chinese policy. Past history has included verbal threats and close formation ramming by outdated fighters.
China and Japan both claim ownership of the islets known as the Senkakus, while China claims Diaoyu. Located in the middle of the East China Sea seabed, which is “potentially rich with oil, gas and other mineral deposits,” possession of the islands has been a matter of contention between the nations since they were purchased from a private owner last year by the government of Japan.
In a show of support for its Japanese ally, the Pentagon authorized the flight of Guam-based B-52s over the disputed Senkakus Islets. The Strategic bombers were sent to challenge China’s “claim of exclusive control of the airspace over the chain of land patches in the East China Sea.” China’s response was pure bluster, claiming “The Japanese and U.S. hysteria is unnecessary and potentially dangerous, because it is based on a serious misreading, if not intentional distortion, of Chinese strategic purposes.” America’s debt holder is insisting that Washington had no business challenging its sovereignty in a regional misunderstanding of the long-term designs of the People’s Republic.
China is the second largest importer of oil and natural gas and has become the world’s largest energy consumer. Their demand for hydrocarbon fuels is expected to increase rapidly in the near future. China’s encroachment on the Japanese-owned islands is not based on improving its defense posture. Rather, it involves the overt theft of underwater resources for the purpose of securing oil for its ambitions to become a sole world power. By expanding the Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, China is using its military to grab oil and gas fields in East and South China seas. As they are closer to home, China hopes to minimize the effects of a possible blockade or embargo by the world community should the Chinese government decide to invade, hypothetically, Taiwan.
Naturally, this will all be of little concern to America’s low information voters. They are just too busy loving their Chinese-assembled iPhones.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath