Tuesday, April 05, 2016

To Stand Your Ground You Need to Be Standing on the Ground

Japan has introduced troops to an island and a week ago put the outpost into operation. This has upset China. Other countries with claims to islands had best follow Japan's example before China simply takes what they want.

This is good:

Japan on Monday switched on a radar station in the East China Sea, giving it a permanent intelligence gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China, drawing an angry response from Beijing.

The new Self Defence Force base on the island of Yonaguni is at the western extreme of a string of Japanese islands in the East China Sea, 150 km (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Negotiations are possible over disputed islands. But if China moves in and takes over an island, negotiations end right there.

And China would prefer to have islands claimed by others to be unoccupied to allow China to sweep them up at their leisure.

As I noted some time ago:

Strategypage summarizes China's view of negotiations over the South China Sea:

Can't We All Just Obey China?

The reaction of other claimants to China's 9/10th gambit should be to defend their bits of land before China can occupy them. If China wants to gradually take over the region, the rest need to at least compel China to exceed a threshold of violence to do so that risks diplomatic repercussions or even war.

The "9/10 gambit" referring to the saying that possession is 9/10ths of the law on ownership, of course.

Other countries should occupy the islands they claim unless they simply want to hope they are further down the line of China's plans to take the whole darned region one piece at a time.