The Game of Zones is heating up, a clash of powers triggered by an American vision of a unipolar world and growing Chinese assertiveness.
Throw in historical legacies and conflicting claims over marine resources and you’ve got reason to take heed.
China takes issue with U.S. missiles in South Korea
with the Korean government signing an agreement with with a Korean conglomerate to swap the company’s golf course for military land to install a U.S.-provided anti-missile.
The ostensible reason for the base is North Korea’s nuclear missile program, but the Chinese see it differently.
From Xinhua, China’s official state news agency:
China on Monday warned against the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in the Republic of Korea (ROK), saying China’s security interests should not be undermined.
There were media reports that the Lotte Group board of directors met on Monday to approve a land swap deal between the military and Lotte — a move to facilitate the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
The THAAD deployment initiated by the United States and the ROK seriously undermines regional strategic balance and the strategic security interests of regional countries including China, and is not favorable to safeguarding peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing.
“China has stressed time and again that it understands the reasonable security concerns of certain parties, but one country’s security should not come at the expense of another,” Geng said.
China regrets the persistent ignoring of its concerns over security interests, the spokesperson said. “China expresses firm opposition and strong dissatisfaction,” he said.
China will take necessary measures to safeguard its security interests, and the U.S. and the ROK will have to bear all the resulting consequences, the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile in Japan. . .
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been doing some fast spinning after it emerged that a private school owner hailed as an ideological colleague turned out to be an openly racist zealot.
Abe’s regime has been the recipient of major Pentagon largess, boosted by Barack Obama’s Asian Pivot, a policy based o containment of China’s growing military prowess and the ongoing disputes over rights to the islands and resources of the China Seas.
The latest on Abe’s flub from the Japan Times:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows.
At the center of the controversy is Tsukamoto Kindergarten, a private school that recently came under fire for distributing letters to parents that accused Korean residents and Chinese of “possessing wicked thoughts.”
It has also emerged that the principal, Yasunori Kagoike, had briefly used Abe’s name in the past to raise funds to build Mizuho no Kuni, an elementary school slated to open April this year.
It was at this elementary school that Abe’s wife, Akie, had assumed the position of honorary principal until Thursday last week, when her name was abruptly removed from the school’s website amid a groundswell of public attention focused on the pair’s dealings with Moritomo Gakuen, which runs both schools.
TV footage has surfaced online over the past few days showing kindergartners participating in a sports festival at Tsukamoto, lined up, standing at attention, and shouting a nationalist chant that said: “Japanese adults should make sure South Korea and China repent over treating Japan as a villain,” and “refrain from teaching lies in history textbooks.”
On Feb. 17, Abe had described Kagoike as someone with an “admirable passion for education” and “whose ideology is similar to mine.”