Tensions have reached new highs in the China Seas, where the Obama is pushing to militarize Japan and rearm one-time enemy Vietnam to oppose China’s presence in the resource rich waters of the China Seas.
As part of his gambit, Obama has been pushing the right wing government of Japanese Prime Minister to scrap the pacifist provisions of that nations constitution, provisions put in place under the American military dictatorship of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the wake of World War II.
Both Japan and Vietnam have long histories of warfare with China, which China remembers all vividly.
We begin with some raw video from RT depicting Chinese naval maneuvers clearly designed to send a message:
RAW: Chinese navy holds massive combat drills in disputed South China Sea
Warships, supporting vessels and planes from China’s Northern, Eastern and Southern Fleet were mobilised for the exercises, according to CCTV. The exercises took place on Friday between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, known in China as Xisha Islands. The military drills come a few days ahead of an expected ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in the Hague, on China’s disputed territorial claims. The case was brought by the Philippines.
The story from Reuters:
The Chinese navy conducted combat drills near its southern island province of Hainan and the Paracel islands in the South China Sea, the Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
The drills come ahead of a July 12 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on a case brought by the Philippines disputing several of China’s territory claims in the South China Sea.
Ships from China’s northern, eastern and southern fleets participated in Friday’s drills, which focused on air control, surface operations and anti-submarine warfare, among other training exercises, the ministry said in a website statement.
China claims nearly all the South China Sea, but its claims overlap in part with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China has repeatedly said it does not consider any decision reached by the arbitration court to be legally binding.
The Philippines back off from a conciliatory move:
For a couple of days this week an observer could grasp at one small straw, an apparent move by the new Philippine president hinting at a possible easing of tensions between two of the players.
From the Japan Times:
The Philippines’ top diplomat appeared to walk back claims that Manila would be willing to share natural resources with Beijing in the disputed South China Sea — even if it wins a legal challenge next week, a brief statement on the Philippine Foreign Ministry’s website said Saturday.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told Agency France-Presse in an interview Friday that the administration of new President Rodrigo Duterte “hoped to quickly begin direct talks with China” following Tuesday’s verdict, with an eye on jointly exploiting natural gas reserves and fishing grounds within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
On Saturday, however, Yasay was quick to issue a “rejoinder” to the interview.
“What I said is we have to wait for the ruling and study and dissect its implications,” he said in a statement on the ministry’s website.
“As the ruling will not address sovereignty and delimitation, it is possible that some time in the future, claimant countries might consider entering into arrangements such as joint exploration and utilization of resources in disputed areas that do not prejudice the parties’ claims and delimitation of boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS,” it added, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
There’s more, after the jump. . . Continue reading