Senkaku – Diaoyu dispute in perspective

9 Dec

It took me awhile to get around to posting this as I found a collection of videos on you tube from a website I sometimes frequent. It involves precious metals and investing which is something near and dear to me heart so sadly this blog went without attention as it had from early last year until this December when I brought it back from the dead.

So lets take a closer look at the situation currently simmering in the South China Sea. The Diaoyus or as the Japanese call them the Senkaku islands are a group of empty rocks 102 nautical miles from China and 230 NM from Naha in Okinawa. Perhaps it has energy resources in the sediment below the disputed area but it most certainly has fishing resources. So is this potential conflict point worth fighting over fishing access ?

In this bloggers opinion it is not.

Sadly the entire brewing fiasco has been packaged and sold to both the Chinese and Japanese people as some sort of sovereign rights issue. While on its face the islands are disputed and are someones national “lands” they are marginal locations at the best of times. One does not need an island in order to fish the surrounding area and if there are energy resources in the sea bed why have they not been studied and or developed ?

The truth is that this is toxic blend of nationalistic fever, mixed with a bread and circus mentality. It is packaged, marketed and consumed by both the nations people. I can understand why the Chinese are following such a path but for the Japanese it makes little sense to me. Then again I probably have a better grasp on the Japanese mindset than that of the Chinese but from my perspective the Chinese are pursuing a win win strategy.

The Chinese have a number of issues on their plate including but not limited to;
1. A rapidly developing economy based upon urban living and factory floor production
2. A 1.2 billion population in transition from rural to urban employment and in need of jobs
3. A CCP government that just announced a new national leader
4. The realization that China has arrived on the International scene as a major player yet lacking some of the critical elements that make a country “great”.
5. A profound need by the CCP to find a scapegoat in order to deflect domestic tension away from them
6. The unique and lengthy historical context of China and her peoples
7. A feeling of national pride as China is now the 2nd largest economy on the planet

I am sure there are more than the 7 I just listed but I think it clearly illustrates the Chinese situation.

The Diaoyu Islands are in fact the perfect remedy for issues 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It allows the CCP to sit back and allow protests against perceived Japanese “aggression” by the rapidly growing urban working classes in Eastern China. It is far preferable to have protests directed at the Japanese than against the CCP and her loyal albeit occasionally corrupt local party politicians. It allows the government to transition to their new party boss, put their plan into place and implement the changes the party deems necessary to achieve their 10 year goals.

The people of China are now fully entering the consumption phase of the development plan initially put in place by Deng Xiaoping. They feel their rising strength both fiscally and as a growing super power yet they lack a gravitas necessary to fully emerge on the world scene as the counter weight to the US colossus. Trading and development projects continue at break neck speed both domestically and on an international basis. They continue to develop, practice and refine their approach. The country has the world second largest navy and is working to secure China’s access to the energy and resources she needs to continue her development.

The CCP needs time to complete their plans for China and the Diaoyu incident is a perfect circus to feed the people and steer them away from domestic instability. National pride is the unifying emotion now proudly espoused by the Chinese people. Those who maintain the fight for individual freedoms or protest against China’s human rights violations seem overwhelmed by the nationalistic fervor now existing in the country.

I will discuss the Japanese situation at a later time as this post is starting to become lengthy

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