More games from China. Two days ago the news was that China had blocked rare earth exports to Japan over the Senkaku Islands dispute. Then today it came out that such a thing hadn't really happened. Just talk. Coincidentally, Japan decided to release the Chinese fishing boat captain it was holding. On the hegemony front, the US and ASEAN are coming together to push back against China. Meanwhile our troops stay in Afghanistan, making central Asia safe for Chinese expansion. Perhaps our foreign policymakers can all get on the same page?
Speaking of Japan, Taiwan News published a good analysis of the Japan-China-US-Taiwan relationship that focused on Japan's changing domestic calculus -- the new government has a China hawk for a foreign minister, and China's bluster has played right into his hands....
Ironically, the PRC's bald assertion of its "territorial sovereignty" over virtually all the waters in the East Sea, the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea may make it easier for Tokyo to convince reluctant Okinawans that their own security is also at stake.The article points out relations with Japan have been rockier under Ma because of the (apparently deliberate use of) the irritant of the Senkakus. A China Times editorial blamed US machinations for the Senkakus mess -- a sample of how both Chinese nationalisms, rightist and leftist, use the US as a convenient whipping boy -- but note this comment at the bottom:
Indeed, the "Ryukyu Shimbun" reported yesterday that Japan's Ministry of defense plans to boost the number of Ground Self-defense Forces stationed on the main island of Okinawa from 2,000 to 20,000 by 2020 in part to cope with "special needs due to the increase in Chinese military activities" near to the Okinawan island chain.
Editor’s Note: Ambassador Stephen S. F. Chen, former representative of the Republic of China to Washington and currently associated with the National Policy Foundation in Taipei, recently made a comment on the status of the Diaoyutai Islets when answering press queries in Los Angeles. He said that the Government of the Republic of China (ROC) holds the consistent stance that the Diaoyutai Islets belong to the ROC. The Japan Coast Guard’s forcible detention of fishing boats from across the Taiwan Strait in recent months had clearly violated ROC sovereignty, added the retired diplomat. With regard to similar claim of sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islets by Mainland China, Ambassador Chen emphasized his point by citing the ROC Constitution, which stipulates that the ROC’s “existing national boundaries” encompass the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, and surrounding islands. He explained that, leaving aside the issue of which China has the right to claim sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islets, Beijing’s stance did not collide with that of the ROC based on the concept of sovereignty.It's the 1992 consensus, Senkakus version.
The typhoon Fanapi flooding down south in Taiwan turned into a political football, but it was a game nobody won, though Chen Chu's intemperate words probably cost her at the polls, at least temporarily. Flooding occurs in part because of massive land subsidence and will only get worse as global warming gets into gear as this century goes on. To solve these problems requires changes in the way the System works in Taiwan (and elsewhere). That isn't going to happen. Meanwhile the Arctic Ice is now in a death spiral. Yes, I'm feeling pessimistic today.
- Temples and Taiwanese identity from Drew: this is why I enjoy biking with Drew.
- Frozen Garlic thinks Hau is probably toast in Taipei. Don't miss his analysis of the city council seats.
- Visiting permaculture farms in Taiwan
- J Michael's excellent piece: Six Decades of Made Up Politics
- Taiwan's grouper craze: can Grouper give the KMT a leg up in the south? Nope.
- Yes! Taiwan has contest for poster to show importance of copyright protection... and winning entrant was plagiarized.
- Taiwan government says terrorist attacks target Whitey, don't be concerned about trips to India.
- Japan Times on Chinese hegemony: won't happen.
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