Beijing Pushes Claim on…Okinawa?
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  • Philopoemen

    Will anyone really take this seriously? By that logic, Italy could claim ownership of most of Europe, the Levant, and northern Africa.

    • rheddles

      And just think what the UK could claim. But do they have anything to kinetically back up their claim? China does. That’s the message. The same one Islam makes. And Mexicans.

      • Philopoemen

        They do and they don’t. It seems more than likely that any invasion of Okinawa would be met with fierce opposition, to say the least, especially with an American base there. The premise is so absurd and the scenario is so bleak that I can’t see this as any more than an idle threat or simple demagogy.

        • rheddles

          I see it as simple bullying to try to get some advantage in the Senkaku standoff or the Spratleys. By simply making the claim, others must wonder, Are they really that crazy? And if they are, are they crazy enough to go to war? And it puts the Chinese on the offensive and everyone else on the defensive.

          I also see it as diverting the attention of the domestic disaffected toward barbaric foreigners. And energizing them for war so that the threats are even more credible.

          The French and British were far stronger than the Germans in 1939. Why didn’t they win in a walk away?

          • Philopoemen

            I appreciate the historical viewpoint, but this isn’t 1939. Do you really think China would go to war with the US and Japan? I think we’ve passed the technological inflexion point after which wars between armies of that magnitude become too dangerous to consider.

            Furthermore, the US/Japan and Chinese economies are so tightly intertwined that the immediate economic effects alone – before the first bullet has flown – would be disastrous for all involved.

          • rheddles

            The Chinese see the world differently than we. The last 200 years have been humiliating for a civilization that thought itself the center of the world. There’ll plenty of them who think it’s time to even the score. And those are the ones who feel comfortable in the military. If the Communist Party looses control of the PLA in a period of economic dislocation?

            The whole Western Pacific is looking a lot like Europe, 1914. It is easy to imagine China taking its bullying of some minor state too far and a cascade of wars starting that envelop us all.

            As for the feasibility of war, reread Norman Angell’s Great Illusion and consider the stupidity on display by the enlightened European Superpowers from 1914 to 1918.

            And like Germany, China’s window of opportunity will close soon and they know it. By 2035 the average age in China will be older than in the US. And their per capita will be well below ours. So I see our period of maximum risk for war from China being 2015-2025.

            To see how little control we have over what happens, one must reconsider the situation in Japan between the wars. It’s harder to believe granting equality at the Washington Naval Conference would have changed anything because they wanted to be a European empire when the European empires had just committed suicide. Who know under what, from our perspective, delusions the Chinese decision makers will be operating.

          • Atanu Maulik

            If China does not learn to temper its temper tantrums, the next two centuries can be even more humiliating for them than the last two.

    • Phalon

      Or with even more relevance, imagine what Japan could claim…

  • Atanu Maulik

    The Chinese are making it really easy for the US. Pretty soon all of Asia will be sitting on America’s lap.

  • michaelj68

    If the rule is going to be China can claim any territory that paid tribute during its Imperial past then you have to include Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Korea. Also on the list are Great Britain, Netherlands, and Portugal. If you wanted any sort of diplomatic and/or economic relationship with Imperial China you had to make some tribute payment.

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