Monday, January 21, 2013

Over at Zero Hedge, they are talking about the conflict currently heating up between Japan and China over a remote chain of islands south of Japan.

Naturally, the main stream media has no comment on an impending conflict between two enormous economies in Asia, one of whom we are treaty bound to support militarily.  However, as worrisome as it all is, a commenter has succinctly summarized the main problem the Chinese face in picking a fight with the Japanese.  Speaking of the relationship between ourselves and the Red Chinese:


  " When we have used up China to our satisfaction, we can turn to anyone we choose to provide our manufacturing. Like Mexico for example. And they would be happy to do it. Everyone thinks China has us in a corner, when in fact the opposite is true.
China owns US debt. Debt which can be repudiated at a whim and cannot be used to buy anything the US does not want.
China does not have its own market and is decades away from it. Regardless of how many iToys Apple says it sells there.
Messing with Japan is having them expose what is really on their minds and they would be foolish to "flex" their non-existant muscles at Japan or anyone else for that matter.
Their military is a joke, their planes glow infrared like a flare and their single aircraft carrier is a relic.
Im not really sure what they think they will gain from this, but exposing how new they are to the way the world works."

Really, what would happen to China if it got into a military confrontation with the Japanese?  Indeed, those pesky U.S. government bonds that they have stuffed their coffers with would become worthless in the blink of an eye. It sure would help our debt load to just write all that off if given the proper excuse.  Worse for them, their markets in the U.S., Japan, most of the rest of Asia, and probably everywhere else we could still flex our economic and political muscles, would evaporate like the morning mist over Shanghai.
The Japanese would have trouble standing up to the Chinese militarily, but then Peking (not a mis spelling - Peking is the English name for the Chinese capitol) has to know that the U.S. will support their Japanese ally, and are by treaty bound to do it.  If the Chinese press the nuclear button, they must know that that would open the door to a devastating response.  Obama already gets off in the dark corners of the White House watching drone strikes in Afghanistan, so who knows what a charge he would get nuking a million Chinese in real time.  
Truly, a no win situation for the Chinese, but that might not stop them.  They might be looking to distract their people from the growing economic problems at home by the traditional route of a foreign military adventure.  Or their visceral hatred for the Japanese might get the better of their geriatric leaders, leading them to test more than the temperature of the  waters around the Senkaku Islands.
Finally, as the article states, their fears of being surrounded and contained might motivate them to foolishness of the military kind.  
Whatever the motivation, their current belligerence makes sense only if they are bluffing.  If they aren't, then the world will get to experience another major realignment in geo politics, after a very short but messy war.  For the Chinese, however, it would be a catastrophe beyond all imagining.  

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