China’s Second Puberty.

by Daniel Russ on November 30, 2013

Post image for China’s Second Puberty.

 

It’s always a bad sign when your region’s largest superpower publishes a new “air defense identification zone” and identifies your air space as their air space. This is what happened in southeast Asia  on Saturday and it went over like a lead balloon. The US immediately flew two B-52s through the newly tagged Chinese airspace, as if to say, “ I don’t think so”.  Then yesterday Japan flew a couple of fighter aircraft trough the space to make the same point.

 

 

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Shenyang J-31

 

We all remember during the first few months of W’s presidency, an EP-3 Aries spy place flew over the Chinese coast on a signal intelligence training mission, and was confronted by Chinese fighters. It collided with a J-8 Finback, and the crew had to thermite the intelligence payload and crash-landed the plane. Wang Wei, the Chinese pilot died. So this elbowing each other over the counter is going to become a gesture with increasingly symbolic meaning as the last empire on Earth grows weaker.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan decried the new air space description by China as a way to coerce a better map into existence. And we can already see the proxy war here. Japan is our Israel of the Pacific. We would do whatever we could to preserve its integrity as a free nation, as a post for US ships, as a military partner and as a trading partner.

 

China has fielded an aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, formerly an Admiral Kuznetsov Class warship. They have produced two naval fighter squadrons and are staging them in and out of active theater. The Shenyang J-31 is an aircraft equivalent perhaps to the F-35 minus the STOVL capabilities and it and a a host of new fighter aircraft are  coming to fruition in it’s new military. China is a growing military power, and in an age when the US can barely afford to pay benefits for military personnel, we are going to see China replevin territories and step into power vacuums where we step from arenas that are simply too expensive. I have said this before. It’s not the bullet that kills empires. It’s the bill.

 

Obama looked like James Bond in this interchange, and this new air space notification was a Chinese showpiece of poorly handled policy. You don’t redraw lines on a map with a brochure you publish on your blog. This should have been a diplomatic process. Yet, I can’t imagine a shooting war with China. Our economies would both suffer and perhaps the upside of globalism is that we really do need each other, after all.

 

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The Liaoning

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