China aggressive claims to islands could lead to war with Japan

Business Insider:
Chinese planes flew near Japanese airspace Monday to assert its claims to Japan's Senkaku islands (China calls them the Diaoyu islands).
The move came just as Japan announced its new prime minister.
Hugh White, a professor at Australian National University and a former Australian defense official, believes this is the latest sign the two countries are heading to war.
And the U.S. will be dragged in.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, White says we are now witnessing the types of conditions that have historically led to war — despite conflict being in no one's interest.
THIS is how wars usually start: with a steadily escalating stand-off over something intrinsically worthless. So don't be too surprised if the US and Japan go to war with China next year over the uninhabited rocks that Japan calls the Senkakus and China calls the Diaoyu islands. And don't assume the war would be contained and short.
It seems almost laughably unthinkable that the world's three richest countries - two of them nuclear-armed - would go to war over something so trivial. But that is to confuse what starts a war with what causes it.
The conflict is really about China challenging the U.S. in the Pacific, White says. President Obama has vowed a Pentagon "pivot to Asia," itself a response to China's growing strength.
Claiming the Senkaku islands, a series of small outcroppings in the East China Sea, is China's way of testing America's new posture, White says.

There is more.

Obama's defense cuts and his passive response to aggression are an invitation to Chinese aggression that very well could lead to war despite assertions of a pivot to the Pacific.  With Obama that is likely to be as effective as a pivot to his jobs agenda.

A war between the two Asian powers would probably be an exchange of raids rather than any potential occupation.  Neither has the power to project a landing force on a sustain basis.  Japan probably has better weapons, but China may have more weapons.


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