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Tensions Rise Over East China Sea

by Mike Hoffman on January 24, 2014

Chinese AWACSThe aggressive rhetoric continues to rise in the dispute over the island chain in the East China Sea as China has said it will issue warnings to any “foreign planes” that enter the air defense zone China declared in the region.

It’s the latest move by the Chinese to flex their military muscle over a disputed island chain that China, Japan and the Philippines have laid claim to. The warnings were announced just days after the Chinese declared that they would do regular patrols of the island chains with civilian surveillance ships.

Both Beijing and Tokyo claim the islets, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Many believe that a vast wealth of resources to include oil exist near the islets.

The top U.S. Navy commander in the region said he’s closely observed the back and forth between China and Japan, and he said Thursday that it has left him concerned.

“Well, I am concerned,” said Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, head of U.S. Pacific Command. “Any time you have two large powers, two large economic powers, two large military powers that have a disagreement that they’re not talking to each other about, that has no clear diplomatic end state in sight, that the cost calculation can grow, because you will have — in this case, you just have primarily maritime security forces that are in and around those contested islands.”
Locklear said he worried that young officers assigned by China and Japan to the area will be making decisions that could set off a more serious exchange. Raised tensions have created an atmosphere where even small errors could have serious diplomatic consequences, Locklear warned.
I many cases, those are young — you know, young naval officers or young civilian mariners who are out there, going to — making those decisions,” Locklear said. “So we have to continue to encourage restraint.  We have to continue to encourage professionalism.  And we have to continue to hope that there will be diplomatic dialogue and a solution to this, because it’s not productive for the region and it — it needs to be ultimately resolved.”
The declaration of the warnings to foreign planes also happens to come on the same day the Chinese military formally acknowledge their early warning aircraft squadron. A state media website acknowledged that many have seen the AWACS aircraft flying near the disputed region.
When the Chinese first stood up the air defense zone, the U.S. responded by flying a B-52 directly through it without warning the Chinese. On Thursday, Locklear tried to describe his and PaCom’s response to China’s suprise announcement of the zone.
“I don’t think we were necessarily surprised by the ADIZ issue. I think that’s a mischaracterization,” Locklear said. “I think we were a little bit surprised by the way it was announced and the manner it was — you know, how fast it was sprung on — sprung on the region and the fact that it was an ADIZ that just kind of was directed at one central issue, not just the general defense of someone’s territorial air space.”
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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

RRGED January 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

As I said China can smell the West weakening, they are determined to stake a claim to the Islands for the natural resources—CHINA rapidly raising look out!!!


RRGED January 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I meant RISING


Ben January 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Too much Fox News.


sweet_potatoe January 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Sadly, it's not, the mood in the Asia pacific towards China is pretty dim.


Ben January 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I know it's not peachy, but media agencies stirring up extra paranoia makes the everything much worse.


Lance January 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

No RRGED is right on Obama is weaker than Jimmy carter nd is weaking America so the Enemy's of our nation exploit it and push there plans for territorial gains forward. Iran China and Russia is doing this. Face it its Obama foreign policy at work.


Ben January 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Obama foreign policy = Bush foreign policy + more drones.

Dfens January 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I guess we know what they plan on doing with at lest a couple of those aircraft carriers.


sweet_potatoe January 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Correction, Philippines has no claims in East China sea, just in South China sea


whocares January 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

China is well into a vast military expansion and is determined to kick the US out of the western Pacific. Her actions to date make that crystal clear. Its plans to build numerous big deck carriers shows all the capability to be a global marine powerhouse. In time Chinese carrier battle groups will deploy to Hawaiian waters for drills, then to our West coast.
The US is in steep naval decline and in about 10 years will be out gunned at sea. China is our banker and holds significant debt so she will be able to dictate to the US economically and militarily in the near future.


Ben January 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Question: Why is it necessary that we control the western pacific? What gives us any more right than China?


Benjamin January 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

We don't control it. We allow freedom of passage. When was the last time a U.S. vessel has tried to prevent a ship from a different country from entering a certain area of water?


009 January 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

First the Western Pacific then the Atlantic and at the end we'll all learning to speak Mandarin and Cantonese–LOL


Colonel Mustard January 25, 2014 at 1:13 am

I don’t necessarily agree with all this paranoid rhetoric but I’d just like to correct 009; if as you’d suggested the Chinese had their way we’d only be speaking mandarin. Cantonese, spoken by the people of regional Canton and Hong Kong province would no doubt go the way of the Dodo too.

steve January 25, 2014 at 2:20 am

we only keep the waterways free to all traffic.


STemplar January 25, 2014 at 12:44 am

When were the Chinese planning on doing more than 10 patrols a year with their SSNs? Or having any kind of capability to communicate underway with them? Or one, just one, deterrent patrol with an SSBN, ever? Outgunned? By who? Not China, not yet, and definitely not in the next 10 years.


Mambo January 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

In reality the Chinese have a much LOOONNGGGERRR time frame in regards to getting even near comparable submarine wise. Just getting a boat in the water that they aren't scared to let out of their regional waters would be a start. The US has 60 years of experience operating fleet boats on long range patrols.


John Deere January 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Well, if China starts a conflict, they will lose the "money" they've loaned to the US. It'll be their loss, not ours.

The Chinese are in no position to dictate US economic policy. The majority of the US debt is owed by the US Government, to the US Government. When the US pays interest on its debt, it is paying the money to itself, essentially. Most people don't understand this fact.


Dfens January 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

It's called "printing money" and I believe most Americans do get that.


John Deere January 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm

When you borrow money from yourself, you owe it to yourself, not someone else.


Dfens January 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm

When you borrow money from yourself you are creating it out of thin air, genius.

MAI LING January 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

you must be a pig tailed squint eyed china man living in a coco world


Johnny Canuck January 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Don't think so bro…They have a lot to learn


jokomanu February 22, 2014 at 2:30 am

you moron…kissing up to china. all this talk about american decline is just wishful thinking to make them feel good. china is building a military with american money using stolen american technology. china never fought a war in their life unlike japan who has a track record of fighting a major war in ww2. we take away our corporations and their investments in china and china is dead in the water.. So keep talking up this myth about american decline, same has been said and perpetuated by the liberal media who hates america for the last 100 years…….


Lance January 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Proof to tell Oridnaro and the Army to shut up and make do get the new budget to the Navy who been neglected mostly for over a decade. Only way to tech these Chi Coms is to show strength and force. Obama is NOT doing this this is why there embolden to to push ahead in aggression. We need more carriers and Virginia class subs.


sam January 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Obama will back down. It's in his nature.


majr0d January 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Intercepted radio transmission:

"You in People's Republic of China Air Defense Zone. You no fly here. Go away."


Benjamin January 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Unfortunately, it will probably become the norm in that area of the world unless we show a backbone.


Ben January 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

It's not our job as a country to be someone else's backbone.


Guest January 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm

"U no mess with Lo Wang!"


Guest January 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

"Good One" Major Rod but you are not quite ready for prime time. I suggest you harken back to March 31, 2001 when the People's Liberation Navy forced down the US Navy EP-3 Spy Plane, off Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

After which Sec of Def Colin Powell could be heard mumbling , "We are very, very Sorry" to the Chinese Government. You forgot already Major Rod?

An Old Chinese Proverb for you Major Rod – "He who is drowned is not troubled by the rain".


majr0d January 25, 2014 at 1:34 am

Oh you mean when the Chinese fighter crashed and burned in the sea?

I think the score is 0-1…


Guest January 25, 2014 at 2:12 am

Yes Major Rod, the Chinese lost one fighter jet and the US Government lost "Face". Just as Colin Powell repeated over and over, "We are very, very Sorry".

An old Chinese Proverb for you Major. – "Once bitten by a Snake, he is scared all his Life at the mere sight of a Rope".


Guest January 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

Americans are strange People. For 20 years they focus on the Middle East and ignore the Facts, that China is now a World Economic Super power and a growing Military power.

Then the Americans wake up, they put 200 Marines in Australia and tell the rest of World, "they have the People's Republic of China CHECKMATED".

An old Chinese proverb for Major Rod – "Once on a Tiger's back it is hard to alight".

Captain Obvious January 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm



steve January 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

it looks like war to me. lets get it on.


Richard Papp January 25, 2014 at 6:19 am

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
If that doesn't work then you must grab him by the balls,
then his mind and heart will follow.


009 January 25, 2014 at 11:13 pm



010 January 26, 2014 at 3:06 am



Larry January 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Your poor grammar suggests that you are Chinese.


blight_ January 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm

The use of all caps suggests 010 is a fool, regardless of actual nationality.


Dfens January 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Or maybe he was just responding to 009?


blight_ January 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Or that.

Pale Horse January 30, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Indian Officials, in regards to their Cooperation with the US on China says the US sees little good etc from confrontation with China. So Washington isn't going to do anything (a) we are too weak to make the Chinese back down. (b) those Global Corporations making the fortune on Cheap Chines manufactured junk predation, of our economic security, don't give a hoot about a USA and would indeed like to see it only as a ruling body over US Citizens, and don't want to upset the Chinese. What must be done is to encourage manufacturing or creation of wealth in the US and discourage the predation, by Globalist Bodies and Billionaires ,China and others on our economy, jobs, retirements, freedoms, and future. We have 37%+ unemployment, People working full time on food stamps and no hope of a retirement, a weak dollar and are becoming another Venezuela. Only wealth and the things it buys, such as the strongest military, freedoms, and prosperous
Citizens can make us and our interest first. Start taxing and tariffs on predatory imports and stop one dollar one vote by Global Corporations.


Steven February 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm

lets be honest , strong or weak , we are not going to do anything but try and talk it out , the U.S is tired of war
if the Chinese act now we will simply stand by and let them
and if war breaks out , we will stay our hand for as long as possible to allow ourselves to recuperate

I know it SOUNDS like it's WWII all over again but there really isn't anything we can do about it at this time


marketing a small business April 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

Outstanding post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
Many thanks!


oblatt2 January 25, 2014 at 3:58 am

In most of the world speaking mandarin is considered an educational achievement. Only in the US is it considered defeat.


James January 25, 2014 at 10:06 am

Maybe you should see where the problem started, and learn what has transpired since before you offer an opinion that demonstrates you don't know what you're talking about.


majr0d January 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

LOL, keep talking. You are making a case for why China's neighbors have much to fear from it.


Guest January 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Major Rod, You are more then Welcome to visit the peaceful, People's Republic of China. Visit our Great Wall and you will notice No graffiti, No gangs and NO flash mobs, like You have in America.

We will Welcome You Major Rod. You have a great sense of humor and hams like You are always welcome.

An old Chinese proverb for Major Rod – "Two Tigers cannot share one mountain."


majr0d January 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Not many problems in Tibet either I hear and I'm sure they would endorse that "peaceful" PRC moniker…

China might be a tourist spot some day, seems a lot more of your countrymen are interested in visiting the States (and living here) than the other way around.

There's a lesson there…


John Deere January 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Don't know why you got voted down there Ben, what you said is perfectly true.


Guest January 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Major Rod, You seem to forget, that the entire land mass of the US was stolen from Indian tribes. Almost all of which were murdered, driven off their land or put on Indian Reservations. Have you ever heard of Mohawks, Cayugas, Senecas, Cherokees, etc, etc? Probably not.

O yes, the US is above all that, really. –
Did the US Military have "the Right" to drop 12 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam and poison thousands of future Vietnamese babies? 10% of their best farm land destroyed by Agent Orange.
What "threat" were those Vietnamese peasants against the USA? I am still trying to figure that one out.

Would the My Lia massacre even have been reported, if not for one very brave US helicopter pilot? Probably not!
And how many more My Lia's were there, that never got reported?

But "We" are the USA and "We" are above all that, really Major?


Dfens January 25, 2014 at 11:16 pm

It would be great if you could lay this on only one of the major parties.


majr0d January 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Oh, I didn't forget. As I've said in other places the US has its blemishes.

I'm sure if we look back into China's history for a comparable amount of time we find exponetially greater atrocities but we don't have to go that far and look back centuries. RECENT Chinese history makes your words, "peaceful, People's Republic of China" stand in sharp contrast. Maybe you forgot the tens of millions that died under Mao and subsequent leaders. Starvation, political executions/repression, forced abortion, imprisonment of Christians is a lot to be proud of.

Keep talking. You're an outstanding representative of your country's myopia.


Ish January 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Hello Comrade. What are your thoughts and opinion on the Tiananmen Square Massacre ?


Dan January 26, 2014 at 12:46 am

Thank you I can't stand ignorance.


orly? January 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Probably by ignorance (chosen or otherwise), if he tried to see that one photo of a Chinese citizen stand infront of an entire PLA armored tank column trying to stop the massacre, he would probably see nothing but "Obey the CCP."

There's a reason every protest in the last year has been swiftly draping parts of Tienanmen Square.

At least in America, we don't censure entire monuments, delete headlines, and make histories "disappear."


praetorian January 28, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him.

An old American proverb : Obi wan


John Deere January 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

Where else do you think money from? Santa Clause? The Tooth Fairy?

Someone somewhere creates the money we use, it isn't issued by God.


Steven February 1, 2014 at 6:55 pm

sorry mate , no offence or anything but that was the vaguest sentence I ever read


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