January 11, 2012
According to Japanese media, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have scrambled fighter jets against China’s military aircraft, including fighter jets, which flew to the Diaoyu Islands. It was the first time that military aircraft from both China and Japan confronted each other over the Diaoyu Islands. All of East Asia is now facing intense uncertainty.
Thanks to Japan’s arrogance toward China, the Diaoyu Islands dispute has come to this point. Japanese politicians, including Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara and former prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, are to blame.
China and Japan may stand at a turning point that leads to confrontation. The resentment toward each other has come to the highest level since World War II. The Sino-Japanese relationship is looking dim.
Japan has mistakenly estimated China’s strategic stance toward constant external provocations. A year ago, Japanese politicians wouldn’t have thought that China would send fighter jets.
Some Japanese believed China had to be restrained at any costs to ensure a peaceful period of strategic opportunities. But the fighter jets yesterday proved them wrong.
How far the Diaoyu crisis goes depends on whether Japan is just putting on a show by intercepting China’s military aircraft or it really wants to confront China. If it chooses the latter, then it is choosing a military clash.
Chinese society is tired of simple verbal protests toward Japan. The Chinese people hope the country will carry out actions against Japan’s provocations. China’s sending fighter jets to the islands reflects Chinese public opinion.
A military clash is more likely. We shouldn’t have the illusion that Japan will be deterred by our firm stance. We need to prepare for the worst.
China and Japan are likely to become long-term rivals or even enemies. Japan has become the vanguard of the US’ strategy which aims to contain China.
Chinese society should reach consensus on a number of issues. First, China should firmly respond to any Japanese provocation. It won’t be the initiator of the war, but it shouldn’t be hesitant to take military revenge. Meanwhile, it will not take the lead in escalating the war, nor will it be afraid of any escalation. Last, but not least, China’s strategic aim is to make Japan accept China’s current position on the Diaoyu Islands, rather than extend the crisis to disputes over historical issues.
China should have the courage to face military confrontations with any rival when provoked. At the same time, we should remain cool-headed.
China and Japan have been cooperating in trade and other economic fields. We should try not to let political confrontations affect business. This will minimize China’s losses, which conforms to China’s overall interest and would help the nation gain support from the public in any confrontation.
The Diaoyu crisis is a test of China’s unity in the Internet era. China’s strength has enabled it to take countermeasures against Japan and face any uncertainty. This requires society to remain united.