Friday, November 29, 2013

"ADIZ" China’s new air defence zone

"Should the decision be retracted, we ask the Japanese side to revoke its ADIZ first, we will then consider their demand 44 years later, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun..."

China aircraft carrier Liaoning to the south seas

The other day at the press club I saw my Taiwanese colleagues sitting around the Correspondents' table with somber faces, worried about this China’s new ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone) and military movements around. I told myself there is something they and I we share indeed. A different stage in the relationship between China and US-Japan-Korea. With the question coming in mind: How to reconcile neighbours and build a regional entity, a community, fitting a global world on a global basis and process that would fit competitors?

As soon as the US B52 passed around the ADIZ, Beijing reacted by sending its navy to address US and allies manoeuvres and exercices which disguise their real intention, an attempt to pressure Beijing, to mock its new guidelines. Changing the maritime map is not going to be accepted so easily while it is China's free decision to monitor who drops-by near his land and on seas. Now, sending its first carrier to the south seas is an other step into what still is verbal battle, major challenge.

"China's aircraft carrier passes through Taiwan Strait"

I read everywhere for years that the China seas are becoming a theatre confronting Asian nationalism and where tensions are growing. I feel that it is especially a well orchestrated destabilisation and that nationalists are as usual the little nasty tool used for overstating too much  and succeeding too little, instead of reaching a much bigger objective. Build a framework and an agreement. For the hard talk, America is no more talking about Asia Pacific but of an "Indo-Asia-Pacific region." Indo being India and its market.

Chinese ressent such moves. "It's clear that the US has made some coordination with Japan and South Korea for the defiant moves as the three countries have the same strategic interests against China, despite the historical disputes between Tokyo and Seoul, an [Chinese] air force expert said, who requested anonymity." In Global Times.

Is China to use again a variety of the scenario of "Half War" as the one launched by Mao Zedong against India in 1962 (Sino-Indian War) should things get sour? And would do south waters strike?

For several years, diplomatic tensions between China and Japan over control of a handful of islands between the two countries became very strong. Taken in this conflict, Tokyo has significantly upgraded its defence strategy and the deployment of its forces. But one should not identify these islands, a territorial issue, as a cause of direct confrontation, but understand the bigger picture, the confrontation between global powers, and learn how to interact with partners when you become one of the global power players.

TPP started very bad and Beijing feels isolated. Declining US since the Lehman shock they live with (or UK and France as a matter of fact) allowed Asian growth based on ingenuity and astute action based on accurate information. Look at the billions of billions that Chinese media spend for they people's media! Many would call it a laboratory of new economical theories. Avoiding conflict but getting ready.

We are just at the beginning of a long and tough arm-wrestling. And many in the backstage are preparing their guns factories for a new monkey business with alarming theories that will frighten populations but not drive them into war theorists. So, it is not time loss and rather interesting too read Kissinger on China, especially the afterword: "US China inherent and inevitable competition within defined limits, if not, tension is inevitable." World order was built without China. Time to make space to the 1.3... billion Chinese.

Both (US and China) are convinced to represent unique values, American exceptionalism is missionary, willing to spread its value everywhere and its $ on all markets while China "exceptionalism is cultural and does not claim that its contemporary institutions are universel or relevant outside of China." China sees itself as the Middle Kingdom with thousands years of civilisation and political experience and values the concept of a kind of cultural universality.

Kissinger talks about coevolution, is diplomacy smart enough? "History lauds not conflict of societies but their reconciliations."

At a lunch this week in Tokyo, with a dozen senior executives of major Japanese firms, frequently travelling to China and ASEAN countries for work, I heard their word: it is not a verbal war nor mentor nor missionary they need but contracts, and make it win-win strategy for their firms! Concrete...

To read: "On China" by Henry Kissinger (Penguin Books ISBN-10: 0143121316)
To watch: Henry Kissinger: China, the US, and a Common Challenge

Zhou Enlai and Kissinger in Beijing

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