Saturday, 21 December 2013
China/Japan - of more import than US-Iran?
Chinese schools teach their students of the horrors, whilst Japanese schools tend to ignore the nasty buts because after all, it was 2 generations ago.
So does this explain the rather weird stand off over some fairly tiny islands in the East China Sea. It seems to in part. There are oil fields and gas fields of some significance, but nothing compared to say the North Sea which several countries were bounded too and happily drew up an agreement to share.
In the South China Sea, things are a bit more obvious. The Spratly's and Colonia Islands are chock full of oil and gas reserves, in the main untapped. Here one can see much more clearly the realpolitik of the Countries and states with competing claims.
The worrying part is the escalation of claims against one another. It could well be that China decides in the near future to use hard power. Its use of soft power in North Africa and the Middle East has produced underwhelming results. And in reality, who is going to challenge China's military a few miles of its coast?
Whereas in Iran, the Country itself is a tinderbox with a move to becoming slightly more moderate and the West is impotent enough to sign a deal that gives them little except a fig leaf to pretend that Iran will comply with reducing its Nuclear ambitions. But its seems neither side are keen for a war, whereas the tension in the East China Sea goes the other way.