by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:
It seems it’s not enough that US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his generals engage in games of nuclear chicken with Russia by provocations in Ukraine, NATO maneuvers on Russia’s borders and activation of highly-dangerous ballistic missile defense installations on Russia’s perimeter. In the past months the Obama Administration has clearly also escalated tensions in the seas surrounding the Peoples’ Republic of China—East China Sea with Japan and South China Sea with the Philippines—tensions which potentially could provoke a catastrophe. While both provocative operations could give the Pentagon budget a boost in times of budget austerity, they could easily detonate a preemptive nuclear strike by either China or Russia or by both. In the 21st Century such primitive behavior by the Obama Pentagon is not only inexcusable. It’s mad.
Earlier I discussed in great detail the carefully-planned Washington provocation of China in the strategic South China Sea islands disputes, where the Obama Administration encouraged a Philippine government—then under US-crony Benigno Aquino—to escalate tensions over the barren Spratly Islands by unilaterally going ahead with arbitration in The Hague despite the fact it was not agreed to be arbitrated by Beijing, violation of the very definition of arbitration. It was a deliberately planned Washington ploy to provoke Beijing into rash reaction. To date, to its credit, China has instead pursued a series of diplomatic initiatives with ASEAN, as well as dialogue with a new, more reasonable Manila government under President Rodrigo Duterte, to defuse the manipulated US propaganda Hague decision.
In recent weeks however, Washington has demonstrated that it has firmly fixed China to its missile radar as Asia-Pacific Public Enemy Number One, putting China now in pretty much the same boat as Russia is for NATO in western Europe. The Pentagon has dramatically escalated tensions in the region, using Washington’s strong influence over the regimes of Japan, South Korea, and a newly-elected regime in Taiwan to turn them from trade partners of China to hostile foes.
In early August Japan’s national broadcaster NHK reported that the country is actively pushing forward and adopting the US’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Japan would become the second country in East Asia to deploy THAAD after South Korea.
Some days before, on July 7, the Pentagon had announced formally that the government of South Korea has agreed to place a THAAD missile battery on the Korean peninsula in Seongju County, following five months of negotiations with the conservative regime of President Park Guen-hye, the very pro-US daughter of close Washington Cold War ally, Park Chung-hee. The Pentagon press statement declared South Korea’s THAAD decision was merely, “as a defensive measure to ensure the security of the ROK and its people and to protect alliance military forces from North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile threats.”
Most recently, on August 16, the Chunan Ilbo newspaper reported that the South Korean Navy has signed a deal with the US weapons maker Lockheed Martin to equip Korean warships with missiles capable of intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles, described as a kind of naval version of THAAD.
Two days before, in an August 15 lead editorial, the official Beijing Global Times paper reacted strongly to the news that Japan will develop a new land-to-sea missile with a range of 300 kilometers, citing a report in Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s leading conservative newspaper. The Japanese paper reported that the new missiles will be deployed on Miyako island in 2023.
The Japan Yomiuri report stated that by improving their long-range strike capability, Japan aims to acquire firm military control over the disputed waters around what China claims, and calls the Diaoyu Islands, only 170 kilometers away from Miyako Island. v
Since 2012 when Obama’s Asia Pivot military shift began in earnest, Washington has prodded Tokyo to impose state claim over the uninhabited Diaoyo Islands (Senkaku in Japanese), which China claims had been Chinese since 1534 and illegally handed by the US occupation after World War II to Japan in violation of the Potsdam Agreement.
The Global Times noted, “Miyako sits at the mouth of the Miyako Strait, an international waterway which is also a major route for the Chinese navy to enter the Pacific Ocean. If the new missile is deployed at Miyako, it could threaten all Chinese ships in the waters of the Diaoyu Islands.”
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