Battleland

China To Find A Target-Rich Environment

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LCDR Denver Applehans, US Navy

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer JS Yudachi sails in formation with the USS George Washington, foreground, during exercises in the East China Sea last year. Japan says a Chinese warship locked targeting radar onto the Yudachi in the same region last month.

TOKYO – If Chinese warships escalate from locking-on radars to actually pulling the trigger in the East China Sea, they’ll have lots to shoot at – and it won’t be just the Japanese.

With little fanfare, U.S. commanders have been pouring in thousands of new troops, deploying powerful new war machines and ramping up training with allies from across the region.

Most of this is due to the “rebalancing” of U.S. forces announced more than a year ago. But the buildup seems to be hitting full-stride just as the standoff between Japan and China reaches a dangerous new low.

Japanese authorities bitterly protested this week after they said a Chinese warship locked its weapons-guidance radar on a Japanese destroyer in late January.  The incident occurred in international waters near a group of disputed islands. That followed the targeting of a Japanese naval helicopter in the same region two weeks earlier.

No shots were fired in either incident, but Japan accused China’s leaders of intentionally escalating the crisis. China’s Defense Ministry said late Friday that Japan’s version of events “does not match the facts.”

Some officers with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) say privately that Chinese ship commanders may have simply over-reacted under close Japanese surveillance. Turning on a weapons-guidance radar is tantamount to aiming a gun or missile at an adversary.

“If this is directed from Beijing, then it does signal a deliberate escalation, which is worrisome,” says Jeffrey Hornung, associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, in Honolulu. “But if this is some Chinese seaman acting alone, that is worrisome, too, because it signals a serious breakdown in command. It leaves us wondering, ‘What will that person do next?’”

In truth, it would be hard to blame the Chinese if they were getting nervous.

The U.S. Marines have sent two additional infantry battalions – nearly 2,000 troops – to Okinawa in just the last six weeks. Another battalion is tentatively scheduled to arrive this summer. Altogether, more than 17,000 Marines are now based on Okinawa, the most in more than a decade.

A small squadron of EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare planes arrived at the Marine base in Iwakuni, Japan, on February 1, as well, reinforcing F/A-18 fighters there. Prowlers are designed to attack radar and surveillance installations and jam enemy transmissions, a useful capability when push comes to shove.

The Navy is joining the party, too, sending a newly upgraded guided-missile cruiser to replace a less-capable ship with the U.S. 7th Fleet, based near Tokyo. The USS Antietam formally took over from the USS Cowpens this week in what is called a “hull swap.” The Antietam gives the Navy, which operates hand-in-glove with the JMSDF, a more sophisticated air defense capability, particularly against ballistic missiles.

“The Cowpens and Antietam hull swap is part of the Navy’s long-range plan to upgrade the guided-missile cruiser class of ships and to put the most capable U.S. forces in this region,” Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander of Battle Force 7th Fleet, said at a ceremony this week.

Meanwhile, at least three major joint exercises are underway in the neighborhood. Aircraft from the United States, Japan and Australia are training  to operate together in wartime missions and humanitarian or disaster relief operations in the “Cope North” drills in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The exercise includes fighter planes, bombers, aerial tankers, transports and cargo planes. Aussies are taking part for the first time, and an observer team from South Korea – a U.S. ally that is embroiled in a unrelated islands dispute with Japan – agreed to send an observer team, also for the first time.

On Monday, several hundred Okinawa-based Marines based will start training on Guam for rapid-response missions throughout the region.

And farther west, more than 13,000 troops from the United States, Japan and five other countries will take part in the annual “Cobra Gold” exercises in Thailand, which also start Monday.  It will include command post exercises, amphibious assault and jungle warfare training, small boat and helicopter raids, and non-combatant evacuation drills. South Korea will be a full participant for the first time.

Though long-planned, all three exercises are taking on added significance because of China’s growing military power and assertive territorial demands.

The confrontation over the Senkaku Islands, which China claims and calls the Diaoyu, initially was limited to Japan Coast Guard vessels and China’s quasi-government maritime surveillance craft. Japan began scrambling F-15 fighters in mid-December in response to incursions from Chinese maritime surveillance planes, but warships from both the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and JMSDF so far have steered clear of the islands.

In the January 30 incident, according to the Japanese, a PLAN frigate turned its targeting radar on the JS Yudachi, a multi-purpose destroyer armed with missiles, torpedoes and rapid-firing guns. Though Japan’s Constitution nominally renounces war, Japan has one of the world’s most capable navies — built largely around destroyers like the Yudachi.

The two ships were about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of the Senkakus and were separated by less than two miles when the Chinese ship reportedly turned on its targeting radar.  That generally sets off alarm signals on a targeted ship or aircraft, and can be used as an intimidation tactic. No shots were fired and the two ships separated with no further harm.

By treaty, the U.S. is obligated to defend Japan if it comes under attack.

43 comments
urabus
urabus

This is the China`s trick to lure US into Asia/Pacific regions like luring a big clumsy elephant into a deep hole with a few bananas.

China will avoid war as far as possible but will certainly ratchet up tensions just to make sure US or its so called allies to spend more money they already do not have. US is already in a deep hole so is Japan right now. US needs to borrow more money from China and Japan economy depends on China.. After WW2 in Cairo Declarations Japan already agreed to return Senkaku/Diaoyu islands back to China. However, US made a devious move reverting the

Senkaku islands back to Japan administration in 1973 very much detrimental to China. China was very weak at that time even too scared to make a protest lest China got another kick to the teeth by US. From there on China already known US grand strategy of Asia/Pacific pivoting intention. First China must master its systematical capability against US powerful military in Asia/Pacific regions. Second start asserting its legitimate claims on Senkaku/Dioayu islands thereby luring US into this region. China aim is to bury US. China knows damn well that US would goad Japan into against China. Japan as what it is now will not stand a chance against China`s full assault. But China will not attack Japan even China knows US can`t do a thing if China flatten any of its neighboring country.Also China knows that US would try to lead a pack of wolves with mob mentality to surround China. China spends $1 US needs to spend at least $3 in defense and new military equipments in order to feel comfortable. The most notable sign of threat to US is from China`s ability to sink moving objects in high seas and now shooting down moving objects in deep space or in high orbit. US needs 100% in its superiority and every system and habits built on that

psychic for a long time. China`s needs only take 30% of that 100% US military on a whole can`t function well  against China`s will and forthright and its sheer size.

marutanoji
marutanoji

Looks like U.S. citizens believe someone whose voice is loud,  bah!

pakkurareman
pakkurareman

United Nations should demand China to resign from the UN Security Council. 
We cannot tolerate to have such a dangerous country in the council.

StarrAge
StarrAge

To summarize the history:

- Japan said my islands.
- China said mine
- China and Japan agreed to delay the issue . 40 years passed.
- Japan staged to buy the islands from Itself in 2012
- China said NO WAY!
- World said No Weapons! Talk.
- Japan said Nothing to talk about! Mine! Mine! Mine! Took from your emperor. Took it from USA against your will. AaaaAND I have its control. That makes it mine! But I DO like profit. So let's talk.  Trade, that is, Not islands. 
- China said, Control?  I will show you control !

StarrAge
StarrAge

Looks like it is not as one sided as always.


ChadArmstrong
ChadArmstrong

Looks like the Chinese opinion shapers are out in force today.

billnick
billnick

Japan cannot be trusted as he had bad record using false evidence to attack his neighbours: 1. In the China fishing boat accident, Japan marine vessels using black smoke and using its back to let the fishing boat crash its back. Then they claimed the fishing boat violate the law by attacking its marine vessel.  Finally, the video shows it is Japanese fault to create this accident.  2.  In the WWII Japan with China, Japan claimed they lost one soldier in China terriority and using this excuse to start the war with China.  As a reuslt,  that solder was hidden by Japan and showing how cunning they were.  Also in the attacked of Pearl Habour, Japan showed no warning but started the war immediately. One more interesting is Japan never repent what they did in the WWII - sex slaves, Nanking massacre, using human on bigoical chemicals weapon testing...  All have clear evidence but they deny and tried to change the fact in its education system.  All this showing Japan cannot be trusted as it is  their fault to create the problem first by nationalize the islands, flying 8 warplanes to interecept China non-military plane.  All these showsJapan wants to create the conflicts with China and the bottom line is to expand its national army.  This is very dangerous and US should aware Japan aggressiveness and should not fall to his trap. 

billnick
billnick

Japan cannot be trusted as he had bad record using false evidence to attack his neighbours:

1. In the China fishing boat accident, Japan marine vessels using black smoke and using its back to let the fishing boat crash its back. Then they claimed the fishing boat violate the law by attacking its marine vessel.  Finally, the video shows it is Japanese fault to create this accident.

2.  In the WWII Japan with China, Japan claimed they lost one soldier in China terriority and using this excuse to start the war with China.  As a reuslt,  that solder was hidden by Japan and showing how cunning they were.  Also in the attacked of Pearl Habour, Japan showed no warning but started the war immediately. One more interesting is Japan never repent what they did in the WWII - sex slaves, Nanking massacre, using human on bigoical chemicals weapon testing...  All have clear evidence but they deny and tried to change the fact in its education system.

All this showing Japan cannot be trusted as it is  their fault to create the problem first by nationalize the islands, flying 8 warplanes to interecept China non-military plane.  All these showsJapan wants to create the conflicts with China and the bottom line is to expand its national army.  This is very dangerous and US should aware Japan aggressiveness and should not fall to his trap. 

RandyNewman
RandyNewman

This sounds like what we did in the 50's with the USSR. Its starting to sound like a new cold war. The containment of military power within Asia. We are checking the moves of China while China does the same to all of the western powers. Doesn't it sound like were repeating history? 

flyingtiger
flyingtiger

The author is a warmongering and chest pumping nut head.  The U.S. knew there is a dispute on the islands and if the U.S. is a peace loving country, it should urge Jap to calm and not to escalate the situation starting by "purchasing" the island.  The U.S. is an evil country who only does this to contain a rising competitor and had little respect for history and other country's sovereignty. 

SeniorMoment
SeniorMoment

Japanese warships should have attacked immediately when any Chinese warship locked their ship on target.  It is simply unreasonably risky to sit and wait to see what happens.  Perhaps even Japan and the Southeast Asian nations may want to consider a full scale attack on China if its behavior in the disputed areas of ocean continues in order to strke while they have advantage over the Chinese military establishment.

I am by no means a war monger, but any plane or ship has an inherent right to defend itself and to protect the lives of its crew.  China needs to pay the piper when it is aggressive or else it will just become more aggressive.  Also, if Japan and the other nations who have territorial disputes gang up on defending their claims and punish China with retaliatory termination of trade, maybe China will get serious about dropping disputes in favor of multi-lateral administration and profiting from disputed waters or let the World Court in Hague settle the disputes with no bloodshed. 

JjthreeLyrics
JjthreeLyrics

So what you are basically saying is, bring it on China, you will lose?  Wow, typical mainstream media glorification of war.  ALL STATE WARS ARE UNJUST!!!  Are we to all stand up and cheer on our military to "defend" Japan by starting WWIII and PROBABLY creating an apocolyptic scenario?  Should we not be encouraging these countries to tone down the rhetoric and try to solve these issues through diplomatic means?  Oh wait, I forgot we are the global force for good, so no matter what we do it is justified?  More like might makes right and we are just looking for an excuse for the military industrial complex to rake in more profits on yet another unnecessary war.  The tone and slant of this article is ridiculous.  I can't stand the fact that our media is glorifying war and the military industrial complex.  Don't you understand that China could collapse our economy tomorrow if they wanted to?  Sure, it may hurt their economy as well, but not nearly as much as it would DESTROY the US economy.  Oh I forgot that is what all of you globalists entities want, the complete destruction of the US as a sovereign entity.  Wake up people, don't believe the hype, war with China is the absolute last thing we need. 

prastagus
prastagus

less than 2 miles? That's pretty close on the high seas. The Japanese naval ship was definitely shadowing/tailgating the Chinese naval ships. Chinese naval ships were on routine exercise in the Pacific Ocean so with Japanese always tailing them in and out of the Pacific Ocean, perhaps this time they got fed up with their unwanted "escorts".

By complaining and trying to claim as victims, Japan should re-consider their harrassment of other naval ships with their own naval ships in Internatinoal Waters (since it happend 160 miles from the disputed islands).

Pete1215
Pete1215

Apparently we have not learned about brainless mutual defense treaties since World War I.

ChinaLee
ChinaLee

If China detonates a 16.5 megaton EMP (electromagnetic pulse) warhead over Japan, there will be a lot of sitting ducks.

Normally, China's DF-5 ICBM carries a 5 megaton thermonuclear warhead. According to the Federation of American Scientists, an enhanced radiation weapon (such as an EMP warhead) has a multiplicative factor of 3.3 when a normal nuclear warhead is specifically tuned to emit gamma rays.

BobWilliamKnight
BobWilliamKnight

@urabus dream on pal those oldfashioned weapons and ideas are for losers with no brain  lolDo homework lol

BobWilliamKnight
BobWilliamKnight

forget the past. chinas misbehaving now ,but islands ours forever lol japan is acting with honor, china not

RingSting
RingSting

@billnick The Chinese communist government that is still in power today has murdered tens of thousands of it's own citizens in the last 60 years without apology. Do you suggest that the US should trust them instead?

shuami
shuami

@billnick:

"2.  In the WWII Japan with China, Japan claimed they lost one soldier in China terriority and using this excuse to start the war with China.  As a reuslt,  that solder was hidden by Japan and showing how cunning they were."

That is referred to as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (see Wiki for more details http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo_Bridge_Incident). 

And let's not forget the even more blatant Mukden Incident, in which the Japanese military planted and exploded  a bomb along a railway, and then blamed it on the Chinese as a pretense to invade China. 

See Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_18_Incident.

Quote: "The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China, known as Manchuria, in 1931."

Of course, we can't judge a person's behavior based on past misdeeds. But as people say, if history is of any indication...There is reason for keeping a registry for child molesters so they are forbitten to get close to school yards.     

Killbot
Killbot

@flyingtiger 

Possibly true that the US has "little respect for...other country's sovereignty."  Let's ask Tibet what their opinion is.  

TimMulhair
TimMulhair

@SeniorMoment SeniorMoment, in any conflict or potential conflict with a nuclear power, restraint and discipline are key. If you want the matter to end up settled diplomatically, then the warship captains of both sides must remain cool under pressure and not act rashly.

That does sound like what an American warship would do, seeing as the US zealously aims for "zero casualties" and can't even allow the slightest risk of someone on our side getting hurt. Our warship commanders know that their own asses will be on the line for a blame investigation and a media lynch mob, because Americans are also obsessed with assigning blame.

flyingtiger
flyingtiger

SeniorMoment, do you know the history and the long dispute of these islands between the Asian countries?  Do you know the status quo is recognizing the dispute but don't escalate, a bilateral agreement by both China and Japan gov, prior to the Japan unilateral decision to "purchase" the islands. So who is the agressor here? Can you think straight?

Killbot
Killbot

@ChinaLee 

Haven't you ever read The Incredible Hulk?  The Chinese would be dooming themselves by creating hundreds of thousands of unstoppable smashing creatures.  

billnick
billnick

You are wrong.  The islands belongs to China and Japna is stealing the islands which are not belongs to Japan.  Now it is time China to take them back. 

billnick
billnick

Compare with Japan killings millions of people versus thousand of people by China.  China is better than Japan.  US should not encourage Japan to expand its military force without control.

billnick
billnick

Japan stole the isalnads and it is the fact.  Please study history and the legal document showing evidence that the islands belongs to China.  Japan is trying to kidnapping US to war with Chiana.  How cunning with Japan!

billnick
billnick

Please write clearly what you want to say. 

billnick
billnick

Japan killed millions of Asiain in WWII and it is the fact.  Please did your homework without giving any false statement..

billnick
billnick

Killing anyone is not allowed but compare with China and Japan, China has more creidit than Japan.  Japan says they are willing to talk with China as partner but he went to all Asian countries and Europe to against China together. However, only one buying his idea. This shows Japan is not sincere to make the islands solve peacefully but rather escalate it to make an excuse to expand the military powder.  This is no good to Asia or Janpan its own.  Do you know Abe comes from WWII criminal war family and his extreme right direction will casue conflict to Asia only.

RingSting
RingSting

@billnick Is that seriously your best argument? When the diplomats all sit around a table to talk this through, China says to US "We are better than Japan so join our side"

Do you really mean that China murdering it's own citizens is OK simply because Japan murdered more. Ni bu dong shi!

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