≡ Menu

And in more good news from East Asia…

At least one former Australian defense official thinks China and Japan (and the United States) might be heading to war:

THIS is how wars usually start: with a steadily escalating stand-off over something intrinsically worthless. So don’t be too surprised if the US and Japan go to war with China next year over the uninhabited rocks that Japan calls the Senkakus and China calls the Diaoyu islands. And don’t assume the war would be contained and short.

Of course we should all hope that common sense prevails.

It seems almost laughably unthinkable that the world’s three richest countries – two of them nuclear-armed – would go to war over something so trivial. But that is to confuse what starts a war with what causes it. The Greek historian Thucydides first explained the difference almost 2500 years ago. He wrote that the catastrophic Peloponnesian War started from a spat between Athens and one of Sparta’s allies over a relatively insignificant dispute. But what caused the war was something much graver: the growing wealth and power of Athens, and the fear this caused in Sparta.

I still have a little faith that everybody’s so invested in one another that China, Japan and the United States will not start a war over something so trivial. Still, nationalist stupidity seems to be “trending,” so anything’s possible. I just hope I can upgrade to the D600 before the missiles start flying. Maybe pick up some FX glass, too.

(HT to reader… and the Business Insider)

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    Japanese will be fools for engaging in a fight given how everybody else distrusts Japan. China will be fools because they are in no shape to pick a fight with and advanced nation.

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

      they are in no shape to pick a fight with and advanced nation. 
    IRFP064N

  • Sanshinseon

    > China, Japan and the United States will not start a war over something so trivial.

    China and Japan will not start a war over those islands, no of course not, that will just be the superficial excuse.  They will start a war because Japan still calls its Head-of-State an “Emperor” instead of the King he actually is (if that), and everybody knows what they mean by that, especially the Koreans and Chinese, who have never accepted that title for 1200 years and despise the ambitions that it pointedly indicates.   Think about it, there is no other significant nation in the world that uses “emperor”, and for good reason — what an insult and deadly challenge it would be to every neighboring country!   Chinese got rid of theirs a century ago, but are still confident of their position as East Asia’s historical and natural leader, the rightful leader in their own minds — and will not suffer Japan’s hubris any longer than military backwardness compels them to.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    America, Japan and China are not going to war.

    Just trash spoken by another old Australian who wants to talk stuff like this to make himself look intelligent and powerful, in order to keep his position with the ANU and Lowry institute.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    That’s certainly a novel view and a reason for war even more trivial than territory.

  • Axat

    Thats great news and this will boost the people from asia,It seems almost laughably unthinkable that the world’s three richest
    countries – two of them nuclear-armed – would go to war over something
    so trivial.

  • mickster2

    Emperor is even more trivial.
    Chinese and Korean public may be similarly pissed at “whities geting Japs off the hook” on pre-1945 deeds, but Beijing is more calculating than emotional.  It is after natural resources and fishing rights.  It’s quite different than Korean attachment to Dokto where patriotic sentiment is a key factor — Japan does not care enough to use force over it; it would not do more than just voicing claims and ROK’s control remains secure. Seoul’s position has been consistent in believing the rocks are traditionally Korean.
    China only started their claims after natural resources were found near the Senkakus in the late 60s.  Now it is testing Tokyo and the U.S. by sending ships and flying planes over the Senkakus.  It has records of using physical might against Vietnam and the Philippines over territorial disputes because it believes there is more than nationalistic sentiment at stake.
    I hear some talk of ROK and China teaming up against Japan, but that sounds out of touch.

  • mickster2

    Hmm… Is Japan distrusted by anybody besides by Koreas and China?