• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 4:38pm

Sino-Japanese relations

The relationship between the two largest economies in Asia has been marred throughout the 20th century due to territorial and political disputes including Taiwanese sovereignty; the invasion of China by Japan in the second world war and Japan’s subsequent refusal to acknowledge the extent of its war crimes; territorial disputes surrounding the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands and associated fishing rights and energy resources; and Japanese-American security co-operation.   

NewsChina
TERRITORIAL DISPUTES

China-Germany comparisons by Abe and Aquino 'not helpful', US general Herbert Carlisle says

Head of Pacific air forces disputes comparison of Chinese assertiveness and pre-war Germany

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 February, 2014, 3:45am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 February, 2014, 4:37pm

Comments by the leaders of Japan and the Philippines drawing parallels between China's growing assertiveness in the region and events in pre-war Europe are "not helpful", the commander of US air forces in the Pacific said.

"The rise of Germany and what occurred between the UK in particular and Germany, and what happened in Europe, I don't draw that comparison at all to what's going on today" in the Asia-Pacific, General Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, said in an interview in Singapore. "Some of the things, in particular that have been done by Japan, they need to think hard about what is provocative to other nations."

The recent comments by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Benigno Aquino - two US allies - have escalated tensions at a time when China is pushing its territorial claims in both the East and South China seas, and as President Xi Jinping expands the reach of his country's navy. Both sought to cast China's actions against the perspective of Germany's ascension in the first half of the 20th century.

"The de-escalation of tensions has got to be a multilateral approach and it's not just one country that needs to de-escalate," said Carlisle, a former fighter squadron commander who is responsible for air force operations for more than half the globe. "All of them do. The risk from miscalculation is high. It's greater than it should be."

Abe said in Switzerland late last month that Germany and Britain went to war despite strong economic ties, and warned Japan and China must avoid a similar fate. In an interview with The New York Times, Aquino called on nations last week to support the Philippines in defending its territory in the South China Sea, drawing a parallel with the West's failure to back Czechoslovakia against Adolf Hitler's demands for the Sudetenland in 1938.

China and Japan have not held a summit since Abe took office in December 2012. Protests had previously broken out in China after Japan nationalised some of the disputed Diaoyu, or Senkaku, islands in the East China Sea from a private owner.

In November, China set up an air defence zone over the area, demanding that civil and military aircraft present flight plans before entering the space. The next month, Abe further roiled ties by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours 14 Class-A war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead.

"If you look at some of the things that have been going on in the East China Sea, both militaries have been conducting themselves very professionally," Carlisle said. "But the potential for something, a mistake to occur or miscalculation or misunderstanding to occur, is out there. There is significantly more activity from both nations around the disputed territorial claims, and that to me is a risk."

Any attempt by China to replicate its air zone in the South China Sea would be a "very provocative act", Carlisle said. The US opposes any such move and "we've strongly, through diplomatic channels, made that known" to Beijing, Carlisle said.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

2

This article is now closed to comments

james.tam.5473
What is interesting is that when you search the Web, you do not find any so call mainstream media reporting on General Carlisle's comment. The western press is clearly down playing the General's view and another branch of the government in US stepped out immediately repeating the defense of Diaoyu Islands, to make sure Abe understand that US is not leaving Japan anytime soon. That is politics for you. Abe is acting less than a statesman for the sole purpose of getting US out of Japan. Can't blame him. With his right wing views, how can he stomach Japan being occupied for the last 70 years and on his dimes too. Tough.
honger
"Some of the things, in particular that have been done by Japan, they need to think hard about what is provocative to other nations."
Well said, Carlisle! At last someone is speaking sense.
Abe is of course spending 99 percent of his time to provoke controversies abroad to avoid facing the truth about Japan's domestic problems - continued stagnant economic growth, unemployment, etc.
Or maybe he thinks war in Asia is the only way for Japan to get its economy in gear again.....
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or