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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

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The South China Sea's Gathering Storm

Old 7th May 2013, 13:17
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Illuminating piece in the Torygraph

David Cameron's rift with China could cost UK billions - Telegraph

"China wants Mr Cameron to apologise for hosting Tibet’s spiritual leader, who disputes Beijing’s territorial claims on the region.."

Indeed, the Middle Kingdom wants Stuntman Dave, apparently the leader of an EU client state, to apologise for giving offense. There are problems when dealing with a Master Race, whether to bow when standing, or bow when on one's knees.

RR can come along soon and explain about the horrors of the opium trade.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:50
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BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanjing

Between December 1937 and March 1938 one of the worst massacres in modern times took place. Japanese troops captured the Chinese city of Nanjing and embarked on a campaign of murder, rape and looting.

Thousands of bodies were buried in ditches

Based on estimates made by historians and charity organisations in the city at the time, between 250,000 and 300,000 people were killed, many of them women and children.
The number of women raped was said by Westerners who were there to be 20,000, and there were widespread accounts of civilians being hacked to death.
Yet many Japanese officials and historians deny there was a massacre on such a scale.
They admit that deaths and rapes did occur, but say they were on a much smaller scale than reported. And in any case, they argue, these things happen in times of war.
The Sino-Japanese Wars
In 1931, Japan invaded Chinese Manchuria following a bombing incident at a railway controlled by Japanese interests.
The Chinese troops were no match for their opponents and Japan ended up in control of great swathes of Chinese territory.
The following years saw Japan consolidate its hold, while China suffered civil war between communists and the nationalists of the Kuomintang. The latter were led by General Chiang Kai-shek, whose capital was at Nanjing.
Japanese troops enter the city in triumph

Many Japanese, particularly some elements of the army, wanted to increase their influence and in July 1937, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops escalated into full-scale war.
The Japanese again had initial success, but then there was a period of successful Chinese defence before the Japanese broke through at Shanghai and swiftly moved on to Nanjing.
Chiang Kai-shek's troops had already left the city and the Japanese army occupied it without difficulty.
'One of the great atrocities of modern times'
At the time, the Japanese army did not have a reputation for brutality.
In the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, the Japanese commanders had behaved with great courtesy towards their defeated opponents, but this was very different.
Japanese papers reported competitions among junior officers to kill the most Chinese.
There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today

Minnie Vautrin
US woman in Nanjing

One Japanese newspaper correspondent saw lines of Chinese being taken for execution on the banks of the Yangtze River, where he saw piles of burned corpses.
Photographs from the time, now part of an exhibition in the city, show Japanese soldiers standing, smiling, among heaps of dead bodies.
Tillman Durdin of the New York Times reported the early stages of the massacre before being forced to leave.
He later wrote: "I was 29 and it was my first big story for the New York Times. So I drove down to the waterfront in my car. And to get to the gate I had to just climb over masses of bodies accumulated there."
"The car just had to drive over these dead bodies. And the scene on the river front, as I waited for the launch... was of a group of smoking, chattering Japanese officers overseeing the massacring of a battalion of Chinese captured troops."
"They were marching about in groups of about 15, machine-gunning them."
As he departed, he saw 200 men being executed in 10 minutes to the apparent enjoyment of Japanese military spectators.
He concluded that the rape of Nanjing was "one of the great atrocities of modern times".
'The memories cannot be erased'
A Christian missionary, John Magee, described Japanese soldiers as killing not only "every prisoner they could find but also a vast number of ordinary citizens of all ages".
"Many of them were shot down like the hunting of rabbits in the streets," he said.
Some victims were reportedly buried alive

After what he described as a week of murder and rape, the Rev Magee joined other Westerners in trying to set up an international safety zone.
Another who tried to help was an American woman, Minnie Vautrin, who kept a diary which has been likened to that of Anne Frank.
Her entry for 16 December reads: "There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today. Thirty girls were taken from the language school [where she worked] last night, and today I have heard scores of heartbreaking stories of girls who were taken from their homes last night - one of the girls was but 12 years old."
Later, she wrote: "How many thousands were mowed down by guns or bayoneted we shall probably never know. For in many cases oil was thrown over their bodies and then they were burned."
"Charred bodies tell the tales of some of these tragedies. The events of the following ten days are growing dim. But there are certain of them that lifetime will not erase from my memory and the memories of those who have been in Nanjing through this period."
Minnie Vautrin suffered a nervous breakdown in 1940 and returned to the US. She committed suicide in 1941.
Also horrified at what he saw was John Rabe, a German who was head of the local Nazi party.
He became leader of the international safety zone and recorded what he saw, some of it on film, but this was banned by the Nazis when he returned to Germany.
He wrote about rape and other brutalities which occurred even in the middle of the supposedly protected area.
Confession and denial
After the Second World War was over, one of the Japanese soldiers who was in Nanjing spoke about what he had seen.
Japanese troops showed little mercy

Azuma Shiro recalled one episode: "There were about 37 old men, old women and children. We captured them and gathered them in a square."
"There was a woman holding a child on her right arm... and another one on her left."
"We stabbed and killed them, all three - like potatoes in a skewer. I thought then, it's been only one month since I left home... and 30 days later I was killing people without remorse."
Mr Shiro suffered for his confession: "When there was a war exhibition in Kyoto, I testified. The first person who criticized me was a lady in Tokyo. She said I was damaging those who died in the war."
"She called me incessantly for three or four days. More and more letters came and the attack became so severe... that the police had to provide me with protection."
Such testimony, however, has been discounted at the highest levels in Japan.
Former Justice Minister Shigeto Nagano denied that the massacre had occurred, claiming it was a Chinese fabrication.
Professor Ienaga Saburo spent many years fighting the Japanese government in the courts with only limited success for not allowing true accounts of Japanese war atrocities to be given in school textbooks.
There is also opposition to the idea among ordinary Japanese people. A film called Don't Cry Nanjing was made by Chinese and Hong Kong film-makers in 1995 but it was several years before it was shown in Japan.
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Old 7th May 2013, 14:05
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And the opium trade? The slave trade? The conquistadors? The crusades? The potato famine? The holocaust? What does your historical grievance have to do with China imposing its Imperial power on Asia in the 21st Century?
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Old 7th May 2013, 14:28
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The German government accepts the holocaust happened and is very apologetic for it.

I cannot say the same for Shinzo Abe and his views on war crimes. I think a visit by himself to China with a full and formal apology, something like the famous Willy Brandt apology. Probably to South Korea and other nations to. He has been rather unwise to say some of the things he has. He appears to be a rather dangerous nationalist who could make things far worse, his words could make alliance building more difficult. Someone such as this is far from ideal in being a leader. A more moderate and thoughtful leader may not have dug this hole for himself!
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Old 7th May 2013, 14:56
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Abe has not dug a hole for himself. You allow your prejudice to colour your judgement. China is the threat to peace in Asia, not Japan.
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Old 7th May 2013, 15:10
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If a German politican said something similar to Abe then they would likely not even be able to get elected! There would be a total uproar over it.

The Chinese are not much a threat really, they tend to behave, they are peaceful, they are most interested in doing business and economic matters, they might be a military threat if provoked by dangerous nationalism though!
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Old 7th May 2013, 15:38
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I just don't understand what point RR is trying to make

that Japanese soldiers committed atrocities? Does anyone on here really believe that any country has clean hands over war time atrocities?? Or peace time ones as well
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Old 7th May 2013, 15:56
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RR is a troll posting his prejudices. China threatens Asia, therfore Japan is to blame.
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Old 7th May 2013, 17:35
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I just don't understand what point RR is trying to make

The terrible acts carried out by the Japanese in the distant past bear no idiotic comparison to modern day Japan.
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Old 7th May 2013, 17:42
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RR, you might want to visit with the governments of the Philipines, Taiwan, Viet Nam, and a few other places to see who they worry about more: Japan or China, as security threat.

I want to be sure we don't forget that Imperial Japan inflicted a lot of inhumane crap on people, but I also don't believe in living in the past. What are the problems of today and tomorrow to solve?
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Old 7th May 2013, 18:02
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My main point is the Japanese Prime Minister is basically saying the war crimes that were carried out are not war crimes at all!!! To me this is rather disgusting, my main issue is with him alone. Also I thought by posting the material people may get a better understanding of why its very hard for the people (not so much the governments) of other nations in the area to forget what happend all those years ago.

When I pointed this out on this forum I get a kind of ''who cares attitude'' or ''oh well we have all carried out war crimes'' I do agree with the second one of those. But I don't think we carried vivisection on captured airmen or civilians, or buried foreign civilians alive, or made POWS get into trenches, poor petrol onto them and set fire to them, machine gun female nurses, raping women and children, I could go on!!!!! Japan today is not to blaim for any of this BUT for the Japanese PM to say such things are not war crimes is beyond contempt. If a German politician said the same about that nations actions in World War 2 there would be uproar. The Germans have been punished hard for that nations actions in the past war and rightly so, but with Japan its all kind of brushed under the carpet and not talked about anywhere near as much. I can say the same about Soviet crimes! Thats not spoken about much either.

As for China, most of the surrounding nations seem to be happy to engage in trade, actually many nations in the world virtually seem to beg to engage with China economically, but at the same time they are rather jealous and concerned at the rapid growth of China. The key word is envy!
The whole region is economically being pulled towards China but in military terms is being pulled towards the USA. A most interesting situation.

I hope there is never war in the region, all war is wrong. But if one does occur I would not get involved or one could turn a regional conflict into a World War. But lets hope it never comes to that.

(Taiwan is really part of China anyhow, I would expect within a generation or so that one will be resolved with Taiwan joining back with China)

Last edited by Ronald Reagan; 7th May 2013 at 21:55.
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Old 7th May 2013, 18:28
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The Chinese are not allowed to forget about Nanjing. Every time anything in the news that involves a problem with Japan the old films are rolled out on TV. Japan is not China's problem. Their problem is about 850,000,000 Chinese who are just above peasant level who are looking at TV screens showing China's economic expansion and asking, "where is my share?"

Revolutions in China have always been started by peasants and the Chinese leadership is all too aware of its own recent history. There job is to avoid this at all costs and the defence against that is continuous growth through overseas trade. They are not going to rock the boat by starting a war. They still haven't got over the drubbing they received from Viet Nam.

Some islands, like the Paracel Islands, have been accepted internationally as being part if China for over a hundred years. Other have the temptation of mineral rights, especially hydro-carbons. If they didn't have that potential China would not be interested in them; nor would Japan, or the Philippines, or Taiwan, or Vietnam, or Malaysia.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:26
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Not sure far East Driver - I think the Chinese are more concerned about historic issues (right or wrong) than mineral rights - otherwise why slug it out with the Russians over a few islands in the middle of the Amur River?

What they seem to aim for is

1. bi-lateral negotiations between"equals"

2. the other side to confess and apologise "properly" (what ever that may mean from time to time)

3. Start with a clean sheet of paper

4. take into account "realities on the ground"

5. drive a very hard, but not totally impossible, deal
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Old 9th May 2013, 18:56
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Having been involved with the offshore oil industry in China for more than several years it is oil; believe me.
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 15:40
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Tribunal backs case against China brought by Philippines:

South China Sea: Tribunal backs case against China brought by Philippines - BBC News
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 16:11
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Manila Wins South China Sea Arbitration Case at The Hague

....."What Now?

Sam Tangredi, a specialist on anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategies at the US-based consulting firm Strategic Insight, argues that China's A2/AD ambitions must be defined in terms of diplomatic and economic activities, not just military.

China could ignore the ruling and justify its activities by passing a law declaring that the South China Sea, like Taiwan, has always been an internal region of China, and therefore international legal jurisdiction does not and has never existed, Tangredi said. In that line of thinking, the independence or foreign control of the territorial seas cannot be tolerated and actions by other states to assert control are illegal and will be treated as a criminal action. Any resulting resistance or attack on Chinese agencies exercising outside legal authority would be treated as an attack against the state.

Tangredi, who wrote the recent book, “Anti-Access Warfare,” said: “Authoritarian regimes are particularly sensitive to having ‘legal’ justifications for arbitrary actions, and that is the case with China.”

The analyst also said he fears China would declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea in response to the court ruling. China declared an ADIZ over the East China Sea (ECS) in November 2013, rattling Japan and the United States. The ECS ADIZ overlaps the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which China claims as the Diaoyu Islands."...........
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 16:22
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I can say, from personal experience, that The Rape of Nanjing is commemorated every year in Hong Kong with very explicit pictures on display.
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 05:56
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For reference, here's the original paper on how a war might unfold.
And an interesting little video on how an LRSB / UCAV package might engage and defeat a red force beyond visual range.
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 06:03
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Not a direct quote but:

A recent article stated that many countries have had their territorial claims referred to the Hague Tribunal by other aggrieved countries, only for them to completely reject the findings of the Tribunal when they perceive that it impacts on their national security or interests.

Nothing is new here, there are examples much closer to home. China is just following the lead of others and making a pure and simple territorial grab a la Ukraine/Crimea.

Old 13th Jul 2016, 12:44
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A senior Chinese official has said China has the right to set up an air defence zone over territory it claims in the South China Sea.
The statement from Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin comes a day after an international tribunal said there was no legal basis for China's claims.

South China Sea: China 'has right to set up air defence zone' - BBC News

(As anticipated then...)
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