South Pacific Showdown? Japan May Send Warships To China Islands

Sunday, November 22, 2015
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden

On Tuesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told the press that contrary to the narrative being propagated by Washington and its allies in the South Pacific, Beijing had actually shown “great restraint” in the South China Sea.

China, Liu went on to explain, has tolerated the “occupation” of the disputed waters even as Beijing has “both the right and the ability to recover the islands and reefs illegally occupied by neighboring countries.” Essentially, Liu said China would be well within its rights to forcibly expel The Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam from the Spratlys.

Liu’s comments came ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Manila on Thursday and Friday.

At the close of the Summit, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe met with President Benigno Aquino – who earlier this year compared the Chinese to Nazis – to discuss the possibility that Japan could provide Manila with “large ships” that the Philippines can use to patrol the South China Sea.

As Reuters reported on Friday, “the deal will mark the first time Japan has agreed to directly donate military equipment to another country, and is the latest example of Abe’s more muscular security agenda.”

“There was a request from President Benigno Aquino regarding the provision of large patrol vessels to the Philippine Coast Guard and Japan would like to consider the specifics,” Abe said in a statement.

Reuters goes on to note that “rather than challenge Beijing directly by sending warships or planes to patrol the South China Sea, Japan is helping to build the military capacity of friendly nations with claims to parts of the waterway.”

The Rest…HERE

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