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Drmke- Let's say war started between Vietnam and China. It was brief like the third Indochina War. And maybe lasted 3 days, with like some ten thousands people killed. War scenario is usually not likely, but consider the amount of tension between these two countries for the past decades. How would that change the dynamic of China and Taiwan, China and Japan?
If China and Japan is such a stand alone incident, then Kaiten is right. But China simultaneously building up tensions with all the countries surrounded it, and I think the South East China Sea border conflict is way more than the Senkaku. Would that not build up even more tension between China and Japan, and the likelihood of a conflict increase at least a few percentages?
The biggest deterrence to arm conflict for a while has been the presence of Americans in Asia.
In my defense, I never thought about Japan going to war with China. Since the scenario is most likely an armed conflict in South East Asia would happen way way before that. However, I never took into the consideration of how much this Senkaku island had come into play recently. The USA had no interest over South East Asia, and most likely would never commit itself over there. It would be very unpopular if it did. But certainly that would change the dynamic of things.
covered by the internal media. It naturally followed the party line but with the advent of social media and their netizens I would assume it has disseminated to the wider public more readily than it would have done so in the past.
The Tokyo mayor is on manoeuvres again it seems.
Instead of starting a new thread, I'll post this here:
Majority of Chinese Expect a War with Japan
The article talks about rising nationalist tensions in both countries as well as in many other Asia-Pacific countries. Thoughts?
To me it just does not seem reasonable... I mean, why? Even if there is a confrontation I doubt it would go beyond a short skirmish. Even in the absolute worst case scenario I don't think a conflict can last more than a month and even then it probably won't be that bad.... There is nothing for either side to win here and war is expensive. Unless I am missing something which could easily be the case.
If it was to happen, it would most likely be caused by the desire for economic dominance and blind nationalism. Wars are rarely started for reasons that seem sane from the outside.
China fears the hegemonic power of the US and by extension Japan. Obama has been announcing for years he intends to do an "Asian pivot" economically. China, as the second largest economy in the world, is worried that this "pivot" means taking over its territory, which it most certainly does. A war would be disastrous for all parties involved specifically the US, Japan, and China and whatever poor countries get used as a battleground.
It does, however, seem unlikely (granted everything usually does until it happens). But with the continual pushes in both Chinese and especially Japanese culture towards right-wing nationalism, it's far from a non-issue. The large number of Chinese and Japanese citizens that seem to expect a conflict of some sort is the worrying thing. It's easiest for a government to start a war if the people expect it.
What you say is true only under the assumption that all states will function as rational actors which they rarely do in real life. And the economic objectives of America and China are "vague" only in the sense that they don't come right out and say what they intend to do because there would always be major backlash from local populations. But when I say "taking over territory" I am referring to economic domination. That's how modern imperialism works. You force another country's economy to be so tied up with yours that they cannot safely risk resisting any demands you and your business interests make. It also helps to place military bases in said country which the US has done. The US maintains a fairly aggressive military presence in Asia. Not aggressive in the sense that it attacks but in the sense that every country in the East knows it is capable of it. These two factors are what would worry China or any other economy that wishes to remain as free as possible from America's influence.
And the "too capitalist for war" argument does not hold up historically. Both World Wars were fought between Capitalist countries (Soviet exception). Capitalist economies must inherently expand to keep up profit increase. A century ago, there was really only one dominate capitalist force: the Us and Europe (excluding the capitalist tendencies of the USSR before and after Stalin). Now, there are two rival capitalist factions: the US, Europe, and NATO in one group and the BRICs countries in the other. China and the US enjoy a very lucrative partnership but one that has always been tense and only one bad incident from war. They are our biggest economic rival and will be for decades to come. I'm not sure what you think most wars are fought over, but I can confidently say that it is usually profit.
Once again, war seems unlikely simply because their hasn't been one on this scale in a long time. If current tensions, history, and foreign meddling (US) are brought into the mix, it becomes far more difficult I believe to simply brush off the concerns (especially with the polls mentioned in the article). And if we throw in political and social unrest both countries are increasingly experiencing, the whole situation becomes even harder to predict. It's hard to believe that the US will simply sit by and watch as it loses it's unprecedented economic hegemony or that China would be content with second place.