China keeps raising the ante in the Pacific Rim region in what seems a thinly-veiled push for some kind of regional war. After provoking the rest of the nations in the Pacific Rim by essentially claiming all of the South China Sea in spite of recognized international rules to the contrary, China has now unilaterally claimed about 1 million square miles of the East China Sea which had been previously seen by other nations as international waters. China’s action is especially provocative as that region includes islands owned by Japan (see first link).
The United States is allied to Japan and refused to recognize the Chinese claim. Indeed, it sent a flight of B-52 bombers through the airspace claimed by China (first link). The Chinese claim to have monitored that flight of US bombers (second link). In a further sign that China is provoking international cooperation against itself by its bellicose actions, the US and Japanese military forces held joint exercises intended to send a message that any [Chinese] attack vs. Japan will be repelled (first link). In a sign that tensions are ratcheting upward, the US and Japan have sent warplanes besides the B-52 flight into the disputed region and China has responded with warplanes of its own being sent there. So far they have not opened fire on each other.
However, the rising tensions indicate that an open military conflict may be inevitable in the future. The third link documents that there is a “growing risk of conflict” and reminds readers that an incident did occur where a Chinese warship almost caused “a naval shootout” with a Japanese warship. The fourth link describes the tense recent visit of US Vice President Biden to Japan and China which apparently left both nations unhappy with the USA. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe was quoted as hoping that the US would “not kowtow to China on the matter,” but an American decision to ask all US airliners to yield to the Chinese demands regarding the disputed airspace can only be seen by Japan (and all other nations) as a sign of weakness on the part of the Obama administration and the USA.
One side effect of this growing dispute is that it will necessarily force Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Singapore, India and perhaps even Vietnam into a more close anti-Chinese alliance. Any signs of American weakness will hasten this trend.
In previous posts, I have suggested that China’s quite bellicose actions are actually an effort to provoke a regional war. China is a rapidly-rising global power, but its military forces are completely untested. Its troops have never faced combat and its new warplanes and warships have never been tested in combat conditions. Before embarking on a major global bid for dominance and an effort to overthrow the USA as the global superpower, China must first test its equipment and soldiers in a limited war to see how well they perform. China’s claims to massive stretches of international waters are either intended to (A) provoke such a limited war, (B) push the other nations and the USA as far as they can to see just how weak their response is, or (C) both options. I think China especially covets the opportunity to provoke a regional war where they can fire their new ballistic and supersonic cruise missiles at a US carrier to see if they can sink it.
Testing weapons systems in a limited war to see if they will work in a very large war is nothing new for rising global powers. When Nazi Germany was rising to power, it tested its Stuka dive-bombers and other new military equipment in the Spanish Civil War to see how its new weaponry would perform in combat conditions. The USA and the Soviet Union tested their new weaponry during the Cold War via regional, limited wars in the Mideast. The USA supplied the Israelis with the latest in US weaponry and the Russians supplied the Arabs with Soviet weaponry to use against the American weaponry in Israeli hands. China lacks surrogates through which it can test its latest weaponry although Iran is a possibility; therefore, it needs to provoke a war against other nations close to China to test its new weapons. China may also want a regional war near China so its land-based forces can easily support any Chinese forces that get involved in a shooting war in the East China Sea or the South China Sea.
Another obvious side-effect of China’s brazen militaristic actions and the rather weak responses by the Obama administration is that it will undoubtedly cause Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and perhaps other states to realize they need their own nuclear arsenals because they may not be able to trust Obama to come to their aid in any war. Japan has long had the ability to produce nuclear weapons, and they may already have them in a de facto, if not literal, sense. They have the technology to have built the nuclear warheads, their housings and the deliver vehicles but may not yet have assembled them together. As long as they are not fully assembled together, Japan can technically claim that “it doesn’t have nuclear weapons.” However, they may be able to assemble the already-built components and have hundreds of workable nuclear weapons within hours if a national security need arose. I know that if I were a Japanese Prime Minister at any time within the last two decades, I’d have given the order to build such weapons and leave them not quite fully assembled.
So, the same dynamic is working in Asia that is working in the Mideast. Just as Pacific Rim nations are being forced to cooperate more closely with each other because of the Chinese threat and consider building nuclear weapons of their own, nations in the Mideast (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) are being forced into an alliance of their own because of the Iranian threat and the Saudis may now have already made themselves a nuclear power by taking delivery of some warheads from Pakistan’s arsenal (see a previous post). The weakness of the Obama administration’s actions are mid-wifing both alliances into existence. Putting this in a biblically-prophesied context, the “latter day” alliances prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 are coming into existence exactly as foretold. Even the Pacific Rim alliance of Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, The Philippines, Vietnam, etc was prophesied in Ezekiel 38, as can be seen in my articles, What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveal about a Future World War III, and Japan’s Role in Biblical Prophecy.