Things are again rapidly heating up in the East China Sea amidst already heightened tensions in a region where Washington is increasingly asserting the right of navigation in international waters against broad Chinese claims and seeking to defend the territorial possessions of its allies.
According to a bombshell new Reuters report the tiny and rocky Senkaku Islands which lie between northern Taiwan and the Japanese home islands are “rapidly turning into a flashpoint for war”. Alarmingly, Japanese government sources have been quoted as saying Tokyo and the United States are drawing up an operations plan for an allied military response to Chinese threats to the disputed Senkaku Islands.
From nearly the start of his entering the White House, President Trump has said he’s committed to upholding Article 5 of the US-Japan security treaty signed the post-war years of the mid-20th century: “We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance,” Trump had promised from the first official reception of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe back in February 2017, and since consistently maintained.
Japanese government sources have told regional media that the joint plan of response with the United States involves “how to respond in the event of an emergency on or around the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea” — which is set to be completed by next march, according to the statements.
Beijing claims the islands as part of its historical inheritance — as it does neighbouring Taiwan, despite failing to seize the protectorate during the Chinese Civil War.
Taiwan, however, was a Japanese protectorate before World War II.
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