Skip to comments.China Warns Citizens To 'Prepare For The Worst' As It Sends Fighters To East China Sea
Posted on 01/11/2013 4:40:00 PM PST by blam
China Warns Citizens To 'Prepare For The Worst' As It Sends Fighters To East China Sea
Jan. 11, 2013, 8:49 AM
The J-10 After repeatedly flying surveillance aircraft into disputed airspace with Japan, and Tokyo scrambling F-15s in response, China's now sending fighters of its own on "routine flights" into the East China Sea.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that Chinese military planes were on"routine flights" in relevant airspace over the East China Sea. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press briefing in response to media reports that Japan sent fighter jets to head off a number of Chinese military planes spotted in Japan's "air defense identification zone" over the East China Sea on Thursday.
"China firmly opposes Japan's moves to gratuitously escalate the situation and create tensions," Hong said.
The area north of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, known as the Diaoyus in China, is reportedly home to billions in oil and gas deposits claimed both by Japan and China.
Responding to China's fighter deployment, Japan is considering permitting its F-15 pilots to fire tracer bullets, as warning shots, against Chinese planes. China's state-run Global Times calls this, "a step closer to war," warning a military clash is "more likely" while its people need to prepare "for the worst."
The Chinese jets could be flying from air base Shuimen, built east of the islands in Fujian Province. Satellite imagery of the base first came to light in 2009, but experts believe it reached completion late last year.
The Taipei Times reported in May 2012 that satellite images showed J-10 combat aircraft, Su-30 fighters, and various unmanned drones arriving at the base.
In addition to aircraft experts believe Russian made S-300 long-range
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Many countries in the region have disputed areas with China.
Viet Nam is disputing China’s claim to the Spratly Islands..
Just finished Tom Clancy’s latest. I feel like I already heard this story.
I hope our ally Japan is not counting on the 0bama regime to fulfill our obligations.
Bye bye Taiwan...
The first of our allies falls. Obammy wouldn’t lift a finger if Washington was invaded.
I believe, that of all the countries in the 'resources' dispute with China, Vietnam is the only one reachable by land.
I think it was in 1979 that China sent troops across the border into Vietnam in a dispute and Vietnam 'roughed-up' the Chinese pretty good before they withdrew. So....
Hey, let’s play global Whack-a-Mole ....
To be honest, neither would I.
That toilet could use flushing. It's a ghetto with nothing but welfare scum, vile politicians and some replaceable marble buildings.
The fool thinks he can run to Hawaii after he finishes wreaking the mainland. I doubt he has considered that Hawaii will be one of the first prices seized by our enemies.
prizes not prices.... sigh...
They also have some dispute with the Sultanate of Brunei.
The Senkaku conflict is heating up and I haven’t heard much about it at all. Of course, it doesn’t damage conservatives, so no coverage.
Didn’t Japan just elect a nationalist President or Prime Minister?
This could get ugly fast—But, I think its just power pushing, to keep the Common Chinese from seeking their “rights”. Nothing but a border incident with Obama ready to earn his peace prize by getting Japan to pull back and let China have the islands. He will say its “Peace in our Time” .
They are not his enemy.
It’s a small prize to pay.
After repeatedly flying surveillance aircraft into disputed airspace with Japan, and Tokyo scrambling F-15s in response, China sent fighters of its own on Thursday into the East China Sea.
Update: Following additional research, and newly released details of the event, this report was updated and expanded early morning January 13.
A Friday press release out of China confirms the incident began when Beijing was flying a Shaanxi Y-8 on a "routine Thursday patrol" over the "oil and gas fields in the East China Sea."
We knew yesterday it was a transport plane of some type, but the fact that it's a Shaanxi Y-8 is interesting.
The Diplomat calls the Y-8 a transport plane, and it can be, but the aircraft has more than 30 variants. The Y-8 performs everything from Mineral Research, to Geophysical Surveying, to Electronic Warfare to Intelligence Gathering and one variant is simply an innocuous but lethal fully loaded gunship, with two heavy cannons and three heavy machine guns.
It's the perfect plane for a game of cat and mouse because if the Y-8 ever received fire from Japan's F-15s, China could simply maintain it was an unarmed transport model carrying troops, or the Y8-F model, that carries only livestock.
In the meantime, the plane can perform all manner of sophisticated tests on the seabed floor, and eavesdrop on Japanese communications. China's been sending them consistently lately to surveil the contested island chain that's supposed to hold billions in oil and gas reserves.
So, again, on Thursday Japan spots aircraft in its Air Defense Identification Zone (above the islands) but this time it believes Chinese J-7 fighter-interceptors, and the Chinese developed J-10 fighter that rivals Western jets in its combat abilities are there as well. Tokyo responds by sending two F-15s from Naha, Okinawa just a couple hundred miles away. There are minor variantions from either side about who sent what first, but all agree the aircraft met above the islands.
The Chinese planes scattered soon after, but this marked the first time China and Japan flung military assets at one another over the East China Sea island dispute. A line was crossed and staying behind it in the future will only be more difficult, which is why a tempering third party will be crucial in the coming days.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell announced, he'll be traveling to Seoul, and Tokyo. What he decides in Tokyo will filter south to Naha and the Japanese unit confronting the Chinese.
An interesting fact about Naha, aside from its proximity to the contested territory, is that while being fairly remote it is home to Alfred R. Magleby, United States Consul General who holds a M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Appropriate, since the Naha Port (Military) Facility is part of U.S. Forces Japan and the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is less than nine miles from where the F-15s scrambled.
It looks like the islands everyone's talking about are a few dots in the middle of nowhere, but all of this is taking place before the U.S. Consulate and a contingent of nearly 10,000 U.S. Marines whose former commanding general told Time in 2010: "All of my Marines on Okinawa are willing to die if it is necessary for the security of Japan."
So when it's responding to China's fighter deployment, and Japan considers permitting its F-15 pilots to fire tracer bullets as warning shots against Chinese planes, it is now reasonable to assume that U.S. forces in Naha may have a say in that decision.
Firing tracers, which usually contain phosphorous or some highly flammable material, sends a line of light through the air like a laser. They're usually loaded in about every tenth round to let gunners know where they're shooting, but in this case they'd be fired to show Chinese pilots they're being fired upon.
An editorial in China's state-run Global Times called this possibility, "a step closer to war," warning a military clash is "more likely" while its people need to prepare "for the worst." With a U.S. presence so close at hand to where these Japanese decisions are being made, and tactical practices employed, we can hope for at least a bit of immediate tempering.
The Chinese jets are likely flying from air base Shuimen, built east of the islands in Fujian Province, not too much farther from the islands than Naha, Okinawa. So both sides have assets equally within reach of the islands.
Satellite imagery of the base came to light in 2009, and experts believe it was completed late last year.
The Taipei Times reported in May 2012 that J-10 combat aircraft, Su-30 fighters, and various unmanned drones were arriving at the base.
In addition to aircraft, experts believe Russian made S-300 long-range surface-to-air missiles ring the airbase, providing some of the best missile protection in the world. The S-300 is comparable to the U.S. made Patriot missile recently sent to Turkey for its first line of missile defense against Syria.
The Shuimen airbase compliment's China's East Fleet that maintains 35 ships in the region, including its newest warship the Type 054, seven submarines, and eight additional landing craft.
Among the subs are four Kilo-class diesel-electric Russian made submarines capable of the most advanced underwater warfare.
All of this located just 236 miles from the contested islands, which have been in dispute between Japan and China for some time. Han-Yi Shaw writes an interesting history of the dispute under Nick Kristof's On the Ground, for those interested in more background.
While the U.S. takes no official position on who owns the Islands, it would be expected to honor its U.S.-Japan security treaty signed in 1960.
Though it's a formal agreement to aid Japan if it comes under attack, there are few who believe the U.S. would risk a full-blown war with China over a few uninhabited islands, regardless of how much oil and gas lay beneath them.
That may or may not be the case, the thing is, no one knows. But with a U.S. presence so closely intertwined in these events, and a contingent of Marines standing by, it seems that whatever happens could involve American input one way or another.
What it's all about or what's beneath them the Senkaku Islands