‘Is China ready to go to war over a pile of rocks?’

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“Is China really ready to go to war over a pile of rocks?” asks Adam Minter, Shanghai correspondent for Bloomberg World View, in a February 13, 2013, article headlined “China Shifts Ever So Slightly on Debate Over Islands.”

His answer: “Six months ago, it certainly felt that way. Now, not quite as much.”

The Chinese call the “pile of rocks” Mr. Minter is referring to the Diaoyu Islands. The  Japanese call them the Senkaku Islands. According to Mr. Minter:

The small archipelago (five islets and three rocks), located 90 miles northeast of Taiwan, is notable only for the oil, minerals and fish that allegedly lie beneath it and the intense emotions and claims that surround it.

He noted that both Chinese and Japanese public opinion were inflamed by the dispute. According to China. Org.Cn, “Chinese ships continue patrolling Diaoyu Islands.”

I highly recommend Mr.Minter’s analysis of this issue, which may seem remote and inconsequential to many Americans, if they know about it at all. Nevertheless, war or the threat of war between these two major Asian powers could potentially have significant economic, diplomatic and military consequences for the United States and its Asian allies, if diplomacy is overtaken by war. 

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