China’s dangerous brinkmanship in maritime Northeast Asia | The Strategist
China’s behaviour over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute with Japan is deeply worrisome. It not only displays a level of brinkmanship which could easily lead to war, it also seems to be part of a broader maritime ‘probing’ strategy designed to constantly test the resolve of Japan and its US ally. The result could be even greater instability in Northeast Asia.
At least twice in the past two weeks, Chinese forces directed a fire-control radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessel and helicopter. The key question is whether such dangerous crisis management reflects a deliberate strategy on the part of Beijing or if it was due to a lack of coordination among the key actors. According to media reports, the later seems closer to the truth. It seems that only now is China’s management of the dispute under direct command and coordination of a top-level task force led by General Secretary Xi Jinping.