tv [untitled] February 15, 2013 9:00pm-9:30pm EST
the meteor comes crashing down in central russia leaving over twelve hundred people injured as buildings shook and windows smashed by the force of the blast. for the first time ever a republican senators stall the confirmation process of the proposed u.s. secretary of defense demanding chuck hagel answer more questions. and money troubles and belt tightening during the g. twenty meeting in moscow finance chiefs discuss the possibility of a currency war as well as the ongoing debt crisis. back with latest
headlines in less than an hour but before that peter lavelle and his guests take a look at the tensions between japan and china and where they could lead cross-talk up next r.t. . hello and welcome to crossfire where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle five tiny pacific islands one big problem and china and the region what is fueling this dispute domestic nationalism geopolitics and natural resource grab all of the above then there's the question of what is called the pacific pivot is washington's pivot focused on challenging china's great power ambitions. to cross talk this heated island dispute i'm joined by she cocoa goto in washington
she is the northeast asia associate at the wilson center in hong kong we have andrew loom he is an international an independent china specialist and in philadelphia we crossed and then he is a writer and blogger for counterpunch all right folks cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want by going to our guest in washington d.c. i mean if you were to create a hierarchy of what this dispute is all about what would it be containing china resources the american pivot what's your number one. well the diff between the the japan and china really started with the grab for resources it has since then evolved into redefining national identity japan sees this as their own territory china has disputed that agreement and it is it is something that both sides simply cannot reconcile against and we are finding ourselves in
a deadlock over who owns what and it is it is a very terse situation that really cannot be rationalized that the stage ok andrew frank can go to you i mean yeah i nationalism can be very irrational here but what direction is this going into we've seen it a little bit of the steam blowing off now of the last few days but it hasn't been resolved so what's the major issue for you well i think at the order of events is not exactly like but i think we should look at how the world order has warped don't forget that territorial disputes between china and japan have been on the table for a long long time so why now and also it is the the core grab for resources you know it's only happened only recently where is the all of the spills as i was saying are have been on the cards i think what's happening is there was a major shift of events after the american pivot to asia and now the american
pivot is not. just about china is because of the change in the world order america's capacity to lead has is the climbing is still leading but the capacity to lead is the client according to the national intelligence council report based in washington should be in the national intelligence council because washington d.c. . america has got to reconfigure is around the world moving. a lot of the earth but the resources from the middle east and concentrating to where it counts is asia but because of that because of american spirit in our military parise with china's neighbors that somehow have emboldened a number came into use getting really you're getting way ahead of me you know what it's all really great you're getting way ahead of me that's why i like you have you
on the program i'd like to go back to washington because our guest in washington was disagreeing. explain this has nothing to this has nothing to do with the united states the united states has made loud and clear that it really wants to take a neutral position regarding think islands the u.s. pivot the rebalancing towards the asia pacific as one issue and say could die you dispute as another what the united states has declared is that whilst they are a neutral party in these in these tense disputes if japan feels obliged to take some kind of military action or react in some way the u.s. japan alliance kicks in and then the united states which wouldn't. align itself with japan ok manas let me go get a there to ok but the u.s. is involved in ok very much involved in let's go to philadelphia what do you think here we got to the pivot real early in this program i'm glad go ahead lynn go ahead
well i would respectfully disagree with that assessment because i think u.s. is really behind this dispute the u.s. is playing of japan's fear of falling behind china or losing is primacy in asia and is also playing off the fear of other nation asian nations towards resurgent china so just vietnam the philippines and another countries so the u.s. is using this. as a catalyst as a mechanism to stay relevant in the western pacific so as long as these asian countries fear chinese of bullying them but u.s. has a role to play and they can sell weapons. you know it can stay profitable otherwise it has no role in western pacific so u.s. is really behind this is going to japan towards this confrontation station which i know because the issue was dormant for decades there was no you know no over. conflict until recently japan initiated this so this rather suicide tactic is
really instigated by watching the sea believe it let's go back to washington d.c. then. yes it is that it has been a tension kohls the subject over many centuries but it's only really bubbled up over the last couple of years but really i believe that the genesis of this is not the united states but rather the governor of tokyo who decided that hey we're going to spend money the government of tokyo to buy these privately owned land and then the japanese government intervened and said ok well we can't get the tokyo government to buy it so we've the national government is going to actually buy these islands washington again is wants to play a neutral party in this but let me play the devil's advocate. say the united japan feels more strongly strongly about going in. to take military action to take to take over these islands because it has the united states backing what would
happen then then china has an excuse to take military action against japan then the united states and japan can declare war on china and and then china will possibly have backing from north korea and we see this big big fall out and we are seeing and we would see a repeat of one nine hundred fourteen world war one when the assassination of a crown prince by some serbian nationalist sparks off a whole global war i don't think anyone really wants this and if anyone with any russian now can think through it is it is a dangerous game so i can understand that yes it gets headlines to talk about oh yes it will sell american arms but that is not what's happening here ok andrew i mean is it really it seems like containment of china to me at least well at least through to china. to be a strategy of containment by i mean. or mean. because
a lot of america's treaty difference treaty with japan but it's also. america is now forming much closer military ties with all china's neighbors including of course but australia but also as far as india you can see that there is a. and circumvent of china and that's only happened only for the repeat during the last couple of years and then of course the south china sea is a very very important conduit for the importation of oil resources which are china's the lifeblood so china naturally feels threatened now as far as to japan is concerned the recent wide japan resorting to what appeared to be more assertive action it's not us out of the blue it's because of the rise of japanese nationalism and of course
a right wing politics in japan so the politicians are trying to cater into this kind of. national psyche which says that the world is for many many years of the second world war and in fact a lot of the japanese people were born after the second world war including prime minister abbey so they don't see why japan should continue to you know sort of move around the world would tail behind its back as it were after all japan as was the world's second largest economy until it was overtaken by china so all this plays into a more assertive national policy and because of that and because of the american pivot forming military allies with china's neighbors and so a number of china's neighbors we're told taleo. rival claims are all becoming more assertive and that fits into china's ok here let me go to len let me go to lynn in
philadelphia and causing that a lot of the here is this nasty nationalism versus nasty nationalism it sounds quite dangerous. well the nationalists angle is used to play up support the mastic lee japan is using this dispute to rebuild his military so already is gaining something from it and abyei was reelected because of his nationalist right wing stance and his rather belligerent stance so nationalism is used including us to gain support for whatever each country is doing but it comes down to resources and geo political reasons you know but. some money is at the heart of this but nationalism emotion is used to gain support. but i want to return to the us japan. coordinated effort to. create a front against china the u.s. is not just getting closer to you know. allies as us australia and india as
already mentioned but also vietnam in cambodia is former enemies and the japan too is giving navy ships to the philippines and selling submarines to vietnam so this is a very coordinated effort to create a new front against china to contain china because inevitably there's going to be more of a yawn of a fight over resources because all these all these industries all these countries need oil natural gas to pursued this more inclusive growth that is slipping away from all of them all right hang on we're going to go to a short break here and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the pacific islands dispute staying with our team.
you were talking about the japan china island. ok i'm going to go back to washington i guess there was very angry that you couldn't jump in before the break and now is your opportunity i'd like to see you know preface it is that it's what we heard at the very end of the program of the first part is that the militarization of the region and this sounds very very dangerous going back to your nine hundred fourteen comment go ahead. i want to repeat again that the east china sea territorial dispute and the u.s.
pivot towards the asia pacific region are two different and two suffrage strategy would have all the time either trying it's very interesting you have to admit got don't you think the timing is yes it is it but i do believe it is a coincidence the really really balancing of u.s. military forces is not something that you can just do overnight it takes years upon years of decision making and strategic planning it is the reach shifting of military forces from afghanistan and iraq into new interests and that kind of situation has been in play for the past decade. and i also want to add to that i'm i'm getting a lot of. concern about this idea of china being attacked china against the world and that the united states is was leading this global attack against china if we do look at the numbers the us china relations have never been
as as close as they are now in terms of capital flow from one side to the other in terms of people to people networking and ideas exchange this is not the cold war it is not the united states against china so i think that really needs to be highlighted and never has the white house declare that china is the enemy but at the same time of the washington is very concerned about is the military modernization of china and the the building up of arms by china that that is certainly something that is being considered seriously by washington and that is the heart of the rebalancing towards towards the asia pacific region but again there is the threat of north korea there are other concerns it is a rear and it's also wants to the united states also wants to burden share its
oversight of safety in the asia pacific region and it really wants to reconsider and really re define its alliances with its existing partners ok andrew but i mean in beijing we don't see it that way b. c. that there being a target of a possible aggression from the outside marking the preaching sees the situation pretty clearly not only in terms of the asia pacific but you perms of the world order as i was saying before because because if you look at the the these so-called pivot is really part of a real balancing of a response to a change in the group or according to brzezinski who is the course is the boy in american foreign policy whose latest book called strategic which. can actually see how americas could maintain its leadership in a changed world dividing the world into the west and the east the west of course
includes russia and turkey so it's balancing that with the west means trying to bring russia in for example in the with the p.t.o. and try to bring turkey in into the fold as it were in a kind of balancing row in the west but as far as the ease is concerned brzezinski calls this a complex beast now how to color balance the complexities where most of china's neighbors are china's largest trading partners and they do not want to sour the relationship with china but of course most of those neighbors also fear the china's getting to bake in its us like a one thousand pound panda and even though it is of good intentions and and a lot of the countries fear but china is getting too big so america comes in and provides a kind of military umbrella and and try to rebalance the kind of geopolitics there but if you if you wind china your cost be be very very. worry because as i was
saying the pacific and the south china sea in particular is china's that is the conduit of a lot of resources and an and and in fact. china's trade on which china depends for its survival so i think that china is extremely worried and that adds in to and that also if you add into the kind of total tauriel integrity which is of course is a very very sour point in terms of china's national psyche don't forget the china saw is sovereignty infringe for for almost a century because foreign aggression and that's why there is a rise of nationalism as well in china so all these forces are coming by play ok watch. then jump in this is crosstalk go ahead yeah i i just i just want to disagree with most of that basic premise about a new global order but i did actually want to point out the role that russia can
can play in all of this what's very interesting is that there are territorial disputes not just in these china there are quite a few of them. and then there are quite a few and the one in northern territories the curl islands is something that has been a huge problem since the end of world war exploded today but at the same time but it's actually i'm at a table with the would say who's acting reckless right here ok japan and russia agree to disagree ok they don't have their fleets going after each other ok it's a big difference or lynn let me go to you i don't know that i could actually hear you know who's being reckless in this situation both sides all sides. i just i just want to get back to the resource issue as far as you are subverting china and challenging china's access to resources just look at africa u.s. is actively working against chinese efforts to secure resources on africa when a knockout khadafi for example is shredded chinese oil contracts in that country so
china is very vulnerable because it needs oil from far places that the u.s. can block off through the sea so that's why is focusing is nearer to home towards the south china sea and the east asia see what has to remember also the symbolism of. china loss these islands in hundred ninety five when everyone thought that it has a larger and stronger navy and japan to have one surprise. defeat in china back then and took these islands so you know the woman had forgotten about this but china hasn't so it is very specific and peculiar that japan is raising the issue this issue now because this issue was dormant for decades they say that is natural gas and oil in the sea there but it hasn't been developed in fact japan hasn't done anything with these islands for decades so to raise the issue now is is very interesting to say the least andrew what's a solution what's
a win win for both sides all sides if that's possible. well i think that as i was saying this problem had been on the table for many many years is only until the folk past couple of years that everything seemed to have flare up so tired doesn't want a war because china's the you have huge problems the contend with more america want to war nor for that matter to plan but because of all of these forces coming into play we have a situation where things can get out of hand very quickly so i think that the both sides are really set aside that agree to disagree as it were the differences and then explore areas where they can cooperate for example i mean there are lots of. resources in that area and then there could be areas for joint exploration for example and of course the the kind of marine life some of them deserves maybe
a bit of conservation efforts and of course the finding the the code of conduct you know was certain red lines should not be crossed because once they're cross then the danger for unintended consequences would be very severe with like sending military aircraft you know cloak flying close to one another or you've been sending fresh you know sort of warning. shells or that could really leap into a kind of military confrontation because the danger is that once that was a war once that there was some military crash between china japan america has got to be involved on the side of japan because of the of the treaty of the defense treaty and once americans got involved everything ask elites so this is the very dangerous situation and if we go back to washington i think there's another historical thing we should remember during the cold war the soviet union in the united states had certain standards to communicate with each other in a crisis does china and japan need that now. or developing personal relations is
critical in defusing the current situation i think hit the nail on the head the two sides do need to come. together to agree to disagree and we are very very far away from that situation at that moment and so the personal connection the trust the communication pipeline needs to be established and used very very frequently at this stage one of the biggest worries that i have at the moment on a practical side is the two weeks ago there was a ridge or that was shot out to japanese. defense. ships and shooting a missile is a two step process you fire a radar right and then the missile follows that radar trajectory for china to have done that is very alarming it is an act of aggression but the fact that china the
chinese government is denying it it's all very interesting either china. the chinese leadership did not know that that happened and that it was just on a grassroots level at the ship commanders level that is worrying if that is the case because that means the ship commanders have. considerable power to set flame on a very incendiary situation or it could also mean that the chinese leadership has complete knowledge and understanding of the situation and ordered it and that opens another kettle of you know. folks fascinating discussion really and resolve the dispute we'll be talking about in the future many thanks my guest today and watch until here and in hong kong and thanks to our viewers for watching us here ok see you next time and remember crosstalk.
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