Hillary Clinton spoke…
It’s about time Washington DC reaffirmed commitments to Japan.
On Friday, Secretary Clinton reminded all—Beijing included—that the U.S. is obligated under the bilateral security treaty to defend Japan if it comes under attack. She said “Although the U.S. does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the (Senkaku) islands, we acknowledge they are under the administration of Japan.” And “…we oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration (of the Senkakus).”
To Tokyo as well as other countries in the region, this could not come at a better time as Beijing has been sending its planes and vessels into Japan’s airspace and waters around the Senkaku Islands in a clear attempt to provoke Tokyo—similar to how Beijing has violated Vietnam’s as well as Philippines’ waters by sending its patrol ships into the area of East Sea.
…and Beijing is not happy
On Saturday, reacting to Clinton’s statement, Beijing sent three surveillance vessels to sail around Senkaku islands.
“It was unwise for Washington to throw support behind Japan in Tokyo’s islands dispute with Beijing…” Beijing’s official news agency—Xinhua—warned on Saturday. Xinhua also believed Clinton’s statement “…cast doubts on (US) credibility as a responsible power in the region…”
Beijing would prefer Obama to stay out of its business in Pacific-Asia region and let China bullying its way into taking over the sea surrounding China—including Vietnam’s East Sea, aka South China sea, and China’s East Sea. Beijing also aims to control the important shipping lane through which over a third of international trade being carried and the vast oil being buried under Vietnam’s East Sea.
And, of course, Beijing will not hesitate to use its economic power to penalize those who are on its way. Since Senkaku island dispute erupted in August 2012, Japan has seen its exports to China fell by 17% between June and November 2012.
Similarly, Philippines’ exports to China fell by 42% in 2012.
Japanese, Filipinos and Vietnamese should take notice and act—buying “Made in China” products is helping Beijing to pick on other countries in the region.