By Theodore Shoebat
China’s president, Xi Jingping, declared in a meeting to James Mattis: “We cannot lose even one inch of the territory left behind by our ancestors”. According to one report from Asia News:
The US defence secretary went to Beijing two days ago to meet with the Chinese president. The dispute over the South China Sea and the US presence in Taiwan are at the centre of tensions. Mattis: military relations with China have a “high level of importance”
China is dedicated to peace, but will not give up “not even one inch” of its territory. This is what Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday, following the meeting with the US Defense Secretary, James Mattis.
The former American general travelled to Beijing two days ago, as part of an institutional trip that will continue in South Korea and Japan. The visit comes in a context of tensions between the two economic giants.The United States criticizes China’s growing military claims and impositions in the South China Sea. Rich resource for fishing and trade, its waters are at the centre of a territorial dispute that involves neighbouring countries. For its part, Beijing looks suspiciously at the American military presence in Taiwan.
Yesterday, Mattis used more conciliatory tones, stating that the meeting with Xi had gone “very, very” well, and that the US attributed a “high level of importance to military relations” with China. For his part, Xi said that Beijing has no expansionist and colonial interests, and then clarifies: “We cannot lose even one inch of the territory left behind by our ancestors”.
With all of the diplomatic language aside, when the Chinese talk about keeping their territory, they are not just talking about US military bases; they are also talking about the Japanese and the conflict they have with them over the South China Sea, and the Senkaku Islands. There was a very interesting debate that was done on the BBC back in 2014, between the Chinese ambassador and Japanese ambassador to London. The Chinese ambassador made two telling points: the Japanese have denied the horrific genocide that imperial Japan committed on the Chinese people during World War Two, and thus if history it could repeat itself; and secondly, that the dispute over the Senkaku (even though they are completely inhabitable) is more about sovereignty.
In East Asia, you have two major powers that want control of the maritime territories in the region: Japan and China. But the only way to take this control is through military conflict, which means it looks like there is going to be a third Sino-Japanese war.