China-Japan war possible in 2013: analyst

This from Australia National University defence studies analyst Hugh White:

THIS is how wars usually start: with a steadily escalating stand-off over something intrinsically worthless. So don’t be too surprised if the US and Japan go to war with China next year over the uninhabited rocks that Japan calls the Senkakus and China calls the Diaoyu islands. And don’t assume the war would be contained and short.

I would add to this commentary from White: the possibly the greatest risk of a war arises from demographics. Not simply the preponderance of young, unmarried Chinese males, but the absence of Chinese, Japanese and American policymakers who have any memory of a world war. Most of them have passed on from the scene. The living memory of WWII would have hardwired the post-war generations to avoid such an outcome at all costs. Now that the generational memory has been more or less consigned to the history books – rather than living in the politburos and parliaments and congress, there is a greater chance of reckless decision-making.

See commentary like this on the Senkaku-Diaoyu island dispute “The Chinese public will not allow such a retreat.” (last paragraph)

Contrary to White’s view in the piece, I can’t help but think that after Iraq and Afghanistan there wouldn’t be some reluctance in Washington to embark on another costlier, bigger war. The US is broke and the public is more or less battle fatigued. Many in the US know nothing about the rising tensions between China and Japan. A war would be a hard sell. That doesn’t mean China should mistake this situation as weakness. If the situation demanded it, there would have to be some kind of US military response.

And if there were military action, the best case scenario would be something swift and limited. Then a new reality could crystallize around it: nationalisation of industries, a national war footing, reinvigoration of US industries, the strategic competition for resources could turn tactical in various theaters, a total global media war across the internet and airwaves, etc, etc. Let’s hope not. Or maybe it’s already happening.

8 thoughts on “China-Japan war possible in 2013: analyst

  1. It appears that the US and Japan are making mistakes. They assume that China will not fight and/or is not capable to win if the war starts. The Western medias are clueless about that the fact that China is ready, willing and able to engage militarily against the US and Japan at the same time. Japan will be wiped out in the first 24 hours if the Americans start to participate in any military conflicts between Japan and China. …Without the US’s involvement, China will win the war.


  2. All you have to know is the capability of the Chinese ballistic missiles:
    (i) DF-41
    The Dongfeng-41 (DF-41, CSS-X-10) (Chinese: “East Wind”), is a Chinese nuclear solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile currently under service with the Second Artillery Corps.
    It has an estimated operational range of 15,000 km, is capable of MIRV delivery (up to 12), and can cover any position on the planet. The project started in the 1980s, and is now quite likely coupled with the JL-2 program.

    Warhead :nuclear 12 MIRVs (single 1 MT or MIRV with selectable 20, 90, 150 kTs)
    Engine :Three-stage solid propellant
    Operational range: ~15,000 kms (~9,320 miles)
    Guidance system :Inertial with COMPASS
    Launch platform :Silo, road-mobile TEL

    (ii) JL-2
    The JL-2 (Jù Làng-2, Giant Wave 2) is a Chinese second-generation intercontinental-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) which has a two-stage, solid-liquid fuelled propulsion design.

    Warhead nuclear: single or MIRVs (up to 10), 1050 to 2800 kg
    Blast yield :25-1000 kt ?
    Propellant :2-stage solid-fueled 1st stage liquid-fueled 2nd stage
    Operational range: 8600 km (JL-2), 12,000 km = 7,456 miles (JMA), 14,000 km = 8,699 miles (JMB)
    Launch platform :Type 094 Jin class submarine


  3. wow are you really bragging on the fact that we might be close to a world war. I am going to pray for your / our souls. There are no true winners in any war, do your research.


    1. There’s a storm a bruin. As I collected my thoughts about all this new information and research that I have been doing, I finally realize and have come to accept that are days are numbered. Having served and fought in Iraq I cannot even imagine a ww3. This should be the number one topic on every news but I realize, how corrupt it actually is, the world is not ready, but none the less it’s happening. I apologize for my last message and I now see the big picture, but as I draw my line in the sand, I wonder what will I truly fight for, the truth, the lies, or hope.


  4. Ever since FDR and WWII, U.S. presidents have been under the misconception that war furthers the economy. Hopefully Australia and others can convince Obama otherwise. He was inexperienced when he took office and is still using the “well, let’s see how this works.” sort of governing. The U.S. people are tired of the lingering wars we have – WE SURE DON’T WANT ANOTHER ONE. If policing is what N. Korea needs, I hope some other country will step up to the plate.


      1. That won’t happen. China props it up through trade because China fears the NKorean regime’s collapse on its border. China tends to trade with NKorea even if there are UN sanctions. China is wary about anything that could upset the security around its borders.


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