China and Japan’s coming drone competition

by Chris Zappone

It almost seems the thing of science fiction, the fact that Japan and China may soon be using drones to patrol the skies around the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands. 

This Guardian article notes that the Japanese intention of buying US-made drones, while the Chinese are busy cloning US drones, like the US’s carrier based X-47B.

The article quotes the Australian National University’s Ron Huisken as saying the likelihood of a skirmish between Japanese and Chinese drones was “very high” in coming years. He also notes that part of the Chinese strategy in the area is secrecy which serves the Chinese well is keeping their enemies on guard. But you wonder if the Chinese realize that it alarms other nations in a way that could be damaging for China’s own interests. In any case, the use of drones will take geopolitical tension, literally, to a new level in the region. And not simply over the disputed Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands, either. Expect many countries in the region to get into the drone business.