Nightwatch:

China-Japan: Today, China postponed a visit to Japan by Li Jianguo, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, because of the maritime confrontation in which a Chinese fishing boat apparently deliberately rammed Japanese patrol boats.

Li’s five-day visit was planned to enlarge exchanges between Japan’s lower house and China’s legislature. In notifying the Japanese Foreign Ministry of the postponement, the Chinese Embassy in Japan provided no explanation.

Meanwhile, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin repeated China’s protest against Japan’s handling of the collision on 7 September, during a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to China, according to a report in Kyodo. A statement released by the Japanese Embassy in Beijing said China called for the release of the Chinese ship’s captain.

Japanese Ambassador Uichiro Niwa told Liu that China deliberately was trying to link the incident to unrelated issues, including China’s announcement it would postpone talks with Japan on a joint gas field development treaty in the East China Sea.

Comment: The details of who is right or wrong or who exercises legal authority in dispute waters are now clarified as secondary to the test of strategic will between two Asian powers. The Chinese have now escalated this almost trivial incident as a test case of who shall dominant northeast Asia.

The Chinese are attempting to make Japan submit to Chinese strategic dominance. They have chosen the fishing boat incident to test Japan’s mettle. As in every past instance, Japan is almost contemptuous of the Chinese for even daring to question the fairness of a Japanese investigation.

After the Chinese assess Japan’s resistance, backed by South Korea, the issue will be settled. Chinese bullying will not work with Japan or South Korea.

Nightwatch, written daily by retired intelligence analyst John McCreary, is well worth subscribing to. It’s free, too.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch