Chinese Military On "High Alert" After It Scrambles Fighter Jets To "Counter" Japanese Jets

Tyler Durden's picture

The one thing that most seem to forget in the epic 30 year old story (which has a very sad ending) that is the Japanese floundering economy, is that while the new Abe government may and will likely try everything to crush the Yen (which is already nearing the 90 USDJPY target, however briefly, before it resumes its grind lower once it dawns on investors what it will mean for the Japanese Treasury when bond yields soar), the main reason it has posted three massive monthly trade deficits in a row has nothing to do with its currency, and everything to do with what is now a permanent boycott of Japanese exports by China.

The paradox is that Abe, a well-known nationalist, may well crush the Yen but he will only aggravate Chinese tensions (thus hurting Japanese exports, GDP, and the current account even more) which recently approached boiling point on several occasions over the past few months, most notably in the spat over who owns the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, and soon over other symbols of nationalist pride. And with the escalations coming faster and more frequent with each passing day, there is little room for optimism that despite all Japan is doing that its economy stands any hope of recovery in 2013 (or later).

In fact, the latest escalation in the seemingly neverending saga over a strategically located rock in the East China Sea, came hours ago, when Xinhua reported that Beijing has scrambled two J-10 jets to counter "Japanese military aircraft disrupting the routine patrols of Chinese administrative aircraft."

From Xinhua:

At a press conference, an official with the ministry confirmed that China sent two J-10 fighters to the East China Sea after a Y-8 aircraft was closely followed by two Japanese F-15 fighters as it patrolled the southwest airspace of the East China Sea oil platform on Thursday.


The two J-10 fighters were sent to monitor the Japanese fighter jets tailing the Y-8 as well as another Japanese reconnaissance plane spotted in the same airspace, the official said.


Furthermore, the official said Japanese military aircraft have been increasingly active in closely scouting Chinese aircraft. The activity zone of Japanese military aircraft has also expanded recently, which is the root cause of security disputes concerning territorial waters and airspace between the two countries.


The Chinese military will be on high alert and China will resolutely protect the security of its air defense force and uphold its legitimate rights, the official said.

Suddenly very real concerns over a flare up in military escalations aside, it doesn't look like anyone is ready to back down in what is becoming an ever more heated and rancorous expression of nationalist pride, and it certainly does not appear likely that China will lift its "blockade" on Japanese imports any time soon.

As to how China continues to see what is going on in Japan, we go to another Op-Ed from China Daily printed earlier today, titled "Unwise foreign policy turns Japan into own enemy" and this time even the Chinese propaganda is 100% accurate:

The Japanese economy, under the burden of years of deflation and an aging population, has been the "Patient of Asia" for the last two decades.


The Japanese people can cite many reasons for their economic malaise, from bad government policies that led to the forming and bursting of a giant economic bubble in late 1980s and early 1990s to cumbersome mega companies that have been losing money and shedding jobs due to increasing global competition.


More recently, the Japanese economy has suffered another blow due to a bitter row with China, a crucial trade and investment partner, ignited by Tokyo's repeated provocations over the Diaoyu Islands, an integral part of Chinese territory.


Yet new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe turned the facts upside down when he claimed Friday that China has deliberately targeted Japanese companies as part of a strategy to confront Japan over the territorial dispute.


It is true that economic ties between China and Japan have chilled considerably since former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet decided to "buy" part of the Diaoyu Islands in September despite strong Chinese opposition.


The outcome is nothing but natural, as good economic relations are always based on sound political ties. It is naive to believe that Japan can maintain strong trade and investment ties with China while repeatedly provoking China on critical issues.


In addition, the pinch felt by Japanese companies results largely from an across-the-board boycott of Japanese goods spontaneously staged by Chinese consumers who felt betrayed by the bellicose Japanese government. The Chinese government has nothing to do with this.


Japanese politicians, including Abe, have only themselves to blame, because their brinkmanship is the root cause of the deterioration of China-Japan economic ties.


They have also been stoking fears about the so-called "China threat" in the broader Asia-Pacific region and trying to build a coalition of countries against China.


For many in China, Abe's latest remarks are just part of an attempt by the Japanese government to depict China as the villain and gain an upper hand in the territorial dispute.


But Tokyo is doomed to lose the gamble, as more and more countries have come to realize that China acts responsibly in the international arena and its development is a real blessing for the whole world.


Meanwhile, Japan has raised concerns in capitals worldwide that its increasingly hawkish policy toward China will further escalate the situation and pose a serious risk to regional peace and stability.


For Japan, its fragile economy is in urgent need of the opportunities a sound China-Japan relationship brings, but Japan's unwise foreign policy has made these opportunities harder to come by.


Thus it is of pressing importance that Abe immediately arrest his country's self-destructive tendency and put its foreign relations and economic recovery back on track so as not to waste his second chance at the top.

Bottom line: don't bet so fast on anything remotely resembling inflation or GDP growth in Japan yet. In fact, it may be time to take advantatge of the recent euphoria and to double down on red.

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lolmao500's picture

Well. From yesterday...

Japan tracer bullets will bring war closer

According to Japanese media, the Japanese government is considering permitting Japanese self-defense forces' fighter jets to fire tracer bullets as warning shots against Chinese surveillance planes which have "infringed" upon Japan's "territorial airspace" over the Diaoyu Islands.

We believe that if Japan starts using tracer bullets, it will definitely trigger a military confrontation between China and Japan. Chinese people will certainly ask the government to send naval and air forces to retaliate.

true brain's picture

Obama has resurrected Nixon's "yellow on yellow" strategy.

lolmao500's picture

Except by treaty the US have to help Japan attack China.

camaro68ss's picture

 I know the japs have a history of not being great flyers. They have a history of crashing into our ships in ww2

trav777's picture

J10=crap Lavi clone sold to them by the Israelis.

JDF F15=F15.

China does *not* want a piece of this; they really don't.

knukles's picture

Free Mexican Air Force should be on High Alert as Well.

Remember the Mena!

Matt's picture

But did the Japanese send out 3 aircraft, to tail the two Chinese aircraft, that were tailing the two Japanese aircraft, that were tailing the Chinese aircraft?

" ... but I don't know why she swallowed the fly, I guess she'll die."

AgAu_man's picture

Actually, Trav, they do want this (J-10) stuff. 

There's only 1 way of testing the stuff the Israelis sold them, and that is to live-test the allegedly "Equivalent but cheaper than F-15" against the Original F-15s.  It's a Limited Engagement of two frothy but devious players, who both could use a nice side-show from domestic woes.

Think of it as Hot Flirting & Foreplay that does not have to be consummated.  What they both gotta watch out for, is that this "feel-good, self-gratification" exercise does not get "out of hand", when a third player 'stirs the froth' -- for their own benefit.  Then they are both 'screwed'.  Know what I'm saying?

Popo's picture

China needs desperately to kill off a few million males or they're going to see a massive collapse in social stability.  They have millions of unmarried "extra" males (the male population outweighs the female population) who just so happen to be at the bottom of the social totem pole.  China is already doing it's best to keep down inflation, but it won't work much longer as they need to prop up equity and real estate markets.

They see social instability on the horizon and they're actively looking for a confrontation to throw their weight behind.

That having been said -- the confrontation they seek is still a few years off.  AgAu_man is correct that this is all just foreplay.  

What I think will surprise the world however is the Chinese population's extreme enthusiasm for conflict with Japan.   And the PRC is never one to let nationalist enthusiasm go to waste.


jerry_theking_lawler's picture

obviously you don't have any fighter pilot friends.....if so, ask them about the Su-27....we have the F-22 but not many (funding was cut)....we haven't seen China's newest stealth in action. Air superiority....slightly US/Japan.....# of potential pilots and resources....slightly China.

I still do not think it a close match in overall warfare...but China is 'catching up' fast.....

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

On a more light hearted note (seriously, Australia should do this though):


Another thing to consider Mr. Lawler, China and Russia are frenemies here, and I'm certain they would appreciate the opportunity to fuck some shit up if the U.S. were to get involved.  We would additionally do well to remember that they have a distinct advantage in any M.E. oil/NG grab while this is all going on.  Not sure we have any goodwill left in Europe to drag them kicking and screaming into another military escalation.  Then again, false flags are not terribly difficult to manufacture.  

helping_friendly_book's picture


The Chinese had/have no problem throwing 1.5 million volunteer PLA troops to protect their territory. Do we really want to learn this lesson twice?

mjcOH1's picture


China: 400.000
US: 37,000

From a fielded Chinese force of 1.2million vs a US deployment of 300k.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



This time it's Nuclear.

This time the number of survivors [if any]

will determine the "winner".

Popo's picture

No it's not nuclear this time.   

It won't even be fought anywhere near native population centers and that's *because* of nuclear deterrence.  Attacking native population centers is the redline for nuclear conflict and all sides know this.  This will be fought over extranational territories and will be a contest for resources.   Hegemony and projection of power are at the heart of what's coming.

That having been said, the comparison of combat technology and aircraft capabilities is in many ways a flawed exercise.  China has numbers, cheap labor and fantastic productivity.  The US/Japan have expensive labor and a byzantine corporate legal maze complicating production.   Think of this as a battle of whose military-industrial-complex is more efficient, *not* whose aircraft are more efficient.  This is where the US and Japan need to be truly scared.  The US hasn't fought a war of urgent necessity against a better armed opponent in a very long time.  Traditional strategic analysis makes the consistent mistake of unit comparisons and not comparisons of industrial / corporate efficiency and labor costs. 

The realities that make manufacturing consumer electronics, automobiles and machinery inviable in the US and Japan will also be the achilles heel of the Western MIC. 

This time it's not nuclear.  It's economic.  And we already know who's going to lose.



adr's picture

I know you were making a joke.

Actually the real Japanese pilots were great flyers. They put untrained kids in the cockpits of junk planes to be Kamikaze. They taught them just enough for them to take off, they never practiced landing. The Japanese resorted to Kamikaze attacks because we killed so many of their good pilots.

The Japanese military kept using the Zero even after it had been outclassed. Believing the plane was still superior because it was superior in the past. If the Shinden had been completed and brought into service on time, many battles would have gone the other way.

You really don't want to fight the Japanese because you are fighting soldiers brainwashed to attack with insane ferocity and lack of self preservation.

lolmao500's picture

Well so many pilots wouldn't have died if they put freaking armor on their plane... yep, those zeros had ZERO armor.

Cyrano de Bivouac's picture

Less armor=less weight made the Zero's flying range greater, it was just outclassed later in the war.



Zymurguy's picture

Cyrano - yes, and the fuel delivery system to the engine was inferior to our planes so much so that certain arial maneuvers were not possible with the zero.

optimator's picture

Are you sure you're not thinking Spitfire with the carb. vs. Me 109 with direct fuel injection?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

When the USA industrial juggernaut was able to put bigger and better engines into dog fighters, so that they had their cake (armor, big guns) and ate it too (speed and performance), the light, fast, and manueverable Zero's were outclassed. 

When the USA population juggernaut was able to learn from early mistakes and flood the front lines with highly skilled pilots and further fight the battle of manpower attrition, Japanese ability and daring was far outweighed.

IN any case, don't pick a fight you can't win.

Matt's picture

The Japanese seem to have a long history of being slow or unable to adapt.

The Banzai charge worked great against poorly disciplined, bolt-action rifle Chinese infantry, but the Japanese kept using this once-successful tactic against US Marines with semi-automatics.

The only reason they ended up fighting America is because they decided Russia was too powerful, since they got into a tank battle with them, in which the Russians used air support and the Japanese high command forbade their field commander from doing the same.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Marines with semi-automatic weapons, nice call. Too much history, too much samurai legend, too much literature, not enough math and science, and common sense. 

This was demonstrated in a most underrated battle scene in the movie, "The Thin Red Line", when an enlisted American soldier with a stolen .45 cuts down three Japanese soldiers on a downhill Banzai charge just within a few feet of the bayonet tips.  He was behind a rock, until he heard them shout, he then confronted them.  Three shots, three dead soldiers.  Talk about bad tactics meeting solid weaponry, and old-fashioned American opportunism. 


Vlad Tepid's picture

The "Banzai charge" wasn't a tactic used in China. It wasn't a tactic at all. It was a maneuver borne out of frustration of individual commanders to penetrate Amercian defenses for a variety of reasons.  The decision to "banzai" was always an indivdual one that arose from the peculiar military ethos of the last IJA, rather than from any doctrine.  Just as frequently, different commanders in similar situations ordered disperal and infiltration ("He's in the trees!) or fighting withdrawals (Iwo & Okinawa).

Furthermore, "banzai"charges were almost always attempted with other flanking manuevers, the charge being a distraction, but the ploy rarely worked because of terrain and command and control issues in the late IJA.

But kudos for you for watching all the John Wayne movies.

Harlequin001's picture

'You really don't want to fight the Japanese because you are fighting soldiers '

They're fucking Gameboy addicts.

Soldiers my arse.

Those days are long gone.

BooMushroom's picture

Which will come back and bite us when they realize they can make a dozen armed drones for the cost of one fighter plane.

optimator's picture

The Japanese pre-war trained IJNAF pilots were the best, and with the Zero Sen they ruled the Pacific six months.  Losing those four carriers at Midway, they also lost the planes and most of the pilots.

Zwelgje's picture

How can you be the best when you lose initiative in only 6 months?


BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

You really don't want to fight the Japanese because you are fighting soldiers brainwashed to attack with insane ferocity and lack of self preservation.


That may have been true in WW2.

But now you have a bunch of Manga luving bukkake Zirp monkeys.

Matt's picture

The Japanese still seem to have a focus on being a master of something. In their current circumstances, they focus on being the world's best at odd and obscure things, but if they decided to focus on being the best at something useful, they may surprise.


Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"You really don't want to fight the Japanese because you are fighting soldiers brainwashed to attack with insane ferocity and lack of self preservation."

Yeah, but at this point where talking about a pretty bitchified male population.  Though, the same could be said of ours quite frankly.  

earnulf's picture

Cost of a Chinese Frigate : 260 million dollars

Cost of a F-15 Fighter : 50 Million dollars

Air to Ship Missiles : Priceless

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus's picture

Cute. Now look into how much it costs the Chinese to build a land to sea andti ship missile and how expensive our carriers are.



mjcOH1's picture

"Cute. Now look into how much it costs the Chinese to build a land to sea andti ship missile and how expensive our carriers are."

And then go back to looking at the cost of the Chinese missile boat vs the cost of one air launched anti-ship missile fired by one of the the 60 or so planes equiped to do so on one aircraft carrier.  

And also note the 75 mi range of the best-in-class Sunburn that the Chinese field vs the 450 mile unrefueled range of one of those 60 US carrier based aircraft.

Zwelgje's picture

The Chinese have the DF-21 ballistic anti-ship missiles. Range: 1100-1900 miles.


Albertarocks's picture

I'd say that would be more of a demonstration of someone who is... what's the best word... "determined" while looking desperation in the face.  I couldn't possibly imagine what kind of courage that would take but one thing is for sure about "courage", the Japanese have it.

flapdoodle's picture

You insult the name of Saburo Sakai.

There were a number of other really skilled Japanese pilots, but unfortunately the Zero, fast and nimble as it was, didn't have very good armor (as in no armor at all) or self sealing gas tanks.

prains's picture

I hear zimbabwe has a kick ass air force

eatthebanksters's picture

Sure, Barry's gonna honor that treaty...thismay be the one time I agree with him if he doesn't.  If Abe wants to fuck with the Chinese let him go at it'sreal easy to be a little prick when you have a big dude standing behind you.

CheapBastard's picture

Sorry to see that Fuki thing and the diaper shortage has driven them to these extremes of desperation. Does Abe think he is being patriotic by throwing his people under the bus?

adr's picture

The Japanese are always happy to dive under the bus, they don't need to be thrown.

I work with the Japanese, I know.

Even if a plan is crashing and burning, they will see it through to the end because you do not stop until the plan is fully implemented. If the plan has failed in the end, anyone involved with it either resigns in shame or is terminated.

Now time for new plan. New plan work, old plan gone, people make old plan gone, new people make new plan work.

Donnie Duvanie's picture

Either that or they lose their heads. Maybe that's what the Chinese are really so upset about - the number of chinese prisoners that were beheaded on Chinese mainland during the war. I don't see how petroleum can replace lives, but it woudl be a nice way for the Japanese to really to say they're sorry.


"The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanking (Nanjing), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.[1][2] Widespread rape and looting also occurred.[3][4] Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed.[5] (Wiki -

CheapBastard's picture

Christopher Bale and NiNi perform stunningly in this must-see docudrama (Flowers of War) describing the Nanjing invasion:


In 1937, as the Japanese army brutally invades the Chinese city of Nanking, an American mortician is trapped inside a western cathedral and vows to protect a group of young schoolgirls and 13 courtesans who are seeking refuge from the soldiers.

ptolemy_newit's picture

where is this grave of 250,000 and the name list that gooes with it?

Optimusprime's picture

Have you forgotten Panetta reading the Japanese the riot act when they threatened to get closer to China and insisted we leave Okinawa?  Take a longer view. 

The Japanese are a satrapy of the US.  They may not like this, they may not want this, but there it is.

When the US really gets out of Okinawa, then things may turn around between China and Japan.  I'm not holding my breath.

lolmao500's picture

Well good luck with that since some Chinese analysts are claiming that Okinawa is Chinese territory.

NotApplicable's picture


What's that word mean?

agNau's picture

Treaty = Compromise = bipartisan