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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the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Not untill they start shooting each others planes out of the sky will this mean anything.


CrashisOptimistic's picture


You have to understand that Japanese school children are taught from an early age that in August of 1941 the US embargoed oil from Japan.  The US was the Saudi Arabia of that time, a big oil exporter.  FDR embargoed Japan, in an attempt to (pick the phrasing you want) stop their war in China or to dictate Japanese foreign policy.

Japan had to seek another supply source, Indonesia, and the US Pacific Fleet could stop that, so they bombed Pearl Harbor.  Four years later they became the only country in history to be nuked as an act of war . . . twice.

Japan kids are taught all this happened because Japan has no domestic oil.  None.  For 70 years this has been taught.  Now they seem to have FINALLY found some domestic oil and they see that in their view China is trying to steal it.

They Will Not Tolerate This.  People are not evaluating this correctly.  They will not let China do this.

rwe2late's picture

 The Japanese public is not oil-thirsty for war with China.

However, certain Japanese leaders are all to happy to serve their occupier-overlords by whipping up war fever, confrontations with China, and engaging in an arms build-up.

francis_sawyer's picture

I thought it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor...

lolmao500's picture

Wasn't it the work of Saddam Hussein?

Dugald's picture

Nah, it was those pesky Orstrayrians...

rwe2late's picture

F Sawyer

 You are apparently under the false impression

that the post-war Japan public is the same as pre-war Japanese public,

and post-war occupied Japan is as dependent on hypothetical oil from the Diaoyu Islands,

as was pre-war imperial Japan on then actual US oil.

francis_sawyer's picture

You are apparently under the false impression that I get my data from anything but John Belushi movies...

optimator's picture

I'm gonna watch "1941" again, thanks for reminding.  Seen A Hse. too many times.

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus's picture

I thought it was the Palestinians?


I vaguely remember some foreign fellows the cops pulled over on 9/11 assuring us of that - and indeed, there was a mysterious phone call about "Palestinians" in white vans that very day.


We ought to invade Palestineland as payback for the USS Maine, anyway.

AnAnonymous's picture

The Japanese public is not oil-thirsty for war with China.

An 'american' middle class is always thirsty for war.

You do not run a business of extorting the weak, farming the poor without contingencies.

ceilidh_trail's picture

Ananon= poop on roadside. cHinEse people want all land/sea of southeast asia for themselves. Velly velly gleedy peoples. Have cHinEse people no shame? Why is it that cHinEse people fight with India, Tibet, Vietnam, Phillipines, Japan, etc over borders control? Velly velly gleedy I tell you... Have you no shame for your people?

AnAnonymous's picture

Wait for 'americans' to take over in China.

At this point, it will no longer be lust for all the land/sea of SA, but land/sea in the world.

Because it is well known that the world's resources are all for 'americans' to consume.

The cry for symetry. 'Americans' are so superior in the greed department.

Yet they feel obligated to mention land grabbing efforts on tiny patches of land as decent.

Somehow, 'americans', who keep boasting how exceptional they are, do not accept the fields they are exceptional in.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Djeee, AnAnon, can't you do any better? You keep rehashing the same old crap, day in, day out, over and over. Very poor effort on your part.

But hey, substandard Chinese citizenism is as AnAnonymous does.

shovelhead's picture

Chinese American citizenism blobbing up Senkaku.


Spitzer's picture

Interesting comment... Are you Japanese ?

I was not aware that these Islands had oil on or near them. Apparently, niether does ZeroHedge

francis_sawyer's picture

Harry Stamper is working on it... [But he keeps having to take timeouts to hit 3-woods into Greenpeace hippies]...

AnAnonymous's picture

Interesting comment... Are you Japanese ?

For 'americans', the group is all...

knukles's picture

(in John Wayne voice)

As far as I'm concerned everybody else but us Americuns is a Jap.

AnAnonymous's picture

“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

John Wayne

Funny when you read this now. With so many 'americans' around in the world and so many people trying to keep their wealth selfishly for themselves.

'Americanism' has paved the way.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

Funny when you read this now.

Well, sometimes you are funny and sometimes just stale and boring.

With so many 'americans' around in the world and so many people trying to keep their wealth selfishly for themselves.

Stale and boring. With this sorts of lacklustering effortation your time would be somehow better spent finishing your laundry tasks.

ceilidh_trail's picture

Why you no go away? Why you still here? Shut up and get me an eggroll!

CrashisOptimistic's picture

The problem is the Japanese call them Senkaku and the Chinese want to call them Diayou.  There are also two sets of islands under Chinese dispute -- The Senkaku and then far to the south others they are arguing about with Vietnam and the Philippines.  

From the Senkaku wiki:

After it was discovered in 1968 that oil reserves might be found under the sea near the islands,[4] Japan's sovereignty over them has been disputed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, commonly known as Taiwan) following the transfer of administration from the United States to Japan in 1971. 

busted by the bailout's picture

Thanks.  I wondered why they have been so fired up about a tiny uninhabited island.  I thought the Chinese were just flexing their new found power and wealth, and yanking Japan's chain because they hate them so much.

It's a big sea; too bad they can't just split it down the middle.  But that would make too much sense; it is better to greedily fight to the death over it so only one can have it all.  I assume China wins in the end, fight or no.

I'm curious about how middle east oil ended the GD, as opposed to WW2; hadn't heard that before either.

TIA, Busted

Winston of Oceania's picture

China is not as cohesive as you might think regardless of the news hostilities are not wanted on either side.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's a conclusion by chronology.

It's a lot like "The Reagan Years" of the 1980s and good economic times, which just happened to coincide with the arrival of Alaskan oil.  A lot of this stuff is scattered through history.  People always want to think their actions mattered.

World oil production was about 1 million barrels/day in 1939, which was the year the very first tanker left Saudi Arabia carrying oil.  By 1946, that number was 1.7 million bpd, most of the rise coming from the Middle East.  Note that rise took place despite destruction of the Romanian fields and distraction of the world's efforts to WW II.  Oil output still grew because the mother lode, the Middle East, came on line.

Cheap oil trumps economics, because economics is bullshit.

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus's picture

The South Koreans, and for that matter the North Koreans, are no fans of the Japanese {the have a claim of their own}.


I'm not sure Japan wants to open up this particular can of worms.  Even if the Koreas are sidelined in any conflict, I think the Russians will, at a minimum, provide some assistance.


But I largely agree with your post - the Japanese have a real hard on for some small semblance of energy independence.



Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus's picture

Also - yes - economics is bullshit in the sense that religion is bullshit.


Doesn't stop powerful people from basing their selfish, shitty, myopic decisions on them both.



Payne's picture

They give us Global Warming and gun control debate in the US and in Japan and China they have aircraft on alert status to distract from the disaster of politicians policies.  

Joe Davola's picture

Global warming caused by wasted food, nonetheless.  Another reason to pay farmers not to farm.

Spitzer's picture

Right on the mark.

Biden 2016 !  Krugman for Fed Chair, Corzine for SEC

knukles's picture

And a dildo in every pot.

I need more cowbell's picture

Total over-reaction. One of the radar guys just said " There's a little nip in the air".

ZeroAvatar's picture

Cowbell!  I was going through the 'Best of ZH'  (2009?)  when I saw and remembered your avatar.  Brought back mammories.

knukles's picture


I'm sitting here eyes tearing, trying not to laugh too loud so nobody'll asks me what the joke is....

Bay of Pigs's picture

What the over/under on this game?


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


What the over/under on this game?

Over: crap from AnAnonymous

Under: his local roadsides

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Nice. Get to test out those new Chinese home grown jets.

Good luck Chuck with wittling down the MIC if an F-15 goes down in flames.

The price on the J-35 will double and they will order more.

mayhem_korner's picture



What's happening with rice futures?

TomGa's picture

"World View: China Quadruples Rice Imports for No Apparent Reason"

"United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012, substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons imported in 2011. The confusion stems from the fact that there is no obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is that China's own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being stockpiled. Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons of rice for no apparent reason? Perhaps it's related to China's aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia."

knukles's picture

To fed all the no people in the empty cities, silly.

lolmao500's picture

Perhaps it's related to China's aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia."


vote_libertarian_party's picture

So stocks creep higher on the news.


I guess because if they go to war they wipe out each others factories and we get to fill the orders? buy buy