When Blog Themes Echo Across the Pacific

by admin on December 24, 2013

Far-East-Asia-mapIt is always fun when a mere blog posting echoes about in news stories or in policy. Most of the time it is all just coincidence and means little.

But, this time, I’m amused that, after I posted a rather surprisingly well-trafficked post “Just Where Did We Think Japan Was Going…In 2003” that, on 20 December, Geng Yangsheng, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense would, in a tough response to Japan’s new national defense doctrine, release documents that, reportedly, echo and mirror my 3 December posting.

Here’s Xinhua’s translation of Geng Yangsheng:

Where is Japan’s military and security policy going? Geng questioned, adding that it causes great concerns from Japan’s Asian neighbors and international society.”

It’s almost an exact counter to my post, which suggested Japan’s stance as a regional counterweight to China was becoming a bit more popular, where I wrote:

“Today, Asia is far more concerned about the resurgence of Chinese militarism. And a lot of people in the region are cheering as Japan hurdles down the path towards becoming a “normal” power–an independent and global one, no less.”

I’m sure this oppositional mirroring is was just a consequence of a simplified translation, and that Geng Yangsheng was far more eloquent than I.  But the “Where is Japan going” phrase did pop up on a range of China’s governmental outlets, and then some folks started searching this blog for the phrase….so, well, since this blog does enjoy a goodly amount of friendly traffic from China, I figure it might be a fun Christmas Present for this pesky PLA realist to offer some amusement to those readers!

But, tongue-in-cheek amusement aside, it is interesting that China seems somewhat desperate to maintain the fiction that Japan’s old apatite for colonial expansion is rekindling.  China also seems very sensitive to the idea that their own military buildup is considered regionally provocative. If you compare it with the region as a whole, it isn’t.

It is China’s actions that make it so–And that, my Chinese readers, has been a huge gift as American Policymakers who are working furiously to make up for years of benign neglect of the Pacific and Pacific Diplomacy.

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