As I’ve been saying a lot recently, this story can blow up anytime. It is probably the most important story currently evolving, certainly in terms of world peace.
Last week China asserted a new security zone in an area claimed by Japan. The Chinese insist all flights into the area, even flights not heading to the mainland, identify themselves and remain in radio contact with Chinese authorities while in this new security zone. Japan has ignored these new rules.
As usual, the Obama administration is sending out mixed signals. First it correctly denounces the Chinese declaration of its new security zone and unhesitatingly sends in American military flights, as had been previously scheduled. But next it warns commercial flights to respect the newly asserted Chinese zone, which although prudent, sends a potentially incorrect message of American waffling to the Chinese. Finally, the administration sends Biden to China for discussions, who will no doubt go wobbly.
Our correct response should be nothing less than a solid United States pronouncement reiterating our long-standing military pact with Japan, and making sure the Chinese know that any attack on Japan or its aircraft will be considered an attack on the United States, requiring a mandatory American military strike back on China and its interests.