China may have shot itself in the foot

Reuters

Hong Kong fishing vessel "Kai Fung No. 2" (2nd L) attempts to depart for the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, as a police boat (R) intercepts it, in Hong Kong November 13, 2013.

Article Highlights

  • But whatever the reason for the creation of the ADIZ at this time, Beijing may ultimately regret it

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  • In one fell swoop, Beijing has reminded Seoul that South Korea has more in common with Japan than it normally likes to admit.

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  • China’s new ADIZ may prove to be a strategic blunder

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It’s difficult to know precisely what was behind China’s decision to institute an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at the weekend. Chinese claims to the contrary, it is clearly meant to up the pressure on Japan in the two countries’ dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, over which the ADIZ extends. Internal Chinese political dynamics may also be at work here; President Xi Jinping, for example, must be benefitting from taking a strong stance vis-à-vis Japan. But whatever the reason for the creation of the ADIZ at this time, Beijing may ultimately regret it – and not only because it increases the likelihood of a violent incident over the East China Sea.

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