BEIJING, July 8 (ChinaMil) -- While the U.S. is dispatching aircraft and ships to get involved in the South China Sea, Japan is doing the same in the East China Sea.
In the second quarter of 2016, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled 199 times against Chinese aircraft in response to the so-called "possible airspace violations." The number is higher than the 198 times in the first quarter of 2016.
On June 17 when two Su-30 fighter jets of China were conducting routine patrols in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) of the East China Sea, they were approached and provoked by two JASDF F-15 fighter jets in high speed.
The Japanese jets even used fire-control radar to lock on Chinese airplanes. Although the Japanese military aircraft continued to cause troubles, Japanese officials made irresponsible remarks, claiming that the Japanese fighter jets never threatened Chinese military aircraft.
Objectively speaking, China and Japan might each stick to their own version in the above situation. But let’s take a look at the remarks made by Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda: "The JASDF and the Chinese fighters had close 'interactions'" and "whether there is a direct threat or not, sometimes infrared jamming shells are used as a precaution."
Two Japanese F-15 fighter jets used the excuse that Chinese military aircraft entered the so-called Japanese ADIZ (actually it is the overlap of the ADIZ of the two countries), then chose the extremely dangerous approach and used fire-control radar and even fired infrared jamming shells; this is a complete set of attack and retreat actions, clearly showing that Japanese fighters were prepared and willing to take the risk of "accidental discharge" and even more serious crisis.
In recent years, Japan has tried all the evil moves on the East China Sea issue: the illegal "acquisition" of the Diaoyu Islands, the lift of the ban on the right to collective self-defense and the establishment of land and water mobility group of the Diaoyu Islands. Japan also sent troops to Yonaguni Island and developed targeted sea and air weapons.
However, Japan is very clear that if it is alone, it is difficult to compete against China, Russia and other countries in the East Asian region. Thus, Japan is actively soliciting and fully cooperating with the U.S. on the "return to Asia-Pacific " and "Asia-Pacific rebalancing" strategies; Japan also continues to send all sizes of maritime, aviation and ground troops and weapons worldwide, especially to the South China Sea to "assist" the U.S. military to launch a wide variety of sea and air military operations.
Japanese policymakers know very well that the real purpose of the U.S. is to eradicate and topple the growing Chinese naval and air forces because they may challenge the U.S. authority in the region.
The U.S. wants to continue to consolidate its hegemony in the world and to regain the initiative in the South China Sea. Japan and other major powers outside the South China Sea and some neighboring countries are all but a few "pioneers" and "pawns" for Uncle Sam.
Japan’s actions of sending troops participating in the multinational joint patrols and exercises in the South China Sea and selling or "donating" of various sea and air weapons to some countries aim to further muddy the situation in the South China Sea and to create troubles for China to resolve regional issues.
In this way, Japan can contain China in another strategic direction and can put China in a difficult situation in terms of two strategic directions in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
In fact, in the eyes of some Japanese politicians, the East China Sea is where its "true core interests" lie. They believe that Japan can only not lose too badly in the game against China if it has good control over the East China Sea and has all straits and channels of the first island chain blocked.
Japan is accustomed to "stealing profits" and now, it has intensified its moves and continued to play with fire. But in the end, Japan’s fate will correspond with a Chinese saying: those who play with fire will get burned.
The author is Li Jie, a military expert on Chinese Navy.