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Chinese Arm Flexing alarms Eastern Neighbors Japan,Vietnam and Philippines

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China does not have many friends in its neighborhood,in fact it does not have any friends with relations with most countries being quite tense.The only friends it has is a tinpot communist dictatorship North Korea which has managed to keep its citizens in the Stone Age and Pakistan which is well on its way to become a failed state with a suicide bombing a day.What is interesting is that China holds the world record for sharing borders with the maximum number of countries,so one would consider it prudent to hold good relations with a large number of them.On the contrary China has had tense relations with almost all of them with low level military incidents the order of the day.China has a very cagey relationship with India where tensions have risen all the time with numerous friction points like Tibet,Arunachal Pradesh,supplying Pakistan with arms and building ports in smaller countries.South Korea alleged cyberattack a few months ago from hackers close to the Chinese government as well.

With Taiwan China has perhaps the most tense relations despite a recent thaw with increasing trade and transport links.China considers Taiwan a part of its own sovereign state and has massive number of missiles pointed towards the island.

China’s recent arm flexing in the South China Sea has rattled small countries like Phillipines,Vietnam and others.The recent faceoff over a fishing boat incident led China to apply an unofficial embargo of rare earth mineral exports to Japan.Now Vietnam and Phillipines are also feelling the heat from a powerful Chinese Navy which is growing in strenght all the time.Note China has massive trade with almost all the countries though it has a testy relationship.China’s political structure makes it difficult for countries to deal with it as other internal  forces are also in play.

China is also using its industrial strengths to become an emerging low  cost low quality Weapons Exporters.Note the Global Arms Market is dominated by USA and Russia with UK,France,Germany the other major exporters.China,India are the biggest importers of arms with most of their purchases from Russia.However the equation is set to change with China moving up the Technology Ladder to become an Arms Exporter.China has started to export fighter aircraft and missiles and is looking to export drones as well.Its major customers are countries which have difficulty in finding weapons elsewhere.Pakistan is the biggest customer with joint development of weapons with China.Note Russia has become alarmed over the developments as many of Chinese arms said to be copied from Russian Technology.

China navy reaches far, unsettling the region

In recent weeks, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan have all voiced concerns or made formal complaints over Chinese nautical movements. Some nations have deployed military ships or aircraft to disputed waters. The United States, the dominant military force in the Pacific, is watching closely and has sought to bolster its alliances with countries in the region.The Japanese defense minister, Toshimi Kitazawa, said Friday that there had been a growing number of actions by Chinese vessels in the waters near Okinawa since 2008.”We should be concerned about whether they would go beyond that or not,” he said, according to Kyodo News. In April 2010, a large Chinese flotilla passed near Okinawa, and a Chinese helicopter flew within 300 feet of one of two Japanese destroyers that had begun following the Chinese vessels


Abhishek Shah

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