Chinese General: Prepare for Combat
Top Chinese general in unusual move tells troops to ready for combat with Japan
WFB: China’s most powerful military leader, in an unusual public statement, last week ordered military forces to prepare for combat, as Chinese warships deployed to waters near disputed islands and anti-Japan protests throughout the country turned violent.
Protests against the Japanese government’s purchase of three privately held islands in the Senkakus chain led to mass street protests, the burning of Japanese flags, and attacks on Japanese businesses and cars in several cities. Some carried signs that read “Kill all Japanese,” and “Fight to the Death” over disputed islands. One sign urged China to threaten a nuclear strike against Japan.
Gen. Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, considered the most senior military political commissar, said Friday that military forces should be “prepared for any possible military combat,” state run Xinhua news agency reported.
Heightened tensions over the Senkakus come as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in China Monday.
Panetta, in comments made in Japan shortly before traveling to China, said, “We are concerned by the demonstrations, and we are concerned by the conflict that is taking place over the Senkaku islands.”
“The message I have tried to convey is we have to urge calm and restraint on all sides,” he said, noting any “provocation” could produce a “blow up.”
Panetta repeated the U.S. position that it is neutral in the dispute over Japan’s Senkaku islands, a small chain of islets located south of Okinawa and north of Taiwan….
Last week, following the Japanese government’s purchase of three of the Senkakus from private Japanese owners, six Chinese maritime security ships were deployed near the Senkaku islands, further heightening tensions.
Xu’s unusual comments followed reports in state-controlled Chinese media that opposed the Japanese government’s purchase of the three islands.
Xu said during a visit to military units near Taiyuan, in the northern province of Shanxi, “efforts should be made to ensure that the military is capable of resolutely performing its duty to safeguard the country’s national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity whenever it is needed by the Party and the people.”
A U.S. official said the PLA’s most senior political general rarely makes such direct appeals to troops to prepare for combat.
Panetta told reporters en route to Japan, the first stop on a three-nation visit to Asia, “The United States does not take a position with regards to territorial disputes.”
In 2010, then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates invoked the U.S.-Japan defense treaty when tensions between China and Japan increased over Tokyo’s arrest of a Chinese fishing captain who rammed his boat against a Japanese coast guard vessel in waters near the Senkakus. Gates said the United States would “fulfill our alliance responsibilities” toward Japan….
Japan’s Coast Guard announced on Sept. 14 that six Chinese maritime patrol vessels sailed into Japanese-controlled waters near the Senkakus and the vessels ignored Japanese warnings for the ships to leave the area.
Other reports from China on Monday showed a convoy of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels sailing toward the disputed islands.
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Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan
A senior advisor to the Chinese government has called for an attack on the Japanese bond market to precipitate a funding crisis and bring the country to its knees, unless Tokyo reverses its decision to nationalise the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 18 Sep 2012
UK Telegraph: Jin Baisong from the Chinese Academy of International Trade – a branch of the commerce ministry – said China should use its power as Japan’s biggest creditor with $230bn (£141bn) of bonds to “impose sanctions on Japan in the most effective manner” and bring Tokyo’s festering fiscal crisis to a head.
Writing in the Communist Party newspaper China Daily, Mr Jin called on China to invoke the “security exception” rule under the World Trade Organisation to punish Japan, rejecting arguments that a trade war between the two Pacific giants would be mutually destructive.
Separately, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that China is drawing up plans to cut off Japan’s supplies of rare earth metals needed for hi-tech industry.
The warnings came as anti-Japanese protests spread to 85 cities across China, forcing Japanese companies to shutter factories and suspend operations.
Fitch Ratings threatened to downgrade a clutch of Japanese exporters if the clash drags on….
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