A promising candidate for the beginning of World War III is the East China Sea and within that the disputed sea. land and airspace involving the uninhabited Senkaku Islands:
of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture
- "Diaoyu Islands" is the Mainland China/PRC name, and
- Tiaoyutai (Taiwan/Republic of China name)
Unusually, unhelpfully (and maybe tellingly) both China and Taiwan agree that these Islands are part of Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan.
Claims/Interests rest on:
should return them to China. China, being in a Civil War up until 1949, could not impose its
Potsdam claim on these Islands during the more appropriate 1945-1949 period.
2. More tangibly there are economic reasons (including fishing rights and future undersea oil/gas) for
3. But probably the main issue is the geo-strategic value of the Islands. The issue is getting hotter
because China is proving that it is skillful and determined in its militarised island building. Like
some South China Sea islands the currently uninhabited Senkaku islands may become occupied
and militarised in five years time if China had its way.
So as Submarine Matters frequently deals with non-submarine (but East Asian generalised strategic issues) S and Pete will describe in the next few days aerial confrontations between China and Japan. A side but major issue is, as Chinese air superiority fighters become more formidable and numerous, the smaller number of current Japanese F-15s and future Japanese (F-35) Joint Strike Fighters will not be able to cope. Japan will need a F-15 replacement - a replacement probably like an export spec F-22.