World View: Japan, China Exchange Threats as Relations Deteriorate

This morning's key headlines from

  • Japan and China exchange threats as relations deteriorate
  • Iran exacts deadly revenge after border guards are killed by jihadists
  • UAE signs new $4.9 billion aid package for Egypt
  • Fear of a paralytic polio epidemic in Syria

Japan and China exchange threats as relations deteriorate

Shinzo Abe last week (Reuters)
Shinzo Abe last week (Reuters)

The dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands has not been in the news for a few months, but tensions have continued to grow. On Friday, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that many nations in the region are looking to Japan to counter China's attempt to use military force to change the status quo in Asia:

"I've realized that Japan is expected to exert leadership not just on the economic front, but also in the field of security in the Asia-Pacific.

There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won't be able to emerge peacefully.

So it shouldn't take that path, and many nations expect Japan to strongly assert that. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community."

China's Defense Ministry spokesman responded on Saturday:

"Don't underestimate the Chinese army's resolute will and determination to protect China's territorial sovereignty. If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.

We will undertake decisive action to strike back, with every consequence borne by the side that caused the trouble."

Reuters and WSJ

Iran exacts deadly revenge after border guards are killed by jihadists

A Pakistan-based group by the name of Jaish al-Adl (the Army of Justice) has claimed responsibility for the deaths of at least 14 border guards, and took three hostages, on the border between Pakistan and Iran late Friday. A local prosecutor immediately responded by ordering the swift execution of 16 prisoners already in Iran's jails. It's unclear what the relationship is between Jaish al-Adl and the prisoners, but it's assumed that they're also jihadist terrorists, and Iran want to send a message of revenge.

It seems that there are always new al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups springing up in the Pakistan neighborhood. There's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that targets Pakistan's government, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) targets India, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) wants to exterminate all Shias and Hazaras in Pakistan, Jundullah (Soldiers of God) perpetrated major attacks on Shia mosques and Revolutionary Guard stations in southeastern Iran, and now we have Jaish al-Adl (the Army of Justice) also targeting southeastern Iran. BBC and Tasnim News (Iran)

UAE signs new $4.9 billion aid package for Egypt

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement on Saturday to provide Egypt with $4.9 billion in aid. This includes the $1 billion grant that UAE already sent to Egypt immediately following the army coup that removed president Mohamed Morsi and the governing Muslim Brotherhood on July 3. When Morsi was deposed, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait pledged a total of $12 billion, an amount that dwarfs the $260 million in planned aid that the U.S. recently announced that it would delay. Reuters

Fear of a paralytic polio epidemic in Syria

At least 22 babies and toddlers are now believed to have contracted paralytic polio in Syria. If confirmed, it would be the first outbreak of polio in Syria in 14 years. When Syria's civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children were vaccinated against polio, but because of the war, some 500,000 children have not been immunized. More than 100,000 children, all under age 5, are now at risk of polio in the Deir Ezzor province, which has been the site of fierce fighting, and with the large flow of refugees, the World Health Organization (WHO) fears a possible epidemic. Polio has been largely eradicated in developed countries but remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. BBC

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