World View: Japan Announces Military Buildup to Counter China

This morning's key headlines from

  • Arrest in NY of female Indian diplomat raises a major diplomatic altercation
  • Japan announces new military buildup to counter China
  • John Kerry rebukes China over air identification zone

Arrest in NY of female Indian diplomat raises a major diplomatic altercation

Indian citizens are expressing fury that Devyani Khobragade, an Indian diplomat, was arrested by New York City police last Thursday on charges of having submitted fraudulent visa paperwork, and for paying her nanny about 1/3 of the minimum wage. In her visa papers, Khobragade said she would pay her nanny $4,500 a month, but actually paid the nanny $573.07 a month. If found guilty, Khobragade faces a maximum sentence of ten years for visa fraud and five years for making false statements. India is invoking diplomatic immunity, which the district attorney is contesting.

The anger in India is over the manner Khobragade was allegedly treated: According to reports, she was arrested and handcuffed in front of her daughter while dropping her off at school, and then she was taken to the police station, where she was strip-searched and forced to remain in a cell with drug dealers for several hours. American officials say this is standard procedure for everyone.

India's government is taking harsh retaliatory measures against U.S. diplomats in Delhi. The government is demanding the return of special identification cards, and has already removed the barricades protecting the American embassy, evidently seeking to invite a car bomb attack on the embassy. 

Some officials are demanding that gay partners of American diplomats be arrested, as homosexuality is illegal in India. India is seeking an unconditional apology. Times of India and CS Monitor

Japan announces new military buildup to counter China

Japan has announced a plan to change its military strategy from "pacifism" to "proactive pacifism," and to increase defense spending and transform its military from a largely land-based force to a new amphibious assault force. The shopping list includes twenty-eight F-35 stealth fighters, 17 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, 52 amphibious assault vehicles, and 99 light combat vehicles. 

Japan's military buildup plans come in response to China. China has quadrupled its defense budget in the last ten years, has claimed vast areas of the South and East China Seas, including regions that have historically belonged to other countries, has threatened to use its vast military power to take some of these areas by force, and has been harassing Japanese ships around the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are governed by Japan. Japan News and BBC

John Kerry rebukes China over air identification zone

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rebuked China for unilaterally setting up an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea ( "24-Nov-13 World View -- In new escalation, China demands to control air space over Japan's Senkaku islands").

In the ADIZ announcement in November, China demanded that all aircraft must identify themselves or their flight plans before entering the zone--or else face military consequences. Kerry's statement criticized China's ADIZ in the East China Sea, and also warned China not to announce an additional ADIZ in the South China Sea:

So we’re not suggesting that we’re doing something out of the ordinary here. We don’t want anything except a rule-of-law approach to the resolution of any issues and conflicts. So when you say what do we want from China, we would hope to continue to work closely with China, as we are on North Korea and other issues – trade and so forth – in an effort to try to resolve these kinds of differences or questions in a peaceful way. We believe there is a structure that exists – the Law of the Sea structure, an arbitration process. We have not taken a position on the particular claims asserted by anybody. We have taken a position on the way that we think they should be resolved. So we support arbitration and we support rule of law. We do not support unilateral actions that have the impact of being provocative and raising the temperature and potential conflict.

So we are not approaching this with any particular view towards China except to say when China makes a unilateral move, we will state our position and make clear what we agree or disagree with, and that’s what we’ve done with respect to the ADIZ. We do not accept it. We think it is – there’s a way to approach it. A country has a right to establish an ADIZ. But it has to be done through a process of consultation, work with the International Aviation Organization, and in a way that other nations are consulted and work with it. And we think that’s the best way to proceed, and I think most countries in the world believe that’s the best way to proceed.

The statement was made during a press conference in Manila, the Philippines. State Dept.

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