World View: Japan Strengthens Military Alliances with Philippines and Vietnam

This morning's key headlines from

  • Vietnam accuses China of ramming and sinking its fishing boat
  • Japan strengthens military alliances with Philippines and Vietnam
  • Egypt extends presidential election for a day because of low turnout

Vietnam accuses China of ramming and sinking its fishing boat

Vietnam says that about 40 Chinese steel-hulled vessels surrounded a group of smaller, wooden Vietnamese fishing ships on Monday afternoon in the South China Sea. One fishing boat was rammed and sank, and the fishermen were picked up by other Vietnamese boats. 

China said that the opposite occurred. According to the state-run news agency, the fishing boat capsized after harassing and colliding with a Chinese fishing boat. According to China, Vietnam has sent a number of ships to obstruct the oil drilling in waters claimed by both Vietnam and China. 

China has repeatedly said that they are going to annex regions of the South and East China Seas belonging to Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, often for centuries. China is enforcing its demands with it's huge and growing military power and threats of military action against any country that doesn't obey its commands. 

According to Vietnam, China has been repeatedly attacking Vietnamese ships. Chinese warships frequently train their high-pressure water hoses on exhaust pipes, antennae, radars, and windows of Vietnamese ships in order to disable to sink them. AP and Xinhua and CNN and Thanh Nien News

Japan strengthens military alliances with Philippines and Vietnam

With China's bellicosity becoming more strident almost every week, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe is strengthening Japan's military links with Vietnam and the Philippines and said that with regard to China's "unilateral drilling activities" in the South China Sea, "We will never tolerate a change to the status quo by force or coercion." 

In December 2013, Japan provided 10 patrol vessels to the Philippines Coast Guard and is now planning to accelerate similar aid to Vietnam. According to Abe: 

Unilateral drilling activities are taking place in areas of the South China Sea where borders are not defined. I am deeply concerned about the heightening of tensions that has resulted. Japan’s position is that we will never tolerate the change of status quo by force or coercion. We are seeking a peaceful resolution based on international law.


Egypt extends presidential election for a day because of low turnout

It was two years ago that Mohamed Morsi was elected president of Egypt in the only democratic election in Egypt's multi-millennial history. And it was one year ago that the army, led by general Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, overthrew Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in a coup, jailing him and thousands of supporters and even arranging for death sentences for Muslim Brotherhood leaders. It's particularly scandalous that several al-Jazeera reporters have been jailed for reporting the news from Egypt, and those reporters have now been in jail for eight months. 

So now, al-Sisi has resigned from the army and returned to civilian life so that he can run for president of Egypt. The Egyptian people had two days to cast their votes, Monday and Tuesday. The problem is that turnout was exceptionally low -- why bother to vote when you know that al-Sisi is going to win? This is being seen as a humiliation for al-Sisi and a problem for Egypt, since an extremely low turnout cuts al-Sisi's credibility and ability to govern. It's also in sharp contrast to the huge crowds that turned out in 2012 to vote for Mohamed Morsi. 

So Egypt has announced that the election has been extended to a third day, Wednesday, so that more people can vote. Authorities are even threatening to fine people who don't vote. Al Ahram (Cairo) and CBS News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Vietnam, China, South China Sea, Japan, Philippines, Shinzo Abe, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi 

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