This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- China blames U.S. as anti-China violence grows in Vietnam
- U.S. asks Vietnam to permit additional Navy ship visits
- Japan moves toward reinterpreting its pacifist constitution
- Palestinian commemorate founding of Israel as ‘Nakba Day’
- Lebanon accused of discriminating against Palestinians from Syria
China blames U.S. as anti-China violence grows in Vietnam
On Thursday, a mob of a thousand Vietnamese protesters stormed aTaiwanese steel mill in Vietnam, hunted down Chinese workers, killed one, and torched the complex. Taiwanese companies, many of whichemploy Chinese nationals, have born the brunt of Vietnam’s anti-Chinaprotests and violence. The protesters are furious over China’sinstallation of an oil rig in waters in the South China Seahistorically claimed by Vietnam.
Also on Thursday, China’s top military leader, the head of thePeople’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Fang Fenghui, was inWashington, meeting at the Pentagon with U.S. Joint Chiefs ChairmanGeneral Martin Dempsey. At the joint press conference, Fang blamedPresident Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia, saying that Vietnam, thePhilippines, and Japan had seized on it to cause trouble in the Southand East China seas. (This is China’s standard message: all of Asiacould live in peace and harmony, as long as the U.S. and all the Asiancountries are docile and obedient to the commands issued by China.)
As for the oil rig, Fang made it clear that China would makeno concessions at all:
I think it’s quite clear… who is conducting normalactivity and who is disrupting it.
Territory which has passed down by our ancestors into the hands ofour generation – we cannot afford to lose an inch.
U.S. asks Vietnam to permit additional Navy ship visits
With tensions growing sharply between Vietnam and China, theU.S. Navy asked Vietnam Thursday to permit the Seventh Fleet to haveadditional U.S. port calls. Currently, Vietnam limits U.S.port calls for one visit of up to three ships each year to avoid antagonizing China. Now that Vietnam hasreversed policy and is willing to antagonize China by permittingpeaceful anti-China protests, it’s thought that Vietnam maymake a similar change of policy with respect to U.S. naval portcalls.
Because of China’s increasingly offensive military activity in theSouth China Sea, Vietnam has felt it’s had no choice but to developcloser military relations with the U.S., India, and Russia. Reuters
Japan moves toward reinterpreting its pacifist constitution
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially announced Thursday theintention to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to permit using thearmed forces for “collective self-defense.” I discussed this issue recently in detail.
This reinterpretation of the constitution will permit the armed forcesto use the military to defend allies, particularly the United States,if the ally is being attack but Japan is not. It will also permit Japan to rescue Japanese civilians in remote locations. In hisannouncement, Abe alluded to China when he mentioned as an example acase in which an armed group disguised as fishermen land on thecountry’s remote islands. Many Japanese oppose the reinterpretationof the constitution, fearing that it’s the first step on a slipperyslope to war. Japan News
Palestinian commemorate founding of Israel as ‘Nakba Day’
Palestinians on Thursday commemorated the 66th anniversary of thefounding of Israel on May 15, 1948, as “the Nakba” or “thecatastrophe.” Palestinians remember May 15 as the day in whichPalestinians were expelled from Palestine as the region fell into abloody war between Arabs and Jews. According to one Palestinianofficial, “There is no backing out from the right of the refugees toreturn, for the Palestinian revolution was launched in 1965 for theimplementation of this right, and tens of thousands of martyrs andhundreds of thousands of wounded have fallen for this cause.”Daily Star (Beirut)
Lebanon accused of discriminating against Palestinians from Syria
Palestinians are accusing Lebanon of implementing new regulations onthe border with Syria that are indiscriminately harming Palestinians.The new regulations were triggered by the arrest last week of 49Syrians and Palestinians previously living in Syria on suspicion ofpossessing forged documents. However, the new regulations are evenforcing Palestinian families to split up when they’re faced with amedical emergency. Like Israel, Lebanon has been the target ofterrorist attacks by jihadists and is implementing new regulationswith the intention of preventing new terrorist attacks. Daily Star (Beirut)