Third Sino-Japanese not-yet War

Japan confirms disputed islands purchase
China protests: Japanese firms suspend some operations
Beijing launches flotilla of 1,000 fishing boats to disputed islands

This conflict is only going to escalate more. Japan is facing election with incumbent facing conservative-right challenge, China is about to undergo change-of-guard in politburo. I don’t see how this going to end well.

The likely outcome is military tech showdown - US hardware run by Japanese vs. Chinese knock-offs of US hardware run by Chinese. I wonder who is going to win.

Oh, and buy your electronics now. This can last for years, with possible US sanctions on China.

$26 million is such a piddly amount of money to cause an international incident. Can’t China just pay the “private owners” a billion or two and be done with it?

Just imagine all the wonderful forex opportunities this will yield.

Someone in the appropriate Japanese or Chinese ministry could make a very large amount of money with a day’s foreknowledge of the latest provocation or appeasement over the coming months…

China has already paid – they paid for an upgraded navy.

brainwashed third-world mob.

China isn’t the Third World.

From my reading, the Chinese still have mostly Russian knock-offs.

You’re crazy. Nothing is going to come of this. Why? Because both China and Japan have way too much to lose over it. China let’s the people protests because it’s good for nationalism and it keeps the proletariat from thinking of their own homegrown troubles. If things get out of control then China will crack down quickly. As for Japan, there are no feelings of anger over here. Just people watching the scenes of violence on TV with amusement and disapproval (those typical uncivilized Chinese-well that’s what we expect of them).
The last time protests got this serious was 2005 with emphasis on LAST TIME. This is nothing new. Unfortunately relations in Asia Pacific are tenuous at best. But fortunately the almighty economy still rules all. There may eventually be a free for all some day but I think you can put off hoarding electronics for the near future.

You assume that China is a perfectly rational player.

I can see couple scenarios where this could be pushed to escalate. One example, new Chinese leadership has its power structure base in military ranks, great deal of pandering going on. Say they also interested in dialing back mostly economic freedoms that Chinese gained over last decade. What would be the best way to do it? Wreck the economy while perusing nationalistic agenda via proxy or direct war with Japan. Maybe Politburo already decided that economic collapse is inevitable, with Chinese economy overheated and costs of labor going up and up… so this conflict can be a smokescreen and scapegoat to justify a number of reform retractions.

China won’t do end up doing anything, because the islands are much more useful as a distraction than anything else.

Look over here! Look at the shiny thing! Pay no attention to the slowing economy, or the problems with party officials, or the thousands of legitimate complaints ordinary Chinese have about the country they live in. Protest against Japan instead!

You don’t just throw a valuable distraction like that away by resolving it. You keep it in your back pocket until you need it again.

The PLAN is modernizing rapidly and will be, more or less, the dominant power in the region by 2025. They have quite a bit to learn about carrier doctrine but that will come with time. At this point they have the most modern and arguably the best shipyards in the world . They deliver ships on time, under budget, in a way that no one else does.

Chinese officials are legally obligated to defend any territory ever claimed as Chinese. Violating the law is treason which requires the death penalty.

Beijing isn’t going to budge.

Japan PM Warns China on Dispute

pan’s prime minister warned China that its inflammatory reaction to a territorial dispute—from violent protests to apparent informal trade sanctions—could further weaken China’s economy by scaring away foreign investors.

The comments show how the diplomatic standoff could broaden into a damaging commercial tit-for-tat between the world’s second- and third-largest economies.

This looks to me like this about to escalate into a trade war.

How about we see how many nukes it takes to make said islands disappear. Then they can both claim the radioactive, underwater rocks.

Now that is something that is perfectly possible.
I noticed how the protests in China stopped just like that (snaps fingers). I knew China could have stopped those protests anytime they felt like it but that was not a part of their agenda.

Protests in China are always officially orchestrated.

Economist: Could Asia really go to war over these?

China did just today officially put its first carrier into service. Coincidental they say.

Well that’s just good showmanship.

The carrier is a training device for the PLAN. They will have their own indigenous designs in the fleet by 2025. At that point they’ll be on their second generation carrier aircraft and after more than a decade with the ex Varyag they’ll have the capacity to utilize them effectively in fleet operations.

As far as war goes - I’m sympathetic to the Economists point. Why would you fight over those? But at the heart of the matter are people, flesh and blood, who make decisions for emotional reasons. Never discount the possibility of conflict.

Geez, they don’t even have any planes for the carrier yet. An empty gesture. The only navy less effective these days is the RN with those wonderful gun-frigates.

If China hasn’t gone to war over Taiwan in the last 60+ years, it’s certainly not going to start one over a bunch of uninhabited islands - not when it means open conflict with its two biggest trade partners, Japan & U.S. China will keep doing what it’s been doing for years now: rattling sabers, making vague pronouncements, throwing its weight around to see what it can get away with, then settling down before the next manufactured “crisis.” The U.S. and Japan need to stand firm without being belligerent.

</armchair pundit>