China’s National Defense University Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu warns Australia not to dance with the ‘tiger’ (US) and the ‘wolf’ (Japan), raises the possibility of a nuclear attack on Japan.

Diplomats are increasingly hoping for an eleventh hour miracle in the talks to resolve the ongoing dispute between two of East Asia’s greatest powers, the People’s Republic of China and Japan, over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, a series of rocks with surrounding waters holding a treasure trove of natural gas reserves.

If attacked, Colonel Liu said that China would fight to the end and he compared the United States and Japan to two animals biting at China.
While Liu’s comments do not reflect the sentiments of the PRC’s leadership, they are nonetheless stridently anti-Japanese and place much of the blame for the escalating tensions between the two countries firmly on Japan.

American hegemony is not at its dawn and not at its zenith … It is at its sunset and night is coming.

Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, China National Defense University

However, regional analysts think that perhaps Liu’s estimation of his nation’s own projective capability is a tad bit rosy for reality.

Having just berthed its first real aircraft carrier, an ancient Soviet relic, the People’s Republic of China is not entirely up to par with Russia or the United States in terms of projective capability.

A regional gambit on ultimately meaningless islands would cost the PRC more in the long-run than finding a diplomatic solution.

Edward Luttwak, author of The Rise of China versus the Logic of Containment, says:

Militant nationalism is the only possible substitute for ex-communists who seek to retain power.

And for the US, its entire political culture mandates the containment of China’s new territorial revisionism.

Related: Japan and the United States Review Security Agreement, China Dispatches Fighter Jets to Meet Japanese F-15s Over the East China Sea, Japan and China on the Brink?

[The Sydney Morning Herald]