Maybe the news media should pay more attention to Asia and the Pacific

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The American news media today is fixated on “Li’l Kim”Jong-un of North Korea conducting another nuclear test, N. Korea nuclear test raises tensions. “Tuesday’s test was conducted in the face of strong opposition from the United States and its allies. It also drew sharp condemnation from China, North Korea’s strongest patron.” China is pissed.

But you know what story the American news media has largely ignored, with the exception of foreign news coverage on PBS and a handful of print media? China is also pissed at Japan over competing claims to islands in the East China Sea. And this one could easily turn into a shooting war for control of deep-water oil and gas fields.

Reuters reports China, Japan engage in new invective over disputed isles:

China and Japan engaged on Friday in a fresh round of invective over military movements near a disputed group of uninhabited islands, fuelling tension that for months has bedeviled relations between the Asian powers.

An increasingly muscular China has been repeatedly at odds with others in the region over rival claims to small clusters of islands, most recently with fellow economic giant Japan which accused a Chinese navy vessel of locking radar normally used to aim weapons on a Japanese naval ship in the East China Sea.

China’s Defence Ministry rejected Japan’s
complaint about the radar, its first comment on the January 30 incident.
It said Japan’s intrusive tracking of Chinese vessels was the “root
cause” of the renewed tension.

A
Japanese official dismissed the Chinese explanation for incident saying
China’s actions could be dangerous in the waters around the islets,
known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, believed to be rich in
oil and gas.

Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe led his conservative party to a landslide election
victory in December, promising to beef up the military and stand tough
in territorial disputes.

On
Thursday, another border problem was brought into focus when Japan said
two Russian fighter jets briefly entered its air space near
long-disputed northern islands, prompting Japan to scramble combat
fighters. Russia denied the accusation.

The commander of U.S. forces in the
Asia-Pacific said the squabble between Japan and China underlined the
pressing need for rules to prevent such incidents turning into serious
conflict.

“What we need in the
South China Sea is a mechanism that prevents us turning our diplomacy
over to young majors and young (naval) commanders … to make decisions
at sea that cause a problem (that escalates) into a military conflict
that we might not be able to control,” Admiral Samuel Locklear told a
conference in the Indonesian capital.

China is in dispute with several Southeast
Asian countries including the Philippines and Vietnam over parts of the
South China Sea, which is potentially rich in natural resources.

Locklear said governments and their leaders had to understand the potential for things to get out of hand.

* * *

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera
said this week that the radar incident could have become very dangerous
very quickly, and it could have been seen as a threat of military force
under U.N. rules.

Hopes had been
rising recently for an easing of the tension, which was sparked, in
part, by Japan’s nationalization of three of the privately owned islets
last September.

Fears that
encounters between aircraft and ships could bring an unintended clash
have given impetus to efforts to improve links, including a possible
summit between Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who takes over as head
of state in March.

The American news media, since it closed its foreign news bureaus to increase profitability years ago, is failing to inform the American public of important foreign news. Americans could wake up one morning to news of a war in the Pacific between China and our ally Japan, and America at war, and they will be struck dumbfounded left to ask “how did that happen?,” because the feckless news media never reported anything about it.

How about spending less time doing promotions for network programming, less time doing “local weather” reports for the New York area, less time doing entertainment stories, and less time doing human interest “feel good” stories, and bring back the foreign news reporting that the networks used to do years ago. “Think globally.”

In the meantime, catch the foreign news on PBS and check the BBC and Voice of America.

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