Saturday 18 December 2010

Uh-oh - man killed in another clash involving Chinese fishermen.

This doesn't look good - Chinese fishermen have clashed with the South Korean coastguard. The South Koreans claim to have been attacked after intervening to prevent "illegal fishing". There's no word as to the fishermen's version of events, but at least one died in the fighting and two are missing.

This cannot have come at a worse time - this year has already seen clashes between the Japanese coastguard and Chinese fishermen in disputed waters, and it's only a few weeks ago that South and (PRC-backed) North Korea were exchanging fire across this very sea.


Anonymous said...

Bejing's silence on this one is deafening, despite some fenqing rantings/SIFY. For once Gordon Chang is right: The PLA have been using Chinese fishing fleets as its glove puppet/Forbes.

They know when to stepback. Japan is realigning it defence posture away from its northen Russia neighbour, and firmly focussing on China instead. All Beijing needs now is for the ROK to formally call it out, not to mention the fact that Japan and the ROK could concievably forget ancient emmities and start envisioning an military partnership of sorts vis a vis China.

You go round the Pacific rim and there aint a lot of PRC-friendly countries when it comes to maratine mattters.

When you have military loud mouths like Lou Yuan rabbiting on about looted territories, it should come as no surprise when all the neighbours military quietly club together. And this will even involve a minnow like New Zealand, if you've been following wikileaks.


Gilman Grundy said...

@KT - Yup, not a peep even though, this time, perhaps as many as three fishermen were killed.

Agreed also on the relative infrequency of Gordon Chang being correct.

North Korea are also clearly trying to avoid making things any more tense than they have been. Clearly they didn't want to risk the South making good on heir promise to retaliate with more than counter-battery fire this time round.

That said, reports are circulating about a new tunnel is being dug in the North Korea's nuclear test site. Perhaps nuclear tests are more the kind of tension-raising affair that Pyongyang prefers - the problem with attacking your neighbour is that it gives them a good reason to attack right back.

I guess it should be said that, whilst China lacks friends in the Pacific, it has been winning them in the Indian Ocean. Burma, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are all countries in which the PLAN may be able to establish bases in the near future.

But yeah, the surprising thing about this incident is that this, to use the phrase out of Sherlock Holmes, has been the dog which did not bark.

Anonymous said...

The NORKS according to BBC last night are back to their same old, same old dance card. Supposedly allowing UN inspectors to return to view their nucleur facilities (removing the nucleur rods) in turn for aid. The current polical climate in the South has really hardened, so the Seoul will need to wait a few months before the aid thing is resumed.

While I agree with your comments on the PLAN, I'm not so sure of Pakistan as a viable long-term PRC ally!!!. An army/ISI/drug mafia with an imploding state. After the 2014 departure of NATO troops from Afganistan, the Islamic caliphite on either side of the Pak/Afgan border are just as likely to view Xinjiang as the next liberation site, even if the Ughurs will not be so enthusiastic about the kind of liberation being offered.

Not to mention the fact that China offers massive potential as a narcotics market.