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Feb 8, 2013 | 16:55 GMT

A Naval Incident Amid Sino-Japanese Tensions

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A Naval Incident Amid Sino-Japanese Tensions

A Jan. 30 naval incident between Chinese and Japanese military vessels near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea has added to tensions between the two countries. The incident reportedly involved a Chinese Jiangwei II-class frigate (Type 053H3) from the North Sea Fleet and a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer. According to reports, the Chinese naval vessel locked its fire-control radar on the Japanese vessel. A fire-control radar is used to provide the data necessary to calculate a firing solution, after which missiles or shells can be fired at the target. The provocative move could have elicited an aggressive Japanese response and followed another incident in late January in which a Chinese Jiangkai I-class frigate (Type 054) locked its radar on a Japanese navy helicopter. Both incidents were revealed by the Japanese days later. Particularly with the heightened tensions between China and Japan surrounding the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, this type of move could lead to serious miscalculations from both sides and even result in military actions, worsening the situation in the sea. A military solution in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute is not the preferred option by either side. For one thing, the Japanese fleet's response to Chinese provocations has been relatively restrained. Beijing, despite its numerous provocations, has mostly relied on its civilian maritime agencies to push its territorial claims. Beijing had been quite successful over the years in enhancing its presence in the disputed waters in both the South and East China seas, taking advantage of its elaborate maritime surveillance agencies to assert its claims. However, Beijing has demonstrated in a number of cases that it is increasingly willing to engage in brinksmanship to aggressively push its claims. This may be in part due to a need to focus its populace on an external threat at a time when the Communist Party feels pressured on the domestic front.

A Naval Incident Amid Sino-Japanese Tensions
2 Geo |  1 Topics 

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