The best defense is a good offense, they say, and advice that China’s leadership has definitely taken to heart. We’re not talking about Xi Jinping preemptively challenging every member of the Poltiburo Standing Committee to a game of Frisbee golf (Bring it on, Zhang Dejiang). Rather, Chinese soldiers went on a camping trip six kilometers across what had been the de facto border with India. The soldiers then held up a banner that said “This is the Line of Actual Control, You are in Chinese territory,” apparently hoping that India just forgot where the line was. Later banners challenged India to games of Red Rover and claimed to have discovered fossilized brochures proving that ancient Chinese tourists had strolled the shores of the adjacent Pengong Tse lake, surely a justification for sovereignty if ever there was. In an apparent realization that they were fighting over a small stretch inhospitable frozen tundra, China and India withdrew from their dueling camps on Sunday.
The Chinese territorial offensive continued Wednesday when mainland scholars called into question Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, which includes Okinawa. Never mind the fact that the US has thousands of troops on the island. Why China would want to even begin to launch a claim on the islands escapes us. Perhaps China hopes simply to get Japan on the defensive, perhaps so it cedes the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, where China has a better claim, to protect Okinawa. “We had to try something, we’re running out of ideas,” one top level official in Beijing admitted. We say, press on China. After all, it’s not like the Japanese know anything about defending a string of islands…
Last, China also was adept at alienating its allies this week when Bank of China cut ties with Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea’s primary bank for foreign exchange. Further injuring the last bastion of true communism, recent events in China have apparently led to famine in North Korea by spurring huge shortages of rat meat in the hermit kingdom.
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