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China is projecting power in its own seas to defend itself against the United States, which wants to use the disputed islands in the East China Sea as a forward military base against the Asian nation, a political commentator says.|
Don DeBar, and anti-war activist and radio host in New York, made the remarks in a telephone interview with Press TV on Sunday, commenting on US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s latest warning to China during a visit to Japan, which has a territorial dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea.
On Sunday, Hagel warned China against unilateral action to resolve territorial disputes with its neighbors, saying Beijing must use its "great power" responsibly.
Hagel also pointed to the example of Russia's recent “annexation” of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, saying similar action by China would not be tolerated.
“Chuck Hagel is rhetoricing sabers from Japan against China and trying to draw a parallel between the competing claims that Japan and China have to some islands that they have historically wrestled over to the Russian Crimea situation,” DeBar said.
“And it’s also historically ironic that Japan occupied those islands that now he lays claims to and the United States is sending warships to defend, the stated purpose of sending the additional ships -- bear in mind that Japan has been occupied by the US military since 1945 and have already considerable military assets there, military bases,” he added.
China and Japan have long been locked in a dispute for more than a decade over the sovereignty of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea -- what are called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan -- which are believed to have vast natural resources.
Although Washington has repeatedly said it would take no side on sovereignty of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, it officially recognizes Japan’s administration of the islands and feels responsible to protect Japan’s territory under a defense deal signed between the two countries.
“The Japanese acquired those by conquest from China in the run-up to World War Two, shortly before Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor and initiated a war that led to the devastation of Japan and the occupation of Japan that continues today,” DeBar stated.
“So the historical irony to the fact that the US is claiming those islands on behalf of Japan but in fact, if you passed the irony, it’s actually the US claims those islands for itself as a forward base against China,” he noted.
“If you look at it in geopolitical terms, China certainly has right to assert itself, you know, short distances from its mainland as the defense against the United States which it faces in its own seas – some four/five thousand miles from the United States proper. The US is projecting power to China’s backyard using Japan as an agent. China is not projecting its power to the Pacific coast of the United States,” DeBar concluded.