Tuesday, August 4, 2015

An Asian Arms Race

China’s aggressive moves have stoked concerns throughout Asia (we’ve discussed the South China Sea as a coming trouble spot before -- most recently here).

Here are a couple more examples.

India’s Naval Build-up

India is planning to spend $61bil to expand their navy and to counter Chinese incursions into the Indian Ocean.
The build-up is mostly aimed at deterring China from establishing a foothold in the Indian Ocean. It also serves another goal: Transforming India’s warship-building industry into an exporting force that can supply the region, including U.S. partners in Asia wary of China’s increased assertiveness. […]
The vessels on India’s wish list show Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intent on expanding the navy’s influence from Africa to the Western Pacific. Most of them will be made in India, a sign that moves to upgrade the country’s shipyards are starting to pay off for the world’s biggest importer of weapons.
India plans to add at least 100 new warships, including two aircraft carriers, as well as three nuclear powered submarines capable of firing nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

Japan Overrides Its Constitution

Here’s another bit of fall-out – Japan has passed legislation to greatly expand their military role (possibly in violation of the constitution Douglas MacArthur wrote for them after WW2).
Controversial legislation that could result in Japanese troops fighting abroad for the first time since World War II passed the lower house of Japan’s parliament on Thursday after large public protests and scuffles in the normally staid chamber.
The bills have been championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who contends that Japan – which adopted a U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution after its defeat in World War II – needs to be able to come to the aid of allies, particularly America, under the doctrine of “collective self-defense.”
His push comes as China is expanding its military capabilities and increasingly asserting itself in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

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