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Brinkmanship In The South Pacific

Does the South Pacific coming together of US naval and other forces have anything to do with all the oil and natural gas that’s in the East China Sea? Natural gas has certainly been a hot subject with such notables as the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve testifying before Congress on the subject.

The Financial Times reported this week about China's strongest yet warning to the Japanese not to launch exploration for hydrocarbons in the East China Sea. This was not a polite "get lost" but an unprecedented tirade against Japan which is a major trading partner of China.

What all the fuss is about relates to the fact that China has apparently discovered a large natural gas field in the East China Sea quite close to or perhaps within Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Japan would certainly want to participate in this natural gas find which likely includes some oil. There is no doubt that the West would wish to see its close financial and trade ally, Japan, succeed. Today, oil has been at the foundation of too many war situations and one might hope that this show of muscle does not call China's hand. China is a master poker player and calling its hand carries significant risk.

I would venture to speculate that the coming together of the strongest armada in history has more to do with oil and natural gas and nothing to do with Taiwan. This is another extremely dangerous situation because the coming together of so much power can sometimes lead to an accident. You bring together all that high tech hardware and a war can start with a computer glitch.

You must keep in mind that any ship or aircraft that approaches an armada of this type and is within missile range must be shot down. Missile range today is quite significant so you can see what might happen because of a navigational error by a fighter or any other aircraft. This is terribly dangerous but so is the entire world on this 4th of July.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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