This episode comes as President Barack Obama (D) continues his retreat from the global stage, a retreat with which Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is completely on board.
Six coast guard ships of the People’s Republic of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy escorted a large fleet of fishing vessels into the waters around Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan was left to summon PRC diplomats and formally protest, as the Obama administration kept carefully silent on the matter.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it filed the protest after Japan’s coast guard spotted the vessels Saturday along with a fleet of 230 Chinese fishing boats swarming around the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands.
Of course, the PRC demanded that Japan not take “any action that could lead to a tense or complicated situation,” notwithstanding that it’s PRC behavior that’s provoking tensions and complications.
This action marks an escalation of PRC aggressiveness in the East and South China Seas since the PRC’s seizure of the South China Sea was ruled illegal by an international court in The Hague, and it’s an escalation encouraged by Obama’s considered silence.