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Inside the Ring: U.S.-Japan Dawn Blitz
“The most notable events will include a joint amphibious assault off the coast of Southern California — the first time an MV-22 [tilt rotor aircraft] will land aboard a Japanese ship (Hyuga and Shimokita) — and live-firing events, exercising logistics, command and control and communications,” Lt. Cerezo told Inside the Ring. She said the command was unaware of the Chinese protest.
An increase in such international military exercises is one of the key elements of the Pentagon’s new shift to Asia.
Richard Fisher, a military specialist with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the timing of the exercises after the summit shows it is aimed at thwarting the growing Chinese military threat.
Japan urgently needs to develop joint amphibious-warfare skills to deter Chinese aggression in the Senkakus, he added.
“As China builds up amphibious assault forces for faster strikes against the Senkakus, Beijing also protests a Japan-U.S. defensive exercise designed to strengthen Japan’s ability to recapture its islands,” Mr. Fisher said.
“Given China’s increasingly aggressive posture over the Senkakus and its hosting in state-controlled media a challenge to Japan’s sovereignty over Okinawa, it is doubly rich that Beijing wants Tokyo and Washington to cancel a justifiable defensive exercise,” Mr. Fisher said.
TIANANMEN MOTHERS ON XI
Tuesday marked the 24th anniversary of China’s military crackdown on unarmed protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The crackdown will always be remembered for the iconic photo of a Chinese man carrying shopping bags who stopped a line of tanks as they headed into the square, where hundreds and perhaps thousands of protesters were killed, many of them run over by tanks.
The crackdown prompted Congress to pass legislation that imposed sanctions on China that remain in place today. For China, the repression began a fierce communist government campaign against all features of Western-style democracy. That also remains in place today.
This week, a group called the Tiananmen Mothers, which has sought justice for the victims of the massacre, wrote to Chinese leader Xi Jinping urging him to follow the reformist path of his father, Xi Zhongxun.
The group’s open letter to Mr. Xi published Friday criticized the new Communist Party leader for failing to launch political reforms in China and moving the country “backward toward Maoist orthodoxy.”
Mr. Xi has increasingly promoted doctrinaire communism since coming to power in November.
Observers say his ideological roots remain firmly linked to communism. His doctorate from Tsinghua University was obtained in two years and is in the field “scientific socialism” not law — as his official biography states. Scientific socialism is the euphemism for Marxism-Leninism, the ideology that many historians say has resulted in the deaths of more than 60 million people in China since 1949.
NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR ISSUE
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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