In this special episode, we sat down with two guests: Grant Newsham, senior fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies; and Rick Fisher, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Newsham talked about China’s recent aggressive air incursions into Taiwan as well as how neighbors like Japan might react, while Fischer touched on the recent airshow in China and how the United Sttattes and allies compare.
About Beijing’s record number of fighter jets entering Taiwan airspace, Newsham said: “What the Chinese communists have managed to do is to wake up Japan. You now have a Japanese government that recognizes the threat that it faces as a result of Chinese pressure on Taiwan. And this is even discounting Chinese aggression against Japanese territory in the southern islands, particularly around the Senkaku. Japan realizes, and as much as it didn’t want to admit it, but it knows that if Taiwan comes under Chinese control at that point, Japan is in very, very serious problems. So now you finally have Japanese politicians and officials very clearly stating that there is real concern about a Taiwan scenario. And the Japanese are now thinking about what they need to do in response to that, either unilaterally or with the Americans. But the Chinese have woken up Japan finally. And it’s about time.”
And as to the impact of China declaring an actual war, Newsham said: “When people talk about a war with China, hopefully they all realize that this will not be a sort of ‘starts on Friday and ends on Monday’ sort of affair. But this is something that will be felt worldwide. And if you want to see a stock market crash 25,000 points in an afternoon, well, wait for that war to start. Additionally, global trade and the economy will be just ravaged by this. So this is something that we want to prevent. But as I said, the way to prevent it is to be willing to fight. And you have to fight … you have to have friends with you. It’s not a situation where one country can go it alone. So fortunately, the Japanese and the Americans and some others that they’re waking up, have they waited too long to wake up? I’m not sure. But this is certainly that the fight of our lifetime, as near as I can tell.”
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