Friday, November 29, 2013

What did I tell you?

From the BBC, China sent out aircraft in the air to monitor foreign planes over the East China Sea.  This is pretty much what I was talking about yesterday.  It is what you do when someone tests your defense posture.  So long as no one starts shooting, we might as well sit back and enjoy the show. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

South Korea to buy the F-35

From Reuters last week, South Korea's Joint Chiefs endorsed a commitment to buy F-35 Lightning IIs.  I guess this means Lockheed got the designs working.

I've been following the F-35 saga for years.  I love airplanes, and I think the F-35 is an especially good-looking one.  But oh boy, does it have problems.  

Hat Tip, The Diplomat.

America's Bear Run

A few weeks ago, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced that the JSDF would shoot down any aircraft traveling within its airspace without permission.  Last weekend, China published a new map of its East China Sea Air-Defense Zone, which includes the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain.  Every country has an air-defense zone, that is the territory within which they begin tracking aircraft, and often extends over the territory of other countries.  It does not normally imply any territorial claims, but in the case of the East China Sea the announcement aroused a passionate response.  Two days ago the USAF conducted a fly-through of the Chinese defense zone with a pair of B-52 bombers.  The B-52s refused to identify themselves to China’s air traffic control who tracked the planes and apparently identified them anyway.  Then China clarified its policy; the PLA would respond to incursion according to the threat it presents.  The PLA appears to have accurately determined the B-52s were on a mission to see what happens.  It’s akin to a Soviet-NATO game called “Bear Runs.”

Thursday, November 21, 2013

China's Reforms

Two big stories came out of Asia last week: the typhoon and China’s plans for reforms.  I will write a post about the typhoon soon.  I want to wait and see what information comes in from the Philippines as the country and the world has a chance to take in what has happened.  For now, we’re going to start with China’s upcoming reforms.  We can take this seriously.  The People’s Republic of China has a history of making policy changes. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Welcome to Immortals Cross the Sea

Welcome to my humble blog.  I’m Alex, and Asia is my passion.  I reside in Washington, D.C., but I have spent a lot of time studying and working in Japan.  Japan is my great passion, but Japan has strong ties to the continent, and in learning about Japan I was drawn to the rest of East Asia, in turn.  I will write about the links between the US and Asia through politics, alliances, culture and trade.  Together we will follow current events, popular culture, history, and delve as deeply into the significance of all of them as we can. 
            Asia is about as big as big gets, so I realize that saying “Asia is my passion” is pretty vague.  But I am completely serious.  I love Asia in all its incredible diversity.  If the twenty-first century is going to be the Asia Century, the rest of us need to understand this vast, diverse, and, above all, populous region.  You can’t pigeonhole 2 billion people.  Please join me, so that we can learn together.