Thursday, October 25, 2012

Current Events - 25 October 2012

Lets take a break from American politics for a little bit by looking at a disturbing development in the Pacific.  Though it hasn't gotten enough attention of late, the escalating tensions between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyu Islands is a major issue.  At the risk of greatly simplifying the predicament, I will summarize it as such: Japan purchased the islands, and China says that the purchase was illegal.  Both nation's claim that they own the island, and both believe that the islands are important sources of national pride.  The situation has been no doubt confounded by (indeed, it would probably be more accurate to say that the issue was instigated by) the revelation that the island may be home to lots of oil.

As is usually the case, politics gets considerably more complicated when you move to the international scene due to the intricate and nuanced web of alliances.  Japan is a member of NATO--an organization that guarantees protection for all of its members.  "An attack on one NATO member," as the expression goes, "is an attack on all."  In other words, if China decides to seize the islands, NATO will be forced to act.  Since the United States is the main leader of the NATO organization, it is inextricably tied to these unsettling developments.

Regardless of your political persuasion or personal opinion, this is an issue that everyone should be at least aware of.

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