When Montecore, one of two white tigers in the Las Vegas act of Siegfried and Roy, turned and almost killed Roy on stage, the reaction was that the tame and complacent beast had gone berserk. Comedian Chris Rock was nearer the mark: “That tiger ain’t go crazy; that tiger went tiger.” Seems our Asian tiger is going tiger as well. Sharply escalating its clash with Japan over ownership of the Senkaku Islands, Beijing has established an air defense identification zone over the islands and a huge stretch of the East China Sea. Before entering its ADIZ, says Beijing, all planes must now notify China. The United States responded by flying two B-52s through the zone. Japan and South Korea sent fighter jets through, also without permission. China then sent a squadron of fighters over the islands. Now, in a move that has startled Tokyo, the United States has advised U.S. airliners entering China’s new ADIZ to alert China. Japan considers this tacit U.S. recognition of China’s territorial claim. While America is not a party to the dispute over who owns the islands, under our security treaty, we are obligated to come to Japan’s defense if islands administered by Tokyo are attacked.
Beijing has alleged that the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” which purportedly has links with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida as well as many other Central and West Asian terrorist organisations is waging a “holy war with the aim of setting up a theocratic ‘Islamic state’ in Xinjiang.” While this allegation leveled against the Uyghur community is indeed damning, Beijing has unfortunately failed to provide even a shred of credible evidence to support its claim.