There must be more than enough opinions from the informed, less informed, uninformed, and of course the ill-informed to last a lifetime of reading. There’s one that’s really impressed me, though, and it’s this one from William D. O’Neill explaining that the Chinese fishing boat initiated the collisions. Now I have no way of verifying (or refuting for that matter) his claims except to turn to another nautical expert (and the claim-counterclaim may not be of that much importance to people who think that the islands belong to China and that’s all there is to it), but a forensic, if cursory, examination from someone who’s been there, done that, is a welcome addition to a debate that has been overwhelmingly dominated by social science and lawyer types—like me. It’s a breath of fresh air, really.
That said, I will soon inflict on you some of my ruminations on the subject that I don’t see reflected out there, at least as far as I’m aware. They are my comments in discussions with my friends at Eurasia Group—social science types, most of them—lightly edited for public consumption.