Thursday, November 28, 2013

At Least WaPo Is Showing Some Sympathy for China on the ADIZ Controversy

I’ve mostly stopped critiquing media reports but I couldn’t help it this time, and since it comes within the flow of my latest stream...

The title of the WaPo piece says “China's move to establish air defense zone appears to backfire”, but what’s not to like for the Chinese authorities about a report that begins with the sentence “It was designed as a forceful response to Japanese assertiveness, and a robust declaration of China’s maritime claims”, and later offers these stories?

“Japan, like numerous other countries, already has its own air defense identification zone. The country increasingly has used the zone as an excuse to warn or intercept Chinese planes in the area, according to military experts in Beijing. In September, Japan threatened to shoot down Chinese drones flying over the disputed islands; China warned that downing the drones would constitute an act of war” (never mind that a routine fact check would have shown that the Japanese authorities carefully avoided any such commitment on the Senkakus or anywhere).

 “’Japan has been acting more and more confrontational with regards to the Diaoyu islands, so China had to roll out its own measures to balance it out,’ said Zhou Yongsheng of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of International Relations in Beijing. ‘Whenever Chinese aircraft entered Japan’s zone, they would dispatch fighter jets to intercept us, which put us in a very passive position.’”

China is portrayed as the passive party, reacting to Japanese “assertiveness,” a trope helped by a factual error, omission of the sovereign overreach in the Chinese claim that is at the core of the complaints, and the overall lack of Japanese voices.

“David Nakamura in Washington, Chico Harlan in Seoul and Liu Liu, Li Qi and Guo Chen in Beijing contributed to this report.”

Oh. Ooohh…

So I guess my question is: Do the Chinese even need pictures?