After Ukraine began massacring civilians in 2015, President Putin warned that Russia would no longer respect Kiev’s territorial integrity if the killing continued. Ukraine continued killing and lost territorial integrity when the Donbas oblasts fled to Putin’s embrace.
After Japan began threatening China’s territorial integrity with Taiwan, Beijing decided not to wait, and has taken the initiative.
The Ryukyu Kingdom
Japan annexed the Ryukyu Islands when China was at her weakest, in 1879, and renamed it "Okinawa Prefecture”. Before that it was the Ryukyu Kingdom, an independent state under Chinese protection. To this day its people have not reconciled to their colonial status and life in a dumping ground of America’s biggest bases and the decades of rapes and murders that accompany them – especially since Americans are immune to Okinawa laws.
Their former protector has heard their prayers.
On April 21, discussing Taiwan at the Lanting Forum, Chinese Foreign Minister Qing Gang set the diplomatic stage by referencing the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation – both of which state clearly that Ryukyu is not part of Japan.
A week later, on April 28, Wu Jianghao, China’s ambassador to Japan, and Yoshimi Teruya, Deputy Governor of Okinawa talked privately for three hours. Then Ambassador Wu announced that China will officially call Okinawa Prefecture by its pre-Japanese name "琉球", Ryukyu, and will open a regional diplomatic office in Ryukyu. Denny Tamaki, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, will visit Beijing later this month.
The announcement electrified Okinawa’s independence movement and raised the possibility that Russia – whose Kuril Islands Japan claims – will recognize Ryukyu, too, doubtless followed by most post-colonial countries.
Okinawa’s strategic significance is difficult to exaggerate. Almost in sight of Mainland China, it has the greatest concentration of US bases in the Pacific, and is the jumping-off place for the attack currently in rehearsal:
US TROOPS DRILL FOR TAIWAN WAR
29 April, 2023 20:30. US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) has carried out drills simulating its response to a Chinese seizure of Taiwan for the first time, as part of the USAOC’s annual capabilities exercise at Fort Bragg. Troops practiced being inserted into Taiwan to help defend against a Chinese offensive, using a concrete mock-up on the base to simulate the environment in which they would fight the PRC.
Fight how? Where, exactly?
The arc of China’s dominance of the West Pacific extends to Darwin Port, Australia. No warship is safe from ballistic ship-killing missiles within that perimeter, certainly not $20 billion Ford Class carriers, pride of the fleet.
Meanwhile, Okinawa is 90 miles from China’s inventory of 30,000 base-busting missiles.
China could preemptively attack American bases for the same reason Russia did so in Ukraine: to keep the world’s most aggressive power at a safe distance. However, America’s retaliatory choices are all bad:
Do nothing, be humiliated, and concede world leadership to China.
Strike a Chinese target and watch China’s bigger, faster, more accurate missiles reduce the UCLA campus to rubble 54 minutes later.
Cut to the chase and unleash every atomic warhead on China. But, like its public health, China’s anti-missile defense is 100x better than America’s and Chinese society is famously resilient while America’s is dangerously fragile. There’s nothing like a lost war to sour public mood.
If a defeat in Ukraine and a threat to Okinawa do not discourage Washington, China can raise the stakes yet again.
In 1826 the United States recognized Hawaii as a monarchy, with its own international trade and friendship treaties but, seeing the potential of Hawaiʻian agriculture and its strategic location, overthrew Queen Liliʻuoukalani and the Kingdom of Hawaii, colonized and annexed it in 1893 – years after Japan annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Despite its balmy charms, few haole get comfortable in Hawaii and one reason they leave is fear. I took armed guards with my family when we visited a remote Kauai beach because local lads were murdering haole at the time. Murders have declined, but the hatred hasn’t. Hawaiians have never forgiven America for their subjugation and marginalization in their own Paradise.
So..when will we see this on CNN?
China’s Ambassador to the United States, after a three hour private meeting with Hawaii’s Governor Waiheʻe, announced that China will refer to Hawaii as ‘The Kingdom of Hawaii’ from this date. Spokeswoman for NGO Independence Hawaii, Janeta Liliʻuoukalani, hailed the move, “We Hawaiians thank President Xi for our liberation and invite him to our Independence Day”.
Xi’s Ryukyu initiative will stymie Biden and Tokyo for weeks, even months. Japan can kick the bases out and presumably keep Okinawa, or it can keep the bases and lose Okinawa. Territorial integrity is a big deal, and Japan has had none since 1945. This would be a first.
Xi’s father was was a wartime general and the best negotiator in China, said Mao. Having withstood attacks for decades, Xi Jr has launched a well-prepared offensive, and Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu couldn’t be happier, “The United States is hated by the entire world, and Europe is Washington’s pawn,” he told a delighted audience.
We live in interesting times.
Queen Lili'uokalani, thou art avenged!
After that, there's a good bit of the Southwest that was annexed by force of arms. We paid for the Gadsen Purchase though... Wonder if Nuevo Mexico would allow USA an access corridor along the Southern Pacific railroad to Gadsen?