Wednesday, August 06, 2014

What I Wish I Had Told Al-Jazeera

I appeared on Al-Jazeera yesterday, offering two minutes worth of thoughts, such as they may be, on the new Defense White Paper. (Link - and Link J)

What I managed to blurt out was, well, solid, moderate, perhaps even far-seeing -- but definitely not great television.

When asked out how the White Paper defines Chinese actions in the East China Sea, what I should have said was:

"This year's White Paper declares that certain Chinese actions, such as the unilateral declaration without consultation of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) to be 'profoundly dangerous acts.' Non-Japanese media organizations like the Financial Times have flagged the operative adjective here, calling it a condemnation. (Link)

All apologies to the editors of the Financial Times but calling what the Chinese government has been doing 'dangerous' is not a condemnation: it is a simple statement of fact. Indeed 'dangerous' all by its lonesome is an understatement. The authors of the report should have been more prolix, describing China's moves as 'profoundly dangerous, provocative acts, the kind of stupid crap that leads to the therts of wars and stuff' -- and even that would have only been a simple statement of fact."

Oh well, better luck next time...

Later - Writing in The Diplomat, Clint Richards sees the language of the Defense White Paper as unhelpfully incendiary (Link). Richards seems to be arguing that in order to secure of a face-to-face meeting between Abe Shinzo and Xi Jinping the Japanese government should suppress a public accounting of national policies and official interpretations of current events.


Anonymous said...

>> incendiary

MTC said...

Anonymous -

Thank you for pointing out the misspelling. Your comment helped me spot two other typos as well.