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Peace and Freedom

WHILE vast swathes of the Middle East are embroiled in conflict and Ukraine teeters on the brink, many believe the real flashpoint for war is between China and Japan.

By Hilary Douglas

Japanese patrols drive off foreign fi shing boats near the disputed Senkaku islands

Japanese patrols drive off foreign fi shing boats near the disputed Senkaku islands [GETTY]

As China flexes its military might, with huge increases in defence spending and increasingly assertive patrols in disputed territories, Japan has compared the tensions to those between England and Germany before the First World War.So far it has been a war of words.However, historian Niall Ferguson has warned that US President Barack Obama’s policy of non-intervention, or, as he puts it, his being “resolved only to avoid being George W Bush”, also resembles the incoherent foreign policies of British Liberals a century ago before the First World War.Against this background, a dispute over five uninhabited islands and three barren rocks looks increasingly dangerous.

China…

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