On Monday, three Chinese Coast ships entered waters near a chain of islands claimed by both China and Japan in the East China Sea. China calls them the Diaoyu Islands, while Japan refers to them as the Senkaku Islands. The uninhabited islands have an area of just seven square KM. The sailing by the Chinese comes just days after the US Defense Secretary, James Mattis, made a speech reaffirming the United states’ commitment to defending Japan and its disputed islands. It is clear from the timing of the sailing that China is merely testing America’s commitment to its Pacific ally in an attempt to show the world that it is the dominant Asian military power. The islands in question have no military or economic value whatsoever, so by conducting these military operations, China is merely trying to show the world that it is willing to be aggressively, even dangerously so, in its foreign policy. While the Chinese likely view this aggressiveness as defensive in nature, I think it is unabashed war-mongering. One could make the case that if the islands had any worth whatsoever, the sailing of Chinese ships in the waters around them would be more justifiable, but in this particular example China is looking to get into a fight for the sake of being in a fight.