A few years back, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe startled a global gathering of top politicians and businessmen in Switzerland with his claim that Japan's periodic confrontations with China are like "the same situation" Britain and Germany faced early in the 20th century that led to World War I.
More recently, several analysts have argued that the artificial islands and military bases which the Chinese military is constructing in the South China Sea are reminiscent of the heavy fortifications which France built against Germany in the run-up to World War II.
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