The diplomatic standoff between China and Japan is drifting in the direction of military conflict. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an explicit analogy between the current Sino-Japanese rivalry and what had happened between Great Britain and Germany before World War I. A coming conflict between China and Japan in the East China Sea would seem to be a matter of not if but when, should this kind of vicious provocation continue. Knowing what China and Japan really want from the East China Sea dispute is the prerequisite for any meaningful efforts in maintaining peace in the region. The U.S. should help China save face, in order to restore the status quo in the East China Sea, and put a stop to Abe’s agenda of revising the Constitution before it’s too late.