China raises stakes in fishing dispute with Japan

Discussion in 'China' started by LETHALFORCE, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    FT.com / Asia-Pacific - China raises stakes in fishing dispute with Japan

    China’s leading foreign policy official raised the stakes in the latest diplomatic dispute with Japan on Sunday, warning Tokyo not to make “wrong judgments” over the seizure of a Chinese fishing boat in contested waters.

    The warning from State Councillor Dai Bingguo came after China, on Friday, postponed negotiations with Japan over disputed undersea gas beds in the East China Sea in protest over the detention of the captain of the Chinese boat.

    Mr Dai issued the warning after summoning the Japanese ambassador in what Xinhua’s English language service described as “the wee hours”, the fourth time that Uichiro Niwa has been called to meet Chinese officials over the incident near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands.

    The fishing boat collided with Japanese patrol vessels last week after it ignored warnings to leave the area near the islands, known in Chinese as the Diaoyu, and refused to stop for an inspection, Japan’s coast guard said. The captain was arrested and the ship detained.

    Mr Dai, who holds a position in the Communist party’s hierarchy above the foreign minister and advises senior leaders on policy, rarely gets involved in such disputes, an indication that Beijing wants to increase the pressure on Tokyo. According to Xinhua, he said Japan should seek “a wise political resolution” and immediately release the Chinese fishermen.

    After a Japanese court ruled on Friday that the captain could be held in detention for 10 days while prosecutors decide whether to charge him, Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said Beijing would withdraw from the next round of talks about the undersea gas, scheduled for mid-September.

    “The Diaoyu islands, and its adjacent islets, have been Chinese territory since ancient times. Japan’s acts have violated the law of nations and basic international common sense,” she said. “Japan will reap as it has sowed, if it continues to act recklessly.”

    The postponement of the gas talks marks a clear setback on an issue that has become a test case of whether Japan and China can put aside territorial issues in favour of co-operation.

    China and Japan disagree on the extent of their East China Sea exclusive economic zones, with Tokyo arguing its zone extends to a median line between the two countries and Beijing insisting its zone stretches much closer to Japan.

    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Sooner or later Japan had to become aggressive against Chinese and it looks like time has come. These chinese think entire world is theirs and will come to realize that reality is completely different. Lets hope that Japan become more aggressive and chinese will be pi**ing in their pants.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Fishing in troubled waters?
     
  5. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its obviously understood that any communist regime tries to be superior in the region. China is following that path. But pulling up disputes with almost all its neighbors looks awkward. By this strategy China is acquiring a title of Bully of the region. Wonder what they achieving with this but it sure makes them vulnerable down the line if it has hostile neighbors in all sides.
     
  6. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    It could win you more respect if the bold word was replaced with India. Otherwise, it only brings more disgrace to you.
     
  7. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    You should be happy that we are not in aggressive mode yet. Chinese arrogance will make it happen very soon . If you have brain and think ethically then its China's greed that bring disgrace to you. But for you chinese greed is integral part and you guys never realize that you are greedy although you are greediest of all . You guys know only to take and never give.
     
  8. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    What you said is true mate, but if you want to be a superpower you need to have an aggressive attitude. Even though China is not yet a superpower they are still aggressively pursuing their interests all over the globe.

    If India also wants to be a superpower it needs to develop a similar attitude in regards to our VITAL INTERESTS.
     
  9. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    It really pains me to accept that against china we are still not in pro active mode . MMS Government is still in reactive mode. We need a PM with strong will power who is fearless and capable of taking bold decisions. we need someone of Indira Gandhi caliber who can shake entire world .
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Japan frees Chinese fishing crew

    Japanese authorities say they have released 14 crew members of a Chinese fishing trawler seized last week in the East China Sea.

    But the captain of the vessel remains in custody following the incident, which happened in disputed waters.

    Prosecutors have until 19 September to decide whether to lay formal charges against him.

    China has made repeated protests over the incident and warned that it could harm bilateral ties.

    The Chinese fishing boat reportedly rammed Japanese coast guard patrol boats which had been trying to intercept it.The incident occurred off an island closer to Taiwan than to Japan, and claimed by both Japan and China.

    Summoned
    On Sunday Chinese diplomat State Councillor Dai Bingguo warned Tokyo to make a "wise political decision" over the matter.

    China has cancelled a series of diplomatic negotiations with Japan over oil and gas fields in the region in protest.

    Chinese officials have also called in Japanese Ambassador Uichiro Niwa for talks four times over the incident - most recently in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    "It was regrettable that Ambassador Niwa was summoned at such late hours," Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshito Sengoku, said.

    He also criticised Beijing for linking the gas talks with the incident, describing them as "totally separate issues".

    The freed crew members are reported to have flown back on a chartered flight to Fuzhou via Naha in Okinawa.

    The vessel will also be released and sailed back to China by a substitute crew, Japanese officials said.

    The area where the Chinese trawler was seized on Tuesday is close to uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan.
     
  11. huanle

    huanle Regular Member

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    all the problem came from uncle sam ,,,i wander why inidans keep thinking all that china is trouble maker ,,,,
     
  12. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    I am not happy at all when India pretends to be an innocent Angel, whereas she actually is a greedy monster.

    So cut the China-being-greedy crap. With regard to greed, no one can beat India on that. Look at the the map of India, the territory of India has been expanding since her independence through snatching land from her neighbors, including China.
     
  13. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    India just claiming whole of Kashmir which was not India's greed but a deal struck with the then Maharaja. Arunachal Pradesh was always part of India since British occupation.

    But China is claiming AP and Aksai Chin. China is the who is conducting intrusion in the borders and especially the finger tip area in Sikkim. China expanded its border and invaded Tibet. Even after Civil war you claim Taiwan. China also claims the whole of South China sea. To create a vested interest in Korean peninsula you help North Korea in everyway to keep Japan and SK busy. You even have vested interest in Pakistan to counter India.

    So with such a huge wish list, China qualifies as the most greediest nation in the world. So that gives no right to China and the chinese to call other nations greedy. China is simply following the Roman empire's policy of " We expand or we die ".
     
  14. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China again summons Japanese ambassador in boat row

    Read more: China again summons Japanese ambassador in boat row - The Times of India China again summons Japanese ambassador in boat row - The Times of India

    BEIJING: China said it had summoned Japan's ambassador a fifth time to demand Tokyo release a Chinese fishing boat captain arrested after a collision between his and two Japanese vessels in disputed waters.

    Vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin called in ambassador Uichiro Niwa on Tuesday to complain again over Japan's continued "illegal detention" of the skipper, said a statement posted on the ministry's website.

    Liu "demanded that Japan immediately release and send back the Chinese boat captain."
     
  15. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    We are greedy monsters thats why we have border differences with only 2 greedier monsters compared to china which has border differences with entire world.
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This Week at War: Japan Gets Tough


    Japan and China go fishing for trouble

    A seemingly minor maritime incident last week -- a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese coast guard vessels -- is quickly turning into a significant diplomatic crisis. What remains to be seen is whether the ensuing diplomatic standoff will add to the region's growing concerns over China and whether Japan's surprising obstinacy over this incident foreshadows a more hawkish Japanese defense policy.

    On Sept. 9, during a seasonal uptick in the number of Chinese fishing boats near the disputed, uninhabited, and Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, a Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese patrol boats. According to officials in Tokyo, the fishing boat refused orders to submit to an inspection and to leave the area. After an initial investigation, the Japanese government released the boat and the crew. But it retained custody of the boat's captain, turning him over to prosecutors for trial. A Japanese judge has given prosecutors until Sept. 19 to file charges against him.

    What started as a a minor scuffle has escalated. Over the past week, the Chinese government has summoned Japan's ambassador five times. China delayed a senior parliamentarian's visit to Japan and postponed talks over natural gas exploration in the East China Sea. The customary annual meeting between the Chinese premier and the Japanese prime minister at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York next week has not been scheduled. Meanwhile, Japan's transport minister appeared at the nearby coast guard base to praise the crews for their capture of the captain. The Japanese embassy in Beijing warned Japanese citizens in China to lay low. Finally, anti-Japanese activists from both China and Taiwan -- which both claim the Senkaku Islands -- formed flotillas to sail to the barren rocks.

    Just as the fishing boat incident began to boil, Japan's defense ministry released its annual white paper on defense policy. This year's report included a particularly detailed accounting of recent Chinese air and naval incursions near Japan-claimed territory. The white paper follows the recent diplomatic clash at the July ASEAN meeting in Hanoi over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    In spite of the white paper's much more explicit description of China's growing military assertiveness, the report did not call for any material changes in Japan's defense program. The report made note of continuing declines in Japan's defense spending and manpower levels.

    It is hard to imagine a worse time for Japan's government to contemplate a controversial change to its defense policy. Its fiscal outlook and floundering economy are as bad as any in the developed world. Recent prime ministers have been lucky to last a year in office. And Japan's dispute with the United States over bases on Okinawa remains unresolved.

    All of which makes the Japanese government's refusal to release the Chinese fishing captain all the more remarkable. Against all expectations, someone in Tokyo has decided to stand up to Beijing. Could the Japanese government be making a case to the public for a more hawkish defense policy? Policymakers in the region are no doubt wondering what the consequences of this standoff will be.

    How to pay for a new Air Force bomber

    This week, the Air Force made a loud public case for why the Pentagon should invest in a new long-range bomber. At an Air Force Association conference, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz both pitched the Air Force's vision for new long-range strike platforms to replace the aging assortment of B-52, B-1, and B-2 bombers that the Air Force currently relies on. On the same day that Schwartz spoke, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a Washington defense think tank, rolled out its own study of the long-range strike issue. The challenge for the Air Force is to explain why, in an era seemingly dominated by small wars against minimally armed insurgents, a high-tech and expensive long-range bomber program is remotely relevant.

    Schwartz and the CSBA report repeated the concern explained in this year's Quadrennial Defense Review over the growing ability of potential adversaries such as China and Iran to use modern air defense missiles, anti-ship missiles, and quiet submarines to threaten many of the U.S. military's aircraft and ships. U.S. airpower is currently structured for and accustomed to operating in completely uncontested airspace and from nearby airbases and aircraft carriers within the range of short-range tactical aircraft. Should adversary submarines and missiles push U.S. aircraft carriers far away from shore, should political problems or missile attacks close nearby tactical airbases, orshould U.S. aircraft face the latest generation Russian surface-to-air missile defenses, the United States has a grand total of 18 airplanes -- its long-range B-2 bombers -- that would be useful.

    The CSBA report was thorough in its analysis of why the United States will need a new long-range, stealthy, penetrating bomber for the scenario just described. But the report missed an opportunity to discuss the contribution a stealthy long-range aircraft could make to small irregular wars. As an example, U.S. and partner forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere are highly reliant on the overhead observation provided by Predator drones and other tactical aircraft. These patrolling aircraft observe the movements of enemy leaders, thwart roadside bomb crews, monitor radio traffic, and perform other intelligence-gathering missions.

    They are able to perform these missions because they operate in uncontested airspace. U.S. military planners should not assume that this will always be the case, even against seemingly lightly-armed insurgent adversaries. The arrival of the next generation of man-portable surface-to-air missile capable of threatening Predators and other patrol aircraft could threaten a huge advantage currently enjoyed by U.S. forces. Alternatively, U.S. planners should not rule out the possibility of long-range surface-to-air missile systems operating against U.S. aircraft from territory the U.S. cannot, due to political constraints, attack. A new stealthy long-range bomber could provide the intelligence and strike support in such an irregular warfare scenario that the non-stealthy Predator and its ilk could not.

    The CSBA report estimates that the Air Force could buy 100 new stealth bombers for $46 billion, including research and development costs. These aircraft would be designed to operate with crews or as unmanned drones. The report deems the technological risk of the program to be low; the new aircraft would use major sub-systems currently used on F-15, F-18, F-35, B-2, and even Boeing 737 airliners that have already been developed and proven.

    With defense spending capped or declining, where would $46 billion come from? According to the GAO's analysis of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Air Force could trade 4.4 F-35s for one new bomber. The U.S. military currently plans to buy 2,443 F-35s over the next 25 years. Given the ancient vintage of the current bomber force, the lack of balance in the aircraft inventory, the looming threats to overseas bases and access, and the versatility of long-range aircraft, the value of 100 new bombers would seem to greatly exceed the marginal utility of the final 443 F-35s the Pentagon plans to buy. If budget hawks are looking to trim $46 billion, that's where they should find it.
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Chinese hold anti-Japan protests over boat dispute


    BEIJING – Protesters in several cities across China marked a politically sensitive anniversary Saturday with anti-Japan chants and banners, as authorities tried to stop anger over a diplomatic spat between the Asian giants from getting out of control.
    As some chanted "Wipe out the Japanese devils!" and stamped on Japanese flags, China's Foreign Ministry called for calm.
    Ever-present anti-Japanese sentiment in China has been inflamed in recent weeks by Japan's arrest of a Chinese captain after his fishing boat collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels in waters near an island group claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing. Japan has returned the boat and its crew but holds the captain. China has demanded his release.
    China's ruling Communist Party partly encourages anti-Japanese sentiment to burnish its nationalist credentials, but it remains obsessed with social stability and had worked in recent days to keep people from demonstrating Saturday, the anniversary of the start of a brutal Japanese invasion in 1931.
    Protests in at least five cities drew crowds as large as several hundred, but officials' efforts largely succeeded.
    Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing shouted "Down with Japan" and held signs saying "Get out of the Diaoyu Islands" but were moved away by police within an hour. They later were allowed to pass by in small groups, while the rest marched outside a police cordon. The disputed islands are known as Diaoyu or Diaoyutai in Chinese and as Senkaku in Japan.
    In Shanghai, two men hung a banner outside the Japanese consulate saying "The Diaoyu islands belong to China ... return our captain." Police warned them to be careful and eventually ushered people away after a crowd of about 50 gathered.
    "We came here to appeal for fairness and for the right to ask for our captain back. We regret the government's weakness in diplomacy," said one of the men, Li Chunguang. He wore a T-shirt showing revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.
    In the southern city of Shenzhen, several hundred people gathered at a public square to call for a boycott of Japanese goods and sing the Chinese national anthem, Hong Kong's radio RTHK reported. Hong Kong's Cable TV showed a police officer trying to grab a Chinese flag displayed by protesters. RTHK said police detained several demonstrators.
    Several hundred people protested without interference outside the Japanese consulate and a Japanese department store in Hong Kong, which enjoys Western-style civil liberties as a semiautonomous territory.
    Opposition legislator Albert Ho criticized the mainland Chinese government for trying to curb demonstrations.
    "We are sad to see many of our compatriots in mainland China are being silenced," Ho told reporters.
    Saturday marked the anniversary of the 1931 "Mukden Incident" that led to the Japanese occupation of China's northeast and eventually the invasion and conquest of much of the country. The date has in the past been marked by official commemorations and scattered anti-Japanese protests.
    The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that protesters of the boat incident chanted anti-Japan slogans in the northeastern city of Shenyang, where the 1931 attack occurred. The report ran only in English, not Chinese.
    The anniversary was the top news on China Central Television's noon broadcast, but the boat incident wasn't mentioned.
    As recently as 2005, some anti-Japan protests have swelled with thousands of demonstrators, threatening to spill public anger into other issues closer to home.
    "We believe the Chinese people will express their demands in a rational way," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Saturday in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.
    Authorities in recent days sought to forestall protests. The website of the China Federation for Defending Diaoyutai remained offline Saturday, and messages about organizing protests were largely scrubbed from Internet bulletin boards.
    Still, the state-run Chongqing Evening News reported Saturday that hundreds of residents in the southwestern city "spontaneously" gathered to mark the anniversary and sing anti-Japanese songs. The newspaper also reported about 1,000 soldiers, students and others in the northeast city of Changchun gathered in front of a monument marking the "Mukden Incident," vowing to remember history.
    Beijing has stated that the arrest of the fishing captain could damage relations and has summoned Japan's ambassador, Uichiro Niwa, five times.
    The Japanese government made no public comment Saturday on the protests, the boat incident or the anniversary.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Everyone giving Chinese an inch to maintain harmony will later be giving Chinese a foot.
     
  19. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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  20. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Russia along for a Chinese ride
    By Peter J Brown

    In late September, the leaders of Russia and China were meeting in Beijing. Meanwhile, China's confrontation with Japan over the seizure of a fishing boat was playing out.

    There is no smoking gun that ties the two events together, and yet there is a strong common thread that runs through each event, and leaves a distinct impression that the two events are not unrelated.

    Thanks to a mutual declaration designed to set the historical record straight - at least in their eyes - Russia's ownership of islands immediately north of the main Japanese island of Honshu was firmly reinforced just as the Chinese people were fixated on the Diaoyu Islands - the Senkaku Islands as they Japanese call them - which are located on the opposite end of Japan.

    Despite years of discussion, Russia and Japan are no closer to resolving their own territorial dispute involving southern Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands. The joint statement signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing strongly suggested that no such resolution was in sight.

    "During the war [World War II], people in China and Russia sustained major aggressions from the fascists and militarists, and they endured the cruelest ordeals and suffered the heaviest casualties," the statement says. "The fascists and militarists schemed to conquer and enslave us two nations, other countries and the whole continent [Eurasia]. [People in] China and Russia will never forget the feat of those who checked the two forces [fascists and militarists]," said the statement, according to the People's Daily.

    More than anything else, it is the tone and timing of this joint statement that calls into question the notion that the fishing boat incident roughly two weeks earlier had no bearing whatsoever on the meeting in Beijing.

    "The people of the two countries will remember and pay homage to all those, from the Allies or not, who fought shoulder to shoulder with us to safeguard lives and freedom," the statement added.

    "The glorious history, imprinted with the friendship the people of the two countries forged in the war and their mutual help, has laid a sound foundation for today's strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia," said the statement. [1]

    Read the last sentence again very carefully.

    This proclamation comes after recent oil, natural gas and nuclear deals signed by China and Russia, along with a shared sense of apprehension about the US ballistic missile defense and conventional "Prompt Global Strike" capabilities - issues that arose during the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiations between Russia and the US. There is also the proposed Sino-Russian treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects.

    But this new proclamation was designed to do far more than simply strengthen the spirit and resolve of the Chinese people in their showdown with Japan. Some might argue that no such strengthening is required given the lingering animosity between the countries. Sergei Luzyanin, deputy director of the Institute for the Far East at the Russian Academy of Sciences, challenged the notion that China should expect to reap benefits from Russia's position, let alone Russia's involvement here.

    "The Senkaku problem shouldn't be linked to the results of World War II," he said. [2]

    In the end, the postponement due to bad weather of Medvedev's planned visit in late September to the Kunashiri and Etorofu Islands - known as part of the Northern Territories by the Japanese and as part of the Southern Kurils by the Russians - immediately following his visit to Beijing was welcome news in Tokyo. Russia seized the islands in the closing days of World War II. [3]

    Russia was still very displeased after several Japanese politicians tried to convince Medvedev to cancel his trip there altogether.

    "The Russian president independently selects routes of his domestic trips. Any recommendations from abroad are inappropriate and unacceptable," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko in Moscow. "We consider it necessary to recall that these islands are a territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with international legal reality that emerged following the Second World War and enshrined in the UN charter."

    Still, despite China's certainty about where things stand as far as Russia is concerned, Russia's eagerness to play in China's shadow, and to endorse China's foreign policy without reservation is not assured. After all, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov deserved credit for attempting, albeit in vain, to prod China and Japan into initiating direct talks while he was in Beijing. [4]

    Prior to Captain Zhan Qixiong's decision to ignore Japanese requests to stop and to instead bounce his fishing boat, the Minjinyu 5179, off a pair of Japanese maritime patrol vessels, China was outmaneuvering the US and Japan, and watching two old allies drift away from each other. One moment, no Japanese cabinet members or other senior members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan dared set foot in Yasukuni Shrine. And the next moment, no US aircraft carrier appeared in the Yellow Sea during routine joint exercises involving US and South Korean military forces. [5]

    All through the summer of 2010, China was given reason to celebrate a string of successes. Among other things, its campaign to present itself as a "peaceful rising power" was shifting into high gear. All of this was happening as China conducted a series of naval incursions in and around the first island chain, a geographic barrier which greatly inhibits China's offensive and defense operational flexibility.

    Then came the fishing boat seizure in September. Among other things, China may have sacrificed or at least diminished the fruits of its peaceful outreach of late in order to allow China to gauge domestic support for a much more assertive stance over the Diaoyu Islands. Certainly, from an image projection standpoint, this was a risky move by Beijing at a time when incidents at sea in both the East China Sea and the South China Sea have escalated.

    The arrest of Captain Zhan in early September by Japan should have been quickly assigned to the errant fishing boat file by China, and dealt with accordingly by the two countries in a relatively subdued fashion. Instead, China reacted as if Japan had suddenly sunk a Chinese submarine in international waters not far from Taiwan. [5]

    China's emotional reaction was probably intentional. By assigning great importance to this incident, China demonstrated that it is willing to take unexpectedly bold risks that it might not do under ordinary circumstances. Again, this was done primarily for domestic consumption.

    That Russia would allow itself to become a supporter of China - even establishing a new holiday in September directly tied to the end of World War II - at the expense of the Japanese no doubt surprised and delighted Beijing.

    China and the rest of Asia could see immediately that the Chinese public perceives the Japanese control of the Diaoyu Islands as an illegitimate claim - this is not news - and the fishing boat seizure was an unlawful extension of that claim. The dispatch of Chinese maritime patrol vessels that are edging closer and closer to these islands each day magnified the not so subtle collective nod of approval given by the Chinese people to their government.

    Given the leadership transition in Beijing already underway, and the desire of the Chinese military and hardliners in general to be more influential and certainly more assertive in dealing with China's neighbors, Russia's stamp of approval is indeed troubling. For China, this was a time to bask in the sunshine, especially as the political fallout bubbled up in Japan, entrapping Prime Minister Naoto Kan in the messy situation surrounding Zhan's release, and injecting plenty of turmoil into the ranks of the Democratic Party of Japan.

    In addition, Japan has been slow to release video of the incident to the public for reasons unknown.

    India, for one, has to be discomforted by Russia's closeness to China during this entire episode. However, for India, this is an opportunity at the same time to underscore its own fragile position with respect to its boundary disputes with China.

    India has wanted the world to pay far more attention to China's "string of pearls" port development strategy in the Indian Ocean region anyway, and in September, China provided India with a new and important way to buttress its defensive capabilities on a much vaster scale. This is not to say that a new regional defensive plan is in place, but rather that the conditions for such a plan have improved immensely as far as Japan and India are concerned.

    Consider the matter of the Japanese spy satellite that failed earlier this summer, for example. This was noteworthy only to a select audience in the space community, or so it seemed. Indeed, the Chinese must have taken a good deal of comfort in the rapid reduction in the size of Japan's fleet of surveillance satellites.

    Although US satellite surveillance of China is intense and growing, India can now use Japan's space surveillance gap to India's advantage. And why not garner support for the creation of a much more tightly coordinated and shared surveillance network aimed at China, if one does not already exist involving India and Japan?

    India's decision last month to relocate nuclear-armed Su-30MKI fighters to a base just a short hop from the Sino-Indian border demonstrates that India and Japan are both under increasing pressure as China's military buildup and movements along its borders increase in tempo and visibility. [6]

    In other words, from the northwestern frontier of India to the southeastern maritime boundary of Japan, China's behavior and posture is the same. When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Japan later this month - just prior to US President Barack Obama's trip to India - this will likely be a topic of discussion, but out of necessity, one that is addressed quietly.

    Has the agenda for these high-level talks in Tokyo been altered, and are what were little more than a previously scheduled round of talks now taking on added urgency and scope?

    India and Russia, which enjoy a cozy and long-standing military assistance relationship, must now revisit the relationship. This well-orchestrated meeting in Beijing will remind India that Russia has its own set of priorities, its own cultural imperatives and wants to keep all of its options open.

    The US does not emerge as a big winner here despite the shared opinions of many commentators to this effect. The US is not prepared to provide the essential glue for a consolidated military alliance between Japan and India. Any US attempts to rush this process will yield an incoherent US foreign policy in South Asia in particular which could trigger an embarrassing and enormous calamity.

    Besides driving Pakistan
    further into the arms of the Chinese - a process that is already vexing to US policymakers in general - it would jeopardize the entire US military campaign in Afghanistan. A looming backlash in Islamabad is what prevents the US from being too overt or too vocal in support of firmer military ties between Japan and India. Watch for this to become manifest when Obama performs a delicate balancing act as he sits down with Singh later this year.

    Although the US may be inching closer to its old partner Japan thanks to the fishing boat incident, the US base relocation in Okinawa is still unresolved and represents a political minefield for both countries.

    In addition, China is keen to foment resurgent Japanese nationalism that will hinder the US in its dealings with South Korea and Taiwan as well. Both have a stake in the outcome of the Senkakau Islands dispute, too. And it is not one which favors Japan - something the US must keep in mind.

    Given all these variables, the US must be selective in its maneuvers. These words written by Professor Zhao Hongwei at Hosei University in Japan recently on the editorial page of China's Global Times deserve attention.

    "China's temper has been frayed by the recent clash over fishing near the Diaoyu Islands. But the Japanese government and public still believe that Japan surrendered only due to a lack of national strength when facing the overbearing attitude of China. In the public's view, Japan only acted in accordance with the law, making it like a scholar overwhelmed by a soldier," said Zhao.

    He urged China to be "cautious of the possibility of winning the diplomatic war while losing the PR [public relations] battle". Zhao also pointed his finger at those he considered to be the real culprits in this instance.

    "Frankly speaking, this crisis was sensationalized by Japanese politicians for domestic politics ends. In order to get rid of the vicious circle of such Sino-Japanese relations, China must criticize such speculation as soon as possible in the future. If the politicians do not admit the fault, China should freeze diplomatic contacts with them, which would affect their official positions," said Zhao.

    His message to the Chinese people was abundantly clear.

    "We need to target Japanese politicians' hottest speculations and anti-Chinese claims focused on the Diaoyu Islands. Bilateral monitoring of the area is needed to block the possibility of future incidents that might be manipulated by politicians," said Zhao. "Only by taking the offensive can we see new prospects of the long-term normal development of Sino-Japanese relations." [7]

    The bottom line is that Tokyo cannot be trusted. This distrust helps China to sustain its campaign to frame the seizure of the Diaoyu Islands as a justifiable and legitimate undertaking. In turn, this builds popular support for a more effective strategy and more military might which will be applied quickly and effectively to the "first island chain" when and if the situation warrants such action.

    And Russia is apparently along for the ride.





    Asia Times Online :: China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong Kong News and Business.
     
  21. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Japan and China island row flares at Asean summit


    A diplomatic spat between China and Japan over a group of disputed islands has flared up again, hours after an apparently friendly bilateral meeting.

    Beijing accused Tokyo of distorting facts over September's collision between two Japanese patrol boats and a Chinese trawler in the East China Sea.

    Earlier on Friday, China and Japan's foreign ministers met on the sidelines of a regional summit in Vietnam.

    Talks at the Asean summit had focused on next month's elections in Burma.



    On Thursday, diplomats demanded that the country's military government release immediately the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 15 of the last 21 years imprisoned or under house arrest.

    But Burma reportedly would not say whether she would be freed when her detention expires on 13 November, six days after the polls.

    'Good atmosphere'
    September's incident in the East China Sea had chilled relations between China and Japan to their lowest point for years, analysts say.

    After their cordial meeting in Hanoi on Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said he and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, had agreed to make efforts to improve bilateral ties.

    Fuelling speculation over whether Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao would hold direct talks with Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, Mr Maehara said it was likely the two men would meet in Hanoi.

    But shortly afterwards, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said Japan was turning the contested islands into a "hot topic".

    "Their actions have damaged the atmosphere between the leaders of the two countries during the summit," he said.

    China also criticised remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - who is in Hanoi for talks with Asian leaders - that the islands fall within the scope of Japan's security alliance with the US.

    The islands - known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu - are controlled by Japan, but claimed by China. They are close to key shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits.

    China suspended talks about the joint development of a gas field in the East China Sea last month, but has denied also stopping the export to Japanese businesses of rare earths, which are used to produce electronic items such as mobile phones.

    Other territorial disputes involving China and its neighbours are expected to be discussed during the summit, which will broaden to include other leaders from Asia, the US and Russia.
     

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