News / Asia

China Sends Ships to Stake Claim to Disputed Islands

A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide
BEIJING — Tensions between China and Japan continued to rise Tuesday as Tokyo sealed a deal to purchase islands that Chinese authorities say belong to them.

China responded by sending two patrol ships to the hotly contested waters.  According state-run Xinhua news agency, the two marine surveillance ships were deployed to assert what it called the country’s undisputed sovereignty in the area.

The islets, known in China as Diaoyu and in Japan as Senkaku, lie near strategic shipping and fishing grounds, as well as potential oil and gas reserves.

A commentary Tuesday in the official media outlet of China’s military, the PLA Daily, warned Japan that it was playing with fire. The commentary stressed that while the Chinese public yearned for peace, peace had to be built on mutual respect and not threaten China’s territorial integrity.
 
By moving its ships close to the disputed islands, China was trying to gain more leverage, said security analyst James Nolt, dean of the New York Institute of Technology’s Nanjing campus.
 
“I think they may be pushing towards some kind of settlement, and in order to get a settlement they want to be posturing in ways that might help them get a settlement that is more favorable to them,” Nolt said.
 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called Japan’s actions “completely illegal and invalid” and demanded that the country reverse its actions and return to the negotiating table.
 
China will take the necessary measures to maintain its territorial sovereignty, Hong Lei warned, but stopped short of saying what those measures might be.
 
In 2010, China temporarily halted shipments of rare earth elements to Japan during another standoff in the East China Sea. The minerals are crucial for manufacturing high tech products.
 
Wang Fan, a professor of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, said China will not hesitate to take economic actions to make its point.
 
While economic measures may hurt the Chinese economy as well, Wang said territorial issues are one of China’s core interests -- an area that Beijing will not compromise. If Japan continues on a confrontational path, military measures could not be ruled out, added Wang. 

However, James Nolt said the possibility of actual armed conflict is out of the question for both countries, no matter how harsh their rhetoric might become.

“Japan is technologically superior and Japan's submarine force in particular is technologically very advanced," Nolt said. "Japan's air force is also technologically more advanced than China's. China tends to have numerical superiority, but because of the relatively limited range of most of China's aircraft, in an open sea conflict the numerical superiority of China would not come to bear very easily, so it is more likely that the advantages of both sides would cancel each other out.”

A military conflict in which no party involved has the upper hand would be devastating for both economies, Nolt added.
 
“Throughout East Asia economic health is so important that all parties have to be careful not to upset the prosperous relations that have made Asia the most fast growing region of the world. Any kind of armed military action could easily have a very, very negative impact on investment on consumer confidence on trade, on insurance rates," he said.

Demonstrators protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Sept. 11, 2012.Demonstrators protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Sept. 11, 2012.
x
Demonstrators protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Sept. 11, 2012.
Demonstrators protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Sept. 11, 2012.
​As diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute continue, it was clear that angst over Japan’s decision was growing in China.
About a dozen protesters rallied outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing Tuesday, chanting “Japan, get out of China.”
 
China’s Xinhua news agency reported protests in several other cities on Tuesday, including a protest march of about 200 people in China’s northeastern province of Shandong.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Neil from: CN
September 11, 2012 9:44 PM
I wish our government to really do something down to earth, rather than waiting the insidious counter part at the talking table. This terretory issue has touched our bottom line, and shall see fierce response. Folk in China now are yelling and parading for an effective measure to sovle this issue.


by: yu han
September 11, 2012 8:14 PM
Diaoyu island belongs to China since she exist.


by: Anonymous
September 11, 2012 7:19 PM
HI Who has written this news- having no geographical concept- Shandong is not NE China- it lies the Eastern China- how could people believe you if you make such an apparent mistake.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid