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.
    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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora