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.
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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid