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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid