News / Asia

Chinese Man Crashes Hot-Air Balloon Near Disputed Islands

A hot-air balloon drifting on the ocean is seen in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Jan. 2, 2014.
A hot-air balloon drifting on the ocean is seen in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Jan. 2, 2014.
VOA News
The Japanese Coast Guard has rescued a Chinese man who crashed while trying to land a hot-air balloon on islands at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan.

The Coast Guard said Thursday it found Xu Shuaijun about 20 kilometers south of the East China Sea islands. It said he was unhurt and was transferred to a Chinese patrol ship.

The 35-year-old departed China's Fujian province on Wednesday, but officials say he sent a rescue request just hours later, apparently after running into turbulence.

China's Foreign Ministry later confirmed the incident, but a spokesman, Qin Gang, stressed that the man was only a "balloon enthusiast" and not affiliated with the government.

Matthew Linley, a political science professor at Temple University in Japan, says since the early 1990s, various nationalists have attempted to reach the islands to make a political statement.

"No one in a balloon that I'm aware of, but a number of Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong nationalists have tried to land on the Senkaku islands. But none of them are government-sanctioned. They tend to be private individuals that want to basically try to assert their countries' national pride by landing on these islands," he said.

The uninhabited islands, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, have plagued China-Japan relations for decades, but the dispute has grown considerably worse in recent years.

In November, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over the area, requiring all foreign aircraft to identify themselves and submit to Chinese demands.

Japan, as well as the United States and South Korea, have rejected the zone, flying military aircraft there in defiance of the Chinese requests. They view the zone as the latest attempt by China to change the status quo in the region.

China says its move was defensive in nature, saying tensions surrounding the islands have only risen because Japan recently purchased some of the islands from their Japanese landowners.

China-Japan ties were further strained by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip last month to a Tokyo war shrine that honors Japan's war dead, including some war criminals.

Some Asian countries that were victims of Japan's imperial aggression view official Japanese visits to the shrine as insensitive and an indication Tokyo has not properly dealt with its past.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
January 07, 2014 9:58 AM
I'm not sure what Jon Huang means by his comment other than maybe that Chinese should crash more balloons in the E. China Sea. But Mr. Huang is well-known on these comment boards as a die-hard China chauvinist and is likely a member of the 50 Cent Gang paid to post pro-CCP comments on public forums.

by: Sun from: Taipei
January 02, 2014 10:35 PM
Really appreciate Japanese Coast Guard. Japanese people rescue even an invader like this cragy guy. It really is admirable.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
January 02, 2014 2:40 PM
Go China go!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More