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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid