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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid