Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chinese state newspaper: Japan has been wolfishly pushing its luck on the islands

China Daily, the Hong Kong based English language newspaper owned by the Chinese state,  and regarded as the window into China, has a few choice words to describe the conflict between China and Japan over the two disputed islands in an article headed Time for Tough Measures:

China should forget about forging Sino-Japanese economic integration and fight against Japan's resurging militarism.

The Japanese government claims to have "purchased" China's Diaoyu Island and Nanxiao and Beixiao islands for 2.05 billion yen ($26.15 million) from the Kurihara family, the so-called private owner of the Diaoyu Islands, and "nationalized" them…

It is clear that Japan is using both hard and soft tactics to further consolidate its illegal occupation of the Diaoyu Islands.

Behind the farce of "buying" the Diaoyu Islands, Japan has a much bigger plan. Since the United States announced its strategy of returning to Asia, Japan has been acting as "a pawn of the US" to encircle China.

By getting involved in the South China Sea dispute, playing up the "China maritime threat" and frequently holding large-scale joint military exercises with US forces, Japan, together with other US allies, is trying to contain China's rise…

The stealing of the Diaoyu Islands by Japan is a provocation for China and a blatant denial of the values and lessons of the anti-fascist war. So China needs to take a clear-cut stand on protecting these achievements, and use historical facts to expose Japan to the rest of the world…

Second, the Diaoyu Islands dispute is intricately related to the status of the Liu Chiu or Ryukyu Islands. In 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco, which China says is illegal, was signed between Japan, the US and other countries, placing the Liu Chiu Islands (known as Okinawa today) under the trusteeship of the US. In 1971, Japan and the US signed the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, which arbitrarily included the Diaoyu Islands in the territories and territorial waters to be "handed back" to Japan. The Chinese government has condemned such backroom deals between Japan and the US.

China's goal should at least be to gain actual control of the Diaoyu Islands.

If this article by a journalist really is a window into China, we should watch developments in this area very carefully.

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