Saturday, September 15, 2012

• China Accuses Japan of Stealing After Purchase of Disputed Islands

China Accuses Japan of Stealing After Purchase of Disputed Islands
by By JANE PERLEZ - Published: September 11, 2012

TIANJIN, China — The Chinese government accused Japan on Tuesday of stealing a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, hours after the Japanese government announced that it had bought them from their private Japanese owners for nearly $30 million.

In a show of strength, China sent two maritime law enforcement ships to the islands, which are known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan.

The ships, belonging to the China Marine Surveillance, are commonly deployed in the South China Sea, where China and its neighbors have other territorial disputes over islands.

Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, said Tuesday that the marine agency had drafted an “action plan” for asserting China’s claim to the disputed islands.

The Japanese government’s purchase of the islands from a Japanese family was intended to prevent the conservative governor of Tokyo from buying them, a step that would have heightened the clash with China, Japanese officials said. The Tokyo governor, Shintaro Ishihara, had said he would develop the islands, something the national government does not plan to do.

But in an unusual array of strong statements by top leaders in recent days, China has asserted that the islands have belonged to China since ancient times.

Over the weekend, the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, warned the Japanese prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Russia that nationalizing the islands would be illegal, Xinhua reported.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the purchase of the islands by the Japanese government “cannot alter the fact the Japanese side stole the islands from China.”

The clash between China and Japan comes as the Chinese government nears the start of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition at a Communist Party Congress expected to be held within weeks.

Some Western analysts say they believe the strong public defense of China’s territorial claims may be a means of deflecting attention from an unusually rocky succession process by shaking up the strong Chinese nationalist feelings against Japan.

The Chinese state news media have not reported that the country’s presumptive new leader, Vice President Xi Jinping, has canceled meetings with foreign leaders since last Wednesday. His absence has provoked widespread speculation about his condition on the Internet. In contrast, the state media have been full of stories in the last several weeks about the disputed islands and what are presented as the transgressions of the Japanese.

China and Japan have a long history of conflict, and the brutal Japanese occupation of China during World War II left bitter memories among many Chinese. Japanese nationalists, for their part, view China with suspicion.

Nationalist sentiment against Japan has surged in China in recent weeks over the disputed islands even as both countries observed the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations this month.

Two weeks ago, several Chinese protesters ripped the Japanese flag off the car of the Japanese ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa, as he traveled through Beijing.

On Tuesday, Japan announced that it was sending a new envoy, Shinichi Nishimiya, to replace Mr. Niwa, who was considered too sympathetic to China by some Japanese members of Parliament.

The intensity of the feelings in China against the Japanese purchase of the islands was expressed in academic circles.

Hu Lingyuan, deputy director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the Japanese notion of reducing tensions by buying the islands before the Tokyo government could do so would not mollify Beijing.

“Justifying the so-called nationalization as a means to keep the Diaoyu Islands situation stable is self-deception,” he said of the purchase. “The Chinese people won’t fall for the Noda government’s lie.”

In contrast, a prominent Chinese journalist, Wang Shuo, the managing editor of Caixin Media, said Tuesday on his microblog, “China is protesting because it cannot accept any transfer of property rights that is not under Chinese sovereignty and actual rule.” He added: “The Japanese government bought the island to prevent its being bought by a right-wing Japanese politician. It could help contain the situation.”

The situation would be worse if the Tokyo governor had bought the islands. By intervening with its own purchase, the Japanese government can block efforts by Japanese nationalists, who have sailed to the islands in the past few weeks to try to occupy them, to land there.

A storekeeper in Beijing who gave only his surname, Li, said: “When other countries insult the United States, America strikes back with force, defending its honor. But when China is actually attacked, when its people are dying, all we do is insult the attacker. I’m ashamed to be Chinese.”

:mrgreen: Tony s. kentucky FLAG
To Cb Wang. The shame doesn't lie in the USA but to the People's Republic of China. One of the most totalitarian and freedom of speech suppressor countries on the planet. Opening up your economy doesn't mean that it is democracy, the government controls everything. If you knew your history then you would know that it was because of the USA that China exists as a country to begin with. During the early 1900s, Russia, England, France and Japan had plans to divide China into their own spheres of influence but it was because of the US government that these plans never panned out. Do you even know what the Tienanmen Square protests were and how many people were murdered by your government? How bout the South China Sea dispute, where the Chinese government claims to own "all of it" even though under international law every country in that region owns their fair share. Do you wanna talk about fairness? First look at your own government and what it does to its own people. How many Chinese farmers have their property taken from the government every day? Do you even know how wealthy and corrupt the People's Party has become? Of course you don't know all this stuff because fair press is censored in China, just like North Korea and Cuba. Get educated first my friend and then we'll have an informed discussion
Sept. 11, 2012 at 9:18 p.m.

:mrgreen: Shaun Narine Fredericton, Canada
Just a few comments: first, China is much better at obeying international law than the US. See the book by Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter that evaluates each of these countries' approaches to international law. 

Second, China has done enormous damage to itself over the past two years. Its willingness to be so belligerent towards its neighbours has undermined if not outright reversed all of the diplomatic and political gains that it made in the previous 13 years. Whether this belligerence is attributable to virulent nationalism or more complex forces, it has proven to be a bad idea and it has weakened China's standing in the region. It has also provided the US with a golden opportunity to reassert its own presence. 

China has to stop relying on questionable "ancient claims" to practically everything that it sees. if you go back far enough, China probably has a claim of some kind on most of East Asia. Those kinds of claims have little to no validity. China needs to learn to back down and start sharing. Otherwise, it will never be a regional leader, only a regional bully.
Sept. 11, 2012 at 9:18 p.m.

:mrgreen: brendancaron vancouver, B.C.
The Chinese, feeling their oats, think that they can bully anyone they want with impunity. They are a war-mongering nation now that they have the capacity to steal whatever it is that they need to further their aggressive ambitions. Their duplicity knows no bounds. Defeating people that can't stand up to their juggernaut is their ace in the hole. Bullying the neighbours one by one is their clarion call to peace in the region. They are no better than the Nazi mentality that they seem to have acquired recently. More and more they think that they can shove freedom loving people aside in their haste to be a dominant world force. In the end they will lose because they do npot have right on their side. Greed is not right.
Sept. 11, 2012 at 9:18 p.m.

:mrgreen: Michael Scott Bergen, NJ
China has stole land from Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, ,Uigur and India. It's currently trying to steal more from Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei. If we are not going to stop this greedy tyrant, they will be knocking at our doors soon claiming what is rightfully ours.
Sept. 11, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.

:mrgreen: Malaking Buwaya Putnam County, NY
It's kind of interesting to see which countries China is picking quarrels with at this time, first the Philippines and now Japan about little islands. 

Anything in the China Sea (south or east) is fair game it seems. 

What don't they bully the Russians instead? After all in 1858 and 1860 the Chinese had to sign under extreme duress the treaty of Aigun and the Convention of Peking respectively whereby China ceded to the Tsar what is now the Maritime Province of Russia (Vladivostok). Lookup Wikipedia as usual for all the details and ramifications.

But of course any serious confrontation with the Russians could easily turn quite nasty. No such problems are likely with a now chastened Japan and even more so with the poor and harmless Philippines.
Sept. 11, 2012 at 6:10 p.m