The military forces of China reiterated the country’s previous warnings on Tuesday, stating that it “reserves the right” to take action on Japan should it continue to threaten the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands with its plans of “purchasing” the islands. The two China Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships that arrived in the disputed area’s waters yesterday still remain, where the Beijing government says they will continue their surveillance of the islets. Japan has given no intention of bowing out of their purchase of the Senkaku Islands, causing China to further their displays of aggression, and dashing the hopes of any peaceful resolution in the near future.
The central Japanese government formally announced their purchase on Tuesday of the uninhabited islands from the Kurihara family, the private Japanese owners, for 2.05 billion yen (approx. $26 million). Shinsuke Sugiyama, of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, then arrived in Beijing with the intentions of holding urgent talks in order to prevent any misunderstandings. Chinese media is reporting that this is all for show, and Tokyo has shown no sincerity in trying to find a resolution. Seeing as how China claims the Japanese purchase of the islands is “illegal” and refuses to accept the deeds of the private owners, it doesn’t seem like there can be much of a solution, on either side.
Yuhei Sato, the governor of Fukushima Prefecture, was set to have a meeting with China’s Civil Aviation Administration about resuming flights between Shanghai and Fukushima, but it was called off at the last minute. Now, four out of seven of China’s military regions, Nanjing, Jinan, Chengdu, and Guangzhou, are holding large-scale People’s Liberation Army (PLA) exercises that many observers believe are meant to be displays of power towards Japan. Beijing strategy expert Hu Siyuan says the naval, air, and land forces are all prepared to defend China’s Diaoyu Islands, and are not concerned about having a confrontation with Japan.
China’s government-run news agency, the Global Times, has been eager to promote the message that Japan needs to be taught a lesson (preferably by China, one can assume). A published editorial wrote that it’s time for China to end the illusion of friendly ties with Japan. Tokyo’s purchase agreement has brought an end to any diplomatic relations that were established in the 1970s. The Global Times continues that Chinese anger has now been awakened, and the only thing left to do is prepare for further deterioration of bilateral ties.
So this all begs the question, how can this realistically end peacefully, with both sides happy? It’s obvious China is just eager for any provocation to release its pent-up aggressions towards Japan. What is more frustrating is China’s repeated statements of “not accepting” Japan’s claims, or certain Japanese actions are “illegal,” and therefore warrant military aggression. It was the same thing with the Hong Kong activists that landed on the disputed islands a few weeks ago; China did not “recognize” Japan’s arrest for immigration violations, and as a result it was “illegal detainment.” Japan’s claims over the territory are just as strong as China’s, and this purchasing of them is just a way to strengthen their plans of nationalization. Japan is going to refuse accepting China’s claims just as China does, but they aren’t eager to start a military conflict.
If both sides are just going to “ignore” or “refuse to accept” what the other says, then there’s really nowhere to go. It’s completely pointless. I mentioned the same view-point when it came to the island dispute between Japan and South Korea, but it’s really just time to blow these rocks up and not let anyone have them.