The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Cover Stories Series 2013> Monitoring East China Sea Airspace> Archive
UPDATED: February 7, 2013 NO. 7 FEBRUARY 14, 2013
A Triple Threat
The United States should broaden its approach to the Diaoyu Islands dispute
By An Gang

Although there is a small chance for amelioration between China and Japan, the Chinese side is still doubtful of Japan's sincerity. China cares about whether Japan can face the historical roots of the upgraded tensions over the Diaoyu Islands and whether it admits the sovereignty of the islands is in dispute.

The overwhelming opinion of the Chinese press is that Japan is playing a double-faced tactic, with its "envoy diplomacy" to China only a show for U.S. and Japanese audiences. All facts prove that Abe has been sticking to such a roadmap since the beginning of this year. He welcomed U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell's Japanese visit for policy coordination, dispatched his foreign minister to Washington to get Clinton's favoritism and then conducted "envoy diplomacy" to China to finish the amelioration show with words instead of acts. In this way, Abe will be able to report to the U.S. side that he has fulfilled his duty and gain political capital from President Barack Obama.

China, for its part, responded to Japan's "envoy diplomacy" with decency. It reiterated that it will stand firmly on the stance of safeguarding territorial integrity, and adhere to the principle of solving territorial disputes through dialogue and consultation. It hopes the Japanese side will make practical moves and work with China to find ways to manage current tensions.

Memo for Obama

The Diaoyu Islands issue not only tests the China-Japan relationship, but also tests China-U.S. relations. The White House working team should make a memo for Obama on the Diaoyu Islands before Abe's arrival, in which several key points should be included:

The Chinese side's stance on the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, one of China's "core interests," is unchallengeable and unshakable.

The dispute over the Diaoyu Islands is rooted in history, and is one of the leftover problems of World War II. In accordance with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, the Diaoyu Islands, which are Taiwan's affiliated islands, should be returned to China together with Taiwan after World War II ended. In 1971, Japan and the United States signed an agreement on the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands, in which the United States handed over the administration of the Diaoyu Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, now Okinawa, to Japan. The Chinese condemned the agreement and challenged its legality.

Japan's unilateral change of the status quo directly led to the escalation of the situation. In September 2012, the Japanese Government "purchased" some of the Diaoyu Islands, conducted "nationalization" of the islands, and attempted to change so-called "administrative jurisdiction" into sovereignty.

If the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands deteriorated into a military conflict, it would not possibly be a low-intensity one that could be controlled in the region. It would certainly upset the agenda of the Asia-Pacific region and cause a disastrous effect that would be hard to clean up. Such a consequence would meet nobody's interests. The solution lies in pushing Japan to take practical actions to end the farce of "nationalizing" the Diaoyu Islands.

Japan's stance on the Diaoyu Islands reflects the country's obvious right-leaning tendency. Such a tendency has not only contributed to the escalation of the islands dispute, but also given rise to complicated strategic conflicts involving different countries in East Asia. As Japan, an ally of the United States, provokes regional clashes to satisfy domestic political needs, it damages U.S. interests.

The China-Japan relationship is so important that its development and stability are relevant to the future of the whole East Asia. If Japan cannot take history as a mirror, it will not have a bright future.

The Diaoyu Islands issue ultimately is a conflict between China and Japan. Turning the conflict into one that involves China and the United States doesn't meet the strategic interests of either side, and will badly hurt the long-term development of the

China-U.S. relationship. Therefore, the two sides must strengthen communication to avoid such a lose-lose consequence.

The author is an op-ed contributor to Beijing Review

Email us at: yanwei@bjreview.com

   Previous   1   2  

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Related Stories
-Diaoyu Islands Dispute
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved