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Special> Diaoyu Islands Dispute> Opinion
UPDATED: February 19, 2013
Japan's UNESCO Bid a New Provocation

The plan of including China's Diaoyu Islands into Japan's application to the UNESCO's list of World Natural Heritage sites is a clear provocation.

The plan, once carried out, will certainly escalate the tension between China and Japan over territorial disputes.

The Japanese government was preparing to put Amami and Ryukyu Islands on the list, while the city of Ishigaki came up with the idea of including the Diaoyu Islands as part of that application earlier this month, according to Japanese media reports.

The underlying purpose of the move is to get disguised recognition from an international organization on Japan's sovereignty over China's Diaoyu Islands.

According to the UNESCO procedure, a country has to first make an inventory of its important natural heritage sites located within its boundaries to begin the nomination, which means that sovereignty over the sites is the prerequisite for such an application.

The Ishigaki government had already come up with a draft plan and proposed to send investigation teams to land on the Diaoyu Islands to fetch sufficient material and data to convince the Japanese authorities and the UNESCO.

Whatever the results of the application, the proposed landing on China's islands itself is a clear provocative "political move" against Chinese sovereignty.

Japan is the initiator of the island crisis emerging last year, whose new attempt on the inclusion of the Diaoyu Islands into a UNESCO application may well be a replica of the "nationalization" plot in trying to take the Diaoyu Islands away from China.

Last year, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japanese central government orchestrated the "purchasing" of the Diaoyu Islands, which caused fierce disputes between the two nations and brought bilateral ties to a new low since the two countries normalized their diplomatic relations four decades ago.

Japan's provocation this time will certainly incur China's firm opposition and strong countermeasures.

China has always advocated a solution of the island crisis through dialogue and negotiations. However, China's bottom line will remain unchanged and it will never waver in its determination to safeguard sovereignty.

Undoubtedly, the development of situation depends on the attitude and action of Japan, who started and escalated the island dispute and crisis.

Japan's next move will demonstrate to the world whether or not it respects the post-war international order and cherishes the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2013)

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