China-Japan Confrontation Looms
September 14, 2012
Chinese ships breach Japan’s naval border
Four Chinese ships have entered Japanese waters near a group of disputed islets claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo, refusing to follow the Japanese coast guard’s orders to vacate its territorial waters.
Currently, four Chinese ships are stationed in the area, which Japan considers its territorial waters. Another four ships are stationed outside the disputed area.
So far, Japanese border patrol ships have not taken any active measures against the Chinese vessels.
Japan has created a crisis headquarters in response to the incident. The Chinese Ambassador to Japan has been urgently summoned to a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
This is the latest in a series of diplomatic rows between China and Japan centered on control of the Senkaku, or Diaoyu in Mandarin, islands.
The ships were dispatched “to assert the country’s sovereignty” to the tiny archipelago in the South China Sea, which on Tuesday Japan had purchased from a private owner, ignoring Chinese territorial claims.
Xinhua News Agency
September 14, 2012
Chinese surveillance ships start patrol around Diaoyu Islands
BEIJING: Two Chinese surveillance ship fleets have arrived at waters around Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets Friday morning and started patrol and law enforcement there.
It is the first time for Chinese surveillance ships to patrol there after the Chinese government announced on Monday the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets, as well as the names and coordinates of 17 base points.
These law enforcement and patrol activities are aimed to demonstrate China’s jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets and ensure the country’s maritime interests, according to a government statement.
Channel News Asia
September 13, 2012
Now Taiwanese ships are headed for Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands too
By Adam Westlake
On Thursday, two ships from the Taiwanese coast guard departed for the surrounding waters of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. As the rapidly escalating standoff between Japan and China continues, the Taiwanese coast guard has said it is sending the ships to the islands, called Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, in order to offer protection for the nation’s fishermen. It’s not really clear what would possess fishermen of any country to want to go near the diplomatic mess of a territory, but Taiwan’s ships will surely be encountering the two Chinese patrol ships that arrived earlier this week.
Japan, China, and Taiwan all lay claim to the uninhabited islands, however Taiwan has been the least vocal in the dispute over the last few months. While China continues to warn of their taking action against Japan’s purchase of the disputed territory for 2.05 billion yen (approx. $26 million), Taiwan recalled its ambassador to Japan this week as well. The Japan-China tensions are peaking at this point, stirred up by a visit from 14 Hong Kong activists to one of the islands last month. The group was quickly arrested by Japanese authorities due to immigration violations, but they were then deported amid protests from both China and Taiwan.
The group of five islands are located roughly 160 kilometers (99 miles) from Okinawa, Japan’s southern island, and 200 kilometers (124) from Taiwan. While nationalism is seen as the largest driving factor behind the disputing nations, the territory is also located in important shipping lanes. In recent years it has also been believed that there are valuable resources nearby, such as natural gas and rare minerals, in addition to the important fishing waters in the region.