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  • » 09/13/2012, 00.00

    CHINA - JAPAN

    PLA puts on a show of force over the Diaoyu/Senkaku



    The PLA's daily publishes a long article on its all-weather military drills in the Nanjing Military Command, which is in charge of the area where the disputed islands are located. Japan's new ambassador to China collapses and his hospitalised before taking up his post.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - After the Japanese government bought the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island, China warned it was "ready" to do everything to protect its territorial integrity. Although the archipelago has been disputed for years, the situation has become serious in the past few months.

    In a front-page report, the PLA Daily said the army's navy, air force and strategic missile corps had staged joint military drills in the Yellow Sea and in the Gobi Desert early this month, detailing a string of all-weather, live-fire exercises by the Nanjing Military Command.

    One of the key missions of the command is to defend the East China Sea, where the disputed islands are located.

    The drills are a warning to Japan. If Tokyo "attempts to deploy its maritime self-defence force to deal with our patrol ships, we are ready to defend our national interests when any conflicts happen," said Xu Guangyu, a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association in Beijing.

    The value of the islands is unclear. Some believe they are strategic because they are at the crossroad of important maritime routes. Others say they have rich fishing grounds and vast gas reserves.

    In 2008, as a gesture of détente, Japan and China signed an agreement to jointly develop the islands' resources, but nothing came of it.

    For Japan, the islands are part of Okinawa Prefecture. A few days ago, it decided to buy them from their private owners. Beijing reacted harshly as Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said that China would not give up an inch of its territory.

    Diplomatic channels now seem closed after all attempts at détente proved futile.

    Even fate appears to be conspiring. The new Japanese ambassador to China, Shinichi Nishimiya, was hospitalised in Tokyo on Thursday, a day before his deployment. Foul play was not suspected.

     

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    See also

    01/10/2010 CHINA – JAPAN
    Tokyo concerned about China’s escalating military and maritime activity
    Japanese Prime Minister Kan says Sino-Japanese relations are vital, but he wants more transparency in China’s maritime and military activities. Three Japanese nationals detained in relation to the Senkaku Islands controversy are released. Sino-American talks resume in October.

    11/09/2012 CHINA - JAPAN
    Beijing sends patrol ships to Diaoyu/Senkaku
    As Tokyo announces the purchase of the islands from an Okinawa family, China reacts by sending warship into the waters of the disputed archipelago. For Chinese PM Wen Jiabao, the islands are "an inherent part of China's territory" and vowed his country would "never ever yield an inch" on its sovereignty.

    03/01/2012 CHINA – JAPAN
    Two Japanese politicians land on Senkaku (Diaoyu), Beijing protests
    The small uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan. They are thought to have major oil and gas reserves. Japan normally keeps people away to avoid diplomatic incidents.

    10/10/2012 CHINA - JAPAN - IMF
    Islands not only reason for China IMF snub
    The governor of China's central bank, who was set to deliver the closing lecture at Tokyo IMF meeting, cancelled speech and attendance. Using the diplomatic row over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, Beijing is showing its irritation over the fact that it is not included in a basket of currencies used in world economic transactions.

    05/07/2011 CHINA – JAPAN
    Japan proposes joint development of Diaoyu Islands to China
    For years, the two nations have squared off over the small group of islands in the East China Sea. Now Tokyo proposes their joint development, but Beijing wants total control over the area.



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