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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 11:10am

Diaoyu Islands

The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands. 


Stating historical facts a better strategy than scrambling fighter jets

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 January, 2013, 2:06am

I refer to the report ("China urges Japan to mend diplomatic ties", January 25).

You said that senior Chinese officials urged Tokyo "to take 'positive steps' to mend ties" during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special envoy Natsuo Yamaguchi.

Perhaps the first "positive step" should be taken by China by stopping "patrolling" of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands by its jets and patrol boats as if they are already Chinese territory.

This kind of behaviour by Beijing can easily start a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese jet fighters.

It only needs a trigger-happy jet pilot on either side to start a war between the two countries, with the US being dragged into it by the US-Japan Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement.

Even those countries that sympathise with China's claim over the islands would not condone this kind of self-righteous behaviour.

It would be far better for Beijing to tell the Japanese public about the article, "The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands", by Taiwanese scholar Han-yi Shaw, which was reprinted in The New York Times.

In his article, Shaw said that Japan's claim on the islands is based on the Japanese government having done repeated surveys from 1885 and, finding the islands uninhabited, annexing them in 1895.

However, as Shaw points out, there is evidence from his research, including the Japanese National Archives, that "clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership back in 1885".

That year, the Japanese foreign minister wrote: "At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China's suspicion."

Japan claims that taking over the islands was not related to the first Sino-Japanese war, because if that had been the case, it would have had to return the islands to China under the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed between Japan and the Allied powers in 1951.

It is up to the world to judge whether Japan's claim is the truth.

How was it that it did nothing about the islands for 10 years, and then, in 1895, just happened to take them over when it saw it was going to win the first Sino-Japanese war?

Alex Woo, Tsim Sha Tsui


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This article is now closed to comments

Absurdity finally filtered thru while I was having soup
I explained what sparked and it caused an uproar
After decades of de facto control, the nips want more
and have "nationalised" the islands
Alas woe who thinks they belong to China
proposes that we should try to get them back
by asking the Japanese to read
his selection of newspaper articles.
Alex, probably u should pull ur head off ur ****.. since when talking would do any good when dealing with gangsters like the JPs and Yanks? im talking historically.. they will only see what benefit them never right or wrong.. no body clamors for war here but preparing for one would do wonders!!!
Alex Woe,
Han-yi Shaw is but one of many sources of convincing arguments
If arguments mattered in realpolitik, the world would not be the same
You’re silent that Nips have scrambled fighters 160 times
but upset by China's few appropriately responding patrols.
Ignorance won’t stop you from your prejudgment
that however war breaks out,
even countries sympathetic to China
“won’t condone China’s self-righteous behavior”.
You are an ignorant and simple-minded defeatist, overwhelmed by inferior complex
You don’t have to balk at advocating that
as “the first positive step China should stop patrolling Diaoyu”
Go ahead and advocate the replacement of PLA by an Arguments Department
You’re probably a follower of some self-flagella-tion creed,
turning your face to offer the other side to be hit
I tell you now that you’re s-tupid
Now, repeat what I said and call yourself s-tupid.
Your only use is to showcase that China isn't deficient of idealistc pacificists.


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