• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 4:46pm

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. 


Beijing angered by Obama's stance on disputed Diaoyu Islands

President says US opposes any attempts to undermine Tokyo's control of disputed islands

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 9:36am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 2:04pm

US President Barack Obama has angered Beijing by saying the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, which are claimed by China and Japan, would be covered by the US-Japan security treaty. He is the first US president to spell this out.

He gave the assurance as he began a four-nation Asia tour in Tokyo yesterday.

Watch: Imperial pomp starts Obama's Japan visit

China was quick to hit back. "The so-called security alliance between the US and Japan is a bilateral arrangement made during the cold war period, and it should not be used to damage China's sovereignty and legitimate interest," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "We resolutely oppose applying the Diaoyu Islands to the Japan-US security treaty."

We resolutely oppose applying the Diaoyu Islands to the Japan-US security treaty

China and Japan are engaged in a bitter territorial dispute over the Diaoyus, known as Senkakus in Japan. The risks of an unintended conflict were highlighted in January when Tokyo alleged that a Chinese frigate locked its radar on a Japanese destroyer in the East China Sea. In December, the US military cruiser Cowpens had to take evasive action in the South China Sea to avoid hitting a warship supporting China's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning.

Adding fuel to those fears, both PLA Navy commander Admiral Wu Shengli and Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force chief of staff Katsutoshi Kawano, attending a defence forum in Qingdao this week, said an accidental conflict between the two militaries could not be ruled out, according to Phoenix TV reports.

In written remarks published by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbum, Obama said the US alliance with Japan was "stronger than ever".

"The policy of the United States is clear - the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Co-operation and Security," Obama said. "And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan's administration of these islands."

Article 5 of the treaty, which was signed in 1960, stipulates US defence obligations to Japan, stating that each party recognises that an armed attack against either party in the territories under the administration of Japan would be dangerous to its own peace and safety.

Obama said he had told President Xi Jinping that the territorial disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, and also commended Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to strengthen Japan's defence forces.

"We believe that it's in the interest of both our countries for Japanese Self Defence Forces to do more within the framework of our alliances," he said.

In a sign of the balancing act that the US faces in Asia, Obama said the US and China can work together on issues of mutual interest.

Obama's tour, which will also take him to South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia, came as Asian nations fear that US commitment to the region will be lessened, particularly as Obama cancelled his tour last year because of financial problem at home.

In signs that China was keeping a close watch on the tour, Xi had a phone conversation with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, saying bilateral ties enjoyed a "sound momentum", state-run Xinhua reported.

Xi also told Park that China was committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Shi Yinhong , a US affairs expert at Renmin University, said Obama made the unprecedented assurance because Washington needed Tokyo's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a US-dominated trade pact.

Obama to set aside decades of uneasy ties with Malaysia visit

Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president in nearly 50 years to visit Malaysia, where he will seek to put decades of uneasy bilateral relations behind him as both nations cast wary eyes on a rising China.

Mindful of America's image problem in the Islamic world, Obama is expected to tout the US friendship with the thriving moderate Muslim nation.

Malaysia is also an important partner in the US "rebalance" of its strategic attention to Asia, where concern is rising over China's territorial assertiveness.

Obama will "highlight the growing strategic and economic relationship" with Malaysia and its "credentials as a moderate, Muslim-majority state and emerging democracy", said Joshua Kurlantzick, a fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, meanwhile, will seek to capitalise on Obama's expected praise to counter flagging voter support and global criticism over the handling of the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Obama was five years old the last time a serving US leader visited Malaysia. Lyndon Johnson went in 1966 to rally support for the US war in Vietnam.

Tension followed during the 1981-2003 tenure of authoritarian leader Mahathir Mohamad, a harsh critic of US policies.

But ties - especially trade - remained solid, and the more Western-oriented Najib has sought even closer relations.

US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes this week expressed hope that the visit would "elevate US-Malaysian relations to a new stage".

Obama postponed a visit last year to deal with the US government shutdown.

Underlining the need for a reintroduction after nearly a half-century, Malaysia is the only stop on Obama's Asian swing to include a "town-hall meeting". He also visits close allies Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

China will loom large. It is Malaysia's top trade partner and Najib has played down their rival maritime claims. But Malaysian anxieties have grown, particularly after China held naval exercises in disputed waters last year, and the US and Malaysia have moved recently to improve defence ties.

Chinese criticism over MH370 has also left a bitter aftertaste.

"[Najib's government] obviously hopes that Obama's star effect can rub off on its flagging popularity," said Dr Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

"And Malaysia can continue to counterbalance China with the US in its foreign policy - siding with China economically but with the US on security."

Differences remain, though.

The economic component of Obama's "rebalance" rests largely on his vision of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a region-wide trade liberalisation pact bedevilled by rocky negotiations with partners. Malaysia has resisted free-market reforms that clash with its controversial policies reserving economic advantages for majority ethnic Malays.

Obama may also face pressure to address uncomfortable human rights, democracy and religion issues in Malaysia.


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This article is now closed to comments

A Kuro
With respect to Japan, the US is like a criminal godfather that gets lots of criminal and monetary favours and protection money from a criminal Japan which is in possession of stolen property including the Diaoyu Islands as well as the 100 Billion USD in 1945 dollars equivalent to 10 trillion USD today that Japan looted from Asia. Obviously this protection also allow Japan to be belligerent, obnoxious and downright disgusting behaving like spoilt children constantly praying to war criminals and devils at the Yasukuni War Shrine notwithstanding the fact that Japan did a Pearl Harbour in 1941 (similar to 911 today) and slaughtered a lot of US POWs. The US have sunk too low in protecting a lawless Japan.
Formerly ******
It's very simple. Right now, no country in Asia, including N. Korea, trusts China or is confident that China doesn't seek hegemony over all of Asia. The Asian countries clearly are deciding that the US, even when aligned with Japan, is far more benevolent than is or ever will be China. Hence, they prefer and will support US power in Asia. They know that only this will guarantee peace and freedom. Well, freedom in a non-Western sense.
它是非常簡單。現在,沒有一個國家在亞洲,包括 N.韓國相信中國或相信中國不會在所有的亞洲尋求霸權。亞洲國家顯然正在決定美國,與日本,對齊時,即使遠更仁慈比是也不會有中國。因此,他們更喜歡,將支援美國力量在亞洲。他們知道只有這將保證和平和自由。好,在非西方意義上的自由。
Formerly ******
justice first:
Yes, the US should've stayed out of Korea so that today, over 60 million people would be enslaved, instead of 23 million. The Vietnamese communists murdered over 1.2 million people, with about 700 thousand of them murdered prior to the US involvement in Vietnam, which involvement came at the invitation of the government of the Republic of Vietnam, because the people of the Republic of Vietnam didn't want to be subjected to a round of murder by communists. After the fall of the Republic of Vietnam, murder and re-education camps were the order of the day.
Ask the Shiites their opinion of the US operations in Iraq. Afghanistan (you really need to make use of a dictionary) was invaded, because it harbored someone responsible for the murder of over 3,000 Americans.
Don't be naive, there always has been and there always will be variations of gunboat diplomacy. China itself is engaged in this type of diplomacy by occupying the Spratly Islands.
But, please, stop your foolishness. Why is every Asian country welcoming the US to aid them in their territorial disputes with China? Perhaps, they know something unknown by you.
司法第一:是的美國應呆在韓國不這樣,今天,超過 6000 萬人將做奴隸,而不是 2300 萬。在越南共產黨殺害超過 120 萬人,他們以前在越南的哪些參與來了在越南共和國政府的邀請,因為越南共和國人不想受到中共的一輪的謀殺美國參與謀殺了約 70 萬。以後越南共和國的秋天,謀殺和再教育營是天的訂單。什葉派教徒問問他們對在伊拉克的美國行動的看法。阿富汗 (你真的需要讓使用字典的) 被入侵,因為它懷有人負責超過 3000 名美國人被謀殺。不是天真,總是有和永遠都會有一艘炮艇外交的變化。中國本身被從事這種類型的外交由佔領南沙群島。但是,請停止你的愚蠢。為什麼每個亞洲國家歡迎美國援助他們在其領土爭端與中國?或許,他們知道你所未知的東西。
Formerly ******
And you are responding to whom? And, what in the heck is a "sense of history?" Is English your native tongue? Is faux intellectualism your specialty? And, please, the Guy Fawkes mask is so silly. Have you considered entering adulthood?
Formerly ******
Ms. Jenniepc:
The atrocities of the Japanese in WWII pale in comparison to the atrocities committed against one another by the Nationalists and the communists during China's long civil war running from 1930's to 1949. They were far more brutal to each other and killed and murdered far more of each other than did the Japanese.
Also, why do you rail against Japan's atrocities, but not Mao's murder of tens of millions of Chinese? Is it less offensive for Chinese to kill or murder other Chinese?
Jenniepc 女士:在蒼白的暴行反對另一個民族主義者和共產主義者在中國的長期內戰運行從 20 世紀 30 年代至 1949 年期間第二次世界大戰中日本人的暴行。他們被彼此更加殘酷和殺和殺害遠遠超過了彼此做了日本人。此外,你為什麼做反對日本的暴行,但不是毛澤東的謀殺的數以千萬計的中國鐵路?它小於攻勢為中國殺害或謀殺其他中文嗎?
I am a Taiwanese and again, Diaoyu Islands had never been a part of Japan before Japan occupied Taiwan 1895 and even Japan's textbooks, indicated the Diaoyu Islands were a part of China before 1895. The occupation of Taiwan was end of World War II when Japan surrendered. Then the United States administered as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 until 1972, when the islands reverted to Japanese control, again, the island was never a part of Japan before 1895, under the Okinawa Reversion Treaty between the United States and Japan despite Taiwan and China contested.
Pt. 4/4
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 04/23/14 美國
SCMP makes big mistake by posting racial slurs directed at President Obama.
The Western media would immediately delete any reference to President Xi as a "fxxx chi*k president!!!"
China does not need to be branded a "racist" country in its struggle with the US.
The US and Japan have a defence pact. A very long-standing and very comprehensive one.

I am sure you agree that it is any country's sovereign right to sign a pact (defence or other) with another country, or don't you?

As the leader of one of the countries that signed the US-Japanese defence pact, it is entirely reasonable for President Obama to comment on what it entails. That is certainly not meddling in other countries' affairs at all, it is simply called foreign policy.
So what is your point? That the Senkaku Islands are not part of Japan now because they weren't part of Japan at some point in time before?

I were Taiwanese, I would think twice before using historical national demarkations to decide current territorial disputes.
Formerly ******
Ms. jenniepc:
The atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, because the bomb wasn't ready for use until after Germany surrendered to the Allies. This is very well documented and any google search will provide this information.
Jenniepc 女士:原子彈在日本,因為炸彈不是準備好後向盟軍投降的德國才使用。這很好的記錄和任何 google 搜索將提供此資訊。



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