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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:22am

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. 


Japan 'stole' Diaoyu Islands, China tells UN

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 5:44pm

China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sparked angry exchanges with Japanese diplomats at the United Nations by accusing Japan of stealing the Diaoyu Islands.

Chinese and Japanese envoys staged a series of attacks during Thursday’s session after Yang heightened tensions over the East China Sea islands and reopened old diplomatic wounds over second world war.

The Japanese government’s purchase of the uninhabited islands from a private owner this month has infuriated Beijing and set off violent protests in several Chinese cities.

“China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China’s territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation,” Yang told the UN assembly.

China has demanded the return of the uninhabited islands, known as the Diaoyus in Chinese and the Senkakus in Japanese, for decades. Taiwan also claims the islands.

Yang reaffirmed his country’s historical claim that Japan tricked China into signing a treaty ceding the islands in 1895. Japan states that the islands were legally incorporated into its territory.

“The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid. They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole Diaoyu and its affiliated islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them,” said the Chinese minister.

Japan’s move was in “outright denial” of its defeat in second world war, he added, reaffirming China’s repeated references to the 1939-45 war.

In Tokyo Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Osamu Fujimura, told reporters Yang’s remarks were “totally groundless”.

“It is important for the two countries to calmly act with each other from a broad perspective, while fostering and maintaining communication,” he said.

Yang and Japan’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba held stern talks on the dispute in New York on Tuesday, and Yang’s speech sparked sharp exchanges between Japanese and Chinese diplomats as each sought a right of reply.

Insisting that Japan legally incorporated the islands into its territory in 1895, Japan’s deputy UN ambassador Kazuo Kodama said that “an assertion that Japan took the islands from China cannot logically stand.”

Kodama added that the references to second world war were “unconvincing and unproductive”.

China’s UN envoy Li Baodong responded that “the Japanese delegate once again brazenly distorted history, resorting to spurious fallacious arguments that defy all reason and logic to justify their aggression of Chinese territory.”

“The Japanese government still clings to its obsolete colonial mindset,” Li added. “China is capable of safeguarding the integrity of its territory,” the ambassador warned.

When Kodama responded that the islands “are clearly an inherent territory of Japan”, Li returned to the attack. He said his Japanese counterpart “feels no guilt for Japan’s history of aggression and colonialism.”

The Japanese government’s purchase of the islands is based purely on “the logic of robbers”, he stormed.


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This article is now closed to comments

It seems hypocritical for the Chinese government to argue that the Diaoyu / Senkaku islands belong the China even though they were and are occupied by Japan, but that Tibet should not be independent even though it was in fact an independent country and was taken over by China.
If the rest of the World continuously argued over past battles and borders and insisted on reverting back to their most favourable borders, we would never have any peace.
I would like to see the Japanese government say this to the Chinese government: You grant Tibet its independence first and then we can discuss your historical claim to these islands.
China should face the fact, they lost their island to the Japanese back then. They should just suck it up and quit bullying Japan with their military force.
!!!Suck it up China!!!
Haha. I like that. Mind you, I believe that Japan is very capable of defending themselves in the event of an attack.
Hmmm. All this talk of imperialism might eventually work its way west to Tibet, the western treasure house, where they've always spoken a Chinese dialect and written in Chinese characters.
Personally I find China's behaviour and assertion at the UN to be rather aggressive and counterproductive. Without evidence to back up the claim (which I still haven't seen any of) it just sounds like "It's ours because we say so and if you don't give it to us we'll take it from you." If China has a claim it should take a more reasonable approach. The current approach will just alienate other nations.
Absolutely agree. Especially the accusation of 'stealing' put me off. One does not go into an international dispute with a foregone conclusion and childish accusations. Very counterproductive.
You are missing the point. Taking over a territory is not about finding some historical paperwork. It's about power and the means to justify it. Just look at any great empire, including the US. Why does it own Alaska and Hawaii? And the other US islands? Because one day, it decided this was to its advantage.
Does an elephant worry about alienating aunts when it walks?
Alaska was bought from the Russians. For many years, it was called "Seward's folly," after the US Secretary of State who did the deal for an outrageous price of $7.2 million.
"tigerjean" reveals some astonishing ignorance of the history of international relations! Although the USA grabbed plenty of territory from others (e.g., Mexico), you would think that "tigerjean" would know that, in 1867, the USA actually "purchased" Alaska from Russia, which was no "ant" but one of the great powers of the day. What's the use in expressing a viewpoint without some degree of familiarity with the historical record. And here, I am not talking about divergent interpretations, just complete absence of relevant information. As for the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, international law is perhaps akin to an ongoing discussion about rights -- he says, she says. For example, there is obviously some room for differing interpretations of the scope and meaning of the text of the 1895 Shimonoseki Treaty, which may or may not cover the disputed islands. Seems that China has some good legal arguments. But, Japan also has some interesting counter-arguments. Always good to take some time to listen carefully to the viewpoints of both sides. Such patient listening might perhaps help in trying to find a way to deal with what is clearly an international territorial dispute, like many others around the globe.
And the USA also "purchased" the Philippines, no doubt? Just as Japan "purchased" Taiwan and Manchuria? The British "purchased" Hong Kong, right? At gun point... as a matter of fact.
Just look at the map and you'll see that Diaoyutai are a lot closed to China than to Japan's mainland and Japan has never inhabited them. After the war, USA has forcefully taken all occupied territories from Japan and returned them to their former owners. The Diaoyutai were left out of this because they were "overlooked" by the USA. This mistake should be corrected ASAP.



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