• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 10:08am

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. 

NewsChina
EDUCATION

Chinese scholars wage ‘textbooks battle’ with Japan over Diaoyus facts

Call by mainland academics comes after push in Japan for textbooks to show Tokyo owns islands

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 12:11pm

Mainland academics say China discovered the disputed Diaoyu Islands and suggest this should be taught in schools, days after Tokyo promised to teach in its education textbooks that the chain is part of Japan.

Chinese scholars said literary evidence from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) showed Chinese officials took a trip to the Diaoyus in 1808 - 76 years earlier than when Japan claimed it discovered the East China Sea chain, Xinhua reported.

During the reign of Jiaqing, the seventh emperor of the Qing dynasty, a writer named Qian Yong wrote about a trip that painter Shen Fu and officials made to the islands that year, the academics said.

They both think they are trying to teach the correct information
Ryoko Nakano, Japanese Studies Expert

"Qian Yong's writing proves to the world that, at least in 1808, the Diaoyu Islands were located in China's territorial sea, about a day's sea voyage to the then-Japanese boundary," Fu Xuancong, director of Tsinghua University's classic literature research centre, told Xinhua.

Japan announced on Friday that all elementary school textbooks would call the Senkakus, the Japanese name for the islands, part of Japanese territory.

The same applies to the Takeshima islands, which are claimed by South Korea and called the Dokdos by Seoul.

Peng Ling, a historic book specialist at the China Association of Collectors, said: "The Japanese government ignores facts. And even tends to impose false facts on their future generations."

But Ryoko Nakano, a professor of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore, said China's earliest visit to the Diaoyus did not equal ownership of the islands. "The Chinese may have visited those islands, but they didn't claim sovereignty," Nakano said.

"Only after the 1970s did they start to claim sovereignty, but Japan claimed sovereignty way before that, when it was considered no-man's land, and that's legitimate and legal from a Japanese point of view."

The debate marks an attempt by China and Japan to wage a battle through historical research to justify their claims to the islands. But Nakano said teaching only one side of history in textbooks was a "very scary thing" because it "closes the opportunity for the next generation to have reconciliation over this territorial issue".

"They both think they are trying to teach the correct information, but they should be teaching both voices," she said. "There is danger in nationalism."

Students on the mainland only received the chance of hearing a more balanced view of politically sensitive issues during their higher education, as younger pupils followed a curriculum set by the Communist Party, said Leo Liu, an international politics major at Renmin University.

"In elementary school and high school we are taught the Diaoyus are ours. Not much explanation is given," he said.

"In college, we specifically look at all sides of the dispute, and our teachers are more rational, less emotional about it."

He said his allegiance to his country made him more inclined to believe in China's sovereignty over the islands, but he understood that the dispute was complex.

"Personally, I find China's evidence more persuasive, but logically speaking I think neither country has enough evidence to prove ownership," Liu said.

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justice_first
In the article, Ryoko Nakano, a professor of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore, said China's "earliest" visit to the Diaoyus did not equal ownership of the islands. "The Chinese may have visited those islands, but they didn't claim sovereignty," Nakano said. This is exactly what the Japanese assumed that the islands were never "claimed" by the Chinese before 1884, the year Japan alleged discovery. Japan claimed the islands were not owned by the Qing, and not occupied by the Chinese. However historic records have shown Chinese claiming the islands as "on its side" of the border with the Ryukyu Kingdom. It would be totally unfair to label the Chinese claim as "illegal" under international law because China was not bound by "international law" governing sovereignty at the time when a tributary system of international relation was the general rule . The Ryukyu was not even Japanese territories.
Under the latter system, China owned the islands, with as much credence as under the so called modern international law. What Japan did was to ignore history of the islands and jumped to its "legitimacy" under the new "law". In actual fact, japan's secretive annexation in 1895 was itself illegal (not officially endorsed by the Emperor). Since China discovered, named and used the islands from the 1400's, I would think its claim on sovereignty is certainly much stronger than Japan's.
caractacus
It is a toss up whose "scholars" are the bigger liars.
How About
Researchers the like Gavin Menzies perhaps China will probably not produce, whose work was rubbished by so called 'experts' who rebutted one passage has an i but not the next passage, Italians could have worked out these another way, counter 'theories' that never explained the NZ and North-South American shipwreck that were Chinese, dating from 1434.
.
Had Chinese intended to colonised the world 60% of the land mass would be Chinese's today.
.
Ever heard of the South African Company besides the infamous East India Co.? What did Cecil Rhodes do? With alleged truthful scholastic traditions implied by Lucifer below, anyone care to answer why none of these syllabi are in the curriculum of the British US and the good english speaking world today?
.
lucifer
Lets tell the truth here. Mainland China does not have any scholars, just mindless CCP robots who think they are scholars because they attended something called a university. But like all things in China, a University is not what it seems.
roger.mendaros
1735 map of China by d' Anville (1697-1782) - Height of Great Qing Dynasty. China proper is separate from Xingjiang, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, (Hainan Island is drawn in different color as Taiwan). The above region did not belong to China to as late as 1800. China History indicated that they owned it for a long time. Spratly, Scarborough Shoal or the Japanese Islets are even at greater distance from Hainan Island, how could they claim such territories their own today? Reason: Rich minerals in that areas. Chinese communist mentality is definitely skewed and Internationally very unacceptable.
lucifer
Of course, many of the claims are based on the Ming dynasty, when neither Tibet nor Xinjiang were part of China. They want their cake and to eat it to. Nonetheless, I fail to see how landing on an uninhabited island creates proof of ownership, even though it probably never even happened.
happycamper
“And [it] even tends to impose false facts on their future generations,” Peng said.
God forbid anyone in China has "false facts" (oxymoron) imposed on them....
andreaswagner
The British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch visited more or less the whole world in the past millennium. Let the claiming begin:)
How About
Ahh, the inverted trinity no less- strictly from the objective and true perspective of the "world history", their immense contribution that should be in every primary school syllabus?
.
1) the South and Central Americans, the original Mayans and Incans were genocided for their gold. Mayans were extinct and some Incans survive but much banished, today!
.
2) India, Persia, South Africa, South East Asia were colonised and pillaged for hundreds of years. When they left puppet administrations were left in place to continue the colony-expert set-up for decades, until civil wars took over. Apartheid in SAf took another 100 years to be ditched.
.
3) Australian aboriginals were decimated, now still marginal to the world?
.
4) 95% of North American Indians were killed for sport. The colonisers had a good thing going here had it not been for the darn stamp or tea tax for the continental war efforts...
.
Shall we leave the subjects of 17-19th century commerce and trade, like spice, slaves, tea and silk for the secondary syllabus?
.
Irrevocable and irreversible imprints to all of humanity!
.
XYZ
North America was settled by Mongolians who crossed over the land bridge between Russia and Alaska, migrated south, converted their yurts into tepees and became known as Eskimos and Indians (Native Americans). Should the Americans and Canadians give the land back to Ghengis Khan's descendants?

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