Now it seems that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will forgo a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Kan Naoto on the sidelines at the UN General Assembly because of the fishing boat captain dispute.
When you have to play "the prime minister will not be meeting you" card, you are signaling to the world you are out of options and have no winning strategy. You always meet, even if only to deliver a finger-wagging condemnation.
As the Chinese government has played its hottest peaceful civilian political card -- what is the next step? A kidnapping/arrest of a Japanese vessel's captain and then an exchange of detainees? Sending the Chinese Navy in force into the Economic Exclusion Zone around the Senkaku Islands?
Later - Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, Chinese analysts do not share my perception of the situation at all.
Well, at least we know now the kind of advice the Chinese government has been receiving.