Monday, May 13, 2013

Surprise, Surprise

In October of last year I published a post arguing that the government of Japan must never admit a dispute exists over the sovereignty of the Senkakus. Open that door and one will next have to deal with China's claims on Okinawa.

In private conversation and comments, I received much grief for my assertions as regards Chinese aims and arguments.

As of this weekend the domino theory of Chinese tactics and perhaps Chinese strategy seems...not so extreme?
China Refuses to Confirm Okinawa Island Belongs to Japanese
Bloomberg News

China refused to confirm that Okinawa belongs to Japan after two Chinese scholars suggested re-examining the ownership of the archipelago that includes the island, adding to tensions over a separate territorial dispute.

Agreements between allied forces during World War II mean the ownership of the Ryukyu Islands may be in question, the researchers said in a commentary in the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s main newspaper. Asked if China considers Okinawa part of Japan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said scholars have long studied the history of the Ryukyus and Okinawa.

“It may be time to revisit the unresolved historical issue of the Ryukyu Islands,” Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang of the China Academy of Social Sciences wrote in the commentary.

A move to reconsider ownership of the Ryukyus would add to strains as China and Japan assert their claims over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The Japanese government’s decision last year to purchase those islands, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, sparked protests across China and harmed a $340 billion annual trade relationship that has yet to recover...

For the record, I also take umbrage at being labeled if a person with any degree of sense could be against an entire country...


Antoine Roth said...

My guess is that China's aim here is to strengthen its bargaining position in the Senkaku dispute. They cannot be serious about disputing the ownership of Okinawa. But of course this will only give ammunitions to the China hawks in Japan, so it's a very stupid and counter-productive move.

Anonymous said...

Can't be serious? They say every bit of the South China Sea belongs to them. I don't want to make guesses about what the Chinese are serious about.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a Europe in which the states operate according to the logic of China re: territorial claims. Just about every country would have claims over the entire Earth.

MTC said...

Anonymous #2 -

As far as I can tell, the governments of China and Bolivia are the only ones arguing that 19th century Imperial Age borders are the natural borders of the modern state.