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Politics & Law

China and Japan wise in acting with restraint in East China Sea

Japan invaded China in 1894-95 and 1931-45 and brought humiliation and disasters to China. Those were events long ago and have nothing to do with current Japanese people and their government. However, hatred remains among quite a few Chinese people.

That was why, for a time, a naval war between China and Japan at the 120th anniversary of Sino-Japanese naval battle, to revenge China’s naval defeat, became a hot topic (see my post “War with the Philippines or Japan?” dated July 18).

There is also surge of nationalism among Japanese people due to recent tension with Russia, South Korea and China concerning certain islands. To appease public indignation, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that Japan might use its navy in its dispute with China.

To fight, or not fight, that is the question now for Chinese leaders. Unwilling to fight a naval war with no prospects of victory, and pursuing the course of peaceful rise, Chinese leaders decided not to fight. According to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao, they disallowed Diaoyu activists’ boat to leave Ningbo to claim sovereignty at the islands in July. Due to their direction, the Hong Kong authority also did so.

That will certainly make them unpopular; therefore, this time Hong Kong allowed activists’ boat to go to the islands to show Chinese people’s indignation. However, to avoid intensification of the tension, Chinese leaders have not sent any ship to escort the boat or given any assistance to the activists in their action to claim China’s sovereignty over the islands.

The arrest of the activists by Japanese coast guards provided Chinese leaders the golden opportunity to give a show of its hard-line attitude. Their state media issued stark warnings alleging that China was prepared to take action to defend its sovereignty over the disputed islands, and China’s diplomat lodged a “serious protest”.

Unwilling to fight a war, the Japanese government also acted with restraint. It not only released the activists and their boat promptly, but even provided the boat with fuel and food.

No wonder China’s official mouthpiece Xinhua publishe a comdmentary, pointing out that Japan is wise in releasing Chinese Diaoyu Islands activists. It stresses that Japan should think twice before taking any action concerning the Diaoyu Islands, and put an end to the farce of purchasing the islands as soon as possible.

The commentary holds that the Japanese government’s prompt release of island activists was a wise measure to avoid deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations. However, the Japanese government’s further action will be critical in preventing escalation of the tension at the Diaoyu Islands that may affect the overall situation of Sino-Japanese relations.

It points out that it will be most critical for Japan to respect historical facts and Chinese people’s feelings. Chinese leaders used the activists to show Chinese people’s feeling and the leaders’ mindset that they do not want to fight a war but have to fight it if forced to.

By prompt release of activists, the Japanese government also showed that it had no desire to fight a war but had to appease public anger.

I am certainly pleased that both sides acted with restraint. If China revenges its defeat long ago and then Japan revenges again, it will be a repetition of the long-term conflicts between France and Germany that gave rise to World War II in Europe.

Now, generations of French and German leaders have had the wisdom to bury the hatchet and set up the EU to try to ensure eternal peace in Europe. Why should China and Japan not follow their example, and establish a prosperous Asian Union?

Click here for all stories about Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands)

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


3 thoughts on “China and Japan wise in acting with restraint in East China Sea

  1. I think that the setting up of the EU was sold to the populace on the “no more wars” line. The truth is that the political ruling classes of the nations involved bulldozed their taxpayers into something that could never work—for their own transient political gain and power.

    Perhaps the Chinese won’t mind when a new “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” is set up under the same rubric? China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand etc etc … all could set up a single EU style empire, with it’s headquarters (capital) in Seoul?

    Would that be a good idea, do you think—at last, no more wars over silly little islands …


    Posted by Argus | August 20, 2012, 1:52 pm


  1. Pingback: Japan to buy disputed East China Sea islands « China Daily Mail - September 5, 2012

  2. Pingback: War between China and Japan imminent; reply to comments « China Daily Mail - September 16, 2012

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