It seems that the Japanese coastguard acted with restraint on Monday when six Chinese surveillance ships went to the disputed sea areas to claim sovereignty.
However, Xinhua says four Chinese patrol ships got as close as 1.55 nautical miles to the Diaoyus while they were closely monitored by three Japanese coastguard vessels and three helicopters.
Either Chinese vessels dared not to go close to the Islands but lied that they did, or Japanese vessels dared not drive away Chinese ones but lied that Chinese vessels were not within 12 nautical miles.
However, according to SCMP’s report titled China vows to protect 2,000 fishing boats heading towards Diaoyus yesterday, “Chinese authorities pledged to ensure the safety of nearly 2,000 fishing boats that began entering disputed waters in the East China Sea yesterday [Monday].”
I would rather believe that Chinese vessels dared to go into the area yesterday as they are to protect the nearly 2,000 fishing boats that are certain to go close to the Islands due to the flaring nationalism among the fishermen on board those boats. They have to be bold enough to enter the disputed sea areas. Otherwise, they will be denounced by Chinese fishermen and media.
Now we are watching whether Japanese coastguards will drive away Chinese vessels or just shut their eyes to the entries of Chinese vessels into the disputed waters to avoid clash with Chinese vessels.
As Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that Japan will send its navy to deal with the problem, war may be triggered by the boldness of both sides, i.e. the boldness of Chinese vessels to enter and that of Japanese ones to drive them away.
I would rather that Japanese ones keep blind eyes to avoid clashes, but will that be possible?
- Naval war between China and Japan seems imminent (chinadailymail.com)
- War between China and Japan imminent; reply to comments (chinadailymail.com)
- China-Japan row over disputed islands threatens to escalate (guardian.co.uk)