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Politics & Law

Ease of tension between China and Japan due to US CRS report on sovereignty over islands

On September 25, the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) republished, after amendments, its report Senkaku (Diaoyu/Diaoyutai) Islands Dispute: U.S. Treaty Obligations.

The report clearly states: “During Senate deliberations on whether to consent to the ratification of the Okinawa Reversion Treaty, the State Department asserted that the United States took a neutral position with regard to the competing claims of Japan, China, and Taiwan, despite the return of the islands to Japanese administration….”

When asked by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee how the Okinawa Reversion Treaty would affect the determination of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu/Diaoyutai), former Secretary of State William Rogers answered that “…this treaty does not affect the legal status of those islands at all.”

The report quotes Acting Assistant Legal Adviser Robert Starr’s words: “The United States cannot add to the legal rights Japan possessed before it transferred administration of the islands to us, nor can the United States, by giving back what it received, diminish the rights of other claimants.”

It clearly means that what the US returned to Japan was only the rights of administration, instead of the sovereignty over those islands.

Perhaps because of that report, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Koichiro Gemba, has changed his wording in referring to the dispute over the sovereignty of those islands.

SCMP says in its report today that he “issued a statement through Japan’s de facto mission in Taipei on Friday, calling for calm over “pending issues” between the two sides, although he stopped short of mentioning the disputed Diaoyu, or Senkaku, islands by name.”

He seemed to mean that Japan is not so firm about its sovereignty now, and seems to admit the sovereignty over the islands is one of the “pending issues” to be resolved later.

According to SCMP, “the Japan Coast Guard reported that eight mainland (Chinese) patrol boats were seen yesterday in what Tokyo considers its territorial waters near the islands, Kyodo News said.”

China has been patrolling the waters for 20 days since Japan’s nationalisation of the islands, but Japan still refrained from driving Chinese vessels away. It seems Japan has got used to the Chinese patrol, and is willing to maintain the status quo.

Tension between China and Japan is hopefully eased by the report.

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 “Ease of tension between China and Japan due to US CRS report on sovereignty over islands

  1. If I am reading this correctly, the United States of America holds sovereignty over these islands, or at least claim to do so.
    If this is the case, the quibbling between China and Japan does not make sense.
    Is it that China does not recognize the “US sovereignty”?
    Does Japan no longer recognize US sovereignty?
    There must be a lot going on behind the scenes. None of this bodes well for US – China relations if the Middle East issues with Syria and Iran become global.


    Posted by Ken McMurtrie | October 9, 2012, 8:50 am
    • The US took administration of the islands after defeating Japan and returned the administration to Japan. As to the sovereignty, China and Taiwan who regards itself as another China, both claim sovereignty on historical grounds regarding it as a part of Taiwan which was took by Japan when if defeated China in 1895. Taiwan was returned to China according to agreement of the heads of allied countries at the end of World War II.

      In the over a centry when China was weak and bullied by foreign powers, it has lost quite large parts of territories including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, etc. and 3 million square kilometers to Russia.

      The memory of the miserable past is the major cause for the surge of nationalism. I hope China will not try to recover all those it has lost when it becomes the top superpower.. Otherwise, there will be no end of trouble.

      Japan was a notorious aggressor in history and even now incurs bitter enmity among Chinese people who fought against Japanese invasion for 8 years during World War II. Therefore, war against Japan is quite possible if Japan is not protected by the US, but I do not think Chinese people will try to recover others of its lost territories even if China has grown much stronger than the US.


      Posted by chankaiyee2 | October 9, 2012, 6:02 pm
      • Thanks for your clarification. This statement “It clearly means that what the US returned to Japan was only the rights of administration, instead of the sovereignty over those islands.” led me to mistakenly think that the US had taken sovereignty after the WWII and had only returned administration rights.
        So the US has never claimed sovereignty, now I understand.
        Regarding the Chinese revival in interest in the islands, it is now clear to me that this doesn’t involve the US in any way, (and that is what the US is saying), unless, as you say, they choose to actively back Japan.


        Posted by Ken McMurtrie | October 10, 2012, 6:56 am

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