Monday, November 08, 2010

Senkakus: who rammed who?

Here is a still from the second time the Chinese fishing vessel rammed one of the Japanese ships in the Senkakus in September. If you watch the sequence of the ramming from about :50 to about 1:20 in the video, it is easy to see who did what. (1) As the Chinese vessel changes course the Japanese voices rise to a scream. What are they reacting to? Ok, so maybe that is fake, the Japanese are coordinating. (2) As the Chinese boat changes course, you can see the vessel tilting as it turns sharply. Ok, so maybe that is just a wave. But then there is (3) -- if you look at the wake of the Chinese vessel (red box), it is clearly curved, and toward the Japanese vessel, meaning that the Chinese vessel executed a turn toward the Japanese vessel. There should be no doubt about who rammed who ( the first incident, ~2:16, is even clearer).

Ok, so maybe it wasn't intentional.

Now go back and watch the crew carefully. From about :50 on there are six men visible near the pilothouse, five outside and one inside driving. At :57 the five are still outside. But around 1:06, as the boat executes its course change, the men all go inside the cabin.

They know what is coming.

As Lyle Goldstein put it in his excellent piece on Chinese fishing boats:
Finally, there is the strong likelihood that Beijing will continue to use the Chinese strategy of "defeating harshness with kindness" (yi rou ke gang) and thus deploying unarmed fishing vessels or fisheries enforcement vessels to confront foreign vessels operating in its EEZ and claimed waters.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


MJ Klein said...

it seems to me that the Chinese vessel has a reinforced bow designed for ramming other vessels. otherwise a full-on collision would collapse the bow.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, I was wondering about that too. The earlier incident is even more dramatic, it accelerates into the rear of the Japanese vessel. But it suffers no damage. In the second incident the blow is glancing. I wish I knew.

les said...

I'm curious about the machinations on the part of the Japanese. Did they really intend to suppress the video evidence and try to downplay the whole incident? Or, did they deliberately let the Chinese bluster on, and then slyly 'leak' the evidence to spring the trap?

Michael Turton said...

I don't know how to read it. I think "B" might be the answer on that one. But the video evidence clearly shows the Chinese are lying. Not that we didn't know that anyway!


Okami said...

Shades of Gulf of Tonkin? I'm just wondering what political/financial calculus went into having the video mysteriously released considering the large amount of business between China and Japan.

Michael Turton said...

The mind boggles at all the undercurrents and possibilities.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese boat capt just imitate the Japan navy did to Taiwan fishing boat. But the Chinese did a very poor one cause the Taiwan boata sunk after rammed!
No media and blog repeat and repeat of that!

I hope Chinese do good next time!

Andrew Rathmann said...

Maybe you have linked to it already elsewhere on the blog, but, if not, here is the Chinese propaganda version of events on Sina:

(Scroll down slightly for a graphic.)

D said...

What? No "whom" in the headline?

Anonymous said...

I believe the Senkaku's are Japan's but why are the waters also Japan's? Are there actually people living on the islands? Setting up a 200 mile EEZ around those rocks is pretty ballsy.