Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hegemonic Warfare Watch: China wants Okinawa too

Onion harvest near Checheng in Pingtung.

In the People's Daily, two "scholars" argue that Okinawa is Chinese, a pattern that has been emerging more and more in the last few years. The Chinese government coyly refused to take a position (bloomberg)....
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.
Willy Lam, longtime China commentator, was quoted in several articles as saying that this appears to be a negotiating tactic to put pressure on the Japanese to give way in the Senkakus, but to my mind this is only the latest in a gentle, long-term escalation which will one day result in the same pattern of visa games and attempted marginalization of Okinawa that Beijing has already deployed against Taiwan and Arunachal Pradesh. I have noted on several occasions that in the minds of  right-wing Chinese expansionists Okinawa, the Senkakus, and Taiwan are linked, which is one reason why nationalist ideologues like Ma Ying-jeou constantly link Taiwan to the Senkakus. This thing with Okinawa will only get worse over time, because the leadership in Beijing seems to believe its own propaganda, and there will always be "scholars" willing to shove things further to the Right in order to further their own careers.... there's a structural aspect to authoritarian governments that advocacy of radical positions often gets greater attention from the few at the top....

Reuters reported:
China criticized Japan on Thursday for lodging a diplomatic protest against a Chinese state media commentary calling into question Japanese sovereignty over the southern Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa. The latest angry exchange could further strain tense relations between Asia's two-largest economies, which are involved in a stand-off over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.”
This comes hot on the heels of the standoff in the Himal between China and India. Seems like the government in Beijing is manufacturing some nationalist sentiment ahead of bad economic news, etc.

It will be interesting to see if the Taiwan government comes out with some nonsense about how the ROC owns Okinawa.....

RELATED: Japan and Taiwan failed to set rules for fishing in the Senkaku area in the first round of the negotiations....
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1 comment:

yankdownunder said...

The Chinese government coyly refused to take a position ...

What would happen if some Japanese scholars laid claim to Taiwan or parts of China? There would be riots in China, Japanese businesses destroyed and Japanese attacked.

China: Public opinion behind article on Okinawa

The Chinese government says domestic public opinion is behind a newspaper commentary questioning Japan's sovereignty over its southernmost prefecture Okinawa.

At this point China would have attacked Japan if situation was reversed.


But the 2 sides have failed to agree on specific rules, including catches and the number of fishing vessels. This is increasing concern among Japanese fishermen about possible troubles.

possible troubles. No there will certainly be troubles.

The concern prompted Japan's Fisheries Agency to double the number of surveillance ships operating in the waters to 10, from Friday.
The vessels will monitor whether Taiwanese boats are operating in the designated zone.

And if there not in the zone what will they do? What can they do?