Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Just a note on the Senkakus/Diaoyutai mess


Jon Sullivan over at the U of Nottingham tweeted round this paper on the Senkakus/Diaoyutai and western and eastern systems of international governance (the next paper in that file discusses Taiwanese netizen attitudes towards the Senkakus and sovereignty). It makes some interesting points and is constructed in a very articulate and smooth propagandistic way. However, it contains an interesting anecdote about the Senkakus that I hadn't heard before....
...when former US President Ulysses Simpson Grant was visiting China and Japan in mid-1879. Grant agreed to mediate the dispute at the request of Li Hongzhang and Prince Gong, and offered a proposal with American diplomats in Japan as a basis for negotiation. The proposal suggested dividing the Ryukyu Islands into three parts: the central part would belong to the residual Ryukyu Kingdom protected by Chinese and Japanese consuls, the southern part would belong to China, being close to Taiwan, and the northern part would belong to Japan, being close to Satsuma (Kagoshima).
Think about it for a second. If the Manchus thought the Senkakus were part of their colonial empire, they would have said "we already own that, the issue is the islands to the north." But no one did. Instead, Grant had to suggest that the southern islands of the Ryukyus be annexed to Taiwan... because they weren't at that time. D'oh.
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Anonymous said...

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: October 1, 1878-September 30, 1880


There are a few pages about Loochoo(Ryukyu) islands.

"China had never exercised sovereignty over the islands and did not press that claim."

"The Loochoo kings always received more from the Emperor than they gave."

Chinese "good families" were "sent to Loochoo to civilize the islands"

"Loochoo islands block the coast of China" .... "Such a command in the hands of a Power like Japan is a menance to our commerce"

Definitely China will not stop at Senkakus and maybe not even at Okinawa.

More and more trash articles supporting China's claim


Jerome Besson said...

Although I generally liked what I read in the "Sovereignty or Identity? The Significance of the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands Dispute for Taiwan", I also frowned at the following:

"In contrast, some declare that the islands belong to Japan: in the Treaty of Peace (1951), signed with China to return Taiwan, Japan did not relinquish its rights over the islands. Furthermore, many argue, the islands have nothing to do with China or Taiwan."

"in the Treaty of Peace (1951), signed with China to return Taiwan" ?? ??!

Yeah, well. whatever.