Monday, September 17, 2012

Senkaku Island Row: 1,000 Fishing boats to Senkaku, and Fake Brand Market in Beijing Refuses Japanese Goods, Noda Dispatches SDF Ships

(UPDATE) According to Nikkei Shinbun (9/17/2012), the Noda administration is dispatching the Self Defense Force ships to Senkaku Island.

(What Chinese clearly doesn't think much of: Article 5 of the Security Treaty between Japan and the US. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just affirmed it would apply to Senkaku Islands during his visit to Japan:

Each Party recognizes that an armed attack against either Party in the territories under the administration of Japan would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional provisions and processes. Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Charter. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.


Not to be late for the party of global unrest from Portugal to Syria to Afganistan to Indonesia, about 12,000 fishing boats have departed from mainland China, and 1,000 of them due at Senkaku Islands on September 18.

As Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index plunged more than 2% on Monday September 17 to the level last seen in early 2009, people in China look very happy smashing windows of evil Japanese establishments in China. Sankei Shinbun has several interesting photos from Reuters, and this one caught my attention:

Young males in 20s, at most early 30s, smashing windows of Seibu Department Store in Shenzhen. China's draconian one-child policy has produced a severe, unnatural imbalance of males and females, 1.2 to 1. As the economy slows significantly in China, how to engage these excess males in gainful activities becomes a big issue. What better way than to egg them on to some destructive activities to relieve some pressure?

I thought this photo below was cute. A middle-aged man posing in front of a huge banner at a fake-brand goods market in Beijing, saying "We refuse to sell Japanese goods, the islands are ours!" Uh... fake Japanese goods made in China? Take a close look at the depiction of Senkaku Islands, with figures (soldiers, probably) propping up a Chinese flag. The US Marines in Iojima imagery. Very cute.

By making the banner in Chinese and English (not Japanese), it's rather obvious who they are appealing to.


Anonymous said...

Tibel has the answer.

Anonymous said...

Hong-Kong did result in Bruce Lee.

We don't see a lot of martial arts championships in the UK,you know,tea kettle vs nunchaku or even muck rake.

These comedy Chinese with their Budgerigar style kung-fool are something.

Maju said...

But the territory of Senkaku/Diaouyu is not legally Japan but at best disputed territory.

Per the WWII end-of-war treaties, Japan accepted the declaration of Postdam which said: "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine" ("we" is China, the USA and the UK, the signatories).

That's probably the official position of the USA, which is not obliged to support Japan in case of clash with China (or Taiwan-ROC) in these islands, which nobody recognizes as Japanese (except Japan, of course).

From the viewpoint of China (and Taiwan-ROC) this is ongoing Japanese aggression, an attempt to impose their claims through consummated facts.

It reminds a bit of the Moroccan-Spanish conflict in 2002 over the small rocky island of Perejil/Leila (near Ceuta and Tangiers). While Ceuta and Melilla, which are in Africa, are not covered by NATO mutual defense provisions, all islands north of the Tropic of Cancer in the Atlantic or Mediterranean are. However the crisis was solved with the return to neutrality of the disputed islet, after Spain showed its teeth.

But here both powers seem in collision course: Japan plays with US backing but China knows that a true intercontinental war won't be (Russia backs China with its nuclear arsenal and China has one of its own of unknown dimensions). So at some point the war will be called off but meanwhile maybe some people can die and that's a very bad outcome even if there's no "real war".

An interesting element is that Japanese stores are being used as scapegoat of a frustrated Chinese population that seems, for a change, willing to confront police quite harshly just to release their anger. Obviously those people are expressing their anger through relatively "acceptable" venues (nationalism) but what it represents is probably another kind of unexpressed rage. Can they realize that they can beat the police and change things through these nationalist demonstrations of anger?

I mean China is still awaiting its belated revolution against Fascist-Capitalism under a red banner. Some day it has to happen, right? Not that it will give the islets to Japan, mind you.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Dunkirk,these Chinese are coming to rescue these crazy islanders from an idiot government keen to install hundreds of atom bomb factories all over the most seismically active few hundred square miles in the entire world.

Clearly rescue isn't welcome!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

You mean, to rescue goats on the island? LOL.

Anonymous said...

They are highly prized!

I also meant Tibet and not Tibel,i have no idea who,what or where Tibel is or was.

Anonymous said...

nice way for both governments - China and Japan - to distract their citizen and to direct their anger. How convenient.

Unfortunately, the citizen in both countries are well trained sheep.....

Anonymous said...

These are not, and never have been Communist Chinese territory. All you pro-China freaks out there should know by now that government-controlled media is notorious for misinforming the public. If you're getting your news and analysis from China, you don't know what's true and what's not, because nobody is allowed to say when the government lies. There is no free press in China. Everything is subject to editing by the government.

If you educate yourselves on the issue, you will see that Japan has a greater claim on these islands than China, and that in fact, China has NO valid claim.

The fact that China misinforms its people, and provides NO room for debate or argument, has helped inflame the Chinese population. China's government is responsible for what they are doing to Japanese businesses, and if a war occurs, it will have been China's doing.

Compelling argument - 5 reasons why senkakus are NOT Chinese territory:

Happy to see this issue go to an international court. Wonder if the Chinese government will allow it to.

In the meantime, all those Japanese and American companies who were so eager to invest in China and buy imports from China might think again about propping up such a government.

Maju said...

P.R. China is not communist but fascist-capitalist since the 1970s. How can you say that a state where bourgeois are part of the ruling party, where there is nothing even close to free universal health care is communist?

Regardless: I know both positions and both are lacking. For example China seems to have used (?) them at some point in the 14th-18th centuries and there is even a Japanese map that shows it as part of China. Apparently Japan only occupied them as part of the imperialist wars against China, which culminated in WWII and the above mentioned treaty.

The San Francisco Treaty is not a treaty with China. Japan has never signed a peace treaty with P.R. China, which it recognizes (as most of the World) as legitimate representative of China. It did sign a treaty with Taipei (RoC/Taiwan) but this one does not mention these islands.

The islands are in dispute therefore because no treaty mentions them explicitly, certainly not one signed by any Chinese government whatsoever. And Japan is taking advantage of the political division of China to force-feed their claim.

It is most risky: China has been enforcing its own, quite questionable, claims in the South China Sea against Philippines and other states recently (and the USA has not intervened even if it has a defense treaty with Philippines) and for them securing access to the open seas (Pacific Ocean and Malacca Strait) is fundamental as second World power and first Asian power. This will unavoidably end with the 'anschluss' of Taiwan and those islands are part of the Chinese process of securing their segregated island and a general access to open seas which has been denied to them since the Opium Wars or so.

I'm not supporting nor rejecting these claims and moves by China but for me it's clear that they are going for it and will force the hand of Japan. Neither Japan nor much less the USA can risk war with China, although it's doubtful that China can either.

But sometimes things escalate. Germany did not want WWI but the conflict spiraled after the murder of the Austrian princes in Sarajevo. The situation was in many aspects comparable to present day, with China in the role of Germany (rising star) and the USA in that of Britain (old glory but still mighty).

Today however a World War would be the destruction of humankind, as we all know.

So I imagine that the conflict will be defused diplomatically with return to neutrality of the islets.

Anonymous said...

Ah but these islands are claimed by an individual if i read it correctly,no one is really willing to suffer so a guy wealthy enough to lay claim to an island chain can have his cake and eat it too.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit complete ignorance to the entire issue about and history of the island. But, going just by recent reports, Noda wants to NATIONALIZE the island, which I took to mean, it is owned by one or more private parties and Noda wants the entire island to be state property. Then there was the report of some other politician who asked for donations to BUY the island, which I took to mean that it is owned by either one or various private parties or some other country. In either case, the bottom line seems to be that Japanese government officials do not believe they own it. Except if/when China and others say the island is theirs. Then they suddenly say it belongs to the Japanese. I'm confused ...

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

mscharisma, the islands are owned by a few private Japanese citizens. Ishihara, at the prompting of some flunky politician who is a friend of one of the owners, decided to buy the islands and turn them into a territory of Tokyo because "the national government is too chicken to do so". Why you have to "nationalize" a property to declare sovereignty I have no idea.

JAnonymous said...

Conscription will work wonders with those idle youngsters. They can then use this almighty army to build a bridge from mainland China.

For me, Russia's strategy w.r.t. the northern territories is much smarter. Then again, there's not much flat space to build an airport on the Senkaku islands. Maybe we can airlift and drop Ibaraki airport on a big float ? Kajima could use a few more trillions, I hear.

Anonymous said...

a couple of "rocks" with no apparent value or natural resources to "fight"(?!!)over??!! what a bunch of goofy bastards!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, laprimavera.

Maju said...

Private property does not exists in a vacuum: it is granted by one or more states. The private property claims of Japanese citizens are, AFAIK, only granted by Japan.

It would seem that Japan decided to "nationalize" the rocks as a means to prevent that private citizens use them to stir the pot of conflict with China and Taiwan. However, that happened after those people organized political activities of Japanese nationalist character in the islands and Japan sent military ships.

The nationalization is not the matter but rather the militarization, which can be seen (and is actually perceived) by China as a de facto unilateral takeover of the disputed territory.

Hence the saber rattling.

Anonymous said...

@ anon September 17, 2012 9:22 PM

"a couple of "rocks" with no apparent value or natural resources"

In 1969 indications of oil were found in the area and soon after China laid claim to the islands through Taiwan. Up until the possibility of oil being found near the island China didn't really care about the Japanese ownership claims.

Anonymous said...

"Take a close look at the depiction of Senkaku Islands, with figures (soldiers, probably)"

Either they are soldiers or the guy to the right of the flag pole has a flute sticking out of his shoulder. Since the poster is in English the Iojima imagery kind of makes sense maybe this is s subtle message to the US that China is willing to fight over the issue? It could also be seen as a back handed threat to the Japanese.

Anonymous said...

No reparation nor apologies needed
I am general and emperor de facto
I bow to mammon and the Rising Sun
I was born Chinese but
My heart is the shape of cherry blossom

I weep for their defeat
even they have raped and pillaged my mother
I was trained to be a Shogun warrior
So when King Cripple offered me the islands
I gifted them to my soul's homeland
May their emperor live forever, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Are the Yanks done blowing up the islands?

Anonymous said...

The shadow man could be a Bagpiper.

Atomfritz said...

From Deng-Xiaoping's reign on, the Chinese went away slowly from Communism back towards feudalism.
This really saddens me.

But, I still hope they'll be very sensible and stop the saber-rattling when appropriate.
In the early 1960's India attempted to attack China and failed grossly. The Chinese, even though they were in a position to easily occupy Indian Kashmir, just stopped at the border, signaling India that it better not try another attempt. This has been a trauma of Indian policy since.

On the other hand, the Chinese military possibly is over-estimated when dealing with powers that are known good fighters. Manchukuo etc are Chinese traumas. The Chinese could throw back the US in the Korea War only by overwhelming them with sheer masses of cannonfodder soldiers (and incredible losses). The Vietnamese told the Chinese a hard lesson when China tried to attack Vietnam in the late 1970s.

On the other hand, Chinese military have signaled that their "red line" before using nuclear weapons is well below a foreign nuclear attack. But, I think this was well-heard in the US.

And finally, remember that the US knows that it is very dependent on China. If it wants to reduce its dependency on China, it has to become more dependent from Japan again. This could be another motive of Japan.

But maybe the most worrying thing is that Jew Bernanke recently turned the money printing press on full throttle, like Ex-SKF reported.
It looks like that the US establishment wants war again to boost the economy, like Roosevelt, respective the people commanding him back then.

Maju said...

@Atomfritz: The current Chinese military, including the navy, has no comparison with the past.

Overall Beijing seems to be playing soft power, someone compared the US-China "friendly Cold War" as a conflict between a chess player (Washington) and a weiqi (go) player (Beijing). As you surely know, in weiqi/go actual fight is rare, positional strategic development being the key instead.

But the South and East China Seas are exceptional because they are truly key for China to guarantee access to the open seas and conduct trade without being under the almost total military control of the USA. Hence China "must" annex Taiwan and make sure that no foreign powers akin to the USA or the USA themselves control those uninhabited islands that can serve eventually to strangle China's trade and free navigation, both towards the Pacific and towards the Indian Ocean.

China is working very hard in that geostrategical line, which they deem obviously crucial to Chinese real sovereignty and, I understand, they will only stop at very extreme consequences.

On the other side the USA does not care that much about strangling China, a key economic partner, as long as they maintain the upper hand in the seas, specially in the Pacific Ocean overall.

So I think this will end with China taking over the islands and hushing Japan off. If not now, soon.

Objectively neither the USA nor Japan really have compelling reasons to risk economic trouble, much less outright war, for those islands. China does instead.

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