China Wants Japan to Accept Its Conditions on Mending Ties


I said in my post “Tension with Vietnam Eased, Mending of China’s Ties with Japan More Likely” yesterday, “for a time in the past China tried to form a greater Asia co-prosperity sphere for common prosperity of all Asian countries.” It tried to establish a free-trade area with ASEAN, South Korea and Japan first.

China did succeed in establishing a free-trade area with ASEAN, which has brought so great benefit to ASEAN members that they have decided to upgrade the free-trade arrangement.

The US tried to contain China with its pivot to Asia. The military arm of the pivot is to transfer 10% more of its forces to Asia while the economic arm is the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What benefits ASEAN is China’s huge market for not only their natural resources but also their products as Chinese people are far less rich than American people. They are not so strict about the quality of ASEAN members’ goods. US product responsibility laws alone can scare away most manufacturers in ASEAN countries.

Chinese market is the most attractive in the world. The 80% increase in Chinese tourists to Japan in the first six months this year alone is convincing enough for Japanese businessmen.

US TTP that excludes China is far less attractive to Asian countries than China’s free-trade area that excludes the US.

Previously, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believed that with US support, he could subdue China, but China, on the contrary, has adopted a brink-of-war policy to provoke Japan to fight a real war with it as a war with Japan will help Xi Jinping establish his powerbase.

China’s aggressive actions and US unwillingness to fight a war with China have made Abe a loser in his conflict with China.

Previously Japan patrolled the area and airspace around the disputed islands, but now Chinese ships and aircrafts conduct routine patrol there. Previously Chinese fishermen seldom fish in the disputed waters. Now, they conduct routine fishing there.

Previously Chinese courts did not accept Chinese civilians’ cases for wartime compensation against Japanese civilians but now quite a few such cases have been accepted. A court in Shanghai even seized a huge Japanese ship to enforce its verdict and forced a Japanese company to pay $29 million compensation.

What benefit Japan has got in its confrontation with China? Nothing.

As a result, Abe’s popularity has dropped sharply. That is why Abe has been so anxious to improve relations with China since last May. He first sent his close assistant to China and then sent messages through a former prime minister and a few parliament members to Xi Jinping for a summit meeting with Xi in November.

Vietnam and Japan are China’s most troublesome adversaries in maritime territorial disputes. A military alliance between Japan and Vietnam may be strong enough to counter China as Vietnam has purchased quite a few advanced weapons from Russia better than what China bought from Russia when China was not Russia’s ally.

Vietnam seems cleverer than Japan. Seeing that US will not help it while Russia is selling much better weapons to China now, it has taken a U-turn to send a special envoy to improve relations with China.

China is able to win over Vietnam due to its carrot-and-stick policy. It has undermined Vietnam’s project to exploit oil and gas and organized its fishermen to attack Vietnamese fishermen in disputed waters. That was its hard application of the stick. However, when Vietnam has changed its mind, China applied the carrot by allowing Vietnam to share the benefit in exploiting the resources in disputed waters.

Having won over Vietnam, China becomes more confident in its diplomacy. Reuters gives the impression that China does no want to improve its relations with Japan in its report today titled “China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan”.

It begins the report by saying, “China on Thursday rejected remarks by former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda that Beijing had expressed willingness to improve ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, and said there was “no change” in its policy on Tokyo.”

Did China reject the remarks in order to show its unwillingness to improve ties?

Let me give an accurate translation below of the question asked and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang’s reply:

Question: It is reported that former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda said in his recent speech in Tokyo on August 27 that he met Chinese leaders when he visited China not long ago and that both sides had a sense of crisis regarding Japanese-Chinese relations. China expressed its desire to improve its relations with Japan. Fukuda also said that it was necessary to help bring about a meeting between Japanese and Chinese leaders in the period of informal meetings of APEC leaders this year. What is Chinese side’s comment on that?

Answer: Regarding the issue of improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations, China’s position has been consistent and clear without any change. The Japanese side is clear about that. Japan must face reality squarely, show sincerity, take concrete actions and make efforts to remove the political obstacles that affect the development of the relations between the two countries.

Did Fukuda say that there had been change in China’s position? No. Therefore, Qin’s words about no change in China’s position did not mean rejection of Fukuda’s remarks. Reuters means that Qin rejected Fukusa’s remark about China’s willingness. In fact, Qin said nothing about China’s willingness.

Qin meant that China’s desire for improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations has been consistent and clear without change. Since the relations soured due to Japanese government’s denial of the existence of disputes over the sovereignty to the disputed islands and Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine. It is now up to Japan to admit the existence of disputes and promise no repetition of activities similar to the visit for improvement and development of bilateral relations.

Since it is Japan that is now anxious to improve the relations undermined by its own actions, it is now up to Japan to correct its errors.

China is winning in its confrontation with Japan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said in his recent speech in Hawaii,“We are committed to avoiding the trap of strategic rivalry and intend on forging a relationship in which we broaden our cooperation on common interests and constructively manage our differences and disagreements.” Obviously, the US has softened its hardline attitude towards China.

Vietnam has taken the lead to mend ties due to lack of US support. Japan will only suffer the loss of opportunities if it fails to mend ties with China. China will lose nothing. Through two years of diplomatic efforts including forming alliance with Russia and applying carrot and stick in dealing with Vietnam and the Philippines, China now has achieved victory in dealing with its disputes in the East and South China Seas.

I believe there will be a summit meeting between Japan and China in November because being very clever, Abe certainly know how to take China’s terms and invent some excuses to safe face.

The following is the full text of Reuters report:

China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan

China on Thursday rejected remarks by former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda that Beijing had expressed willingness to improve ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, and said there was “no change” in its policy on Tokyo.

Relations between China and Japan have been frayed by rows over the legacy of Japan’s wartime militarism, a territorial feud over tiny islands in the East China Sea, and mutual distrust over defense policies.

China’s foreign ministry was asked to respond to a speech on Wednesday in which Fukuda described his recent meetings with Chinese leaders, and added that both sides had shown the same sense of crisis over Sino-Japanese ties.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said there was no change in China’s position on the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations.

“Japan must face up to reality, show sincerity, take concrete actions and make efforts to eliminate political obstacles that affect the development of bilateral relations,” Qin added, in a statement on the foreign ministry’s website.

Earlier this month, the Nikkei business daily said Japan and China were trying to arrange two-way talks between their leaders at an APEC summit in Beijing in November.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed his desire to mend ties during a meeting with Fukuda, who visited China late in July on a “stealth mission” to broker a rapprochement, the paper said, citing sources from both sides.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has yet to meet Chinese leaders since he returned to power late in 2012, as relations have cooled over disputed islands in the East China Sea and Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which China sees as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.

In a separate statement earlier, Qin urged Japan to “make a clean break with militarism” and win the trust of its Asian neighbors, following news of a condolence message Abe sent in April to a ceremony honoring Japanese “martyrs” convicted as war criminals after World War Two.

Abe surged back to power in December 2012 pledging to revive the economy, but remains committed to a conservative agenda that includes recasting Japan’s wartime past with a less apologetic tone and easing the limits of its pacifist constitution.

News of Abe’s condolence message was expected to further strain ties with China over Japan’s war record.

“We urge Japan to abide to their commitment to post-war non-aggression and take practical action to win the trust of their Asian neighbors and the international community,” Qin said in Wednesday’s statement.

Source: Reuters “China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan”

Related posts:

  • CHINA’S GREATER ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE dated January 29, 2012
  • US seeking calmer relationship with China, Kerry says dated August 15, 2014
  • China Uses Fishermen to Attack Vietnamese Fishing Boats at South China Sea dated August 25, 2014
  • Restoration of Chinese-Vietnamese Friendship Very Likely dated August 26, 2014
  • China’s Xi to Send His Close Friend to Mend Ties with Japan dated August 27, 2014
  • Tension with Vietnam Eased, Mending of China’s Ties with Japan More Likely dated yesterday

Vietnam, China trade barbs after Vietnamese fishing boat sinks


Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard talk as they monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel (top) on the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) offshore of Vietnam May 15, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Nguyen Minh

Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard talk as they monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel (top) on the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) offshore of Vietnam May 15, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Nguyen Minh

Vietnam and China traded accusations on Tuesday over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat not far from where China has parked an oil rig in the disputed South China Sea, as tensions fester between the two countries over the giant drilling platform.

Hanoi said some 40 Chinese fishing boats surrounded the Vietnamese craft on Monday before one of them rammed it and it sank. Vietnamese fishing boats operating nearby rescued the 10 fishermen on board, the government and the coastguard said.

China’s official Xinhua news agency, citing a government source, said the vessel capsized after “harassing and colliding with” a Chinese fishing boat.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Vietnam caused the incident with its “insistence on forcefully disrupting China’s normal operations and its dangerous actions on the seas.

“We urge the Vietnamese side once again to immediately stop all disruptive and damaging (activities),” he added.

Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have continued to square off around the rig despite a series of collisions this month after the platform was towed to the site. Each side has blamed the other over those incidents. Until Monday, no ship had sunk.

The disputed incident took place around 17 nautical miles from the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig, which is drilling between the Paracel islands occupied by China and the Vietnamese coast. China calls them the Xisha islands.

“A Vietnamese boat from the central city of Da Nang was deliberately encircled by 40 fishing vessels from China before it was attacked by a Chinese ship,” the head of Vietnam’s coastguard, Nguyen Quang Dam, told Reuters by telephone.

Xinhua said: “Crew aboard the boat were saved after their ship jostled a fishing boat from Dongfang City in southern China’s Hainan province and overturned in the waters near China’s Xisha Islands.”

Vietnam has said the rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf. China says it is operating within its waters.

FIRST DRILLING ROUND COMPLETE

In another area of the sea, to the north, one fisherman was killed and one disappeared when their boat was rammed by a “strange” vessel on Sunday, a Vietnamese official said.

“We haven’t had enough information to say where that strange boat came from. In this sensitive time, of course we think it’s a Chinese boat,” Pham Thi Huong, vice chairman of the Ly Son government, told Reuters by telephone.

The boat was from the island of Ly Son, near the Paracels.

On Tuesday, the oil rig’s operator, China Oilfield Services Ltd (COSL), said the rig had finished its first round of drilling and moved to another site in the area.

In a statement, COSL said exploration would still take place off the Xisha islands, suggesting the platform was not moving far.

The rig had “smoothly” completed the first phase of its work said COSL, the oil service arm of state-run China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) Group, which owns the $1 billion platform.

COSL said it had obtained relevant geological data from the drilling, but did not give details or specify the current location of the rig.

Neither officials from COSL nor CNOOC Group, parent of flagship unit CNOOC Ltd, could be reached for comment.

Vietnam state television on Monday said its reporters on a nearby boat had seen the rig move but it didn’t say how far.

In line with previous statements, COSL said drilling was on track to be completed by mid-August.

The rig is 240 km (150 miles) off Vietnam’s coast and 330 km (206 miles) from the southern coast of China’s Hainan island.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week said his government was considering taking legal action against China following the deployment of the rig.

That drew an angry response from China.

Earlier this month, mobs angered over the rig attacked mostly Taiwanese factories in Vietnam. Many of the rioters mistook Taiwanese companies to be owned by mainland Chinese. At least four workers were killed.

China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, displaying its reach on official maps with a so-called nine-dash line that stretches deep into the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the potentially energy-rich waters.

Source: Reuters “Vietnam, China trade barbs after Vietnamese fishing boat sinks”

Related posts:

  • China says Vietnam claims to disputed islets ‘ridiculous’ dated May 26, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated yesterday
  • China blames Vietnam, says will not cede inch of disputed territory dated May 16, 2014
  • China Takes the Offensive in South China Sea Disputes by Its Oil Rig Move dated May 21, 2014
  • Tensions surge in South China Sea as China locks horns with Philippines, Vietnam dated May 7, 2014

China says Vietnam claims to disputed islets ‘ridiculous’


Vietnam's spokesman Le Hai Binh (C) speaks at a news conference on the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in a part of the disputed South China Sea, in Hanoi May 7, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Nguyen Phuong Linh

Vietnam’s spokesman Le Hai Binh (C) speaks at a news conference on the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in a part of the disputed South China Sea, in Hanoi May 7, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Nguyen Phuong Linh

China described Vietnam’s claim to disputed South China Sea islands as “ridiculous” on Monday, as tension rises over competing claims of sovereignty in waters believed to be rich in oil and natural gas.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in one of Asia’s most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint. It also has a separate maritime dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea.

The row with Vietnam intensified this month after China dispatched an oil rig to an area near the disputed Paracel islands.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry held a press conference on Friday when officials stressed the country’s historical claim to the Paracels.

“Historical and legal evidence shows that Vietnam has absolute sovereignty in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos,” said Tran Duy Hai, deputy head of Vietnam’s National Border Committee.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang disagreed.

“Seeing that the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry held a press conference last Friday on the subject, I felt it was extremely ridiculous,” he said at a briefing on Monday. “The Paracels are the indisputable territory of the Chinese people.”

Qin said the Paracels had been part of Chinese territory since the Han dynasty, and that Chinese explorers had first discovered the islands.

Source: Reuters “China says Vietnam claims to disputed islets ‘ridiculous’”

Related posts:

  • Manila’s Philex plans to drill in disputed waters even without partner dated yesterday
  • Philippines’ Aquino says China violates informal code on sea dated May 19, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated yesterday
  • China blames Vietnam, says will not cede inch of disputed territory dated May 16, 2014
  • China Takes the Offensive in South China Sea Disputes by Its Oil Rig Move dated May 21, 2014
  • Tensions surge in South China Sea as China locks horns with Philippines, Vietnam dated May 7, 2014

China ‘resolutely opposes’ U.S. sanctions on missile parts supplier


Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.  Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl

Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.
Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl

China said on Wednesday it “resolutely opposes” U.S. sanctions that could harm non-proliferation work between the two countries after Washington laid charges against a Chinese businessman accused of allegedly procuring missile parts for Iran.

In a signal Washington would keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. State Department also offered up to $5 million for information leading to businessman Li Fangwei’s arrest or conviction.

Federal prosecutors also seized $6.9 million in funds that had been traced to Li.

“China resolutely opposes the United States citing domestic law to unilaterally impose sanctions on Chinese companies or individuals. We believe that what the United States has done will not help resolve the issue and will harm bilateral cooperation on counter proliferation, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China pays great attention to anti-proliferation export controls and will “seriously deal” with any violations of its laws, Qin told reporters at a regular press briefing.

“China urges the United States to stop these wrong acts of putting sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals and return to the correct path of anti-proliferation cooperation,” Qin said.

Li has been the target of U.S. sanctions in the past for his alleged role as a supplier to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

In 2009, he was charged with selling restricted materials to Iran by the Manhattan District Attorney and Treasury banned him and his company, LIMMT, from conducting business in the United States without a license or authorization.

The latest actions further limit Li’s ability to conduct business worldwide.

Contacted by Reuters on Feb 4, 2013, for an earlier story about his business, Li said he continued to get commercial inquiries from Iran but only for legitimate merchandise. Li said his metals company, LIMMT, had stopped selling to Iran once the United States began sanctioning the firm several years ago.

Reuters has been unable to contact him since.

Calls to multiple telephone numbers of LIMMT, based in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, either went unanswered, or the person answering hung up when asked for Li.

Described as a “known proliferator” and a “principal supplier” to Iran’s ballistic missile program, Li has also been accused of trying to buy materials from the United States, China and other countries that could be used by Iran to produce or deliver weapons of mass destruction.

Iran and a group of world powers reached a temporary agreement in November under which Tehran would get about $7 billion in sanctions relief in return for steps to restrain its nuclear activities.

In March, a U.S. official said Iran had pursued buying banned components for its nuclear and missile programs, even while it was striking the interim deal to limit its disputed nuclear program.

Vann Van Diepen, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international security and non-proliferation, said Li had continued to supply such items despite U.S. pressure on China to tighten export controls.

Source: Reuters “China ‘resolutely opposes’ U.S. sanctions on missile parts supplier”

Related posts:

  • A NEW ERA OF ENMITY BETWEEN CHINA AND AMERICA dated February 7, 2012
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • Chinese Dream and China’s Arms Race with the US dated January 8, 2013
  • China-Russia Arms Deals Are Political for Cold War Partnership dated March 31, 2013
  • Breakthrough in the Establishment of Cold War Partnership between China and Russia dated June 26, 2013
  • China ramps up military spending for arms race with the US dated March 5, 2014
  • Chinese Admiral and NPC Spokeswoman Justifies Arm Race with the US dated March 5, 2014

Manila to challenge China blockade in South China Sea


Philippine warship grounded at Renai Reef soon broken by rusting

Philippine warship grounded at Renai Reef soon broken by rusting

The Philippines is planning another challenge of a Chinese naval blockade of a disputed shoal in the South China Sea by sending civilian ships with supplies to its troops stationed there, a senior military official said on Thursday.

Chinese coastguard ships patrolling waters around Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren’ai reef and in the Philippines as Ayungin, ordered the same vessels to leave the area on Sunday.

Beijing claims Manila is trying to start construction on the disputed reef after it ran aground an old transport ship in 1999 to mark its territory and stationed marines on the ship. Manila claims the shoal is part of the Philippine’s continental shelf.

“We are on a humanitarian mission,” said a marine colonel, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “We are sending back the civilian ships to bring food and fresh water because they are running out of supplies. Fresh water supply is critically low.”

On Monday, the Philippine navy air-dropped food and water to soldiers stationed on the grounded transport ship. The fresh water supply is good only for three to four days, the colonel said.

China says Manila is planning to build a permanent structure on the shoal, which Beijing claims to be part of its territory based on its historical nine-dash-line claims. The Philippines denies Beijing’s assertion.

“We are abiding by the rules, or by the agreement that there will be no construction,” he said. “Those are mere items for improvement of the living conditions of our men there.”

On Tuesday, Manila summoned the second highest Chinese embassy official, calling the blockade “a clear and urgent threat to the rights and interests of the Philippines”.

Beijing’s claim over islands, reefs and atolls that form the Spratlys, a group of 250 uninhabitable islets spread over 165,000 square miles, has set it directly against U.S. allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the South China Sea.

The United States says it is troubled by China’s blockade, calling it a “provocative move”. China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticized Washington for getting involved.

“The U.S. statement … does not accord with its status as a non-involved country, violates the United States’ promise to not take a stance on the dispute, brings a negative influence to safeguarding the peace and stability of Southeast Asia, and finally, does not accord with its own interests,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

“China has the right to drive away the Philippines’ two ships,” Qin said in a statement posted to the ministry’s website, adding that the Philippines had violated a promise made years ago to tow away the beached ship.

Second Thomas Shoal, a strategic gateway to Reed Bank, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, is one of several possible maritime flashpoints that could prompt the United States to intervene in defense of Asian allies troubled by increasingly assertive Chinese maritime claims.

The South China Sea provides 10 percent of the global fish catch, carries $5 trillion in ship borne trade a year and its seabed is believed to be rich with energy reserves.

Source: Reuters “Manila to challenge China blockade in South China Sea”

Related posts:

  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Chinese People’s Obsession dated June 24, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Who Is Bullying Who? dated June 26, 2013
  • Confrontation over the South China Sea ‘doomed’, China tells claimants dated June 27, 2013
  • China says expels Philippine from disputed shoal dated March 10, 2014
  • Philippines air-drops supplies to troops on disputed reef after ships blocked by China dated March 13, 2014

In rare show of goodwill, China thanks Japan for plane search aid


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

China extended a rare gesture of goodwill towards Japan on Wednesday, offering thanks – albeit indirectly – for an offer of help to look for a Malaysia Airlines aircraft which when missing on a flight to Beijing over the weekend.

China’s ties with Japan have long been poisoned by what China sees as Japan’s failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two.

Beijing’s anger over the past is never far from the surface, and relations have deteriorated sharply over the past 18 or so months because of a bitter dispute over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Japan announced officially on Wednesday that it would send four military planes to help in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said he was aware of the news, though did not know if Japanese forces had already set off.

“I believe that in the face of such an incident, the international community, whether Malaysia, China or neighboring countries, have a shared concern,” Qin told a daily news briefing.

“If other countries can, and are willing, to send ships to participate in search work, we welcome it and express our thanks.”

The massive search operation involving ships and aircraft from 10 countries is spread out over the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, which lie between Malaysia and Vietnam, and in the Strait of Malacca extending into the AndamanSea.

“There is an urgent need for help as soon as possible. So we hope to use the large amount of experience that the Japanese Self Defence Forces have in search operations to do everything we can to search for this plane,” Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said at a meeting to officially dispatch the planes to Malaysia.

Japan’s Defence Ministry on Tuesday sent an advance team of four Self Defence Forces members to see what could to done to help in the investigation of fate of Flight MH370, which vanished on Saturday with 239 people on board.

Japan added it would send at least one C-130 transport on Wednesday and another three planes were scheduled to leave soon, including two P3C surveillance planes.

Source: Reuters “In rare show of goodwill, China thanks Japan for plane search aid”

Related posts:

  • Japan scrambles jets against Chinese planes dated February 9, 2014
  • China says no room for compromise with Japan on history, territory dated March 8, 2014
  • China Has Made Full Preparations for War with Japan dated March 3, 2014
  • China Gives Order to Commence War with Japan ‘if It Is Appropriate to Fight’ dated February 23, 2014
  • Japanese PM Abe, Chinese President Xi Jinping Both Want a War. Can It Be Avoided? dated January 25, 2014

China says expels Philippine from disputed shoal


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

China said on Monday that coast guard ships had driven away two Philippine vessels which had tried to approach a shoal in the South China Sea in the latest flare-up of a long-running territorial dispute.

The Chinese ships were patrolling waters around Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren’ai reef, when they spotted the Philippine boats, carrying construction materials and Philippine flags, which left the area after being warned off, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

The incident happened on Sunday, he added.

Qin said that China had repeatedly demanded the Philippines remove a ship which had been grounded on the shoal in 1999, but that Manila had cited technical reasons for being unable to do so.

“This time, the Philippine side has again attempted to start construction on the reef,” he told a daily news briefing. “The moves infringed China’s sovereignty.”

China had no choice but to respond to the Philippines’ moves, Qin added.

Manila ran aground an old transport ship on the reef in 1999 to mark its territory, and has stationed marines in abject conditions on the rusting ship.

China’s claims over islands, reefs and atolls in resource-rich waters off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia have set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts.

The Second Thomas Shoal, a strategic gateway to Reed Bank, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, is one of several possible flashpoints in the South China Sea that could force the United States to intervene in defense of its Southeast Asian allies.

In 2010, Manila awarded an Anglo-Filipino consortium a license to explore for gas on Reed Bank, but drilling stalled in 2012, because of the presence of Chinese ships.

Manila says Reed Bank, about 80 nautical miles west of Palawan island at the southwestern end of the Philippine archipelago, is within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Beijing says it is part of the Spratlys, a group of 250 uninhabitable islets spread over 165,000 square miles, claimed entirely by China, Taiwan and Vietnam and in part by Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

Source: Reuters “China says expels Philippine from disputed shoal”

Related posts:

  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Chinese People’s Obsession dated June 24, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Who Is Bullying Who? dated June 26, 2013
  • Confrontation over the South China Sea ‘doomed’, China tells claimants dated June 27, 2013

The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation the West 2


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

I now continue my analysis of the between-lines meaning of what Chinese leaders and diplomats said about the events in Ukraine.

What I analyzed yesterday was but the words of Qin Gang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Qin’s words certainly represent Chinese government’s views, but if something a higher ranking diplomat or leader said is different from Qin’s words, we certainly regard the diplomat’s or leader’s views as Chinese government latest stance.

Luckily, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held his annual press conference yesterday to enable us to know Chinese government’s views from a higher authority.

The following is an accurate translation of Wang’s words on Ukraine published at the website of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Wang Yi on Situation in Ukraine: What is urgent to do now is to keep calm and restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions in the situation.

March 8, 2014

On March 8, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in reply to reporters’ questions at a press conference of the NPC (National People’s Congress) and CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) [annual] session, China adopts a just and objective attitude towards the Ukrainian issue. We have times and again expounded our stand.

Wang Yi said: There are causes for the development of the situation in Ukraine to what it is today, which is regrettable and at the same time reflects the complicate course of developments and the external relations in history as well as the conflicting interests behind the issues. The more difficult the issues, the greater the caution required in dealing with them.

Wang Yi said: China is keeping on communicating with various parties concerned and we are willing to play a constructive role in bringing about a political settlement of the Ukraine issues.

CCTV (Chinese Central TV)’s primetime news on the conference gives a short summary of the press conference and only shows Wang Yi speaking on two issues on the screen: The Japan and Ukraine issues.

We see a Chinese reporter asking a question about Ukraine and then see Wang Yi saying: There are causes for the development of the situation in Ukraine to what it is today, which is regrettable. What is urgent to do now is to keep calm and restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions in the situation. The Ukraine issue shall be put onto the track of political settlement through dialogue and consultations. The underlined part here does not appear in the above Foreign Ministry’s passages of Wang Yi’s words.

The underlined parts in the Foreign Ministry’s passages of Wang Yi’s words is identical to a part of CCTV’s report of what Wang Yi said. The repetition proves their importance, but what do they mean, i.e. what are the causes? What is regrettable?

The answers can be found in the next phrase in the Foreign Ministry’s passage “and at the same time reflects the complicate course of developments and external relations in history as well as the conflicting interests behind the issues.” The causes are as hinted in spokesman Qin Gang words, West interference that supported the protesters in overthrowing President Yanukovych.

China regrets that China’s interests may be gravely harmed as China has signed lots of agreements involving $8 billion investment when Yanukovych visited China last December especially for import and joint development of advanced weapons and technology. With those agreements, China will get the technology to build the largest transport aircraft in the world, advanced engines for its light stealth fighter jet, the technology for production and welding of wide thick steel plates for the new aircraft carriers China is building, etc., which are vital for China’s military modernization. In addition, China has already had investment in about 10% of Ukraine’s farm land. All those may be seriously affected.

What about Russia? Is Russia a cause for the development of situation in Ukraine? Is Russian invasion of Ukraine regrettable? No.

In the evening of March 4, Putin talked with Xi Jinping over the phone. The website of Russian President says, “Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussed the exceedingly complex situation unfolding in Ukraine, noting their close positions. They expressed hope that the steps being taken by Russia’s leadership will help decrease sociopolitical tension and ensure the security of the Russian-speaking population in Crimea and Ukraine’s eastern regions.”

Since their positions are “close”, certainly China does not think that Russia invasion of Crimea is regrettable. On the contrary, Xi share Putin’s hope that the steps taken by Russia (including invasion of Crimea) will help decrease tension and especially “ensure the security of the Russian-speaking population” in eastern Ukraine.

CCTV’s primetime report on the telephone conversation between the two presidents on March 4 refrains from openly mention the “close positions” but gives hints on that. It says, “Xi Jinping expounded China’s principled stand and pointed out there were inevitability in the fortuitous development of the situation in Ukraine to what it is today.”

What does Xi mean by the word inevitability? He hints that Western interference makes the fortuitous events inevitably develop to what it is today.

Xi hints that he shares Putin’s position by saying that he “believes the Russian side will be able to coordinate with various parties, promote a political settlement of the issues and safeguard regional and world peace and stability.”

You may ask the question again whether China regards Russia’s interference in Crimea as regrettable. China always advocates none-interference with other country’s internal affairs, but Crimea is an exception.

The following is the accurate translation of related passages in the records of Foreign Ministry’s routine press conference on March 4 published on the Ministry’s website:

Question: China has expressed its always adhered principle of non-interference with internal affairs and at the same time also takes into consideration of the course of developments and the external relations in history as well as the complexity of the reality. What “the course of developments and the external relations in history” means specifically? Does China deny that Russia’s action in Crimea is interference with Ukraine’s internal affairs?

Answer: Regarding Ukraine issue, China has already made clear its stand. As for the course of development and the external relations in history you mentioned, please review and refer to the relevant history of Ukraine and that area. I believe when you know the relevant history, you will understand what we meant when making clear our position.

Regarding the second question, I would like to ask you to understand China’s stand in a complete and systematic manner. We adhere to the principle of non-interference with internal affairs and respect international law and the generally accepted norms of internal relationship and at the same time take into consideration of the course of development and external relations in history and the complexity of the reality. You can make an analysis of the reasons why the Ukraine issue has developed to what it is today from various parties’ activities and conducts during the past few months.

The meaning between lines:
Taking into consideration of the history and reality, Russia’s activities and conducts in Crimea are justified; therefore, though China opposes interference with internal affairs, China does not oppose Russia’s actions and conducts in Crimea.

However, as mentioned in my post on the same topic yesterday, China opposes the West’s interference. China has double standards for West’s and Russia’s actions and conducts due its consideration of the course of development and external relations in history and the complexity of the reality!

The meaning between lines will enable people to see clearer the situation of the New Cold War of Russia plus China v. the United States.

Article by Chan Kai Yee

Sources: Website of PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs “Wang Yi on Situation in Ukraine:” and “On March 4, 2014, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang presides over routine press conference”, CCTV “Foreign Minister Replied Chinese and Foreign Reporters’ Questions” and “Xi Jinping had telephone conversation with Russian President Putin” (summary and accurate translation of passages of the articles in Chinese)

Source: Website of Russian President “Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping”

Related posts:

  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with US dated March 8, 2014
  • Cold War Again: Russia Plus China v. US dated March 7, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China paper slams West’s ‘Cold War mentality’ over Ukraine dated February 27, 2014
  • Putin Wins advantages from Both Sides in Sino-Japanese Conflict” on February 7, 2014
  • Breakthrough in the Establishment of Cold War Partnership between China and Russia dated June 26, 2013
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012

China says Japan PM ‘shuts door’ on talks with war shrine visit


A Shinto priest leads Abe, center, at the Yasukuni shrine on Thursday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A Shinto priest leads Abe, center, at the Yasukuni shrine on Thursday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

China said on Monday that its leaders will not meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his visit to a shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime aggression, underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia’s two biggest economies.

Abe had repeated his hopes for talks with Beijing last week, when he visited the Yasukuni shrine where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.

The visit infuriated China and South Korea, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces until the end of the war, and prompted concern from the United States about rising tensions between the North Asian neighbors.

Abe said then that relations with China and South Korea were important and he hoped “for an opportunity to explain to China and South Korea that strengthening ties would be in the national interest”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing that “Abe has himself shut the door on talks with Chinese leaders”.

“Since assuming office, Abe has miscalculated on Sino-Japan ties, and made mistake after mistake, especially visiting the Yasukuni Shrine which houses ‘Class A’ war criminals. These people are fascists, the Nazis of Asia,” he said.

“Of course the Chinese people don’t welcome such a Japanese leader, and Chinese leaders will not meet him.”

Qin called on Abe to “admit his mistakes to the Chinese government and people”.

South Korea said it would not now take part in talks on shared defense and intelligence agreements Seoul and Tokyo had been planning to hold next month.

“I hope there would be no acts next year which destroy trust between two countries or worsen the public sentiment by digging up the wounds of the past,” President Park Geun-hye said in a meeting with aides, reported by the Yonhap news agency.

ISLANDS ROW

It was the first visit to Yasukuni by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.

Ties between Japan and China were already precarious due to a simmering row over ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. China has said it is willing to talk to Japan about the issue, but has accused Abe of not being serious about wanting to resolve the dispute.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s annual visits to Yasukuni during his 2001-2006 tenure were a major factor in a chill in ties between China and Japan. Abe, who succeeded Koizumi in 2006, repaired frayed ties with China then with a summit meeting, but has since said he regretted not visiting the shrine during his first 2006-2007 term.

Abe has called for dialogue with China since returning to power a year ago, but Beijing had shown no inclination to respond to those overtures even before the latest Yasukuni controversy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Abe did meet briefly on two occasions this year – at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali in October and on the fringes of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in September.

Beijing will host APEC next year.

Source: Reuters “China says Japan PM ‘shuts door’ on talks with war shrine visit”

Related posts:

  • China media condemns Japan PM for paying homage to ‘devils’ dated December 28
  • Abe Visit to Controversial Japanese Shrine Draws Rare US Criticism dated December 27
  • EU High Representative expresses concern about Abe’s Yasukuni visit dated December 27

Japan, South Korean military planes defy China’s new defense zone


Photo of the group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

Photo of the group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

Japanese and South Korean military aircraft flew through disputed air space over the East China Sea without informing China, officials said on Thursday, challenging a new Chinese air defense zone that has increased regional tensions and sparked concerns of an unintended clash.

The move came after Tokyo’s close ally Washington defied China’s demand that airplanes flying through its unilaterally announced zone identify themselves to Chinese authorities, flying two unarmed B-52 bombers over the islands on Tuesday without informing Beijing.

Tensions have ratcheted up since Beijing’s weekend announcement of the zone that includes the skies over islands at the heart of a feud between Japan and China, and its demand that planes flying in the area first notify Chinese authorities.

Japan and the United States have sharply criticized the move, which some experts said was aimed not only at chipping away at Tokyo’s control of the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, but also at challenging U.S. dominance in the region.

The United States does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands but recognizes Tokyo’s administrative control and has assured Japan that the U.S.-Japan security pact covers them.

The developments are expected to dominate U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan, China and South Korea next week.

Also on Thursday, China rejected South Korea’s demand for the repeal of the zone, but appeared to soften its demand that commercial aircraft tell its military authorities of any plans to transit the area. Japan’s two biggest airlines have already begun defying that order.

“The East China Sea Air Defence Identification zone is not aimed at normal international flights. We hope that relevant countries’ airlines can proactively cooperate, so there is more order and safety for flights,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said naval ships and patrol planes have been operating in the East China Sea and would continue to do so.

“They are carrying out surveillance activity as before in the East China Sea, including the zone,” Suga told a news conference, adding there has been no particular response from China. “We are not going to change this (activity) out of consideration to China,” he added.

BEIJING REJECTS SEOUL’S DEMAND

A South Korean official also said a navy reconnaissance plane had flown over a submerged rock in the area claimed by both Beijing and Seoul, and that the flights would continue.

The rock, called Ieodo in Korea and Suyan Rock in China, is controlled by South Korea, which maintains a maritime research station built on it.

Asked about the South Korean flight, Chinese spokesman Qin only said that Beijing was aware of it.

South Korea’s reaction to Beijing’s weekend declaration has been somewhat muted, reflecting its efforts to forge closer ties with China and a chill in relations with Japan.

On Thursday, however, Seoul’s vice defence minister told a senior Chinese military official that the move to impose the new rules created military tension in the region and called on Beijing to rectify the zone

“The Chinese reaction was that they will not be accepting the (South) Korean side’s demand,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters after talks between Vice Defence Minister Baek Seung-joo and Wang Guanzhong, the deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Asked if China would heed Japanese calls to revoke the air defence zone, China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Tokyo had implemented its own zone in 1969 and blamed it for raising tensions with its double standards.

“Japan consistently blames others and smears the name of other countries but never examines its own conduct,” Yang said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website after a press briefing that was closed to foreign reporters.

“If they want it revoked, then we would ask that Japan first revoke its own air defence identification zone and China will reconsider it after 44 years,” Yang said.

Japan says it only requires planes headed for its territorial air space to notify authorities, not those merely transiting through its air defence identification zone.

In the ongoing war of words, the policy panel of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party approved a resolution on Thursday demanding China rescind the new air defence zone, saying the unilateral move reflected “unreasonable expansionism”. But the resolution dropped a more inflammatory reference to “premodern and imperialist expansionism” contained in an earlier draft.

Source: Reuters “Japan, S. Korean military planes defy China’s new defense zone”