Tension Eased as China Says 15 Government Ships Are for ‘Big Catch of Fish’


Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua (left) and Toshihiro Nikai (second from left) meet in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Kyodo

Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua (left) and Toshihiro Nikai (second from left) meet in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Kyodo

In my post yesterday titled “Japan Panicked as 7 of 10 Chinese Government Ships Armed with Cannons”, I says based on HK radio that Japan regards the situation as very serious as it finds that 7 of the 10 Chinese government ships in the sea area near the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkakus in Japan) carry cannons. Japanese foreign minister directly contacted his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and asked Chinese ships to leave as soon as possible.

China’s official media Global Times says in its report today that Japan has lodged 23 protests over the past 5 days through various channels against Chinese government ships and fishing boats operating within 12 nautical miles of the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

The operation of 15, the largest number ever, government ships in disputed waters is obviously China’s retaliation at Japan’s interference with China’s disputes in the South China Sea. Japan is not a party to the disputes nor a South China Sea country, but it has been urging China to respect the Hague ruling on the dispute and even expressed “deep concern” over China’s rejection of Hague arbitration ruling in its annual defense review on August 2.

However, neither Japan nor China wants tension to deteriorate without limit. Japan elected Toshihiro Nikai, a pro-Beijing politician, as secretary general of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party because after all Japan has lots of investment and interests in China. China, on the other hand, wants to keep good economic relations with Japan.

As a measure to ease the tension, Chinese ambassador to Japan Chen Yonghua visited Nikai to congratulate him. SCMP says in its report titled “Why are Chinese vessels sailing off the Diaoyus? According to Beijing’s envoy, they’re after ‘big fish’” today that Nikai expressed his concerns to Chen about the operations of large number of Chinese government ships in disputed waters.

Chen was previously very tough and contended that the area is China’s territory waters, hinting that Chinese ships were there to claim China’s sovereignty. However, to Nikai who he regards as a friend, he said instead that the unprecedented large number of 15 Chinese government ships were there for a “big catch of fish”.

SCMP says that Nikai said he was told by Cheng Yonghua that “fish were markedly concentrated” in the area around the islets. As Chen told Nikai Beijing would address the situation “sincerely” and has agreed with Nikai on a plan to seek an amicable solution through dialogue, the crisis must have been over now.

However, there has been no sign that China is withdrawing its government ships and its fishing boats have remained there to conduct large-scale fishing.

This blogger has pointed out in his previous posts that the disputed islands are but useless rocks and what China care is the fish and energy resources around them. Now China is getting the benefits of having the disputed islands by exploiting the fish and energy resources there. Is there any need for China to take the disputed islands by force? Better maintaining the profitable status quo and let Japan has nominal administration of the disputed islands. What is the point to have military conflict with Japan for those worthless rocks?

Comments by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at:
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2002039/why-are-chinese-vessels-sailing-diaoyus-according.


Japan Panicked as 7 of 10 Chinese Government Ships Armed with Cannons


Radio Hong Kong says in its report 2 hours ago that Japan finds that 7 of the 10 Chinese government ships in the sea area near the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkakus in Japan) carrying cannons. It regards the situation as very serious so that Japanese foreign minister directly contacted his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and asked Chinese ships to leave as soon as possible.

Source: Radio Hong Kong “Japan says it finds 10 Chinese government ships sailing in the area near the Diaoyus” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China Sends 15 Coastguard Ships to Disputed Waters with Japan


China has sent 2 more coastguard ships to the sea area near the Diaoyus (known as Senkakus in Japan), setting a new record of having 15 government ships there. The number of boats fishing there has risen to 400 from 230.

Japanese media are shocked by the size of coastguard fleet and some of them regard China’s operation as an attempt to make such operation an established one.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told provincial departments concerned to calmly and resolutely deal with the incident according to international and domestic law and gave the instruction that Japan shall intensify coordination with the US and other countries concerned to provide “correct intelligence” to Japanese people and international community.

However, the website of NHK TV stressed on August 8 that according to the fishery agreement between Japan and China, both countries’ fishing boats can conduct lawful fishing in the sea area.

Source: Global Times “Japanese media amazed by 15 Chinese government ships patrolling the Diaoyus” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


7 More Chinese Ships Escorting Fishing in Disputed Waters with Japan


In my post “230 Chinese Fishing Boats Fish in Disputed Waters with Japan” yesterday, I said, “It is fishing season now. China sends a fishing fleet of 232 boats escorted by coastguard ships to the areas around the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku in Japan).”

At that time there are 6 coastguard ships there protecting Chinese fishing boats. Japan protested and told Chinese vessels to leave the area as it regards the Diaoyus as its territories. Chinese coastguard ships, however, told Japanese coastguard ships to leave the area as China regards the Diaoyus as Chinese territories.

I said in that post, “Such protest repeats every year since 2012 when China sent a fishing fleet of 1,000 boats to fish in the disputed waters”.

Perhaps due to Japan’s protest, according to Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily’s report three hours ago, China has sent 7 more coastguard ships there to challenge Japanese coastguard ships. Japan found that 2 of the coastguard ships sailed within 12 nautical miles around the islands, which Japan regard as its territorial waters and lodged a second protest with Chinese embassy in Japan. Such protests, Japan knows, are useless as according to Japanese statistics, Chinese government ships have entered the waters 22 times this year. Japan’s first protest this time has only caused China to send 7 more coastguard ships to the area.

Source: Singtao Daily “13 Chinese coastguard ships sailing near the Diaoyu Islands” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


The Enigma of China’s Establishment of East China Sea ADIZ


China does not have the strength to force US and Japanese air forces to respect China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Then why did it establish it? To prove Chinese air force’s weakness?

Certainly not. Chinese leaders were not as stupid as that.

China was provoking Japan to fight a war by its establishment of the ADIZ. At that time, there is popular desire among Chinese people to fight a war against Japan to revenge China’s defeat in the first Sino-Japanese war 120 years ago.

In one of my post on that event, I cited the story of Emperor Shizong of the Late Zhou Dynasty, one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history, who established a strong powerbase from nothing soon after succession to the throne by winning an unexpected victory against a strong enemy. At that time, facing strong resistance against his thorough reform and anti-corruption and mass-line campaigns, Chinese President Xi Jinping needed such a victory and China was capable to wipe out US aircraft carrier battle groups near its coasts with saturate anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles.

To prevent US retaliation with nuclear weapons, China began to show off its strategic nuclear submarines and submarine-launched ICBMs in addition to land-based mobile ICBMs that are able to conduct surprise counter nuclear attack minutes after they leave the 5,000 km tunnels China has built for second strike.

At that time, if Japan had fired the first shot, there would certainly have been a war. Why? China’s guiding philosophy now is a mixture of Marxism and China’s traditional Confucianism.

There is Confucius sage Mencius’ well-known saying on war in the Chinese classic Mencius: “Favorable timing is not as good as geological advantage, while geological advantage is not as good as popular support.”

Before entering a war, Chinese strategists have to consider whether there are the three essential factors of timing, geological advantage and popular support for winning a war.

The timing is good as at that time South Korea had been upset by Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine and Sino-Russian relations had been the best ever. No countries will support Japan in the war except the US while China my get Russia’s support in the war.

The geological advantage is obvious: China would have been fighting near its coast with strong support of land-based missiles and aircrafts while the US would have been fighting an expensive war far away from its homeland with logistic difficulties.

Finally, the most important factor: popular support. The US failed in the Korean War, Vietnamese War, and its wars of invasion into Iraq and Afghanistan not because of insufficient military or financial power, but due to lost of popular support in prolonged wars. American people do not want to fight a war, especially a prolonged war! In fact, no people in whatever country support a prolonged war; therefore, it is better not even to begin a war. Xi, however, may make the war short by destroying Japan with China’s over 1,000 intermediate missiles.

However, Xi was wise that he promised to refrain from firing the first shot when US Vice President Joe Biden had a long talk with Xi during Biden’s Beijing visit. He knew that the US would not support Japan if Japan fired the first shot.

As a result, Xi won without fighting a war as previously Japan had sole administration of the disputed Diaoyu (known in Japan as Senkaku) Islands. By that time, Chinese warships and aircrafts patrolled the areas around the islands and Japan was unable to stop the patrols as the US would not support Japan if Japan started the war. The US even regarded it as stupid to fight a war for a few “rocks”.

In addition, China has included the disputed areas in its ADIZ. That certainly pleased Chinese people and won Xi popularity.

China wants Japan to admit but Japan refuses to admit that there are disputes over those islands, but China’s actions prove Japan’s de facto admit of the existence of the disputes.

The truth beneath Xi’s enigma of brinkmanship is Xi’s success in winning popularity at home for establishment of his powerbase and making Japan accept as routine Chinese patrol of the areas.

There is no need for his brinkmanship any more now as Xi has initially established his powerbase with his successful mass-line and anti-corruption campaigns and commencement of his thorough reforms.

Regarding China’s confrontation with Japan, Xi has achieved what China’s gifted strategist Sun Tze upholds in his The Art of War: “Subduing the enemy without fighting is the best of the best.”

However, I have to point out the danger of a fierce war remains due to Chinese people bitter remembrance of their great grandparents’ sufferings during Japanese invasion of China.

Without sufficient repentance, Japan is still faced with the danger of attack of its homeland by China’s more than 1,000 intermediate missiles, which may destroy Japan even with conventional warheads as Japan’s anti-missile capabilities are not enough to intercept most of them.

Chinese people will not support their leaders if China uses all those missiles to destroy any other countries or regions including Taiwan to cause heavy civilian casualties but Japan is the only exception due to Japan’s war crimes in China decades ago.

Source: Chinese classics Mencius and The Art of War (translation of excerpts from Chinese by Can Kai Yee)


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

Tension with Vietnam Eased, Mending of China’s Ties with Japan More Likely


One of this blogger’s readers Laipei gave the following comment on my post “China Has to Ease Tension with Japan, Vietnam to Prove Its Peaceful Rise Intention” on August 27:

so, Japan and Vietnam dont have obligation to prove their peaceful rise ?

japan and vietnam dont need to ease tension to convince international community that they are ready to live peacefully with neighbor?

He seems to hold that as Japan and Vietnam also have the duties to ease their tension with China, this blogger’s wish for China to prove its intentions of peaceful rise is unfair.

This blogger has to point out:

Japan is stagnant now. When it was quite strong, it brought disasters to Asian people. What Japanese people have to do now is to prove they are really sorry for the war crimes committed by their forefathers during World War II and will never repeat such crimes. If Japan is rising as surprisingly as China now, proving its intention of peaceful rise is not enough. It has to show real repentance.

Vietnam is not rising so surprisingly as China has been doing. Even if it is, it will not scare its neighbors as it is not a large country like China.

Therefore, Laipei’s question about what Japan and Vietnam shall do for their rise is irrelevant. There has so far been no sign at all that either of the two countries will achieve marvelous economic growth.

The sudden rise of a large country such as the Soviet Union and Germany did scare its neighbors. Chinese leaders are wise to repeatedly make clear China’s intention for a peaceful rise.

Now, media outside China are publishing sensational articles about the threat of China’s rise. As good relations with other countries are important for China’s further rise, China has to prove its intention of peaceful rise with its actins in easing the tension with its neighbors. There are conditions for China to achieve that as both Japan and Vietnam have expressed their intention to improve their relations with China.

This blogger is lucky that his prediction about the improvement in his post “Restoration of Chinese-Vietnamese Friendship Very Likely” on August 26 turned out to be true. China and Vietnam improved their relations yesterday.

Due to the ease in the tension between China and Vietnam, it is even more likely for China and Japan to improve their relations. This blogger believes a summit meeting between Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will take place to restore the satisfactory relations between Japan and China for decades after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, Reuters says in its report on the event, “Vietnam, which relies heavily on Chinese materials for its manufacturing sector, has good economic reasons for mending ties with its giant northern neighbor, but perceived concessions to Beijing could prove deeply unpopular at home.”

A country’s leader shall have the wisdom and courage to do something unpopular but bring long-term benefit to his country.

In fact, it is not Vietnam alone who has made the concession. China has also made concession. The joint development of disputed waters means allowing Vietnam to share the benefit of the joint exploitation. There is rising nationalism not only in Vietnam but also in China. The concession is unpopular in China too. Chines people may wonder why China does not fight a war with Vietnam for exclusive exploitation of the resources. China is much stronger than Vietnam economically and militarily.

That is why a naïve girl’s article on six wars China must fight within the coming five decades has been so popular in China. The five wars she said are with Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Mongolia, Japan and Russia.

Shall such popular view be followed by wise Chinese leaders? Certainly not. If China fights such five wars in the coming five decades, it will have trouble for at least five centuries. What if the five countries form an alliance to deal with China?

China shall never treat its neighbors as its enemy unless its neighbor wants to treat it as an enemy. It shall not even attack Japan to settle old account. It shall learn from the lesson from Germany and France. The two countries fought for nearly a century for their disputed border areas. Their enmity was one of the causes for the two world wars. When they realized they had to put behind their dispute and be friends for their better future, they become the founding nations of the EU to bring prosperity to lots of European countries including themselves.

That is why for a time in the past China tried to form a greater Asia co-prosperity sphere for common prosperity of all Asian countries. The first step it has achieved is the establishment of the free-trade relations with ASEAN. Recently China and ASEAN have decided to upgrade their free-trade relations. That will be the right beginning for the establishment of such a sphere that will bring much more benefit for China and all other Asian countries. The sphere may also grow into something like European Union. China will be much more benefited in such good neighbor relations than fighting six wars with its neighbors to get some barren disputed areas.

Related posts:

  • CHINA’S GREATER ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE dated January 29, 2012
  • China massive construction of surveillance fleet including world largest patrol ship dated January 22, 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


Li Xiaolin

Li Xiaolin

I mentioned in my previous posts that when China started opening to the outside world in late 1970s, Japan took the lead in investing in and providing funds and technology for China. Sino-Japanese relations were the closest among China’s relations with the West when Hu Yaobang was the general secretary. It proves Japanese politicians’ and businessmen’s wisdom in grasping the opportunities to enter the vast Chinese market.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s enmity towards China perhaps originated from Japan’s concern about China’s rise, but it has been proved by reality that the enmity can by no means hinder China’s rise. Japan has to live with such rise and exploit the opportunities provided by China’s rise as it was used to do in the past.

Good relations with China are very important for Japanese economy. Seeing the importance, since last May Abe has tried hard to mend fence. 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.

Xi seems to also have the intention to improve relations. First he told Chinese foreign minister to meet his Japanese counterpart on August 11. Now, there is news that his close friend Li Xiaolin will visit Japan. It seems China and Japan are both busy making preparations for the summit meeting. This blogger believes that China and Japan will mend ties as their mutual relations are very important for their economies.

The following is the full text of The Japan Times’s report on Li’s visit:

Senior Chinese official may visit Japan next month

Kyodo Aug 26, 2014

BEIJING – A senior Chinese official known to be close to President Xi Jinping is considering visiting Japan next month, sources said Monday.

If Li Xiaolin, the youngest daughter of former President Li Xiannian, does visit, she should likely hold talks with senior Japanese officials as the two countries try to improve relations at least slightly before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in November in Beijing.

Li, head of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, was Xi’s “emissary” and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo the day before he took office Dec. 26, 2012, sources said earlier.

Li, who has been a friend of Xi since they were children, also met secretly with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso as well as Masahiko Komura, vice chief of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, when she visited Tokyo in spring 2013, according to the sources.

The official reason for Li’s planned trip is to participate in an event aimed at promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, the sources said.

In addition to the event in Osaka on Sept. 22 and 23, she is considering attending a ballet with the theme of friendship between Japan and China on Oct. 7 in Tokyo, the sources said.

Since Abe took office, there have been no official talks between him and Xi, mainly due to tension over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and China’s anger over Abe’s visit in December to Yasukuni Shrine.

Senior Chinese officials have said there will be no meeting between the two leaders unless Tokyo acknowledges the territorial dispute over the islets and Abe promises not to visit Yasukuni again.

But China since spring has been accepting various Japanese delegations and sending clearer signals that while the cause of the bilateral tension boils down to Abe, Beijing is willing to promote exchanges between the two countries.

Most recently, Vice President Li Yuanchao told a group of visiting Japanese lawmakers in Beijing in mid-August that the two countries should now “overlook minor disagreements for the sake of common interests” and both sides need to make efforts to mend bilateral relations.

Earlier this month, for the first time since Abe took power in 2012, the foreign ministers of the two countries also held one-on-one talks.

In late July, former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met secretly with Xi in Beijing and discussed the possibility of a meeting between him and Abe on the sidelines of the APEC summit, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Source: The Japan Times “Senior Chinese official may visit Japan next month”

Related posts:

  • China Has to Ease Tension with Japan, Vietnam to Prove Its Peaceful Rise Intention dated today
  • Great Hope in Easing the Tension between China and Japan dated August 19, 2014
  • China and Japan talk in Myanmar on easing political tensions dated August 11, 2014
  • Japan, China seek to hold summit at APEC in November: media dated August 4, 2014
  • China Has Got the Most It Can in Disputes with Japan: Why Keeping the Tension? dated July 29, 2014
  • Prospects of a Thaw in Sino-Japanese Relations dated July 13, 2014

Great Hope in Easing the Tension between China and Japan


A group of Japanese lawmakers, including Kiyohiko Toyama (right) of the New Komeito party attend a press conference in Beijing, after meeting with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (left). Photos: Reuters, Kyodo

A group of Japanese lawmakers, including Kiyohiko Toyama (right) of the New Komeito party attend a press conference in Beijing, after meeting with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (left). Photos: Reuters, Kyodo

Japanese Prime Minister is really a very clever patriotic Japanese politician. Domestically, as soon as he came to power, he intensified Japanese enmity against China and South Korea in order to rouse Japanese people’s patriotism to help him revitalize Japanese economy.

Internationally, he exploited other countries’, especially America’s concern about China’s rise to help him contain China. He knows well a powerful China might first of all be a threat to Japan due to the misery Japan inflicted China in the past. Who knows that China will not retaliate when it is capable to?

He believed that he chose the right timing as when he came to power, Chinese leader Xi Jinping was in great difficulties in fighting against corruption and official despotism and for further thorough reform.

The US regarded itself as world leader that led Japan in dealing with China. The actual fact is the contrary. The US knew well Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine will infuriate not only China but also its ally South Korea, a country very important in the alliance among US, Japan and South Korea against China. Therefore, US Vice President spent one hour trying to persuade Abe not to visit the shrine but in vain.

By drawing in the US, Philippines and Vietnam, Abe has achieved his goal to create tension of not only Japan but also the US and some Southeast Asian countries with China.

He was the de facto leader in Asia in containing China while US President Obama was in fact led by Abe by the nose.

Japan is one of few nations that know China well. Abe certainly knows the greatest obstacles to Xi’s efforts are the powerful corrupt generals and officials who control the military and security forces. When Abe saw Xi’s removal of a top general and the security tsar though retired but remain powerful, he immediately realized that Xi would succeed in his reform to make China the largest and richest consumer market in the world.

The market will offer Japan the best opportunity to revitalize its economy. Like Xi Jinping, Abe is also a man of quick decision and action. He immediately switched to seeking to mend ties with China. He first sent in May through his senior assistant Masahiko Kōmura, vice president of LDP, a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping that he hoped to hold a meeting with Xi for improvement of relations.

China’s number 3 leader NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang met Kōmura and promised to pass the message to President Xi. That indicated there was hope for a summit meeting between Abe and Xi.

Soon Abe sent one more envoy for the summit. Late in July, former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda visited China on a “stealth mission” to broker a rapprochement. Chinese President Xi Jinping met Fukuda and expressed his desire to mend relations with Japan.

On August 10, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida held one-on-one talks in Myanmar during regional meetings. It was their first since Abe took office in December 2012.

Abe kept on his efforts.

According to SCMP report “Japanese MPs hint at thaw in ties with Beijing”, Kiyohiko Toyama, a New Komeito lawmaker, heads a cross-party group to visit China. Yesterday, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao held unscheduled talks with them.

SCMP says in the report, “The eight-member group said it had asked Li to cooperate in setting up a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum to be held in November in the capital.

“Li promised the group he would convey the request to the relevant departments and agencies in Beijing, Toyama said.

“‘Having said that, he said to remove political obstacles we both need to create an environment and an atmosphere necessary’ for the meeting, according to Toyama, who described their talks as extremely forward-looking.”

This blogger hopes a summit meeting will be held to restore previous satisfactory relations between the two countries. It will remove the danger of war between China and Japan that may involve the U.S. In addition, due to the prospects of a huge Chinese consumer market, the U.S. will also try to improve relations with China when the tension in the East China Sea has been eased. As a result, Asia will be a much safer place to live in for us.

Source: SCMP “Japanese MPs hint at thaw in ties with Beijing”

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  • Japan, China seek to hold summit at APEC in November: media dated August 4, 2014
  • China Has Got the Most It Can in Disputes with Japan: Why Keeping the Tension? dated July 29, 2014
  • Prospects of a Thaw in Sino-Japanese Relations dated July 13, 2014

Japan PM sends offering to war dead shrine, angers China and South Korea


 Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo leaves after visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo August 15, 2014, to mark the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War. Credit: REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo leaves after visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo August 15, 2014, to mark the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War.
Credit: REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday sent a ritual offering to a Tokyo shrine to war dead, triggering angry criticism from China and South Korea despite his decision not to visit the shrine in person as he seeks a Sino-Japanese summit.

His offering to the Yasukuni Shrine on the 69th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War Two still angered South Korea and China, where bitter memories linger of Japan’s actions before and during the war.

Abe visited the shrine in December, sharply chilling ties with China and South Korea. By sending an offering on Friday, Abe appeared to be trying not to worsen tensions with both nations while upholding a conservative ideology that takes a less apologetic tone towards Japan’s wartime past.

Koichi Hagiuda, an Abe aide and lawmaker, presented the ritual offering, which was made in Abe’s name as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

“He wants to express his respect and to pay homage to the people who sacrificed their lives for the nation, while praying for a lasting peace,” Hagiuda told reporters.

China criticized Abe’s offering as well as the visits by the other Japanese cabinet members to the shrine, saying it “resolutely opposes” the commemoration.

“The Yasukuni Shrine is a symbol and spiritual tool of Japanese militarism,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

“Only when Japan earnestly faces up to and deeply reflects on its history of aggression and completely makes a clean break from militarism, can it be possible for Sino-Japanese relations to achieve a healthy and stable development,” Hua said.

Tokyo had hoped that by staying away, Abe would send a signal to China of his desire to ease tensions and help pave the way for a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jiping. Recent tentative moves to meet have yet to bear fruit.

But China’s Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that Abe’s show of “compromise and sincerity” was not acceptable.

“One who forgets and denies history does not deserve a future,” it added. “It has become a matter of urgency for the current Japanese leaders to truly reflect upon the lessons of history so as to avert a risky future.”

Ties between the two nations are strained over a host of issues, included a territorial row over a set of remote islands and China’s declaration late last year of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Beijing and Seoul have also criticized Abe’s government for backing away from its post-war pacifism, by easing weapons export restrictions and ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad.

CHINA WARNS OF RISKY FUTURE

On Friday, Abe visited a non-controversial national cemetery for unidentified Japanese war dead but around 83 members of parliament, including LDP policy chief Sanae Takaichi, paid their respects at Yasukuni. More than 100 sent aides.

“We must carve out the future of this country for current as well as future generations as we face history with humility and engrave its lessons deeply into our hearts,” Abe said at an annual memorial ceremony also attended by Emperor Akihito.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye echoed China’s sentiment, saying the actions of some Japanese politicians were splitting the two nations.

“Our government has urged Japanese leaders to correctly recognize history … ” she said in a speech.

“The relationship between South Korea and Japan can be developed steadily when Japan solves these matters in the proper way, and then the two nations can sincerely celebrate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year.”

The shrine honors 14 Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, as well as Japan’s war dead.

Two cabinet ministers visited the shrine within hours of its giant gates opening, joining other lawmakers and scores of ordinary people.

“I think it’s natural to pay homage to the people who sacrificed their precious lives for this country,” said Keiji Furuya, whose portfolios include the National Public Safety Commission, told reporters at the shrine.

“I am a member of parliament but I am also a Japanese citizen, so while praying for world peace I offered my respects.”

School children, businessmen and elderly people in mourning clothes bowed their heads and prayed under a blazing sun amid the buzz of cicadas. Men in military uniforms marched behind a Japanese flag and a banner honoring the Emperor.

Source: Reuters “Japan PM sends offering to war dead shrine, angers China and South Korea”

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