By Cal Widdall
Apple may have pulled ‘Defend the Diaoyu’ from it’s app store, but three Chinese fishing patrol ships are doing everything in their power to continue playing war games. Early yesterday morning the vessels briefly entered the water near the disputed
Diaoyu Senkaku Islands and ignored the Japanese coast guard’s repeated calls for them to leave.
Immediately afterwards, Japan’s vice foreign minister summoned the Chinese Ambassador, Chen Yonghua, to the foreign ministry in Tokyo and informed him that the intrusion was “extremely serious” and “unacceptable”, along with any other stern-sounding adjectives he could think of at the time. Before Chen could finish his 1000 lines of ‘We must not enter Japanese waters’ on the blackboard, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had already dismissed the rebuke and reiterated their claim of sovereignty over the islands.
In a bid to give the situation more of a doomsday feel to it, a senior U.S. State Department official stated on Monday that the islands fall under the scope of a 1960 treaty which requires the U.S. to defend Japan should they fall under attack. China’s foreign ministry has responded that the treaty is illegal and invalid.
Unfortunately, with the second and third most economically powerful nations in the world seemingly unable to negotiate like adults, levels of tension (and pettiness) are likely to increase in the near future. Expect more gunboat diplomacy from China if and when Japan finalises its purchase of the
Franz Ferdinand Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands from their current ‘owner’. Over one million dollars worth of private donations has so far been raised for the bid.