Monday, September 17, 2012

China Versus Japan. More Violence. More War.

Chinese demonstrators burn a Japanese flag during an anti-Japanese protest over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, outside the Japanese Embassy on September 15, 2012 in Beijing, China
Photograph by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Chinese demonstrators burn a Japanese flag during an anti-Japanese protest over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, outside the Japanese Embassy on September 15, 2012 in Beijing, China


Anti-Japanese Protests Flare in China Over Disputed Islands

By  on September 17, 2012
Never forget the national humiliation,” and “Protect China’s inseparable territory,” read some. More disturbing: “Let’s kill all Japanese,” and “Nuclear extermination for wild Japanese dogs.”
Those are some of the sentiments irate Chinese are displaying on protest banners across the country, as demonstrators in more than a dozen cities including Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Nanjing take to the streets, angry about Japanese control of the disputed Senkaku islands—known as Diaoyu in China—an uninhabited but possibly resource-rich atoll in the East China Sea.
The buzz of government helicopters circling over China’s capital disrupted already tangled traffic on Sept. 15, with drivers stopping to look up at the rare sight as hundreds of riot police blocked streets around the Japanese Embassy in northeastern Beijing. Some 2,500 demonstrators marched, some carrying pictures of Mao, while others pelted the consulate with eggs and plastic water bottles and rushed at police barricades.
The protests have been sparked by the Japanese government’s announcement that it intends to nationalize the privately owned islands. China has sent six patrols boats to the waters near the islands in recent days.
Fires broke out in a Panasonic (PC) electronics parts plant and a Toyota Motor (TM) dealership in the coastal city of Qingdao after protests there, the companies said on Sept. 16. To date, there has been no confirmation as to who set the blaze. Both have shut operations temporarily.
As a protective gesture, Japanese restaurants and offices have responded by prominently displaying the Chinese national flag outside their doors. “I intend to strongly demand that the Chinese government ensure security” of Japanese citizens, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Sept. 16. On a trip to Tokyo on Sept. 17, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he was “very concerned” about the protests.
Equally alarming has been the bellicose rhetoric in China’s state-controlled press. After China carried out combined land, air, and naval exercises involving jet fighters, ships, and amphibious tanks, Chinese media pointedly wrote that they should serve as a warning to Japan.
“These kinds of assault and defense exercises give a clear warning message to Japan that China is prepared for and confident about protecting the Diaoyu Islands,” said Hu Siyuan, a Beijing-based strategy, according to government website on Sept. 12. “China is not worried about a potential showdown over the disputed islands,” Hu continued, despite the fact that exercises on this scale must have been planned months in advance.
Given the curious timing of the latest explosion of anti-Japan feeling, some are wondering whether there is any connection to the ongoing once-in-a-decade leadership transition, with a key Communist Party Congress expected to open as early as next month. A still-unexplained two-week-long disappearance by Vice President Xi Jinping, presumed to be the country’s next leader, sparked concern over his health and set off speculation. (A smiling Xi resurfaced on Sept. 15 at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, where he was shown examining ears of corn.)
The top theory is that China’s leadership may be encouraging the nationalist outpouring to distract attention from continuing dissension at home, including debates over who will ultimately be named to China’s nine-member reigning body, the Politburo Standing Committee. Many expect the final cut to include only seven people, with the Committee reduced in size.
Also key is how the leadership deals with the still unresolved case of popular “princeling” and former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, whose wife was given a suspended death sentence for murdering a British businessmen. Bo’s former police chief, Wang Lijun, goes on trial on Sept. 18 over corruption and allegations that he was involved in the murder case.
Meanwhile, calls for a boycott of Japanese goods are rising across China. Sales of Japanese-branded cars fell last month in China, even as German, Korean, and American vehicle sales grew by more than 10 percent. Earlier efforts to sanction Japanese goods in China—particularly following similar anti-Japan protests in 2005 and 2010—have not proved long-lasting, however.
“The intensifying tension between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands is not a farce being played out by Japanese right-wing politicians but a well-orchestrated plan of the Japanese government,” wrote Jin Baisong, a deputy director in the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, which is affiliated with China’s commerce ministry, in the China Daily on Sept. 17. “China should take strong countermeasures, especially economic sanctions, to respond to Japan’s provocations. Military consideration, however, should be the last choice.”
Meanwhile, there are signs that Beijing is keen to ensure things don’t get out of control. State media has warned against violence and at least one city, Xian, in western China, has banned some “illegal” protests. “Violence cannot be tolerated simply because the protests are aimed at Japan,” the state-run Global Times newspaper wrote on Sept. 17. “Violence can only weaken the current campaign against Japan.”
“When the sovereign territory of the Mother Country is subjected to provocation, our anger is irrepressible, and the enthusiasm of the youth of China must have release. These patriotic feelings are precious, and they must be cherished and protected,” wrote the People’s Daily in an editorial on Sept. 17. “But a civilized attitude abiding by rule of law should be the basic conduct of the citizenry. Doing damage to the legal property of one’s countrymen and venting one’s anger on the heads of Japanese citizens in China is extremely inappropriate.”

DFA: China invokes UN law vs Japan but not against Philippines


A group of paramilitary policemen are surrounded by anti-Japan protesters outside Shenzhen city’s Communist Party headquarters, in southern China’s Guangdong province, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China continued another day of demonstrations against Japan Sunday, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. AP
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is closely watching developments in the dispute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea, as it continues to push for a peaceful resolution to its own territorial row with China.
“We need to know the facts, after which we need to fully understand the issue.  We are requesting our UN mission to obtain the necessary information,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Monday, when asked about China’s move to submit its competing claim with Japan using the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
The Philippines has been trying to get China to submit its claims over disputed territories within the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) with Unclos, but China has refused, pushing its claims instead by citing old maps and historical papers.
Within economic zone
The Philippines has maintained that the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal is within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) based on Unclos.
Tensions between China and Japan recently escalated after Japan announced its purchase of the fiercely contested islands (Senkaku Islands to the Japanese, Diaoyu to the Chinese) from a private owner.
Violent protests targeting Japanese establishments have erupted in China in the wake of the territorial dispute, prompting firms like electronics giants Canon and Panasonic to halt operations in Chinese cities.
Besides Japan, China also has conflicting claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan over territories in the West Philippine Sea.
Bolster our position
Meanwhile, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said China’s move to use Unclos in its dispute with Japan should bolster the Philippines’ position to settle its own territorial conflict with China with the international body.
“This Chinese-differentiated approach surely fortifies the moral posture of the Philippines in bringing the Spratlys and Panatag to Unclos,” said Salceda.
The economic adviser of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also lamented China’s refusal to abide by the UN law when dealing with the Philippines.

Panasonic suspends some operations in China after protests

US-CHINA-JAPAN-PANASONIC:Panasonic suspends some operations in China after protests

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp has suspended production at two electronics components factories in China and closed another, telling workers to stay at home after the facilities were attacked by anti-Japan protesters.

The factories where production was suspended will be reopened after assessing the damage.

Activist Chinese Group Plans More Anti-Japan Protests

August 20, 2012 1:04 pm

By KEITH BRADSHER / The New York Times

HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong-based group that triggered heightened tensions between China and Japan by sailing to a disputed island last Wednesday plans to try to keep the issue in the news by seeking to organize protests outside Japanese embassies and consulates around the world on Sept. 18, a representative of the group said on Monday.

A boatload of 14 activists from the group, the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, reached the largest of the islands, Uotsuri, last Wednesday, and were quickly detained and then deported on Friday by the Japanese authorities. The Japanese action led to protests in Chinese cities over the weekend, and a second landing by Japanese activists on the same island on Sunday morning may cause further frictions.

Japan rejected China's protests on Monday but sought to sound a conciliatory note, emphasizing the high priority it places on the relationship between the two countries. Osamu Fujimura, the chief cabinet secretary, was quoted by news agencies as telling reporters in Tokyo that "the Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral ties for Japan."

The Chinese government was largely silent on Monday about the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan. But the Foreign Ministry had criticized Japan on Sunday for allowing the Japanese activists on the island, and state-controlled media in China took strongly nationalistic positions regarding the islands on Monday.

David Ko, a fund-raiser and spokesman for the Action Committee, said that the group had chosen Sept. 18 for further protests because it is the 81st anniversary of the Manchurian Incident. The incident, a staged bombing of a train track, was used by the Japanese government as a pretext for invading northeast China the following day in 1931, triggering 14 years of warfare that caused enormous numbers of Chinese military and civilian deaths and other suffering.

Mr. Ko said that the committee's goal was to urge ethnic Chinese all over the world -- not just in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong -- to join protests. The island dispute has been mostly an issue in east Asia, however, and it is unclear how much overseas Chinese care about it.

The mainland Chinese protest over the weekend that drew the most attention took place in Shenzhen, where demonstrators turned over a Japanese-brand police vehicle, a Honda CR-V. But Huang Yi, the chairman and executive director of the Zhongsheng Group, which is China's fifth-largest car dealership chain and the largest seller of Toyota, Nissan and Lexus vehicles in China, said that there had been no sign yet of a drop in sales of Japanese-brand cars in China following the disputes of the past few days.

Ge Wenda, the head of corporate finance at Zhongsheng, said that previous rounds of tension between China and Japan, which have included particularly acrimonious confrontations in 2005 and 2010, had sometimes hurt sales for a day or two. But the spillover effects on car purchases from anti-Japanese sentiment have not lasted long enough even to affect monthly sales totals, much less quarterly or annual results, he said.

When Japan deported the 14 activists from the Action Committee on Friday, it sent seven back to Hong Kong by plane and had the rest sail back in the fishing boat in which they had come. The fishing boat was supposed to arrive by midday on Tuesday, but has encountered mechanical difficulties and is now not expected back until some time on Wednesday, Mr. Ko said.

Read more:

Word War II Lives: Japan Vs China

Japan flirts with war, China will not yield on sovereignty issue
The Japanese government confirmed the “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands and the three affiliated islets on 11 September.
It disbursed reserve funds of JPY2.05-B, and signed a sales contract with whom the Japanese side called “the private owner” of the islands.
The Japanese government’s illegal buying of the Diaoyu Islands, usurped from China, has further damaged the Sino-Japan relations. The Chinese government and people will not yield on issues concerning sovereignty and territory.
The Japanese government should not misjudge the situation.
China is no longer an old and weak country, and territorial sovereignty concerns national dignity and core national interests.
The Japanese government and Right-Wingers should not underestimate determination of the Chinese people.
The China side is resolutely opposed to Japan’s illegal “islands-buying” and will take all necessary measures to safeguard the territorial sovereignty.
The Japanese should not put much hope on an “edge in Air and Naval power”. China’s national defense capability cannot be underestimated. Japan’s provoking a war can do nothing but to bring disasters to itself again.
Further, the Japanese should not pin hope on the Japan-US Security Treaty.
The Big Q: When did the United States, which prioritizes its own interests above others, sacrifice the interests for other countries?
The Big A: Never.
Further, the United States must consider whether the world peace can be maintained with the expansion of Japanese militarism.
The Japanese government should never expect the Chinese government to make a concession on this issue. The Chinese government has repeatedly expressed hopes of working with Japan to promote the overall development of Sino-Japan relations. But peace must be built on the basis of mutual respect. China will not sacrifice its security and sovereignty for peace.
The Diaoyu Islands issue is in essence not just a territory claim.
Japan usurped China’s Diaoyu Islands in the Sino-Japanese War, after Japan’s defeat in the Second World War, the islands were returned to China.
The territorial dispute concerns the feelings of Chinese and other Asian people who suffered Japanese invasion, because whether Japan accepts the result of Unconditional Surrender in the Second World War has to do with defending the fruits of victory of the war.
Japanese militarism may resurge if the International community turns a blind eye to the expansion of the Japanese Right-Wing force and Japan’s “nationalization” of Diaoyu Islands, which poses a hazard to the regional and global peace.

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