| Global Times | 2012-9-17 1:35:03
By Bai Tiantian
China should launch additional countermeasures in response to recent Japanese attempts to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands, according to a survey that polled 1,509 residents across seven cities.
About 89.7 percent of respondents said China should take more measures against Japan, while 7.3 percent believed it was unnecessary to do so.
The survey was conducted by the Global Poll Center, affiliated with the Global Times newspaper, shortly after mass demonstrations broke out in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Guangzhou demanding sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.
It phone-polled a random sampling of people aged over 18 years old over a two-day period from September 14.
"The survey showed that Chinese people support their government in this conflict with Japan and demand the government take more action," said Liu Junhong, a researcher at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
About two thirds of the respondents believed that Japan is China's "major rival" or "enemy."
Over half of the respondents said a war between China and Japan will or may erupt due to the Diaoyu Islands dispute, however, this was 5 percent lower than a survey in July.
More than 80 percent agreed that Japan's attitude toward the Diaoyu Islands shows that the country has never repented in relation to their aggression toward China, nor have they tried to change their behavior.
A total of 66.4 percent of the respondents said they have a negative image of Japan because of the ongoing territorial dispute.
Geng Xin, deputy director of the Tokyo-based Japan-China Communication Institute, said that the research shows the Chinese public wants more involvement in diplomatic decision-making as well as more action by the Chinese government when dealing with territorial dispute.
And over 60 percent of them considered the US to be Japan's major backer in regard to the Diaoyu dispute and should be viewed as the real rival on this issue.
Geng said that the competition between China and the US not only lies at the core of the Diaoyu dispute but also plays a key role in the entire political landscape of East Asia.
"In this case, China could open dialogues with the US directly on issues like the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea to seek a solution," Geng said.
Meanwhile, 47.7 percent of the respondents believed the dispute could be resolved through "peaceful negotiation" and 64.8 percent said the dispute could be solved within 10 years.
"As a scholar, I would not set a solid deadline since resolving territorial dispute usually takes a lot of effort and requires certain conditions," said Liu.
"However, I think the poll shows Chinese people's determination to solve the problem," he said.
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