Diaoyu provocation will be countered

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-13 0:33:01

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday that the Japanese government is planning to send its Self-Defense Force vessels to waters near the Diaoyu Islands in the future, in order to drive Chinese "warships" away. The so-called "warships" refer to China's coast-guard vessels with gun turrets according to the recent hype in the Japanese media.

So far, neither China nor Japan has conducted normal cruises by warship near the Diaoyu Islands, but only sent their law-enforcement vessels to the area to declare their sovereignty.

If Japanese Self-Defense Force ships sail over, China will be bound to take countermeasures, and the conflict over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands will escalate.

The dispute over the islands was well under control for a very long time. Tokyo made a commitment to the "three no's," namely no landing, no investigating, and no construction on or around the Diaoyu Islands, while China had been exercising restraint over the way of declaring sovereignty. Yet it was all shattered by the Japanese government's purchase of the Diaoyu Islands regardless of China's strong protest. Beijing soon took actions to counter this. And a new situation was formed in which both China and Japan started to send their law-enforcement vessels for normalized cruises in the water, while public service vessels from the two sides came to the area by turn.

If Tokyo does send its Self-Defense Force naval ships to the islands for real, it will be a major move to intensify the confrontation. By then, China will be left with no choice but to send its warships to the Diaoyu Islands.

The actions toward China of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government are often inconsistent. On the one hand, it has been constantly sending signals of strong hope to improve its ties with Beijing, while taking the divergences under control. However, on the other, it provokes China out of nowhere and leaves previous efforts in vain.

Probably, this is because Abe has long been driven by right-wing political ideology, but in the meantime, he is also under pressure over the realistic demands of an improvement in Sino-Japanese ties. He himself was vacillating, combined with the fact that Japanese public opinion is a strong influential factor, so that in the end, Abe's administration lacks the predictability of other major powers.

Abe seems to have pinned his hopes on China's restraint, and has never really considered what he would do if Beijing stops putting up with him. If Abe really thinks and acts this way, the Chinese government will let him know the consequences.

China can send as many warships to the Diaoyu Islands as Japan does. And if Tokyo's P-3C aircraft comes to the South China Sea, it will only meet with tough reaction.

Of course, maybe Abe is not that silly. After being confused for a while, it is hoped that he will weigh the pros and cons, and will not cross the bottom line eventually.

Posted in: Editorial

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