Diaoyu issue needs more than diplomacy

Source:Global Times Published: 2012-7-9 21:00:04

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed his position on nationalizing the Diaoyu Islands, currently in private hands, on Saturday. His expressions have severely collided with China's bottom line over the Diaoyu Islands dispute and may further invite renewed conflicts.

Some commentators believe that Noda risked bringing about nationalizing the Diaoyu Islands due to his electoral considerations. Whatever his real purpose is, it has nothing to do with China. Whatever reasons Japan has for challenging China's bottom line, we shall give a due response.

The will of the Chinese people is as strong as that of the Japanese people. Regardless of negotiations between the two governments and the confrontation of popular will in both nations, we are not responsible for "taking care of Japan."

Japan is not expected to win over China on the Diaoyu Islands dispute. China has enough resources and measures, as well as tough civilian and official willingness to confront Japan. The Diaoyu Islands dispute may bring some troubles to China, but Japan will suffer even more from this.

China is willing to counter Japan and not afraid that the Diaoyu Islands will become a lasting and unstable friction point.

Considering Japanese authority's unjustifiable aggression, China should enhance its presence in the region of the Diaoyu Islands.

Our sovereign acts, such as cruises in the region, should be increased and catch up with those of Japan.

Each time Japan takes one step, we should take one and a half or even two steps forward, making Japan aware of the grave consequences caused by its aggression against China.

The Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan should strengthen cooperation in protecting the Diaoyu Islands. Since the authorities in Taiwan do not have a positive attitude to collaborating with Chinese mainland, the public across the Strait could initially cooperate with each other and put pressure on the Ma Ying-jeou administration to join hands with the Chinese mainland.

Considering the crisis of the Diaoyu Islands may influence the economic cooperation between China and Japan, China should neither encourage nor forcedly evade the potential link between the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands and Sino-Japanese economic cooperation. China should force Tokyo to think about the potential harm to Sino-Japanese relations brought by its policy on the dispute.

Admittedly, Sino-Japanese ties are important. But Japan should know that the bilateral relationship is not important enough to make China swallow its dignity and bear provocation silently. Protecting territorial sovereignty and maintaining national unity are much more significant than harmonious Sino-Japanese relations.

Japan shall also be aware that the Diaoyu Islands issue is different from the the issue of the South Kuril Islands, known by Japan as the Northern Territories. Russia took over the South Kuril Islands because of victory in World War II and there are many Russian people living on these islands. But Japan's so-called control over the Diaoyu Islands is just superficial and it's impossible for Japan to turn it into a solid reality.

China needs to take action and make Japan think twice. To achieve this aim, diplomatic protests are not enough. We should not be afraid of Japan's possible fierce reactions. After a few rounds, Japan will have to rethink its sense of propriety.

The article is an editorial published in the Chinese edition of the Global Times Monday. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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