China communicates use of coast guard law to Japan, protects sovereign waters properly
Published: Mar 14, 2021 11:03 PM
File photo taken on a marine surveillance plane B-3837 shows the Diaoyu Islands and nearby islands.Photo:Xinhua

File photo taken on a marine surveillance plane B-3837 shows the Diaoyu Islands and nearby islands.Photo:Xinhua

Japanese media, amid the anti-China Quad meeting, reported that China had communicated with Japan over its new coast guard law in late February, seen by Chinese observers as a clear message that demonstrates China's transparency, determination and confidence in safeguarding its sovereignty in an appropriate manner.

Kyodo News quoted Japanese government sources on Saturday as saying that China has communicated with Japan over its coast guards' tracing of fishing vessels entering Chinese waters. China was self-restrained and did not force the vessels out or use water cannons or weapons.

The communication reflected how China's new coast guard law, which was promulgated on January 22, was used in safeguarding national sovereignty, analysts said. 

Japan, South Korea and the US have their own coast guard law, and China's legislation is in line with international practice, an expert in the area who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.

With or without the coast guard law, China will not step back on key issues of core interests. China will tackle intrusions into Chinese waters in accordance with the law, which stipulates what measures and how they should be taken in different circumstances, and shows China's transparency and confidence in protecting its sovereign waters.

Some Japanese media have been hyping the law as China's provocation, and Zhou Yongsheng, deputy director of the Japanese Studies Center at China Foreign Affairs University, believes reports on China's communications with Japan over the law could offset the negative impacts of the hyping-up. 

Previous hype aimed to make the Japanese public vigilant against the law and lay the public opinion groundwork for Japan's further moves over the Diaoyu Islands, Zhou told the Global Times on Sunday. 

The anti-China sentiment concerning the topic will not ebb easily, but China can give more explanations over the law. Coast guard troops in Japan, the US and many other countries are authorized to use force, and only hyping the Chinese coast guard law's relevant regulations is an intentional misinterpretation, Zhou said. 

The Diaoyu Islands are one of the most sensitive topics in China-Japan relations and Japan is eager to seek US support for its stance. 

Analysts noted the Biden administration, to unite its East Asian core ally, will soothe Japan's nerves by promising the US-Japan security treaty applies to the Diaoyu Islands in upcoming US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting which, according to UPI, has set the "strengthening of US-Japan deterrence against China" top of its agenda. 

The promise may also be repeated by top leaders of the two countries during a scheduled meeting in April, they said.