AP - Should the escalating spat between Japan and China over disputed islands evolve into a full-blown diplomatic battle, the economic fallout could include derailing delicate talks over developing potentially lucrative undersea gas fields between the two Asian giants.
More than ever, islands — and the resources beneath them — are the focus of geopolitical tensions between nations around the world. The biggest disputes range from the Arctic to Croatia to north of Samoa, and some of the competing claims were made centuries ago.
While Trump has been busy focusing on the US judicial system in recent days, letting the simmering conflict with China over trade and the disputed South China Sea islands slide to the back burner, China has remained on the diplomatic offensive, and in overnight remarks cited by Reuters, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the United States "needs to brush up on its history about the South China Sea, as World War Two-related agreements mandated that all Chinese territories taken by Japan had to be returned to China."
On Wednesday, we detailed China’s latest maritime dispute with a US ally. Just as the back-and-forth banter and incessant sabre-rattling over Beijing’s land reclamation activities in the Spratlys had died down, Washington and Manila passed the baton to Tokyo in the race to see who can prod the PLA into a naval confrontation first.
Over the course of the last several months, China has found itself at the center of a rather spirited international "debate" over the country’s land reclamation efforts in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. To recap, Beijing has created more than 1,500 acres of sovereign territory in the Spratly archipelago by using dredgers to construct man-made islands atop reefs. Although China isn’t the first country to embark on reclamation efforts in the region, its projects have been described by the US and its allies as far more ambitious than those of its neighbors.
In a surprise announcement, China revealed that in addition to scheduled naval drills to be held near Vietnam (in case there isn't nearly enough tensions between China and the former US war foe) the country's Military of Defense announced that it would expand military drills in the East China Sea, which will re-escalate the already boiling territorial disputes which involve Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese fighter jets scrambled against Chinese planes a record number of times in April-December, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, as Sino-Japanese ties are strained by an island spat and disputes stemming from Tokyo's wartime past.
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe met Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday on a trip that may compound the spat between Tokyo and Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea.Abe met Ma on Sunday evening after arriving on the inaugural flight of a new route between Haneda airport in Tokyo and Sungshan airport in Taipei, officials said.But it was not clear whether the talks would touch on the island chain in the East China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan.
By JOE McDONALD
BEIJING (AP) -- China has stepped up customs inspections of goods shipped to and from Japan, slowing trade, logistics companies said Monday, amid a spat over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands....
State media say China has suspended ministerial-level exchanges with Japan over a dispute surrounding a Chinese fishing-boat captain arrested after a ship collision near disputed islands. Earlier Sunday, Japan extended the detention of the boat captain.