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.
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.
Tokyo (AFP) - Japan on Saturday pledged $6.1 billion in financial aid to the "Mekong Five" countries as it pushes infrastructure exports and courts influence in a region where rival China has an increasing presence.
China is to carry out a geographical survey of islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a bitter dispute with Japan, state media said. The survey of the Diaoyu islands -- known as Senkakus in Japan, which controls them -- was part of a programme to map China's "territorial islands and reefs", the Xinhua news agency said, citing a state geographical agency.
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.
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....