沖縄の「領有権」 中国の主張は誇大妄想気味だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 11, 2013
Claim in Chinese newspaper over Okinawa sovereignty megalomaniac
沖縄の「領有権」 中国の主張は誇大妄想気味だ(5月10日付・読売社説)

The People's Daily recently carried a shocking article that makes us feel China's expansionism has gone too far.

The article, carried in the Wednesday edition, was based on a paper written by two researchers that suggests China has sovereignty over the prefecture, claiming the matter remains unsettled.

We question the motive for carrying such a megalomaniac argument in the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, which reflects the stance of the Chinese government led by Xi Jinping.

The paper contends that "Taiwan, its integrated islands [including the Senkakus], Penghu Island, and the Ryukyu Islands [Okinawa] were taken by Japan when the Shimonoseki Treaty was concluded in 1895 following the end of the Sino-Japanese War....the time has come to discuss the Ryukyu issue again, which remains unsettled."

Govt refutes dubious claim

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga countered the argument by saying: "Okinawa is irrefutably a Japanese territory from a historical and international perspective. Japan won't tolerate such a claim if it represents the Chinese government's position." It is understandable that he lodged such a strong protest with the Chinese side.

Declarations of China's sovereignty over Okinawa have surfaced in past slogans at anti-Japan protests and in academic papers. But the Chinese government itself has never claimed sovereignty over the prefecture or taken concrete actions. This is probably because even Beijing recognizes the claim is groundless.

Referring to the paper during a news conference, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman did not directly state the government's stance on the sovereignty issue, only saying, "It's an issue that has attracted the attention of academia for a long time."

Provocation cannot be ignored

Beijing reportedly told Tokyo the article was "written by researchers in a private capacity."

Nevertheless, the article's contention cannot be taken lightly.

This is particularly true because it was also the People's Daily that first referred to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture as one of China's "core interests" in January last year. This term is used to define issues of national interest such as state sovereignty and territorial integrity, over which China has vowed not to make any concessions.

The Chinese government had avoided using the phrase until the same Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman used it to officially refer to the Senkakus in April.

The latest article comes less than two weeks after her remark. This could stem from Beijing's desire to pressure and upset the Abe administration, which has stood firm on Japan's claim to the Senkaku Islands.

In an attempt to shatter Japan's effective control of the islands, the Xi administration has been increasingly confrontational by repeatedly sending Chinese surveillance ships into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus.

It is necessary to maintain heightened awareness should China attempt to implement a propaganda campaign claiming sovereignty over both the Senkakus and the rest of Okinawa Prefecture in addition to its defiant maritime actions.

Tokyo must convey the extreme malfeasance of China's territorial claims to the international community.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2013)
(2013年5月10日01時39分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2013-05-12 07:56 | 英字新聞

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