A Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian (center) cruises next to Japanese coast guard ships in the East China Sea, near islands known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China. Radio Free Europe
Shaeli Das, Policy Forum: Why is China escalating tensions in the East China Sea?
Economics, power, or a bit of both?
The dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands has been rumbling along since the early 1970s, so why the sudden ramping up of tensions? Shaheli Das looks at the history of the dispute and what might be driving current developments.
The presence last month of 230 Chinese fishing vessels and the recurrent intrusions by Chinese ships in the “contiguous waters” near the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have sparked new tensions in the region.
The row between China and Japan and the maritime territorial dispute in this body of water has escalated to a point where it is now one of the major combustible flashpoints in East Asia. Although Chinese naval activism, through incursions of jet fighters and coast guard vessels in the contiguous sea and airspace, has been a regular feature of the dispute for many years, such intrusions have dramatically increased of late.
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WNU Editor: Reasons for this increase in tensions .... (1) a Chinese economic slowdown and a government that wants to divert the public's attention away from it, (2) the decline of the U.S. .... Barack Obama’s ‘Asian pivot’ failed. China is in the ascendancy (Simon Tisdall, The Guardian), (3) an assertive Japan,, and (4) a long history of rivalry between China and Japan that goes back a long time .... Japan and China’s maritime tensions in the South China Sea are resurfacing World War II-era wounds (Steve Mollman, Quartz)
Update: How to Spark a War in Asia (Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest).