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Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands Dispute Discussion

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by carmen510, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    I'm currently working on a university project related to this issue, and I was trying to craft a possible compromise proposal regarding the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands Dispute. I wanted to see what CFCers have to say about this issue, and I crafted some guiding questions regarding possible resolution of the dispute. I would greatly appreciate any responses.

    Who do you think should retain sovereignty over the islands? How should the dispute over undersea resources be handled? Should the islands be subject to international arbitration, and would such an undertaking be accept by Japan and the PRC? Or should Japan and the PRC undertake bilateral talks, and how could those talks successfully deescalate tensions?

    Do you think the US pivot to Asia and continued US naval presence in the South China Sea is helpful or harmful to overall regional stability? Should US armed forces continue to maintain bases in Okinawa and other sites? Would withdrawal induce more cooperative behavior from the PRC or simply encourage them to coerce other nations? Is there anything the US could do to help resolve the ongoing dispute over the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands?

    Is there anything Japan could realistically do under the Abe government to atone for its past? Would other East Asian nations (primarily the PRC and South Korea) accept apologies for wartime crimes and what impact would apologies have on the conduct of other nations?

    What role should Taiwan play in this dispute, if any, considering they also maintain that they should have sovereignty over the islands?

    Spoiler :
    I initially posted something similar to this in the East Asian thread in the Chamber, but as we all know, that place isn't particularly great if you want a quantity of responses.
     
  2. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    The issue is generally overblown and overcomplicated in my opinion. Here's how it basically breaks down: The islands were Chinese. The Japanese took them in 1895. The Potsdam Declaration of 1945 stated "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine." In 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco divested Japan of assets seized from other foreign powers, and did not mention the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands as being divested under Article 2 (and they are clearly not considered part of "Formosa and the Pescadores"). They're only mentioned in Article 3 (as part of Nansei Shoto) as regards their transfer to US administration. Accordingly, in 1971, the US turned them back over to Japan.

    Now the PRC and RoC weren't present at the negotiations that lead to the Treaty of San Francisco, nor are they signatories to it, but that doesn't change its legal standing as widely recognized and binding international law. PRC/Roc want the islands back? Go to the World Court or take it to the UN. The PRC has a pretty established reputation by now of balking at international norms, laws, and regulations though, so instead they do things like the ADIZ. Hard to feel sympathetic considering.
     
  3. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    Assuming the PRC continues to ignore international institutions and norms, how will the dispute play out? Will it just be a continuous series of aerial and naval incidents with some negative press releases all around?
     
  4. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    No good way of predicting that, but given the PRC has followed an aggressive posture for some time now (see also: Spratleys, et al.) I don't anticipate them changing course. It could be more of the same every so often, it could quiet down (notice ADIZ has sort of fallen off the grid over the past few weeks) or it could escalate. There's some indication this sort of thing is a pressure release valve by Beijing to placate the people; if so it'll probably only get worse.

    Given tempers and tensions are running high and there are now always a lot of forces in the disputed areas, eventually some sort of accident will occur, like the Hainan Island Incident, and who can say what'll happen then?
     
  5. Takhisis

    Takhisis is it fall yet

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    Well, Red China had a series of skirmishes with the Soviet Union… but they're persistent, they still have a chunk of India to give back (never mind the Tibet and Sinkiang situations).
     
  6. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    This is unrelated, but when people criticize how bad China is in terms of breaking rules, they tend to forget that "proper" and "civilized" countries like UK and USA are just as bad. A big difference is that the anglo countries are usually the ones who cry the loudest which basically entails that much of their own offenses would slip by unannounced. NSA, secret prisons, kangaroo courts, invasion/bombing of other countries, "legalized" massacres in foreign countries by drones, arming terrorists, silencing of whistle-blowers.

    Back on topic, the whole thing with Diaoyu/Senkaku was engineered by USA. It's similar to that stunt former colonial powers pull when they hand territories away in such a way to cause permanent contention (see India, Pakistan, and the Fertile Crescent). Why make your rivals strong and happy with its neighbours when you can always divide and conquer?
     
  7. Puck Nutty

    Puck Nutty Prince

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    You are correct about other countries needing to be cautious about criticizing China, lest they trip over their own hypocrisy. However, that doesn't change the fact that China is being very hypocritical about this situation. Just another example of China using these useless pieces of rock as an excuse to flex it's muscles.
     
  8. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    China can posture but the reality is that they are hopelessly overmatched by Japan at sea and in the air and couldn't possibly hope to seize the islands by force. They won't get any traction diplomatically anytime soon either. Makes for great comsumption domestically though.
     
  9. plarq

    plarq Crazy forever

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    As long as US doesn't give up, China won't win major dispute with its neighbors. Minor islands are all China can take.
     
  10. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    Minor islands are pretty important though due to the EEZ's around them, especially if there is undersea oil.

    China has been very successful with the Spratleys. Different situation with the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands though as Japan has de facto control and the capability of maintaining it even without U.S. assistance.
     
  11. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    I'd imagine they have more than enough medium range missiles to smash Japan's military bases into bits. The only real deterrence is the US military, which is more than a match to the Chinese military.

    Oh, they sure won't. The American government is the most belligerent and aggressive regime in this world since WWII. The lengths it'd go into undermining non-compliant countries is only rivaled by its tendency to pretend it is the protector of liberty and democracy.
     
  12. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    It's just a game of imperialism.

    However, this "useless piece of rock" is more strategic than what the media wants to let on. While it's true that there are natural resources at stake, what's more important is that they are located right next to Taiwan and close to the southeastern Chinese coast. If either Japan or USA builds a military outpost there, it's a pretty substantial threat.

    Besides, its way far off from the Ryukyu Islands, so the Japanese claim on them is just as weak as the Chinese claim on Spartly Islands.
     
  13. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    Considering the PRC's entire military MO is A2/AD and missile saturation attacks (see the buildup of ballistic and cruise missiles opposite Taiwan, touting of "carrier killers," etc.), the idea of putting anything on the islands other than anti-missile batteries would be a colossal act of stupidity. The US is actively pursuing the establishment of a constellation of multiple redundant bases across the Pacific and Indian Ocean to counter that, not concentrating its assets where the PRC is strongest. Nobody's putting anything of value on the islands.

    In terms of pursuing "peace," were it not for the indigenous biota, the best thing that could probably be done with these various disputed rocks would be to vaporize them with conventional or nuclear explosives. Since no one can agree on who should have them, probably no one should.

    Not really. Japan has been investing in AEGIS and Patriot for a reason. The PRC would only succeed through an unacceptably high usage of its missile reserves in a first strike, and would then be inviting direct US reprisal, which it would then have terribly little to fend off at range.

    Wow, you sure aren't biased.
     
  14. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Japan, based on the principle of status quo ante. If China wants to change it, it will have to be the aggressor.

    Arbitration is one possible solution, but as we know from experience (Slovenia-Croatia over their maritime border), even friendly allied states have problems accepting the verdict. Rampant nationalism in China, Japan and Korea and the weird status of Taiwan makes truly comprehensive arbitration solution unlikely. You can decide over few rocky outcrops or over gas fields, but you can hardly arbiter over national pride.

    Again, in so far as both parties consider backing down a major threat to their "face", it is not likely bilateral talks would really solve anything.

    China will take US interference as a snub to its ("legitimate") ambitions. The US doesn't really want to get dragged into this unless it absolutely must.

    US withdrawal from Japan might have the same effect US withdrawal from South Korea had before 1950...

    Nuke the islands into vapour. No islands, no problem.

    Apologizing in a middle of territorial dispute would hardly be taken seriously by anyone, and it would weaken the Japanese government internally.

    That's a million dollar question. One thing is clear - if you want to troll China into a fit of blind rage, give the island to Taiwan as the official representative of China.
     
  15. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    Although I said as much myself, it's wishful thinking. They'd fight for the fishing rights, or the natural gas deposits, or the EEZ boundaries, or...

    I think this is sort of a misleading question. This isn't simply a set of unilateral agreements; RoK, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia... all want US involvement to counterbalance the PRC (and for RoK and Japan, the DPRK) which is itself in US interests. This is why, for example, despite whatever anti-American protests there are in South Korea, Seoul suddenly becomes very eager to please whenever there's talk of pulling US troops away from the DMZ toward more survivable positions. Likewise, other than Yukio Hatoyama, no Japanese PM has made a big deal over MCAS Futenma, despite local protests. And so on. Even India has significantly warmed relations with the US over the PRC's connections with Pakistan, and its own history of disagreements with the PRC (and the PRC's "string of pearls" strategy).

    It's not simply a question of the US wanting to maintain foreign bases (which admittedly it does) or reacting to the PRC trying to position itself to contest US (military) freedom of navigation (which it certainly is, and which the PRC certainly has done). ywhtptgtfo can talk about imperialism all he wants, but really, the PRC is doing everything it can to seriously tick off all its neighbors (including countries that have every reason to dislike the US, like Vietnam), and they're more than happy to involve and back the US as a result. That's geopolitics, and again, it's hard to feel sorry for the PRC given its actions. It should've stuck to Deng Xiaoping's strategy and would've been much better served by it. Instead it's actively burning down every bridge it can get its hands on (sans Russia and Central Asia) and then complaining about how everyone's against it and how the US is being imperialist (ignoring of course its own imperialism in say, the resource exploitation of Africa). It's hypocritical and frankly just desserts.

    You can work within (and reform) the existing order, or try and overthrow it. The PRC seems increasingly bent on the latter, and the world just isn't going to accept a return to the Middle Kingdom. It's especially curious because there was an understanding that you can't brute force a problem predicated on guile, charisma, and diplomacy, and they did a pretty good charm offensive all the way up through the 2008 Olympics, then they threw it all away.
     
  16. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Wait, this reminds me of something...
     
  17. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    It is a vulnerability that can be exploited. As strong as China is, it is not nearly strong enough to directly contest American military power. Not to mention if the islands and surrounding waters are uncontested Japanese territory.

    If the Americans don't shy away from provoking China and NK by holding military drills close to their capitals, I don't think they'd shy away from exploiting those islands to their advantage.

    The dispute itself is not as controversial as Western media try to make it sound like and the lack of rightful claim situation is just something engineered by Americans when they decided to give Japan control to these islands.

    The best solution would be to give the islands to Taiwan since it is still ruled by ROC, which controlled China at the conclusion of WWII. But unfortunately, people tend to forget the Taiwanese because, unlike Japan and China, they do not interest the Western powers.

    There are similar disputes elsewhere too, such as the Kurils and the Dokdu Island but there were as much outcry against the Russians or the Koreans on those matters.

    You aren't telling us anything more than we already know. The most obvious restraint against the Chinese is the American military and I've mentioned this before already. But since you appeared to suggest China would have "winning" a war against Japan alone, I just found it necessary to mention that it could destroy Japan's military capacity by just sending missiles over. Yes, you also think that Japan would somehow able to intercept a majority of the missiles but that's something I greatly doubt due to the disproportionate amount of resources China has.

    But even with all that said, I don't think war is good for any party (other than possibly Americans) nor that China is pursuing its policy. My impression of China is that it is a paper tiger that like to flex its muscle but will shy away from direct conflicts. In the case of Japan, it's also a major trading partner and that trade relationship is much more important than controlling those pesky little islands. If Japan would silently keep the current status quo, I am sure China would try to pretend the dispute did not exist... but unfortunately for us, Japanese politicians are playing the nationalism card in their own domestic game of politics to distract their own populace from more pressing issues like the stagnating economy or that big nuclear meltdown + associated desperate cover ups.

    Everyone is biased in one way or another. However, I do find it amusing for people to be upset when others poke large holes into USA's "track record" of being a defender of liberty. Overthrowing democracies, invading countries with trumped up casus belli, worldwide illegal surveillance (which probably dwarf even the Chinese or Russian spying frameworks that the West complain about), provoking other countries with drills, supporting the Gaza blockade... I mean, if Russia or China pulled stunts like these, I wonder what people would say.

    Anyway, I've made my point and I've made your's. Let's just return to topic and not dwell more on the Americans (yes, I brought that up initially but did not anticipate to start a tangent)
     
  18. Takhisis

    Takhisis is it fall yet

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    up yours!
    Once again, not everyone here is from the USA, and not because we criticise any given regime makes us be pro-US or pro-EU or whatever.
     
  19. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    No, it would literally be playing into the teeth of the tiger, and the complete reverse of US strategy. If one's conception of one's opponent has them doing really stupid things that aren't in their interests, then one truly is paranoid.

    You're right that it's not controversial: the islands are Japanese. You're wrong that it was "Americans." It was: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

    (Notice also that the PRC's objections to the treaty at the time didn't include the Senkaku/Diaoyus. How curious.)

    Beijing and Pyongyang are like 1000 miles away from the islands, dude, what the hell are you talking about? If you mean "within range of aircraft and missiles" then the US is holding military exercises within range of everyone's capitals all the time. (And so are the Russians.)

    Haha, what? Every time the US signs the smallest military sale with Taiwan, the PRC freaks out and throws an absolute fit. The reason nobody is suggesting giving them to Taiwan is because by international law they belong to Japan, and nobody has the authority to just unilaterally transfer territory from one entity to another. That's kinda one of the features of sovereignty still standing.
     
  20. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    And it will be really stupid for China to attack American possessions. And again, having the surrounding waters to become undisputed Japanese military has important consequences as well.

    I am not going into the specifics of the San Francisco treaty, but having a whole bunch of countries (many of them tiny and insignificant) signing it does not really mean much when Soviet Union rejected the treaty, India did not take part, and neither ROC nor PRC were invited.

    However, I can understand that it is tempting to take the circling-jerking of NATO countries as international laws. And in this case, we do have quite a bit more than that. But again, some other principle powers did not sign it, rather unfortunately.

    It seems like you misunderstood or forgot about the drills that NK complain about.

    If that international law is really that undisputed, I wonder why so many countries remained neutral on the matter...

    As for your suggestion that PRC is against Taiwan assuming control over those islands... it seems like you did not really follow the matter too much. One of the key aspects of the issues is PRC claims those islands belong to the "Province of Taiwan", which (they claim) "belongs" to them.
     

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