Expert view on Diaoyu Islands

Updated: 2012-09-12 18:40

By Gao Qihui (

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Japan's ownership of Okinawa in doubt

Liu Gang, professor at Okinawa University

Japan's sovereignty claim over the Diaoyu Islands is based on a self-believed logic that the Diaoyu Islands belong to Okinawa prefecture and Okinawa belongs to Japan. But the sovereignty over Okinawa is still disputable.

Actually, the Cairo Conference in 1943 issued a statement that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which they seized or occupied since the beginning of the World War I in 1914, that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese shall be restored to the Republic of China.

The Potsdam Proclamation in 1945 also said "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as we determine."

In 1954, the Republic of China had sent troops to be stationed on the Diaoyu Islands, providing solid proof to China's sovereignty over the islands.

The Treaty of Peace with Japan 1951, also known as the Treaty of San Francisco, placed the Ryukyu Islands which includes Okinawa Islands into a US trusteeship system, without the approval of China. But the US only got the right to exercise powers of administration, legislation and jurisdiction over the territory, which excluded the sovereignty.

Consequently, when the US handed over the right of the Ryukyu Islands to Japan in 1971, the sovereignty was not included.

Enough tolerance, China will fight to finish

Xing Guangmei, director of law research at Military Academic Research Institute of Navy

China has announced the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and provided the weather forecast for the islands, which is deemed as China's resolute reaction to the Japanese government "purchase".

It marks the dispute has escalated to a stage of official confrontation. In fact, when referring to a disputed territory, any parties involved should refrain from doing anything unless the sovereignty is indisputable.

Japan should be responsible for such a situation on the Diaoyu Islands as it at all times keep trying to handle the issue in a way that should be applied to non-disputed islands. Japan, in an arbitrary way, exercises the right of so-called "sovereignty" over the islands.

To maintain regional stability, China has remained refrained on the dispute, but Japan's move disappointed China and betrayed China's sincerity. China has shown enough forbearance, it will keep Japan company and fight to the finish.

Island resolution must be 'twisted and tough'

Jin Ling, commenter of Shandong-based Qilu Evening News.

The Japanese government's pirate-style move to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands gives us an opportunity to seriously think about our country's external circumstances and the incident can be looked at as an education of the national condition which includes the outside circumstance.

The "purchase" made by the Japanese government is evident enough to indicate that forcedly occupying the Diaoyu Islands is the mainstream of its civil society, giving the Chinese a better understanding of Japan's condition, which will lead to a sense that the way to a final solution to the Diaoyu Islands issue must be twisted and tough.

China, the world's second biggest economy, its overall national strength and prowess are not capable of addressing the issue by easy means.

Online war of words unpatriotic

Cao Lin, commenter of China Youth Daily

Japan's provocation over the Diaoyu Islands pulls the China-Japan relations into a freezing level on the fringe of a crisis and the Japanese government should be responsible for this.

Confronted with the challenge, Chinese people at this time should unite together on the Internet and in the real world. However, some unfriendly verbal disputes have also emerged on the Internet over the patriotism by some celebrities publicly declarinh their stance to safeguard China's sovereignty.

Such type of dispute is a chronic conflict of China's online world in which some Internet users regardless of right or wrong are against anything advocated by those they oppose, and approve anything opposed by those they stand against. They don't have any sense of national interest, but ideological bias.

You can hide your patriotism, but please pay respect to those who express their love to the nation; you can reserve the dissidence about various social problems of this country, but please stand with your nation when national interests are infringed.

We should not sacrifice sovereignty for peace

Ruan Zongze, vice-president and senior research fellow at China Institute of International Studies

The Japanese government's "purchase" smashes the mutual consensus of "putting disputes aside" and seriously undermines the China-Japan relations. Japan had made a wrong judgment of the current situation.

First, it underestimates China's resolution and will to safeguard its sovereignty. The Japanese government wants to take the advantage of China's adherence to peaceful development to ignore China's opposition to strengthen its control of the Diaoyu Islands. However, China will never sacrifice its sovereignty to maintain the peaceful development.

Second, Japan mistakenly thinks the US will certainly back it no matter what kind of action the Japanese government takes to control the islands. Japan should draw a lesson from when US President Nixon visited China 40 years ago without informing Japan.

Safeguard the core interest at any cost

Xu Man, commenter at Shanghai Morning Post

China's anti-measures to the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands are completely in line with the Chinese people's solid will to safeguard their territories. We also believe in China's capability to protect our islands through every effective way.

China does not want to ignite troubles but it never fears troubles, especially referring to the sovereignty and territory. China does not allow any infringement to its sovereignty and territory.

If one day China and Japan have come to a final step for a settlement over Diaoyu Islands, China will care how much costs it will take (to safeguard its sovereignty). Meanwhile, we will let the country pay much more cost than what we pay.

World atlas in 1958 says it all

Liu Jiangyong, vice director of Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University.

Not long ago, when I visited Okinawa and met a Japanese right-winger who showed me a copy of a thank you letter sent by the then Republic of China to the Japanese government. In this letter, China's government used the word of Senkaku to refer to the Diaoyu Islands, which is deemed by this right-winger as the China's recognition of Japan's sovereignty over the islands. But the letter was written during the background that Japan stole a lot of China's territories through forces and unequal treaty.

At a symposium, a Japanese attendee referred the World Atlas published in 1958 in which the Diaoyu Islands was named as Senkaku Islands, which supposedly equals a recognition of Japan's ownership of the islands.

But the head page of the atlas gave a clear indication that the borderline of China was based on the submitted information before the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945).