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How bad do you think tensions between Japan and China are going to get over the disputed islands? Is Japan's detention of the Chinese fishing boat skipper the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's

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Is Japan's detention of the Chinese fishing boat skipper the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back?

what? black and white? they'll either never have diplomatic relations again or start WW3? no.

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Honestly this is a really stupid question.

This is just a diversion from real issues that China and Japan are facing internally too keep everybody's attention focused elsewhere while they sweep their major economic issues which are threatening to end business and jobs and internal problems under the carpet.

How easily people are fooled.

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It should dust over once the skipper is released. Japanese patrol boats are known to ram others around these islands so it doesn't sound like a crime. I believe Yuriotani makes the skippper out to be some kind of murderous thug. Laughable.

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This will pass. Neither side is served by the present state of affairs. Had grown accustomed to adroit diplomacy by Beijing. Guess the PLA is getting big headed. Congrats China, you have now scared the hell out of the whole region. Thought they studied and learned from US mistakes? Big winner will be the US as this puts a chill on the largely self-inflicted YGH movement. APEC and ASEAN should do well too, as a multilateral framework gives smaller states more security and leverage in their dealings with China. Beijing has undone 10 years worth of confidence-building measures in the past few months. Who in the region wants to engage Beijing bilaterally now? Big mistake.

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kurumazaka - This will pass. Neither side is served by the present state of affairs.

As much as I admire your optimism I fear this will get much worse. China can dish out more 'hurt' on Japan than the other way round. Hopefully, it will not reach a stage where the military becomes involved, but China has already stated they intend to send 'battle-capable' vessels to these islets and turn them into a shooting range. And, neither country gives two hoots about what the world thinks. Japan is relying on big-brother to back them up and China's 400million soldiers don't need any backing.

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Months ago I brushed this off, thinking that is just a minor incident that can easily be played down by China and Japan. But from the ASEAN summit, China's foreign policy made a clear public U-turn from "peaceful rise" to a threatening hegemony looking to expand their borders. There is a growing perception that success as made China not satisfied with just be the number two, only enough arrogant for try risky moves with a mix of thinly veiled economic and military threats. The next logic step for China is to invest and work for improve the living standard of the chinese people, education, health, technology, ecology, etc... Some things where they are still behind the US, EU, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In place of that, there is a huge expenditure in the military budget. Is like China have a confusion between be "respected" and be "feared". I think that is not to late and there still are room for use the brakes and change the collision course by re-direct their budget and energies in direct benefit of the chinese people and indirect benefit of their trade partners. But I am worried that perhaps the budget expenditure reflect how much influence generals have in Beijing policies this days, like the soldiers of the japanese Empire in 1930 talking about taking direct control of natural resources and going to war with the US.

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Idiotic? A great many people who live here have an interest in how this will play out. Those outside of the Central Kingdom are rather concerned about what they are seeing.

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The Chinese gov't loves to play victim and the people eat it up. The Xinhua media ordinarily would play down any protest while they focus heavily on this one. This will pass over quietly as soon as the Chinese gov't is satisfied that the people are convinced they are victimized by the rest of the world not by their own gov't.

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China had better watch its a$$, the entire planet is watching this & wondering is my invest in China safe? Shud I continue to invest there. And if they afre now just thinking of China, well you can bet this will have an affect. If China doesnt tone it down they cud well be the losers, right now it seems they want to take on the world, the idiots orchestrating this had better re-think their stupidity

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Beijing has undone 10 years worth of confidence-building measures in the past few months. Who in the region wants to engage Beijing bilaterally now? Big mistake.

ASEAN as a whole do not really worry that China once it raises to power will eventually become a big bully.

It has been proven historically by the people of China when they were very strong and powerful, especially during its Tang and Ming dynasties,that they did not go to other people's land and seize forcefully. Unlike the Japanese and the West which went on to colonise most of the south east asia in the 15th to 20th centuries.

In ASEAN, most of the economic powers are controlled by the locally born and bred Chinese who have mostly assimilated into respective local societies. The natives of South East Asia have also gotten used when dealing with the Chinese. A great mutual understanding in terms of cutural and language is forged. Inter marriage happened between them. Despite all these and even though the Chinese have been settled in SEA for closed to two to three hundred years, there are and will still have some misunderstandings between the locally born Chinese and the natives. You can see the conflict between the Chinese and the local in Indonesia which happened in May 1998 which subsequently led to the downfall of Suharto.

In actual fact, people in ASEAN still fear the Japanese and the West as historically they have proven to be brutual and unkind. Hence no matter how hard the Japanese and the West try, there is still a mistrust deep deep inside the hearts of the people of ASEAN. I believe it will take time to heal.

What happened between China and Japan, again, is historical. Never in China's past history that Japan is so much dislike by the Chinese. Just take a peek at any of the Chinese education text book you will know why I said so. A recent survey done in China, although most of the Chinese youths have good feeling about the Japanese, this good feeling can easily change course if any event happens between them. Just like the present one.

For China, it needs Japan to divert its domestic problem and uses Japan as a notional enermy to raise patrotism and nationalism amongst the Chinese people. On the other hand, China also needs Japan in areas of economical growth, polution and technologies. With China getting stronger each day, the reliance of Japan dwindles. I believe Japan do not have a team of good experts to advise its Government on how to handle the Chinese Government and evetually come out with a long term map plan.

The main doctrine of the Communist is - have gun will travel. Please do not mix up Communist doctrine with Chinese people thinking. People in Thailand, Malaysia and the Phillippines have encountered the Communists insurgencies. Never did the natives take it on the local Chinese and equate them as Communists.

With the PLA now also deeply involved in commercial areas, such doctrine, may still stand but have greatly water-down as the PLA's generals now have commercial interest to think twice before pulling the trigger.

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It is good that Japan and China engage in public rows like this as they educate in international dispute. Japan has experience and China is a beginner but they nevertheless have a lot of homework to do. Japan is to start standing on her own two feet and China needs to face the fact that they lost all credibility when they erased their own history in the cultural revolution. China can be calm though, they do not need to start from scratch - the rest of the world still has records of her rich culture and history. So ... some small boats with angry captains ... are just a few small boats. Stupid men make it more.

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Thank you for the thoughtful response, Aisan. My criticism is of the present behavior of the communist government in Beijing. It is certainly not a criticism of the Han people, Chinese culture, Taiwan, ethnic Chinese in SE Asia or anywhere else. I recognize that memories may be long, but have a hard time believing that the ASEAN countries are more afraid of Japan or the West than of the PRC. That has everything to do with the PRC's form of government and present military/foreign policy posture rather than it's being "Chinese." I should have been more clear.

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How bad do you think tensions between Japan and China are going to get over the disputed islands?

In my opinion even if the skipper is released by 29 Sept 2010 the relationship between Japan and China will still be in a bad shape especially when China is building up a blue-water navy which may come faster than expected.

Is Japan's detention of the Chinese fishing boat skipper the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back?

I cannot say Japan's detention is right or wrong as it happened on a disputed island where China was right about Japan holding the "key" to solve the problem. I believe things would not get hasty if Japan release the skipper and settle it through talks or ICJ once and for all so this childish incident do not happen again in this modern world.

In case some might not know China did actually offer talks with Japan regarding the Senkaku Island but Japan refuses it 2 years ago but I think time have change and it would be different now under new cabinet(source: http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-stresses-senkaku-sovereignty-not-up-for-negotiation-with-china).

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To Aisan,

Interesting analysis of the region. I can add that the winds in the air is very similar to the Fall of 1995. No one knows the future, but I believe the next 12-15 months could be very exciting.

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This is from Hong Kong. I like to have a frank and friendly discussion. Japan, as a Islands country, also has territory disputes with Russia and South Korean, right? So, China, as a country surrounded by many neighboring countries, may have kind of disputes over the boundaries. We Chinese just think it is natural and will like to resolve the disputes through peaceful talks.

What makes Chinese people angry at Japan is that Japan invaded China in 1930-1940, and, up to now, Japan didn’t offer the official apology over its wrongdoing. It is highly annoying since Japanese army was very cruel and bloody in killing many many women and children in China.

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gdx9902, somewhat agreed.

Happening as it does now, only days away from China's 61st National Day and a few days after the anniversary of the 1931 Japanese invasion of the Chinese Mainland, this incident is rather timely or untimely, depending on your point of view.

Japan was the first economic power to not have its own military to protect its global interests because it could hire the US for that task. Could Japan send naval vessels to escort J-ships off Somalia? Not without years of debate. China sent its navy there to protect its ships without any delay.

China will need a military of its own in order to match its economic might, yet is light years behind the US in size and spending. Building a larger Chinese military force should hardly surprise anyone. But plenty of media will hype this up as evidence China is planning to rule the world.

Will Japan call upon the US to protect the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands? Likely not, as Taiwan - another US protectorate - is also making a claim on them.

Years and years of Japan dragging its feet on negotiations over these rocks and underlying gas deposits have likely caused the Chinese to become impatient enough to take action on its own.

So in some way, yes, the Japanese detention of the Chinese captain is the proverbial straw.

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Re China: a barking dog never bites. They can't even deal with their own territory, Taiwan.

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"The Chinese gov't loves to play victim"

Then they have something in common with the Japanese gov't.

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I recognize that memories may be long, but have a hard time believing that the ASEAN countries are more afraid of Japan or the West than of the PRC.

This is very easy. Assuming you are a native and have a neighbour who is a locally born and bred Chinese family. They play with your children, eat with you, go to the same school with you. They adopt and understand your culture, speak your langauge and may even adapt to your faith.

Their ancestors never sent war ships to your shore forcefully. Meddle with your life or government. Telling you what you should do or not do. Live harmoniously and peacefully with you.

Now ask yourself this question. Who will the natives trust?

This is the reason why PRC is never worried that Singapore houses the US' biggest fleet and war planes (outside Japan). They never interfere with the local governments policies. Never take sides should there be any conflicts between the locally bred chinese and the natives (like the May 1998 incidents in Indonesia). Never stir-up the hornet nests like the Spartley or Parcel islands.

Japan after the WWII has been trying very hard in south east asia trying to erase the painful memories by involving itself in the development of these countries. They set up the Asia Development Bank, lend money to the local government at very low interest or no interest at all to enable the local government to improve the local lives.

But one mistake they made gravely is that the Japanese government official sent to these countries did not assimilate themselves into the local culture. The Japanese officials and families still stick and mixed around amongst themselves. Unlike the Wests, this area they fared better, by mixing themselves well with the natives.

The natives have difficulties communicating with the Japanese. The Japanese do not like to engage in the conversation which I think is the inability to speak the native's language or very little English.

PRC government have the hell of advantage as the locally bred and born chinese are able to communicate in Mandarin albeit funny accent and poor Mandarin. The PRC officials take every step to go down to the grasroot level. They side-step very carefully so as not to be seen as interfering the policies of the host country.

So you can see why when Japan and China are in verbal engagement. Not much South East Asia countries speak for Japan. I can say that Beijing has a very big presence in South East Asia but not influence.

Beijing, unlike Tokyo, have a very long term plan. One is energy procurement.

Tokyo's import of oil from Middle East passes through Strait of Melaka (Malacca) which is very long, narrow and congested. Any possibility of shutting down will cause heavy bluise to Japan's economic.

Beijing have maintained a good relationship with Russia and its western boundaries neigbhours. They even help the Myanmar in developing the country infrastructures which the West ties assistance with democracy or polical freedom. Just ask yourself, if you already have no food to eat, which thing is immediate in your mind? Food or democracy?

In order to rely less on the Strait of Melaka, Beijing (which was reported) will build a oil pipe line from Yunan to Andaman Sea. This will ensure a continue supply of oil should the Strait of Malacca shut down due to whatsoever reason.

A lot of West believe that the 60s Cultural Revolution had erased off its history. Contrary to that, a short 10 years of Cultural Revolution did not erase 5,000 years of Chinese history. In fact, the Chinese took history as an important part of their culture as they constantly study the history (be it theirs, Japan, the West or African) to enable them to avoid the repeat of others history in their country.

You can now see why the Beijing government is strongly resisting the West especially US' pressure to raise the RMB. They are trying to avoid Japan's history when they raised the Yen in 1985 which subsequently caused the lost decade.

People in ASEAN do not wish to see trouble happened in China as it will spill over to them. There is a local saying in Malaysia, "When elephants make love, the surrounding ants will suffer".

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Aisan

Interesting read, but surely you know that China has had fighting break out in many of its border areas, Mongol, India, several bouts with Vietnam & of course in the 50s with the Koreas.

efisher,

Everyone knows about Jpns history from the 1930s-1945 & the poor job they have done since, but what about China itself, your own history has caused millions of deaths inside China & China hasnt tried very hard to come to terms with its own internal history. Now 2 wrongs dont make any rights but its a bit much China getting mad at Jpn without getting mad with itself at the same time, just saying

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Can't argue with anything there, Aisan. But then again, the whole point is why Beijing would want to jeopardize the good relations they have built with a much more muscular foreign/military policy? Do they really think that Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, all of whom sit on the South China Sea, won't be troubled by China deciding that it owns the whole damn thing and that they should just accept that border/ territorial disputes will be decided as Beijing sees fit? Or has Beijing decided that it is now so strong that the " small countries" had better just shut up and know their place? The " lesser of two evils" argument only works for the PRC if it can credibly claim to be the lesser evil. Why engage in activities that make the region question that?

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@efisher

Japan was defeated by the US that killed the empire by nuke two cities. We can say that the US saved China from be a satelite state of Japan. How do you explain this words coming from chinese military officers?

In addition, there's been a spate of unusually hostile public comments from military officers, especially on their desire to engage in combat with America. In February, for example, a Chinese colonel, Meng Xianging, promised a 'hand-to-hand fight with the US.' Meanwhile, Major-General Yang Yi that same month said China 'must punish the US…We must make them hurt.'

http://the-diplomat.com/2010/09/21/the-remilitarization-of-beijing/

And what the long dead japanese empire did to the chinese have to do with chinese territorial claims in the ASEAN and India?

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Interesting read, but surely you know that China has had fighting break out in many of its border areas, Mongol, India, several bouts with Vietnam & of course in the 50s with the Koreas.

Yes indeed. I am aware of these conflicts and wars. I do not know whether are you aware that when China invaded (I used hard word "invaded") in 1978. I remembered that the mood in South East Asia was "happy to glad" to see PLA invaded Vietnam.

PRC invaded and withdrew and it left the boundaries intact.

They were very clear to use "invasion and punishment" and withdrew after they met their target.

As for India, the flash point was Kashmir which was then claimed by India, Pakistan and PRC. Now three countries have their own territory demarcated in Kashmir. PRC still have other territory claims with India but you can see so far no arm conflict.

I do not recall Mongol conflict. So I shall not say anything here.

As for Korea conflict, it is more of idealogical war than territory dispute.

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@mareo2

Yes, Japan was not defeated by China alone( but Japan was doomed to fail...) , that is why some Chinese may feel that Japan want to continue its unfinished battle aganist China.

If Japan didn't offer the apology for its invasion, Chinese people will have doubt on Japanese moral integrity. Hard to have mutual trust. We Chinese respected the German, since German admitted its wrongdoing.

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Aisan, interesting point of view. Some solid truth there. But does gloss over a lot of other key issues.

First of all modern China is not ancient China. The isolationist thinking of the past does not appear to be the case any more. The development of a military capable of projecting power in the region is a strong indicator that China indends to have a stronger role in the region and globally.

Second. The presense of ethnic Chinese in APAC just shows the natural spead of commerce in the region. If you talk to SE Asians, many have strained class relationships with local Chinese and there are strong separations of non-Chinese and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Philippines and other nations. So I think your reasoning here does not stand up to closer observation.

It is very clear that ASEAN states are and must be concerned about the projection of Chinese power and the risk of expansionism. While we are not likely looking at a Japan circa 1930's model, we are certainly looking at a modern equivalent with economic power and influence forcing change rather than military power. Though China is clearly preparing military power too.

We are far too optimistic about China. When in reality, they still pose a subtantial threat.

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@mareo2

China really doesn't like to be in conflict with USA, but a few people are the hawk-wing. Maybe there are much more hawk-wing in USA. You may re-think, what is the motive/benefit for China to act an enemy to US? No.

But to the contrary, USA may have kind of benefit in defeating China. USA may maintain as a economic superpower, and the weapon businessman may make profits, eg selling weapon to Japan.

US navy always patrol around the Chinese coast, US took and will take huge navy exercises nearby. We never opposed to proper exercise by neighbouring countries. However, we oppose USA to take navy exercise near our coast.

I think USA will not allow other countries to carry out navy patrol or exercise near US coast.

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This is my belief from what I see.

Even if Japan were to beg on all four and apologise sincerely. China will still continue with their on and off verbal engagement like lovers do.

Japan is China "notional" enemy to stir up patrotism and nationalism amongst its people. It is part and parcel of the nation building in any one country.

So long as it does not go beyond arm conflict, it is acceptable to both sides.

Japan will consider China as "notional enemy" once NK is done and out.

This is the same old story like in the cold war, when Soviet would use US and US would use Soviet. End of the day, nothing happened.

But then again, the whole point is why Beijing would want to jeopardize the good relations they have built with a much more muscular foreign/military policy? Do they really think that Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, all of whom sit on the South China Sea, won't be troubled by China deciding that it owns the whole damn thing and that they should just accept that border/ territorial disputes will be decided as Beijing sees fit? Or has Beijing decided that it is now so strong that the " small countries" had better just shut up and know their place?

I believe the facts speak for itself. Why China only engage with Japan openly in their dispute? Why when come to Parcel Island with Vietnam and ROC and Spartley with Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Phillippines, the disputes (although may be there) are not blown out of proportion.

Aren't Brunei and Malaysia easy target for PRC? Why of all, it must be Japan?

Why when ASEAN leaders visit Taiwan or ROC or vice versa, China only make small noise. When they can threaten ASEAN small countries with all her might if she wants to. But when Taiwanese leaders visit Japan or vice versa, the matter will be blown out of proportion in China.

Ask these questions. Reason is simple- Japan is China 'notional' enemy.

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tkoind2, what 'substantial threat'?

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Give back Tibet and Japan will give back Popeye, fair trade i think. China is the new bully in town, Japan the old one - interesting.

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@efisher at 02:49 PM JST - 22nd September

Yes, Japan was not defeated by China alone( but Japan was doomed to fail...) , that is why some Chinese may feel that Japan want to continue its unfinished battle aganist China. If Japan didn't offer the apology for its invasion, Chinese people will have doubt on Japanese moral integrity. Hard to have mutual trust. We Chinese respected the German, since German admitted its wrongdoing.

I noticed that you avoided to explain the desire of the chinese military to go to war with the US and the public chinese policy to expand their borders with other countries that don't participated in what the empire did to chinese.

Also you imply that this is not about China right over the Senkaku islands but is all about take revenge on an empire that no longer exist except in the history books. And you talk like Japan never apologized, but in reality is that China rejected the apologies, because China can't forgive. It is to convenient for the communist government keep nationalism alive, it help to distract people and give an excuse for militarism.

China don't build up the armed forces for fear to Japan that can't defend itself without the US, it do it for fight the US and control natural resources in Asia.

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First of all modern China is not ancient China. The isolationist thinking of the past does not appear to be the case any more. The development of a military capable of projecting power in the region is a strong indicator that China indends to have a stronger role in the region and globally.

For people of South East Asia, history also plays an important part of their lives and cultures.

Now is year 2010, why again the leaders are not so worried about PRC expanding its military. They are not building up their arms to protect themselves. My analysis is - they do not have past nightmares with PRC. It is a matter of TRUST. Imagine you are sleeping with these devils,i.e. Japan, the West and PRC. Given one of these devils (sorry to use the word "devil") to be the sleeping partner, who would the native trust?

Second. The presense of ethnic Chinese in APAC just shows the natural spead of commerce in the region. If you talk to SE Asians, many have strained class relationships with local Chinese and there are strong separations of non-Chinese and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Philippines and other nations. So I think your reasoning here does not stand up to closer observation.

If you have read my earlier posts, I have conceded that despite the facts that the chinese have been living in South East Asia for two to three hundred years, there are still and WILL have conflicts with the local natives. THe bloodest being the May 1998 in Indonesia.

This racial conflict WILL still continue until GOD know when. As long as it does not blow to bloody conflict, it is part and parcel of the lives.

I use this as an example to show why the people of South East Asia trust PRC than Japan and the West.

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jianadaren. Where to start.

Military development: China's rush towards military development is a threat to the entire region. This threatens to launch an arms race in addition to posing the question of just what does China intend to do with this new massive military? The answer is clearly that China intends to project power in the region and globally.

China is still a totalitarian state. The corporates want us to forget that China still executes thousands of people per year, imprisons people based upon political and religions beliefs and suppresses media, internet and access to information. China is not a new free capitalist society. It is a state capitalist society with a long track record of substantial repression. How will these tendencies manifest regionally as China grows more powerful?

Internal Strife: China's image also does not include the substantial internal issues that threaten to collapse her economy. The disconnection between Maoist ideas, still fresh to most workers in rural and industrial areas, are out of step with the growing power of a tiny ruling class who appear to be the opposite of what Maoist doctrine advocates. We have already seen increasing demand for equity and this will only grow in power. The threat here is a regional economic collapse if APAC is too dependent upon China during any internal strife.

Energy. China's growth depends upon energy. Clean energy has not been a priority for China, the threat here is pollution, environmental catastrophe and a growing desire for energy that may lead to greater confrontation over disputed energy deposits. If the energy needs cannot be met, again collapse becomes the issue.

Moral threat. How can we openly support a nation that so brutally suppresses ethnic minorities. The Uygurs, Thai tribes and Tibetans have all been substantially damaged by Chinese policy and repression. The threat here is that we, APAC, are supporting this behavior through our engagement with China.

As for Aisan's "notional enemy" this is non-sense. The past is the past. Japan is no one's enemy today. Japan is a non-violent state committed to peaceful resolution of problems. So how does that manifest into a current "notional enemy?" This is propaganda used by the Chinese to deflect internal unrest and channel that energy towards unnecessary nationalism. Which is, in and of itself, another threat.

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efisher at 03:10 PM JST - 22nd September

China really doesn't like to be in conflict with USA, but a few people are the hawk-wing. Maybe there are much more hawk-wing in USA. You may re-think, what is the motive/benefit for China to act an enemy to US? No.

I think that some high rank military officers in China seem to be deadly serious about go to war with the US and about the political benefits of do so when negotiating with other countries.

But to the contrary, USA may have kind of benefit in defeating China. USA may maintain as an economic superpower, and the weapon businessman may make profits, eg selling weapon to Japan.

The USA have their hands full with the war on terror and if they defeat China then Taiwan, Japan, India and ASEAN nations with territorial disputes with China don't need to buy more weapons for counter-balance China's growing arsenal.

US navy always patrol around the Chinese coast,

US pay an old debt of honor to Taiwan. The Kuomintang give their lives trying to expel the invader japanese empire from China. That helped the US to defeat the Empire. Unlike the chinese communist party that avoided combat the Empire for preserve their strength and expel the weakened Kuomintang from mainland China after the US defeated the Empire.

US took and will take huge navy exercises nearby. We never opposed to proper exercise by neighbouring countries. However, we oppose USA to take navy exercise near our coast. I think USA will not allow other countries to carry out navy patrol or exercise near US coast.

US answer to China's ally North Korea provocative behavior to the US ally South Korea. AKA "Cheonan incident". If china don't want to see the US making maneuvers close to China, then China can try to keep North korea under control (don't kill south koreans).

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Whatever threat the PRC poses, they are the creation of the Clinton Administration in the 1990's. Many of the modern weaponry they have developed have been augmented by the technology provided to the PRC by the Clinton Administration and allies.

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apecNetworks. The blame for China's threat rests entirely upon two primary things. 1. Greed: The corporate investment and exploitation of Chinese growth is how China is funding her military and power development.

Cheap Goods: The global desire for cheap products and cheap production is the second reason China has the money to beome a bully.

I sincerely hope Japan holds out on this skipper issue for a while longer and let China show her true colors to the world.

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@maceo2

If you ask Chinese people, none will like the North Korean government. We here in Hong Kong are very friendly with South Korean people.

Why the Chinese government still maintain good relationship with North Korea is for the long time relationship, We were freinds when China was in full communisium. We don't like to betray old friend. That is a moral issue. We want North Korea to change peacefully. (In fact, you may see how much effort China had made,and successfully,to contain North Korea. Even USA past presidents had thanked to China many times for so doing.)

USA is not so friendly to China in recent months, both China and Japan should be aware of the USA hawk-wing. We (China and Japan) will be very stupid to have a real war, even an economic war, and suffer loss. The Island issue can be handled if WE, being friendly, have trust on each other.

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The Island issue can be handled if WE, being friendly, have trust on each other.

From the SEA point of view, the whole problem of North East Asia (NEA) all boils down to lack of trust.

The SK distrust Japan, NK and PRC. Even between NK and PRC, there still linger a cord of distrust between them. Japan, as it appears, become the official punching bag of these nations.

Again due to historically when Japan did themselves a great disservice.

SK and Japan should be in one corner, but SK distrust Japan.

See how the love relationship get into a big mess.

I believe at the end of the day, Japan will slap a fine on the PRC skipper and expell him. This is a face saving solution for both sides.

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To Tkoind2,

I don't know how much you have studied this, but whatever "threat" the PRC poses, the Clinton Administation's policies were instrumental in causing the present day results - economic and political. I also know why, but that is another story.

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@Aisan

You are right to the extent that we Chinese are sensitive to act of Japan. But we don't hate Japanese people. If you live in China, especially in Hong Kong, you will understand that Hong Kong people are rather crazy about Japanese culture, and we grown up with Japanese cartoon, drama,songs,fashion.

As I said before, Chinese are sensitive to Japan government because we are worried that Japan may want to make a war against China, to win the unfinished battle in 40s. Japan didn't offer the official apology to China yet for the past invasion. In our understanding, it may mean Japan doesn't think it was wrong to invade China and Japan may do it again.

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Efisher, no one is accusing Hong Kong of anything. While Hong Kong is part of China, it still enjoys considerable autonomy and is quite "free." Am quite fond of the place, to be honest. Can't really compare Hong Kong and the mainland politically.

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@Mareo

As I am born and live in Hong Kong, I am totally free to speak the truth. But that is not that case for other Chinese living in Mainland China.

The Chinese government is still partially kind of communism. If you can read Chinese, you will know many people are calling for further political reform. It is true that some hardliners in China want to increase their influence by worsening China and US relationship, but I assure you that the such hardliners are just a very little minority. People won't allow it.

I didn’t hear that Japan has made official apology over its past invasion, maybe a kind of “regret” wording only. But “regret” didn’t mean apology. I would be much pleased to hear your correction if I am get wrong with the information.

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efisher at 05:13 PM JST - 22nd September

As I am born and live in Hong Kong, I am totally free to speak the truth. But that is not that case for other Chinese living in Mainland China.

Thanks for the chance of talk it. I hope that in the future we can do it with the mainlanders.

The Chinese government is still partially kind of communism. If you can read Chinese, you will know many people are calling for further political reform. It is true that some hardliners in China want to increase their influence by worsening China and US relationship, but I assure you that the such hardliners are just a very little minority. People won't allow it.

No offense, but is difficult to imagine the people making protests on the street in China if the government don't want it. Depending on how the controlled media present the facts is not impossible that the people side with a war faction. I saw the argentine people supporting the militar dictatorship in the Falklands war against britain. Nationalism is like a drug.

I didn’t hear that Japan has made official apology over its past invasion, maybe a kind of “regret” wording only. But “regret” didn’t mean apology. I would be much pleased to hear your correction if I am get wrong with the information.

Technically is an official apology made by the Prime Minister of Japan and for some japanese is enough. But it was so short and ambiguously worded that most chinese and koreans think that is not enough. But that was the conservative LDP, the DPJ is more open to apologies and increased trade make it more ease to happen than 5 years ago.

Koreans say that they want the Emperor of Japan as a symbol of the state, travel to Korea made a long and detailed list of what they want apology, say that we all are very sorry and do a deep bow to the koreans. In public and with international media present of course.

What you think that the majority of your compatriots think is a proper apology?

One of the main obstacles is that conservatives say that if we do a more detailed apology, millions of people are going to demand compensations. They want assurance that the chinese and koreans make clear that all they want is an apology and there is not going to be more demands of reparations (like North Korea).

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What would China do if a Japanese fishing vessel crossed over their borders?

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tkoind2, here you go in your easy 5 steps - and your bonus:

Is China not allowed to match its military to the equivalent of the the Japanese, vis-a-vis its American mercenaries? What makes you so sure China's military is not all about "defense"? Defense of national interests? Defense of the nation? And, really, why should the US be the only country to have a sizable military?

The Chinese leadership is keenly aware of its growing numbers of eduated ranks and is permitting them to participate in constructive dialogue to building the nation in a postive way. Sure, they are monitored, like any FBI "black box" tracks our conversation in the free world, right now - and forever. Any Chinese smart (or rich) can buy a VPN to access the outside world in a matter of seconds on the Chinese equivalent of eBay.

Maoist ideals are as arcane to the burgeoning middle class as they are to the "tiny" leadership you surmise that holds the republic together.

Where in the world is a secure energy supply not of national security?

Where in the world have not indigenous peoples not been sidelined for the more enlightened? Have the Japanese been taught Ainu languages? Are Americans studying Cree?

Japan is everyone's enemy today. It continues to be one of the most xenophobic cultures on the planet.

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@mareo2

Actually, it has been 60-70 years since Japan's invasion against China. The bitterness felt by most Chinese is kind of feeling, not physical. As I know, the Chinese government has agreed not to seek compensation from Japan. However, there are a few old men survived from the war. Maybe, they want the Japan government to honor the money notes issued by the Japan government during occupation. I think it should be resolved according to international rule and practice.

Sometimes, I just wonder why the Japan government is so mean in money. Japan is rich enough to pay some compensation, right? I know that the German did make compensation. Dear @mareo2, I just feel it maybe stupid for any country to treasure the paper money too much. You see, US doesn't have any money at all, it is the poorest country. USA just print and print the bank notes and government bonds. And China and Japan are all working to provide goods and services to US.

For many Chinese, a sincere apology is enough. We Chinese believe that one has to offer sincere apology if he committed wrongdoing on others. It is a discharge of moral obligation. Even in religion, all one need to do is to repent of his sin and not to so in future.

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@efisher

I think that we can work in another apology that sound more satisfactory to the chinese and koreans. If the progressive DPJ is not replaced by conservative LDP and relations improve again.

Making an autocratic, I think that our government make all us japanese looks just like greedy merchants. But I guess that is just a reflection of the business oriented model of the modern japanese society more than a lack of sense of guilt. Lacking natural resources make everyone obsessed with money so we can buy imported food and oil for feed our country. I think that you are right and we have a moral obligation to pay at least a symbolic compensation to that old people survivors. In my opinion the best way of advance this issues is in separated negotiations and solve one at time. When we mix issues is a mess and end looking like unsolvable.

Again, no offense but on the Senkaku resources. I don't have any right to speak for people of other countries with similar territorial disputes, but I think that they share with japanese the feeling that the government of a country so big like China looking for take control of resources from smaller countries in size, it look so mean. Even if we agree that Japan is not poor, that is not the case with India, and the ASEAN countries. Japan can afford negotiate share the resources with China, but I doubt that is the same for the other countries. I hope that the chinese government can share with Japan and waive the other countries for peace and show a benevolent face to Asia.

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Don't see this evolving into nothing more than banter between neighbors. Everyone will kiss and make up in three months.

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Lets not take any nonsense from these imposters! Their attitude is like their factories and labour: fake and weak! I hope Kan tells the Chinese delegates in New York this week to KISS JAPANS ASS! If Japan touch their toes on this occassion the Chinese will lose what little respect they have for Nippon! There are international laws for a reason! This is not the Ming Dynasty, but 2010!

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But if you go caring pictures of Chairman Mao…

Isn’t it amazing how China calls for calm when N. Korea sinks S. Korean navy ship? China has an inferiority complex and looks to such incidents as this to beat its chest and blow smoke. A real super power would not act like a juvenile. The truth is, China does not even care that much about its own people. This is just nationalistic grandstanding. If students took over Tiananmen Square again tomorrow calling for democracy, they would be shot down just like they were in 1989.

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HOW BAD WILL TENSIONS GET: Worse than they already are. China is testing the borders, and resolve, of its neighbors. China will push a little more...

IS JAPAN'S DETENTION: No. Tensions are still building. In the future, after real conflict (military, political, economic?) breaks out, this will be noted as one of the incidents leading up to the outbreak of hostilities...

Japan has to be tough on the Captain, or next week there will be 100 Chinese fishing boats in the same area....

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I just don't think many people on both sides care about this issue to the point of causing trouble. Most just want to get on with their lives and make money. It's the (very vocal) minority that is causing trouble - those who damaged the Japanese schools in China and those who sent threats to Chinese schools in Japan. These people are absolutely selfish - their actions can affect their countrymen living abroad. China needs to calm down and sit down to discuss this with Japan, and Japan needs to stop bitching when their own fishermen are caught in Russian territory.

By the way, doesn't America benefit from any instability in East Asia?

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@Pukey2

Although US claimed it like to see China and Japan to have peaceful talks, the fact is that a troublesome East Asia is to the benefit of US. Mrs Clinton has made it very clear that US should re-enter the Asia.

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@mareo When it comes to territory sovereign, it is hard to ask Chinese people to give up even an inch of lands. I don't know exactly about Japanese's feeling about territory right. I suppose it the same?

The people in China and Japan should do more research on the history of the "Islands", we can't just totally rely on government information, the political guy may not telling all the true.

Sharing of resources is acceptable to many Chinese, but it is on a mutual trust basis. I can frankly tell you, the decision of Chinese government to share part of the resources in East Sea has met with strong opposition from the people. Many Chinese are still suspicious that a few Japanese hardliners are trying to defeat China to complete their unfinished war in 40s. Japan didn't offer official apology yet on the past invasion, some years ago, some school history-textbook amended the wording of "invaded China" to "entered China", all these events make some Chinese suspect that Japan didn't think it was wrong to invade China in 30s and 40s, and Japan will try to continue the unfinished battle until victory.

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Q1:Not that bad to cause some major economical damage to any side. Q2: Not enought straws yet. And now a Question from me: once the crisis is over, will China try to pull this trick on India, Russia, South Korea or any other neighboring country?

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efisher at 04:28 PM JST - 23rd September

@mareo When it comes to territory sovereign, it is hard to ask Chinese people to give up even an inch of lands. I don't know exactly about Japanese's feeling about territory right. I suppose it the same?

Then let's take the discussion to the International Court of Justice, all or nothing but in a peaceful way.

The people in China and Japan should do more research on the history of the "Islands", we can't just totally rely on government information, the political guy may not telling all the true.

That's why we really need a neutral judge. Otherwise the loser side is going to complain forever.

Sharing of resources is acceptable to many Chinese,

We are adults, better share today than keep it there waiting or fight to death risking to lose it all.

but it is on a mutual trust basis. I can frankly tell you, the decision of Chinese government to share part of the resources in East Sea has met with strong opposition from the people.Many Chinese are still suspicious that a few Japanese hardliners are trying to defeat China to complete their unfinished war in 40s. Japan didn't offer official apology yet on the past invasion, some years ago, some school history-textbook amended the wording of "invaded China" to "entered China", all these events make some Chinese suspect that Japan didn't think it was wrong to invade China in 30s and 40s, and Japan will try to continue the unfinished battle until victory.

Is a minority of old politicians that talk big, but have few popular support for militarism. Cold Fact: China have NUKES. No country is willing to risk invade a country with nukes, because the final nuclear retaliation can seriously damage or even destroy the invading country. That is why North Korea want nukes. Is called nuclear deterrence. The idea of Japan invading China is a fantasy, a tale for keep people distracted just like the paranoid regime in North Korea talk about an "US invasion for finish the job".

But every time that China push the envelope in the borders by sending submarines and destroyers. The hawks gain more credibility, because japanese think that the chinese want to start a war. The DPJ proposed an East Asia Community based on China-South Korea-Japan. The entire policy was pro-china business from day one. The last Sino-Japan incidents at sea are hurting their support in the parliament and pushing Japan deeper in the arms of the US. If this keep going on the conservatives are going to retake control, start to look alternative trade partners for investments, raise the defense budget and revert the trend to decrease the US presence in Japan. China can try to trust the progressive DPJ or face the conservative LDP and this is getting bigger than just China-Japan. If there is even a few shoots in a short incident, the hawks in India and the ASEAN are going to get more power in their countries, demand raise their military budgets and doing naval exercises with the US.

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"I didn’t hear that Japan has made official apology over its past invasion"

Efisher, you were not even born. Pekin has been living on the Japanese ODA apology money for 20 years and has sucked from Japan more money than the Chinese economy ever generated by itself since pre-history. Yes, Japan regrets ever going there.

China never makes any apology for its invasions and regular offensive actions, and they keep asking others to apologize. Now they are super-arrogant, but has others pointed, China is still a poor retarded country. They have a spectacular growth because when you start from zero, you can only go up. The richness that can be seen is mostly generated by foreign companies settled there. That seems a lot, but per inhabitant, that's a misery. If all foreigners leave, China cuts electricity the next week, the next month the country is starving and not getting water to drink. So they don't need the tourists and businesses of the Brits ? the French ? the Americans ? the Japanese ? We could all get out of there. That would be a small temporary loss for the exiting countries, but they could go to India and many other places. Then China would be left on its own, with tourists and investors from Malawi and North-Korea.

It's clear China can't have those islets. That would give them a parking for military toys on Okinawan beaches, at shooting distance of Taiwan. Washington doesn't want them there. Nobody does.

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@mareo

In China, those claimed the DPJ is a friend are now being criticised.

Do you know there was a Hong Kong boat trying to sail to "Island" today?

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All of these disputes are so petty and trivial. Either side would be crazy to let this escalate any further. Everyone should be working together to help each other. In the end we are all one people here on Earth. If one people fall then we all fall together.

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I can tell you. It's very serious.

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efisher at 10:54 PM JST - 23rd September

@mareo In China, those claimed the DPJ is a friend are now being criticised.

In Japan all the pro-China faction, me included are called "naive" and worst things, before we said "we don't need so many US bases in Japan. China is not going to attack Japan", now we feel betrayed by the China's communist government. They promised a "peaceful rise" to all the Asians. China's aggressive foreign policy made the DPJ look like they got backstabbed just after got out of and internal battle for decide the leadership of the party. The leaders in China are cornering the weakened moderates until their only choices was show a hard stance for avoid lose control of the government. People inside the DJP start to think that to trust China was a big mistake, some say that maybe the party have to take a more hawkish policy for survive.

Do you know there was a Hong Kong boat trying to sail to "Island" today?

To my knowledge the police of Hong Kong stopped them.

Do you know that the communist leaders of China escalated the conflict again by starting an unofficial ban on export of rare earth minerals to Japan?

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@mareo2

I feel Japan foreign minister may be too young and doesn't know how to deal with the Chinese government. In Chinese language: If you respect me by an inch, I will respect you by a foot. He under-estimated the response from China.

The Hong Kong activists are going to apply for a court injunction to stop policy and marine department from preventing the boat sailing to the "Islands".

I guess it was true the rare earth minerals were temporally banned, unofficially.

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