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Guangming , China

America Should Not Play with Fire Regarding Diaoyu Island

Translated By Jingman Xiao

14 December 2012

Edited by Lau­rence Bouvard


China - Guangming - Original Article (Chinese )

Since the Diaoyu Island dispute is a matter of Chinese sovereignty, the U.S. must be sensitive to this and be cautious about its words and actions in order to ensure peace and stability in the region.

A couple of days ago, the Senate added an article to the National Defense Authorization Act of the 2013 fiscal year, stating that the fifth article of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan also applies to the Diaoyu Islands.

Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been part of Chinese territory from ancient times and China claims indisputable sovereignty over it. The U.S. government has repeatedly announced that it would not take sides on this issue and China hoped that it would back up its words with consistent actions. Unfortunately, it has persisted in affirming that it would incorporate the Diaoyu Islands into the Treaty. We are strongly against the action America has taken this time.

“Taking sides” in the disputes between China and Japan not only undermines the Sino-U.S. relationship, but also sabotages the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which in turn will be detrimental to America’s strategic interests. The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan is a product of the Cold War period and the Diaoyu Island problem has relevance to the U.S. arrangement during the Cold War. The fact that some American politicians are taking sides this time also has its root in the Cold War logic. The fast development of China upsets some and thus America is attempting to enhance the Cold War alliance through a security cooperation with Japan in order to maintain inopportune strategic advantages. The “Return to Asia-Pacific” program launched by America closely ties its success in the 21st century with that of Asia. Some insightful and sensible Americans suggest reconstructing the government and that America has to face the political and economic reality of this region, deepen its ties with China and mitigate China’s concerns in order to maintain its influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pacific Ocean is ample enough to contain two big countries, China and Japan. America’s stand on “welcoming a strong, prosperous and peaceful China” and its wish to explore the new mode of constructing relationships between super powers are both commendable. However, this exploration requires actions rather than promises. America must learn to respect China’s core interests and avoid duplicity.

People may have noticed the Japanese press’ understanding of this matter: Once conflicts arise between China and Japan over Diaoyu Island, America, as Japan’s ally, will intervene or even get involved militarily. The action taken by the Senate was intended to contain China.
In terms of the Diaoyu Islands, Japanese right wing politicians have been fantasizing about being tied to the U.S. and being emboldened by its behavior in a way that has seriously harmed the Chinese people emotionally and challenged the post-war international order. The night before the U.S. House of Representatives election, Japan's China policy became one of the focuses of debate between the three political parties. In order to secure enough votes, the right wing party played hardball towards China and deliberately reinforced the defense of the Diaoyu Islands. This unwise move by the U.S. Senate will encourage the growth of the right wing's arrogance or even some strategic misjudgments.

The Diaoyu Island problem is an issue of concern in terms of China's sovereignty. America has to realize the high sensitivity, take regional peace and stability into consideration, speak and act cautiously and refrain from getting involved and from doing anything that might intensify the conflicts or complicate matters.

China's will and determination to protect its territorial sovereignty is unshakable. Its government and people will never hold back when it comes to matters regarding the core national interests.



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