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The Coming Clash of the Far East Titans PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 April 2005 02:56
The Coming Clash of the Far East Titans

PEJ News:
On the periphery of the media radar there's a broiling tension growing between the two giants of the Far East, China and Japan. -{lex}

The Coming Clash: Japan and China Nose to Nose
C. L. Cook
PEJ News
April 17th, 2005

Ostensibly, it's all about oil. One of the results of the U.S. powerplay in the middle-east is the energy isolation of the Far East. Desperate to secure future supplies, China and Japan, (and a host of other regional players), are vying for a highly touted offshore oilfield. But, the scrap for rights to drill in the contested area is exposing old sore spots between the Asian behemoths.  

Yesterday, the Japanese government unilaterally granted permission to their national oil interests to begin surveying and "test" drilling in the East China Sea. The Chinese response is livid. For weeks, Beijing has allowed public demonstrations excoriating Japan for their recent expunging from history of the infamous Rape of Nanjing and its attendant atrocities. The rare permissions promise to make the Japanese Foreign Minister's scheduled visit to Beijing today uncomfortable.

It's not the first time the Chinese government has used "activists" to further their policies. In 2004, seven  Chinese nationals occupied one of the disputed islands, destroying a lighthouse, and claimed "ownership" of the uninhabited, "Senkaku" to the Japanese, "Diaoyu" to the Chinese, Archipelago.

The Chinese believe Japan's granting of exploration rights is a provocation, a provocation that western analysts hint could lead to naval clashes. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Qin Gang said of the recent Japanese move, "Japan has come up with a provocation to China?s rights and the norm of international relations.? Ominously adding, "China has filed a protest and they resserve the right to take further action."

The dispute is growing, as import-reliant European nations voice partisan support

China and Japan are, respectively, the 2nd and 3rd largest energy consumers, almost exculusively reliant on imports.

Chris Cook hosts and produces the weekly public affairs program, Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada, and serves as an editor at https://www.pej.org

Check out his blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 April 2005 02:56

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