The posts and articles quoted here were published prior to Tokyo’s decision today (Monday) to buy the islands. Links within blockquotes added during translation.
1) A Press Release, and a Blogger’s View
The following is from a blog on the Huanqiu Shibao platform. The blogger doesn’t appear to work for Huanqiu Shibao, and his blog, like many others with Huanqiu and other online papers, are probably his personal business. The blogger, Cao Gongyan, introduces himself on his blog as a journalist and a novelist, having won a number of prizes, among others from China Youth Daily and People’s Daily.
– Update [Sept 12, 2012]: The post is back –
He first quotes a Huanqiu online report.
On September 9, 2012, State chairman Hu Jintao took part in the 20th APEC leaders’ informal meeting and had a discussion with Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda. Hu Jintao made China’s position concerning Chinese-Japanese relations and the Diaoyu Islands*) clear.
Hu Jintao solemnly pointed out that recently, Chinese-Japanese relations had been in a grave situation, because of the Diaoyu issue. On the Diaoyu Islands issue, China’s position had been consistent and clear. Any methods Japan took to “buy the islands” was illegal and invalid, and China resolutely opposed them. China’s government was unwavering in its position of safeguarding territorial integrity. Japan had to fully understand the seriousness of the situation, it should not make a wrong decision, and together with China, safeguard the overall situation of developing Chinese-Japanese relations.
Cao’s view of the statement:
I had actually waited for this report for quite some hours. First, there was only a simple, one-line piece of news: “Hu Jintao talked with Yoshihiko Noda and made China’s position on the Diaoyu issue clear.” But which position? Which specific content? It didn’t say. Only at 8:29 in the evening, the detailed content was officially published! So I immediately read it, and with great pleasure.
Cao refers to Hu’s talk as “a representation of the Chinese people’s roar of justice (胡主席的讲话，代表了中国政府和人民被迫所发出的正义吼声！)”. And that’s only the beginning of his post. The rest is all praise.
2) Chongqing Evening News with an Academic’s Assessment
The following is from Chongqing Evening News (重庆晚报), republished online by Sina. Chongqing Evening News, in turn, based its article on Xinhua and on China News Service (中新社).
According to Japanese media, the Japanese government will hold a cabinet meeting on September 10, officially deciding the line of approach to the so-called “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands. If that goes smoothly, they will then sign a buying contract with the family known as the “proprietors of the territory” on September 11. Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura and minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism Yuichiro Hata are going to attend the cabinet meeting.
After the completion of the so-called “nationalization”, Japan’s government plans to have the Diaoyu Islands under the jurisdiction of the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. The Japanese government will, on a cabinet meeting on September 11, to spend 2.05 billion Yen, equivalent to about 1.7 billion Yuan RMB, from its 2012 budget, on the purchase. According to Kyodo News Agency, the issue of how the Japanese government shall handle the 1.47 billion Yen raised by Tokyo Metropolitan Government to buy the islands has sparked close attention. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara intends “to use the amount to build an emergency shelter and similar installations on the Diaoyu Islands”, but some donors believe that the donations should be refunded.
Concerning the Diaoyu Islands issue, experts say that the policy adopted by Japan had been salami tactics – closing in several steps, then withdrawing a bit. But this approach has been greatly controversial in Japan. The latest worry in Japanese media is that if China uses economic weapons on Japan, this would lead to disastrous consequences.
On September 6, former prime minister Shinzo Abe said on television that China would not attack the Diaoyu Islands by military means, because its priority was economic development. On September 7, Japan’s Fuji Television issued a commentary saying that concerning the Japanese government’s action of “nationalizing” the Diaoyu Islands, China would certainly not tacitly accept the move and take some kind of protest actions.
China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Japan Research Institute’s professor Gao Hong believes that Japan’s economic situation still isn’t very good. Although recently, there had been small moves to a situation better than before, the economy remained rather sluggish, mainly because some main factors that restrained the economy couldn’t change short-term – i. e. factors like demographics, workforce, and aging. Not only the current, but also previous governents’ economic policies had been lacking vigor or methods to efficiently solving the problems.
Gao Hong believes that this was, first of all, a diplomatic struggle. In political terms, this kind of punching was obvious. I believe that if the categorical measure of the so-called “islands purchase” is taken [by Japan], we can take measures like sending patrol ships to pledge our sovereignty, and to maintain our principled stance. I think that strong pledges like patrolling, no matter if from fishing administration or naval surveillance, will serve our purposes quite well, and exert rather direct pressure on Japan. Of course, the precondition is that neither side wants to go to war. So, under the condition that there will be no military clashes, pledging sovereignty by a regular schedule of patrolling boats should be a rather good method. Of course, if Japan also takes the corresponding measures, and even causes an escalating conflict, this can move from the political and maritime field, to a setback in economic relations. That is also possible. Of course, that would be a next-step issue.
3) Is Hu Patriotic Enough?
That may not be quite enough for Mr Cao and other patriots. Maybe it won’t be good enough for the CCP either. The Epoch Times, an overseas Chinese paper founded by Falun Gong supporters in 1999 (according to Wikipedia), and not owned by/speaking for Falun Gong (according to the paper’s Stephen Gregory), reports that Hu’s remarks [..] [to Yoshihiko Noda] were published for less than an hour before they were purged from Party websites and others affiliated with Beijing. Also according to the Epoch Times, Hong Kong-based satellite tv broadcaster Phoenix did likewise.
But either way, commercial media have kept their articles about Hu’s remarks to the Japanese prime minister online. Those don’t really reveal anything new, anyway. If they do pose a problem, it would probably be that they came publicly, from the party and state chairman himself, rather than from a foreign-ministry spokesman, as would be customary.
Expect quite some jamming on shortwave during the coming days.
*) Diaoyu or Diaoyutai is the Chinese name for the Senkakus.