Preparing for Tokyo’s Senkaku nationalization decision

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.

2012年9月9日,国家主席胡锦涛在出席亚太经合组织第二十次领导人非正式会议期间同日本首相野田佳彦进行了交谈。胡锦涛就当前中日关系和钓鱼岛问题表明了中方立场。

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.

胡锦涛郑重指出,近来,中日关系因钓鱼岛问题面临严峻局面。在钓鱼岛问题上,中方立场是一贯的、明确的。日方采取任何方式“购岛”都是非法的、无效的,中方坚决反对。中国政府在维护领土主权问题上立场坚定不移。日方必须充分认识事态的严重性,不要作出错误的决定,同中方一道,维护中日关系发展大局。

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.

事实上,这篇报道让我等了好几个小时;起初,只是一个简单的消息,一句话:胡锦涛和野田佳彦交谈,表明中国在钓鱼岛问题上的立场。究竟是什么立场?具体内容呢?没说。直到晚上8点29分,交谈的详细内容才正式发表!于是,我立即捧读。

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.

据日本媒体报道,9月10日,日本政府将召开内阁会议,正式决定所谓钓鱼岛“国有化”的方针;如果顺利的话,将在11日与号称是“土地权所有人”的栗原家族签署购买协议。日本首相野田佳彦、官房长官藤村修、国土交通大臣羽田雄一郎将出席内阁会议。

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.

据日本共同社报道,日本政府与所谓钓鱼岛“土地权所有者”达成“购岛协议”后,东京都政府筹集的14.7亿日元“购岛”捐款如何处理引发了关注。东京都知事石原慎太郎有意将这笔捐款“用于在钓鱼岛建设渔船避难所等设施”,但一些捐款人认为应该退还。

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.

在钓鱼岛问题上,有专家形容说,日本采取的则是切香肠式的方法,一步步往前逼近,一点点细嚼慢咽。不过,这种做法在日本国内也有很大的争议。日本媒体最新的担心是,如果中国动用经济武器,敲打日本,那将导致灾难性的后果。

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.

6日,日本前首相安倍晋三在电视节目中称,中国不会对钓鱼岛发动武力进攻,因为中国是经济发展优先。7日,日本富士电视台发表评论,对于日本政府将钓鱼岛“国有化”的举动,中国方面一定不会沉默接受,一定会采取某种形式的抗议行动。

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.

中国社科院日本研究所教授高洪认为,日本现在经济形势仍然不太好,尽管在近期当中有过小的波动或者一段时间经济形势比原来好一点,但总体上日本经济处在相对低迷的状态,主要是因为制约经济的一些主要因素并不会在近期内发生变化,比方说人口结构、劳动力结构,比方说老龄化的问题,方方面面都使得日本政府,无论是今天的野田政府,还是前几届政府,在经济政策上都比较乏力或者缺乏有效的解决问题的办法。

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.

高洪认为,首先还是一场外交斗争,政治意义上的这种对冲是很明显的,我觉得如果断然采取了所谓“购岛”计划实现“国有化”目的的话,我们也通过其他方式比方说用巡航方式去宣誓我们的主权,坚持我们的原则立场。我想大力度的国家主权宣誓意义上的巡航,无论是渔政还是海监都会较好的实行我们的意图,给日方造成比较直接的压力,当然前提是双方现在都不想打仗,所以在不发生军事冲突的前提下宣誓主权巡航的常态化巡航,应该是比较好的手段。当然,如果日方也采取相应的回应的做法,甚至引起轮番冲突升级的话,也可能从政治和海洋本身波及到经济领域,造成严重经济关系的倒退,这也是可能的,当然这是下一步的问题。

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.

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Notes

*) Diaoyu or Diaoyutai is the Chinese name for the Senkakus.

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Related

» Chen Guangbiao’s Ad, Sept 7, 2012
» Greater Japanese awareness, July 15, 2012

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