Long simmering tensions between the Chinese and Japanese governments flared up earlier today when six surveillance ships were sent by China on a mission of “law enforcement over its maritime rights,” which just happened to involve violating Japan’s territorial waters, and attempting to lay claim to the Senkaku Islands.
The islands, which have been under dispute by the rival governments since World War 2, are quite possibly near huge maritime gas and oil fields, and in China’s continuous drive for more resources and energy power, it does not surprise me they are attempting to assert their claim, albeit weak and unfounded, at this time.
This situation also materialized with the Japanese government buying the islands two days ago from private owners to prevent nationalists from developing on them to intentionally taunt the Chinese. Apparently, China saw the move as encroaching on their sovereignty and deployed several vessels to the area.
Japan was understandably agitated by the encroachment of their territorial waters and deployed their coast guard to meet the Chinese vessels, demanding their departure, which they obliged by the afternoon and the incident was diffused without the use of force.
However, this demonstrates the Chinese government is feeling confident enough to start asserting their claims and authority over disputed islands with their neighbors, most of which are weak militarily and rely heavily on the United States for protection, and that we could see the beginning of Sino imperialism in South West Asia.
Stay tuned to this interesting development.