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China: “Japan Must Recognize Beijing’s Will”

Beijing plans to send a survey team to the disputed Senkaku Islands very soon, Chinese state media reported this week. This would be a significant escalation in the two countries’ tussle.

Accompanying the announcement of the survey expedition is an inflammatory op-ed in this morning’s Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party in China.

China has recently had an advantageous position in the Diaoyu dispute thanks to firm actions such as sending marine surveillance flights to the waters. […]

There’s almost no possibility that China and Japan will resume ties during the Abe administration. […]

China may have to deal with the risks associated with this, and the worst would be a military clash between the two. Given China’s overall national strength and its geopolitical position, it can bear military friction more than Japan. […]

If they [Japanese politicians] refuse to mend their ways, they must be given a humiliation that will stay with them for years.

Chinese society has been prepared for the worst case scenario in terms of Sino-Japanese relations.

Nothing Japan does will be a menace to China. Japanese politicians must remember this.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is angling to remove Article 9, the “no war” clause, from Japan’s constitution.

This tense atmosphere is extending outside the realm of politics and into everyday life. At a recent soccer game between clubs from Hiroshima and Beijing, in the Beijing’s Worker’s Stadium, a small contingent of Hiroshima fans occupied one end of the stadium. They were separated from rival fans by columns of heavily armed police and rows of empty seats. A police helicopter hovered above the game as the Beijing club’s notoriously foul-mouthed fans heckled the Hiroshima supporters. Outside, rank upon rank of riot police and paramilitary soldiers stood guard. For the Beijing supporters, the game ended on a high note: their team won a hard-fought, narrow victory.

In diplomacy, at soccer games, and in daily life, tension between China and Japan is palpable. Hotheads on both sides are doing nothing to turn down the heat. Things will only get hotter if Beijing sends a survey team to the Senkakus as planned.

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