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China to Japan: Negotiate? Nah.

China brushed away an offer from Japan to negotiate over disputed territory in the East China Sea today. On several occasions Japan has offered to send high-level officials to China to discuss the sensitive issue, but China has shown no interest. “A meeting between leaders is not simply for the sake of shaking hands and taking pictures, but to resolve problems,” Li Baodong, China’s deputy foreign minister, told reporters.

“If Japan wants to arrange a meeting to resolve problems, they should stop with the empty talk and doing stuff for show,” Li continued. China also responded angrily to comments made by Senator John McCain last week in which he referred to the Senkaku Islands as “Japanese territory.”

Meanwhile, Japan’s deputy prime minister said in a speech that Japan intends to use force to defend islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both countries: “We must clearly convey our intention to protect the Senkaku with the Maritime Self-Defense Forces. In that sense, we cannot avoid increasing defense spending.”


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  • J R Yankovic

    Ah, again those clever mainland Chinese. Is there any challenge they’re not up to? Nothing if not bold and hard-bargaining, those (pseudo)post-Maoists.

    So now tell me, do you think it might be time for a unique sort of retrospective essay? One – covering, say, the past 20 or so years – that actually explores the role even a few Americans, along with other progress-and-efficiency-minded Westerners, might have played in this rather sorely overinflated confidence?

    Seriously, if you guys aren’t up to the task, who is?

  • Jim__L

    So China is encouraging actions on Japan’s part.

    When Japan acts to boost its defense spending, establish anti-China alliances in the region, and excise the pacifist clauses from its constitution, what are the Chinese going to do?

    • Tim Godfrey

      The ‘actions’ that China expects is that the Japanese hand over the islands to China. Why should Japan do that?

      The suggestion that China is being reasonable in this dispute is laughable. Japan is responding in the only way possible because experience of Viet Nam and Philippines shows that China will simply move troops in and annex territory it wants if it does not face a credible military opposition.

      • Jim__L

        I didn’t mean to imply that China’s actions here are reasonable. In fact, the consequences I cited were, if anything, evidence that China has either not thought through its belligerent moves, or has and doesn’t care that those actions are going to militarize its neighbors. I’m not sure either one qualifies as “reasonable”.

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