Course:China Minor- Geography, History and Politics
Date:27 February 2013
Part of the ChinaMinor are the courses of GHP, which is short for Geography, History and Politics. At this course we have to learn all kind of things relating to these subjects like the time of the dynasties and the journey of Marco Polo to China.
Part of our mark for GHP is to write an essay about a certain subject relates to China. The subject we got was the conflict between China and Japan about the Diaoyu islands.
The islands were a lot in the media last few week. For example BBC news wrote a lot about this conflict. That is the reason why this conflict is so interesting; it goes back in history for many year, but at the same time it is still actual.
Last development of this conflict dated from the beginning of this month, when Japan spotted Chinese warships near to these islands. They called it “dangerous” and “ regrettable”. But why undertook China this action? What precedes to this and why can’t both parties come out this conflict? These are some examples we wanted to know and researched.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents3
Earlier history of the Diaoyu Islands.5
Recent history of the Diaoyu Islands or Senkaku Islands.6
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan – General point of view7
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan – Short-term history7
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China – General point of view8
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China – Short-term history9
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China – General point of view9
China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands9
Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands10
United States – General point of view10
Anti-Japanese sentiment in China10
The well-known Diaoyu Islands in China, also known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan, are a group of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan. Ether China as Japan considers these islands belongs to them. Both parties have their own arguments why they think so. You will find an overview of these arguments later on this essay. Figure 1
China discovered these islands in the 14th century, while Japan claimed them since the late 1800’s. Officially the islands belong to Japan.
They are located in the East China Sea. About 330 kilometres off the coast of Wenzhou, China, around 170 kilometres away from Taiwan and around 170 kilometres north of Ishigaki, Japan, like you can see on figure 1.
Both the names Japan and China gave to these islands mean fishing.
Early history of the Diaoyu Islands.
The first records found of these islands date back to the 15th century. The islands were mentioned in different Chinese books from 1403 and 1534. For example the book: ‘Voyage with a Tail Wind’. These books describe that China had already discovered and adopted the islands on the imperial map of the Ming Dynasty. In this century they already named the islands Diaoyu Dao. In this time the imperial courts of the Ming and Qing Dynasties sent imperial envoys to Ryukyu twenty-four times. The Diaoyu Islands were exactly located on their route to Ryukyu. Different records were found of these islands in various reports written by Chinese imperial envoys in that time.
The waters surrounding Diaoyu Dao are traditionally Chinese fishing ground. For generations Chinese fishermen have engaged in fishing activities in these waters. Also in the past the Chinese people used the Diaoyu Islands as a navigation marker when they came back from a voyage.
At the same time these islands were used as a coastal front line in the battle...