Following a series of activist protests, tensions are once again rising in East Asia over the ownership of a small, uninhabited archipelago that lies between Taiwan and Japan. The specifics of this recent episode highlight the depth of nationalist sentiments held among the peoples of China, Japan and even Taiwan when it comes to matters of national territory. This is not merely a dispute over fishing grounds and potential oil and gas deposits; it is a matter of historical grievances and national pride.
On Aug. 15, the anniversary of the Japanese surrender in World War II, a group of activists from Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China approached one of the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Diaoyutai in Taiwan. Five of the 14 managed to reach the shore, waving the flags of China and Taiwan; Japan promptly arrested and deported them. Taiwanese activists had planned to join the group from Hong Kong, but were unable to hire a ship. On Aug. 19, a 10-member Japanese group landed on the largest island in a counterprotest as anti-Japanese protests erupted across China. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- World Citizen: U.S. Frets as Key Allies Flock to Join China’s AIIB
- The Realist Prism: U.S. Outreach to Iran, Cuba Still Lacks Broader Strategic Framework
- The Realist Prism: To Avert Decline, U.S. Must Accept Reality of Multipolarity
- Global Insights: For U.S., Dividing China, Russia in Central Asia Easier Said Than Done
- Global Insights: Spoilers Emerge as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach Delicate Endgame