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Navigating the East China Sea

Navigating the East China Sea | Geography Education |
How to ease tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over an uninhabited string of islands.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Experts are saying that Chinese-Japanese relations are as bad as they've been since the end of World War II.  Why all the commotion?  The tension has been heightened in the last few months when China claimed control over the airspace in  the East China Sea. Then the Japanese Prime Minister also gave offering to a shrine to honor World War II soldiers (veterans and heroes to some Japanese, war criminals to most of the international community).  China sees this as proof that Japan is becoming more militaristic and willing to exert more power in East Asia.  However, at the root of this issue is that both Japan and China claim certain islands and that is increasingly becoming a sticking point in foreign relations.  See this book review on "Asia' Cauldron" for more context on the East China Sea.      

Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, Japan, East Asia.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 24, 2014 10:25 PM

This is interesting to see, two countries that both had claims to a string of islands and had  a working relationship when it came to them.  Then a Chinese boat decided it needed to provoke the Japanese and bump up against one of the Japanese boats.  After years of agreeing and maintaining the peace regarding the islands China felt that Japan was instigating a fight over the islands with the arrest of the Chinese captain.  Again not much longer later China is pointing fingers at Japan again after Japan purchased islands from the private owner.  The article mentions that the best action that could be taken with these islands is to designate them as a preserve, this way no one can touch them, live on them or have military use with them.  It also notes that with the climate between the two countries now would not be a good time to discuss these options as they probably wouldn't agree.  When the tensions begin to ease this should be a priority for the two countries.  It should not be left with a future generation to deal with like it has been in the past.  It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.  I think making it a preserve would be the best thing that the two countries could do.  Since an agreement will not be made about who should have full control of the islands why not just leave them to the birds.  No one country would have control and various species would have a safe place to make their homes without an negative human affects that come along with having their habitats among humans.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:06 PM
While Japan and China are now able to compete with the rest of the world on from an economic spectrum, it appears as if this competition has taken a toll on the two countries. Rather than trying to share the islets that borders both countries, China is looking to dominate the global market while taking out their competitors; even if that means their neighbors. Rather than fighting with one another, these two megapowers should make use of the resources their location both possess. With China trying to enlarge its borders by creating these invisible borders that expands from its homeland out into the Pacific Ocean, its only matter of time before one of the countries China's agitating enters into a territorial war with the super power.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:40 PM

It's truly a tense situation regarding the waters of the East China Sea today. These tensions spread from the fact both China and Japan claim ownership of a number of islands as well as the very waters surrounding them. These problems are only magnified because of America's role withing the region. Because of out alliances we have to side with the Japanese in their territorial claims but a the same time we fear angering China because of our heavy reliance on them economically and wish to prevent too much conflict. 

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