February 14, 2005

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An island too far

On the first day of Chinese New Year Japan formally took control of a lighthouse on deserted Uotsuri Island, part of the Diaoyu chain. Problem is sovereignty over these islands is contested by both China and Taiwan. China has naturally less than impressed, branding the move illegal and invalid and calling it a severe provocation. What are they really fighting about? Fish and oil. The Chinese aren't blameless. They were doing "geography research" in December last year.

the same time Japan is starting negotiations on ending its development aid program for China.

Rationally war between China and Japan is not feasible. But as with Taiwan, rationality may not be a factor. When you read of the depth of feeling and animosity many Chinese have towards Japan you get the feeling it's China's Government that is being restrained.

posted by Simon on 02.14.05 at 10:53 AM in the


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