By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
The Japanese government officially decided to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands on Monday afternoon and Osamu Fujimura, chief Cabinet secretary, said the aim was to "nationalize" the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea as soon as possible.
Fujimura did not disclose the purchase price, but Japanese media reported last week that the government was set to pay 2.05 billion yen (US$26.26 million).
The deal is likely to be finalized on Tuesday.
The risk has been mounting that Sino-Japanese relations will spiral out of control over the issue, in that if Japan managed to "buy" the Chinese islands. It will leave less room for diplomacy.
China-Japan ties have been strained since Shintaro Ishihara, the right-wing Tokyo governor, unveiled plans on behalf of the city government to "buy" the islands in April.
Noda announced a plan in July to "nationalize" the islands, a move that prompted immediate protests from Beijing.
In response to the developments, Beijing announced territorial coordinates - base points and baselines - for waters off the islands. It also announced plans to implement "normalized surveillance and monitoring" of the islands.
The baselines and base points define the territorial land and waters of the islands, and will further help nail down relevant exclusive economic zones,
Moreover, this is the first time the Chinese government has placed extra emphasis on sovereignty over its territorial waters around the islands, and sovereignty rights in the waters.
Beijing may immediately submit the definitions to the United Nations secretary-general.
Shi Yinhong, an expert on international politics at Renmin University of China said the move enhances the legal basis to back China's assertion of sovereignty over the islands, and is a "powerful response" to Japan's illegal attempt to "nationalize" them.
The major task for Beijing, Shi said, is to prevent Tokyo "reaching for a yard after taking an inch" when coveting for the Chinese territory.
China will have to be prepared for Japan's looming sovereignty infringement in a strategic way, involving all kinds of measures, including defensive ones.
An old Chinese saying goes that if you reach out your hand fumbling for something that doesn’t belong to you, your hand must be handcuffed. The Japanese side must give more than a passing thought to the fallout that could be brought about by its uncurbed greed for the Chinese Diaoyu Islands.
Hold down Japan's "negative energy"
By Yuan Yue, Sina English
On September 10th, Japan announced its plan to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands. This decision seems to be challenging China's bottom line. Over the past century, the "negative energy" in Japan had been translated into colonialism and wars and imposed upon its neighbors, plunging Asian people in orgies of disaster.
Although WWII saw the triumph of justness, the "negative energy" within Japan has never been utterly eliminated, nor even subdued-- it is still making waves.
On the other hand, the U.S. fostered that "negative energy" for its own need in the Cold War, and the evil force is seemingly running wild as Washington recalibrates its focus of Asia-Pacific strategy to counteract the rise of China. In this sense, the U.S. is Toyko’s accomplice in the theft of the Diaoyu Islands: it is not only sending misleading signals to Japan but passing on the "negative energy" across the globe.
In fact, the region has witnessed the contest of two major trends over the years: the "positive" and the "negative". The "positive energy" aims to pursue peace and stability, values equality and respect, and persists in mutual trust and cooperation.
The "negative", on the contrary, still sticks to the Cold War and zero-sum mentality, as it seeks to dominate others and to form blocs, while adopting a beggar-thy-neighbour policy over disputed issues.
Nonetheless, the "positive" is still the mainstream, because it serves the common interests of the countries in this region; the "negative", however, is only there to hinder regional cooperation. Therefore, we need to promote the former "energy" and at the same time, to suppress the latter.
The linchpin is to convince the "negative energies" that China will firmly stand up to its core interests. And China is doing that WHILE pursing peace; we won't allow the "negative energies" rife around us.
On the current Diaoyu Islands issue, Japan appears to be obsessed by its "negative energy", and if it persists, China will have to pent it. In that senario, Japan has to pay for their irresponsible plan.
Time is on China's side, so are the odds.