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Senkakus a ‘core interest,’ Chinese military scholar tells Japan

Kyodo

A Chinese scholar affiliated with the military told a nonpartisan group Japanese lawmakers earlier this month that the group of islands at the center of their fierce bilateral dispute is a “core interest” of Beijing, sources said Monday.

The scholar from the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, headed by Lt. Gen. Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told the lawmakers in Beijing that the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan for more than 100 years in the East China Sea, are “within the range of its core interests,” sources close to the meeting said.

China has traditionally reserved the term “core interests” for critically important issues of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, such as Taiwan, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Beijing is unwilling to compromise on core interests and attaches enough importance to them to resort to force, if necessary.

This is believed to be the first indication from a military-affiliated authority that the islands are viewed as part of China’s core interests.

The Chinese government began openly referring to the uninhabited islands as a core interest in April, but the reference — made at a news conference by a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman — was soon dropped from its official transcripts and Beijing has remained vague on the issue.

  • Osaka48

    With Xi Jinping lurching to the left and embracing Maoist leanings (don’t count on any reforms), this does not bode well for any sincere diplomatic solution to ongoing territorial disputes. Only “militant” PM Abe is calling for talks. China’s hard-line position seems to be stiffening.

    With the Senkakus also being a Japan “core interest” what does the future hold?

    The reincarnated Mao Zedong…newly revered by the PCR CCP, almost dragged the USSR and U.S. into a nuclear conflict with China during Mao’s aggressive border wars over relatively ‘minor’ border placements.

    How far will the new “Mao worshipper,” Xi Jinping go to protect a few hectares of land?

  • iwishitweretrue

    Do a google search and study the history of the Diaoyu and you will see that Chinese ownership goes back to the 1350′s. Japan should therefore negotiate with China over them – and show sincerity.

    • Murasaki

      In the 1350′s china claimed they owned the whole planet and buddhist realms …. Anything that moved was claim as belong to china also.

      Please use their LEGAL name and that is
      Senkaku Islands… not some chinese name.

      The Senkaku Islands have been Japanese for over 100 years and china did not say a thing about it, until 1970 when a report by the UN stated there could be ‘OIL’ around the islands, then china was all over them.

      The Senkaku Islands are Japanese, end of story.

  • MeanieHoney

    It’s a smoke and mirror for what’s really going on. The real war is between gold and silver and the Dollar. Anyone can tell you the Chinese and Indians have increased their gold and silver reserves. It’s the whole reason why America is at war in the Middle East. Countries no longer want the Dollar and the bankers and money lenders are willing to go to WWIII for it.