Actually this dispute has been an on-going issue as the group of islands, or even rocks – to be more precise, lie between China and Japan. They all claim they own those rocks. BBC has an article giving us an idea what is happening there.
The eight uninhabited islands and rocks in question lie in the East China Sea. They have a total area of about 7 sq km and lie northeast of Taiwan, east of the Chinese mainland and southwest of Japan’s southern-most prefecture, Okinawa.
They matter because they are close to strategically important shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits. The islands are controlled by Japan.
As someone whose background is Hong Kong under the British rule, first of all, I don’t have much feeling towards Mainland China. Secondly, I don’t see the point to fight for those rocks. It’s just a waste of energy to try to put a flag there on behalf of China.
To begin with, those rocks are too small for anything. The biggest one is only 4.32 square kilometers, which is around 1.67 square miles. What can you do with such a small “island”? A pit stop? I don’t think so, every time I watch the news about this “biggest” island, the condition is so bad that it’s not easy to get there. It’s too wavy just trying to dock there. It’s such an uninhabited island that I don’t think either the Chinese nor the Japanese can make it a place for people to stay there. Not even a single night. It must be a very difficult task for the Japanese sea guards to keep an eye on those rocks. I just don’t see any value about it. Unless someone can make it a tourist spot like Martha’s Vineyard, where we went last week. However, with the conditions at those rocks, I don’t think it’s worth to put money.
Some people claim there is oil at those rocks. If that is the case, why doesn’t the Japanese start drilling it all these years claiming theirs. Even if there is oil over that area. I still don’t think it’s a wise move for someone to risk his/her life to put a flag there for China, while the Japanese are having their eyes closely over those rocks.
China and Japan are neighbors. After all, I don’t want a fight with my neighbors even if they make so much noise in the middle of the night. All I will do is to call the police and let them handle it. I will pretend I like my neighbors. If my neighbors think I am nice to them, I suppose at least they won’t do something bad to me or my house. So, why would China wants a war with the Japanese.
War? Very unlikely. Please don’t risk your life trying to be a hero by putting the Chinese flag on the rocks. If you succeed, congratulations. However, the Mainland Chinese government won’t give you credits in front of the whole wide world. If you failed, I’m sorry, you don’t get encourage from the Mainland Chinese government as well, or may even die (in fact, there are people who died because of the treacherous conditions at the China Sea).
It’s all about Politics and Power. You gain one inch of your territory, you are one inch more powerful. China right now is flexing her muscle.