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  • China’s ADIZ: A Case of an Overreach?

    There is no doubt that this an audacious foreign policy gambit played by China. Un-named Chinese officials have been quoted in the Chinese press to say that China is willing to instigate strategic confrontation against Japan and are prepared for it to last a 'long time'.

    December 10, 2013

    Cause and Effect of the ADIZ over East China Sea

    The primary aim of the ADIZ is to provide a lead time to the air force, in case of hostile aircraft intruding, and take appropriate actions to counter them. The establishment of the ADIZ in the East China Sea by China is a signal of its assertiveness and authority over the Senkaku/Diaoyu island and probably a readiness to escalate it.

    December 06, 2013

    Chinese ADIZ in East China Sea: Posers for India

    China has created a furor by announcing the creation of an Air Defence identification Zone (ADIZ) over the Senkakau/Diayou islands in East China Sea. There is now little doubt that China is displaying a muscular foreign policy and most countries in Asia would be wary of a hard response because of the growing dependence of their economies on China.

    December 02, 2013

    Chinese Aerial Patrols Over Senkaku Islands

    China’s escalation of the Senkaku ownership dispute by commencing air patrols over the islands by OSA aircraft has the potential to trigger a war between China and Japan.

    December 24, 2012

    Japan-China spat over the Senkakus shows no sign of abating

    To avoid further deterioration in the bilateral relationship, both Japan and China need to now abandon their hard-line stance and stop escalating nationalistic sentiments among their people.

    November 14, 2012

    Rising Instability and Regional Naval Modernisation in East Asia

    Considering the complementary interests and interdependencies at stake between China and Japan as also their individual aspirations of nation building through peace and stability, a clash over the Senkakus would only result in a ‘lose-lose’ outcome.

    November 02, 2012

    Minh Tran asked: What is the U.S. position on Japan-China territorial dispute over Senkaku Islands?

    Shamshad Ahmad Khan replies: The US position on Senkaku Islands, a contested territory in the East China Sea between Japan and China and Japan and Taiwan, is ambiguous. The US State Department maintains that “the US does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.” However, when the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Japan and China amidst rising tension between the two neighbours following nationalisation of the Senkakus by Japan on September 11, 2012, although he stated that the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Senkakus, but at the same time added that the US will not take sides in the territorial dispute between Japan and China. Therefore, it is not clear what practical steps the US will take in case tension between China and Japan escalates to a higher level.

    The question whether the US will come to Japan’s help in case of a military stand-off with China over Senkakus came to the fore for the first time in September 2010 when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with a Japanese Coast Guard vessel off the Senkakus. The arrest of the captain of the Chinese fishing boat had led to a diplomatic spat and suspension of high-level political meetings between Chinese and Japanese political leaders. At that time, the Obama administration decided not to state explicitly that the Senkakus are subject to the US-Japan Security Treaty, causing anxiety among the strategic circles in Japan.

    In January 2011, Benjamin Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications in the White House, had said that “the US does not have position on the question of sovereignty regarding the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.” For the first time, a senior American official had used the Chinese name Diaoyu to refer to the disputed territory. This was seen as a departure from the official position maintained by the previous Bush administration. In 2004, the US State Department had stated that the Senkaku Islands have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.

    Pramod asked: What is India’s stand on Diaoyu Island issue and South China Sea?

    R.N. Das replies: The East China Sea dispute is a bilateral issue between China and Japan. India is not a party to this dispute. Government’s position is that sovereignty issues must be resolved peacefully by the countries which are parties to the dispute. As regards India’s stand on South China Sea, it may be mentioned that the ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), in collaboration with Vietnamese companies, has been engaged in exploration activity in the South China Sea since 1988. During Prime Minister’s meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Bali in November 2011, China, which is party to the South China Sea dispute, raised its concerns on India’s hydro carbon exploration and exploitation projects in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. Government has clearly conveyed that such activity by Indian companies is purely commercial in nature and that the dispute must be resolved peacefully by the countries concerned. It may also be noted that the OVL has already taken a decision to withdraw from Bloc 128, as it is found that it is not economically and technically viable for oil exploration. Earlier, it had withdrawn from Bloc 127 on similar grounds.

    Japan’s “Nationalisation” of Senkaku: Internal and External Determinants

    Japan’s nationalisation of Senkaku Island has given China a chance to reassert its territorial claims, which has resulted in widespread anti-Japan protests as well as a diplomatic spat between Beijing and Tokyo.

    September 25, 2012

    Tensions in the East China Sea: A test case for the US ‘Pivot’?

    The Japanese cabinet’s decision to purchase three of the five Senkaku islands has led to heightened tension in East Asian region. With China adopting an assertive posture on the issue, American unwillingness or incapability to come to the rescue of Japan would impair its ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalancing’ strategy in the region.

    September 14, 2012