Comment: Japan's hype of China's armed coast guard ship ridiculous

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2015-12-29 10:20

BEIJING, December 28 (ChinaMil) -- The Japanese media recently hyped up the fact that a Chinese coast guard ship equipped with a gun turret appeared in waters of the Diaoyu Islands and entered "Japanese territorial waters". The Japanese government claimed it had lodged formal protest to the Chinese government.

The Japanese government and media's fussing over "Chinese armed ship entering Japanese territorial waters for the first time" is very ridiculous. The Japanese are "putting up a show for themselves".

China and Japan both consider the Diaoyu Islands their own territory and it has become a normal practice for them to assign law enforcement ships to that region. Since the Japan Coast Guard's ships are all equipped with artillery, how can they expect China's coast guard ships to appear without any weapon system?

Objectively speaking, after serious tension a few years earlier, waters of the Diaoyu Islands are in relative stability now.

The outcome of the last round of conflicts was Japan's "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands, a substantial move in the legal perspective.

China has taken forceful countermoves too, not only assigning enforcement ships to patrol the relevant waters regularly, but also entering the 12 nautical miles frequently, thus creating the situation that China and Japan have carried out "cross regulation" of the Diaoyu Islands waters.

Although Japan has maintained stronger forces near the Diaoyu Islands based on its proximity, it has been forced to accept China's new stance, and the two parties are trying to establish new codes of conduct.

The current situation is that Japan dares not take any radical actions near the Diaoyu Islands, but has maintained a tough stance orally and continued to claim to be the "possessor" and "actual controller" of the islands.

It has frequently protested against China and Japanese media have also taken Chinese ship's entering the 12 nautical miles of Diaoyu Islands as "intelligence" and source for new details.

Recently the Japanese "exclaimed" that Chinese coast guard ships "have artillery", making a big fuss over this normal situation.

In most cases, Japan has been the main source of "news about the Diaoyu Islands". The Japanese media are keen on such news and the Japanese authorities have been very cooperative in this regard, not only proactively providing information, but also timely commenting on the news.

In comparison, China is more a "doer" than a "talker" and isn't very interested in engaging in a press war on this topic. Therefore, the usual routine is that Japan releases a piece of news, Tokyo declares its stance on it and then China refutes Japan's statement with clarifications.

The recent event is typical. Japan accused Chinese coast guard ships of having artillery, but isn't that a matter of course?

The large patrol ships of the Japan Coast Guard have displacement ranging from more than 1,000 to 6,000 tons and are mostly equipped with 20-40mm artillery, with 20mm JM61 6-parrel machine gun being most common.

Japan's newly built large patrol ships are also equipped with 35mm rapid-firing gun and 40mm main guns, so its "surprise" at the "artillery" on Chinese coast guard ships is simply ridiculous.

The Chinese are used to doing things aboveboard and putting disputes on the table. Since both parties have agreed not to aggravate the tension, China has avoided any instigation of the public opinion and practiced all-round restraint.

But the Japanese are different. Their system refuses any "coordinated action" and their deeds constantly deviate from their words.

Instead of restraining its media from hyping up the "Diaoyu Islands news" by all means, the Japanese government usually takes interference from the media as "diplomatic resource" and applies both the stick and the carrot to China.

China should be more proactive and flexible in the war of public opinion against Japan. It's not enough to just make progress on patrolling Diaoyu Islands waters. We should also take the public opinion war seriously, and become an initiator of topics about the Diaoyu Islands instead of just being a responder to Japan.

The Abe administration has become increasingly right-winged politically. It refuses to face history squarely and has become more bellicose - there are just too many topics to work on.

However, China should not make generalization, but should expose Japan's problems through concrete news, so as to draw the world's attention with news rather than concepts, and show the world the path that has selected by the Abe administration - the path of challenging the security in Eastern Asia.

Next page