The map is the territory
Posted by ampontan on Monday, September 24, 2012
WELL, look what they found — The Jiji news agency reported on Sunday that among the recently declassified documents in the National Security Archives at George Washington University was a May 1971 CIA report compiled to study the territorial claims for the Senkaku islets. The sleuths examined maps published in Japan, China and Taiwan, and concluded they strongly supported Japan’s territorial claim. They agency said the evidence backing the Japanese position was very persuasive, and that the responsibility for presenting evidence of any territorial claim was China’s.
They didn’t have to attend spy school to reach another of the report’s conclusions. The CIA said the dispute wouldn’t exist were it not for the undersea oil nearby. It only arose in China and Taiwan after the possibility of oil deposits was discovered in 1968.
What’s more, they found yet another Chinese map showing that the islets were Japanese. This one was published in 1966 in an atlas for the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution. It positioned the Senkakus as part of the Ryukyus, or the Okinawa island chain. They found no maps in Taiwan that put the Senkakus on the China side of the border until after the dispute arose. The results were the same when they looked at European maps, including those of the Soviet Union.
For the Chinese, however, the map isn’t the territory. In fact, the Sankei Shimbun reports that they’ve talked to Japanese Coast Guard officials who think they see the emerging Chinese strategy.
China has withdrawn most of their maritime surveillance boats that enforce maritime law, which they dispatched last week, and is replacing them with fisheries law enforcement command boats in the contiguous zone around the islets. Maritime law allows a nation a degree of control within that zone to enforce some of its laws. The Chinese ships are boarding and inspecting Chinese fishing boats to see if they’re operating under Chinese law. In other words, they’re attempting to assert control by behaving as if it were their territory, where they have every right to enforce their own laws. They’ve also reportedly hailed, but not boarded, Taiwanese fishing boats.
Meanwhile, from national security journalist Bill Gertz of the Washington Times comes this report through the Taipei Times that China earlier this month practiced a Taiwan attack:
A US newspaper is reporting that China earlier this month carried out a series of practice or “simulated” attacks targeting Taiwan.
“The tests included multiple firings of short and medium-range ballistic missiles as well as land-attack cruise missiles,” the Washington Times reported.
The Chinese seem to have picked up the concept of “in your face”:
The latest missile tests may actually have taken place while US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Beijing on Sept. 4…
…Richard Fisher, a specialist on China’s military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said: “The timing of this latest missile exercise with the arrival of the US Secretary of State seems consistent with the Chinese Communist Party leadership’s penchant for martial posturing.”
“[US] Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta got his share when China revealed its J-31 stealth fighter the day before his arrival.”
All of this has spurred Japan to have its military practice some new techniques:
Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force and US Marines are holding their first joint drills on the Pacific islands of Guam and Tinian…
… GSDF Major Yohei Ito said his forces had never conducted a drill covering a complete island before.
He said it was significant that his forces were holding the exercise on Guam under the assumption that it was one of Japan’s remote islands.
He said the drill was not aimed at any particular country but targeted various threats.
Of course not.
Here’s the NHK World report on the amphibious landings in English: