Japan from the inside out

Yes, it is inconvenient

Posted by ampontan on Saturday, September 22, 2012

ON Thursday, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times presented a guest piece in his On The Ground column by Han-Yi Shaw (original name, Shao Hanyi), a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan.

Mr. Shaw suspects that Japan illegally seized the Senkaku islets from China in 1895 and thinks he can prove it. These islets are at the center of a serious dispute between the two countries. The Japanese government’s purchase of some of the islets from their private Japanese owners caused violent demonstrations throughout China last week.

The Shaw article is titled The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. That’s apt, because the truth is inconvenient indeed — for Mr. Shaw. His piece is weak, short on facts, long on innuendo, and contains internal contradictions and inaccuracies.

And if that weren’t enough, Mr. Shaw unwittingly demonstrates that he doesn’t follow current events in Japan very closely.

The article is filled with lacunae. Here’s how he starts:

Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”.

Ambassador Niwa was forced to apologize for his remarks and was recently replaced. But what is most alarming amid these developments is that despite Japan’s democratic and pluralist society, rising nationalist sentiments are sidelining moderate views and preventing rational dialogue.

Now here’s what he doesn’t say and what he left out.

The duties of an ambassador do not include giving interviews to foreign publications, in this case the Financial Times, to influence the policies of his government. Their duties are limited to serving in a foreign country as representatives to express their government’s views and policies.

Mr. Niwa also reportedly made several other poorly received statements, including the suggestion that the Age of a Greater China is coming, and that Japan would be better off becoming a Chinese vassal state.

Mr. Shaw might not know that Niwa Uichiro was not a career diplomat. He resigned his position as chairman of Itochu Corp., a large trading company with extensive business interests in China, to become the ambassador.

He neglects to mention that Mr. Niwa was summoned to Tokyo from Beijing to ensure that he would deliver the messages to China that the Japanese government wanted him to deliver, instead of what Niwa Uichiro thought they should say.

I know of no Japanese who publicly called for Mr. Niwa to be retained in his position. Ishihara Shintaro’s criticism had little, if any, impact on the decision.

But one of the points of Mr. Shaw’s piece is to convey the idea that the ultranationalist Ishihara is preventing “rational dialogue” in Japan’s democratic and pluralistic society.

It is an inconvenient truth for Mr. Shaw, however, that public opinion polling shows little support for Mr. Ishihara in national politics. He put his name behind the effort to create the Sunrise Party of Japan for the upper house elections in 2010. It has seven sitting members in the bicameral Diet at present. None of their members won a seat through direct election in 2010. Only one of them won a proportional representation seat.

That’s important because it means Ishihara Shintaro is incapable of electorally punishing the Democratic Party government of Noda Yoshihiko. Thus, it would seem that Mr. Shaw wants to discredit the Japanese intent to keep the Senkaku islets by demonizing Ishihara Shintaro and suggesting he has a stranglehold on Japanese policymaking. He doesn’t.

I spent some time on this because Mr. Shaw is trying to add a contemporary political dimension to the issue instead of limiting himself to the presentation of historical evidence. People do that sort of thing all the time. But if Mr. Shaw wants to do it, he needs to do some homework first.

He writes:

My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

We’d all like to see his evidence, but he doesn’t show us any. His article is accompanied by photographs of two Meiji-era documents stating that Japanese surveys of the islets were incomplete. Perhaps they were. But he would have better made his point by showing photographs that he thinks are clear proof of Japanese acknowledgement instead of those irrelevant letters. The discussion of historical research should not involve sleight-of-hand. That doesn’t stop him from saying:

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.…

I can’t determine from that translated sentence whether the foreign minister thinks the islands belong to China or the Chinese newspapers think the islands belong to China. Heck, the Chinese newspapers still think that. It might have been easy to clear up the syntax had he shown us a photo of that Japanese letter, but instead he shows us two other Japanese letters unrelated to his point.

Is there an inconvenient truth in the letter he doesn’t want us to see? Any more background information he’s leaving out?

Speaking of background, here’s something from a piece I wrote in 2010:

Fukuoka native Koga Tatsuhiro was making a living in Naha, Okinawa, catching and exporting finfish and shellfish when he discovered in 1884 that the islets were the habitat of the rare short-tailed albatross. He started collecting albatross feathers for sale in addition conducting to his fishing business. Ten years later, he applied to the government of Okinawa Prefecture to lease the islands. They turned him down because they weren’t sure who the islands belonged to. Koga then applied to the interior and agriculture ministries in Tokyo, and they turned him down for the same reason… The Senkakus were uninhabited and unclaimed—indeed, they had never been administered at any time by the Chinese government, and there is no record of any Chinese ever living or working there.

That’s relevant, because Mr. Shaw writes:

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

The only things the Okinawa governor confirmed were that the matter might have been related to China because he didn’t know who the islets belonged to, and that claiming territory was not his job. It does not demonstrate that he knew they were Chinese.

Mr. Shaw’s only mention of Koga Tatsuhiro is this:

In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”

People say all sorts of things in the spirit of patriotism, particularly after a war. But that “gallant military victory” also resulted in Japanese possession of other islands: Taiwan and the Pescadores. His manner of framing Koga’s involvement and the brevity of the direct quote raise questions that a serious scholar would not leave unanswered.

But if Koga, the operator of a small business, thought the islands were Chinese, Mr. Shaw would have told us. In fact, when Koga first wanted to establish a business there, he went to the Okinawa governor. That suggests he thought they were Japanese, if anything.

Incidentally, Koga and his son ran that business on the islands until 1940, and more than 200 of his employees lived there. It is still possible, however, to run across commentators who say the islands are “uninhabitable”.

Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war.

Well, that settles that, at least for Mr. Shaw. Or does it?

Here are some more inconvenient truths.

* The first war between China and Japan started in April 1894 and ended when the Chinese sued for peace in February 1895.

* Among the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki signed in April 1895, Japan had China give complete independence to Korea, and received the territories of Taiwan, the Liaodong Peninsula (which Russia, France, and Germany made Japan give back a week later), and the Pescadores — other islands near Taiwan.

* The Japanese government annexed the Senkakus in January 1895, one month before the Chinese sued for peace and four months before the Treaty of Shimonoseki.

* The Japanese government knew that Taiwan, the Liaodong Peninsula, and the Pescadores were Chinese territory, and so insisted on them in the treaty negotiations. They even fought and defeated Qing dynasty troops at a garrison in the Pescadores and occupied the islands to ensure the Chinese would give them Taiwan in the negotiations then underway. They didn’t treat them as “booty of war”.

It would be logical to assume that if they thought the Senkakus were also Chinese territory, they would have included them in the treaty too. They were getting everything else they wanted. Therefore, it would seem that the Japanese thought they weren’t anybody’s territory, much less Chinese, and so annexed them.

Japan asserts that neither Beijing nor Taipei objected to U.S. administration after WWII. That’s true, but what Japan does not mention is that neither Beijing nor Taipei were invited as signatories of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, from which the U.S. derived administrative rights.

What Mr. Shaw does not mention is that Chiang Kai-shek had the ear of the Allied forces throughout the war. He also participated in the conferences that resulted in the Cairo Declaration of 1943. One clause included the provision that Japan would give back all the territories it seized from China, including Taiwan and the Pescadores. Complaints about the San Francisco Peace Treaty are quibbling.

Indeed, Chiang Kai-shek also wanted Okinawa, but he didn’t get anywhere with that one. The current Chinese government is still trying.

Mr. Shaw also fails to mention that the reason neither the PRC or the ROC were invited to the peace treaty conference is that they were in the middle of a civil war at the time and lacked the legal status to be party to an international agreement.

When Japan annexed the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in 1895, it detached them from Taiwan and placed them under Okinawa Prefecture… Qing period (1644-1911) records substantiate Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands prior to 1895. Envoy documents indicate that the islands reside inside the “border that separates Chinese and foreign lands.”

A post written by Prof. Shimojo Masao and presented here yesterday demonstrates that is incorrect. The Qing period records Prof. Shimojo presented — including maps that still exist — are clear about the border of China and Taiwan. None of them mentioned the Senkakus. Indeed, Qing dynasty records show that they considered the border to be Mt. Jilong in Taiwan: in 1684, when they incorporated the western part of Taiwan, and 1696, 1728, 1744, and 1793. It’s not possible to detach anything that isn’t attached to begin with.

And according to Taiwan gazetteers, “Diaoyu Island accommodates ten or more large ships” under the jurisdiction of Kavalan, Taiwan.

That’s most curious. If the Taiwan gazetteers were the ones who thought Diaoyu was part of Taiwan, why doesn’t he show us a photo of the publication? He does show us the photo of a gazetteer in the unrelated Fujian Province on the mainland in 1871, but none from Taiwan. Is that because he is aware of the inconvenient truths Prof. Shimojo has uncovered?

Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China…

Chapter 2, Article 2 (b) of the San Francisco treaty:

Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.

Japan did not “return Taiwan to China”. It only renounced its right, title, and claim. Every scholar in Taiwan knows this. Does Mr. Shaw have another agenda?

Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China, both sides adopted the 1945 administrative arrangement of Taiwan, with the Chinese unaware that the uninhabited “Senkaku Islands” were in fact the former Diaoyu Islands. This explains the belated protest from Taipei and Beijing over U.S. administration of the islands after the war.

Rather than explain the belated protest, it offers an excuse for the belated protest, and not a very good one at that. The Chinese don’t even know their own geography? For example:

The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory.

The letter contained the Japanese name for the Senkakus rather than the Chinese name. What Mr. Shaw finds inconvenient to mention is that the document is an official expression of gratitude for the Japanese rescuing Chinese fishermen who were shipwrecked on the islets. They didn’t know what islets they were?

The “belated protest” didn’t come until 1971, after the potential for undersea resources were discovered in the area and the Americans and the Japanese signed the agreement to restore Okinawa to Japan.

Up until then, as I’ve noted before:

8 January 1953: Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) published an article titled “The Ryukyu Islanders’ Struggle against American Occupation” (i.e., Okinawa). The article mentioned the Senkakus, used that name, and stated they were part of the Ryukyus.

November 1958: A Beijing company published a map of the world showing the Senkakus as Japanese territory and using the Japanese name.

October 1965: The Research Institute for Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense published a series of world maps. It showed the islets as part of Japanese territory and used the Japanese name Senkakus. Here is a color reproduction of the map itself on a Taiwanese website. The poster worries about how the map would affect the Taiwanese claim. Scroll down to see the magical mystery change on the map for the 1972 edition.

6 October 1968: The Taiwanese newspaper Lianhebao (United Daily News) published an article explaining that Taiwanese fishermen were prohibited from fishing in the Senkakus. They used the Japanese name.

Hit this link for a look at the front page of the People’s Daily, as well as a Chinese map published in 1953, and republished in 1958, 1960, and 1967.

But Mr. Shaw would have us believe:

The Japanese government frequently cites two documents as evidence that China did not consider the islands to be Chinese. The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory. The second piece evidence is a Chinese map from 1958 that excludes the Senkaku Islands from Chinese territory. But the Japanese government’s partial unveiling leaves out important information from the map’s colophon: “certain national boundaries are based on maps compiled prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945).”

I count three more maps from China, two from Taiwan (one for a junior high school textbook), an article in the People’s Daily, and an article in a Taiwanese newspaper.

That’s more than “two”.

And that’s not to mention the classified 1969 Chinese government map reported in the United States to be in the possession of the Japanese government, and which has been seen by sources at that media outlet.

Want to bet that the US government also has seen it? Perhaps that’s the back story for this report which appeared yesterday:

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for East Asian and Pacific Affairs) Kurt Campbell said islands at the heart of a dispute between Japan and China fall under an American defense pact with Japan, while urging the sides to resolve the standoff via diplomacy…The U.S. doesn’t take a position on the sovereignty of the islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, Campbell said. His comments echoed those of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said in 2010 that the islands fall under “mutual treaty obligations” with the Japan government.

And that comment about the colophon is so disingenuous as to be odiferous. The author would have us believe it refers to the Senkakus, whose status wasn’t in dispute for decades before or after the second war with China. But Japan also occupied the Spratlys and the Paracels during the war and relinquished them after 1945 as well. Disputes about the Spratlys continue to the present with Vietnam. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t address anything about that part of the map. Would it show something that he finds inconvenient? In addition, the borders of China, Outer Mongolia, and Inner Mongolia frequently shifted before and after the war. Was the colophon referring to that? Instead of answer, Mr. Shaw gives us only more innuendo.

Concludes Mr. Shaw:

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story.

On 21 August this year, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou appeared on Japanese television and presented his case that the Senkaku islets were Taiwan’s territory. I’d be glad to introduce Mr. Shaw to the NHK producer who edited the program for broadcast if he wants to know how much the Japanese public knows. He sure doesn’t know now.

In his introduction to the piece, Nicholas Kristof writes:

I invite any Japanese scholars to make the contrary legal case.

Though a Ph.D isn’t essential to debate an activist academic, Mr. Kristof’s request is a reasonable one for maintaining the level of dialogue in his column and at the newspaper.

But a Japanese scholar has already accepted Mr. Kristof’s request to make a contrary legal case, and notification of that acceptance has been sent to him.

We’ll see what happens next.


People will have to distort the facts to make the claim that only the ultra-rightwing nationalists are the obstacle. The Japanese Communist Party, ultra-rightwing nationalist scalawags that they are, also addresses the issue on their website:

The Senkaku Islands question has nothing to do with the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty to conclude the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 decided to cede Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan. This was Japan’s territorial expansion, which can never be justified. But every historical document tells us that the Senkaku Islands question was dealt with separately from the Taiwan and Penghu Islands question. In the negotiations on the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, the question of title to the Senkaku Islands was not taken up.

The JCP, by the way, also complained that the U.S. military used the islets for target practice.

28 Responses to “Yes, it is inconvenient”

  1. 21st Century Schizoid Man said


    I cannot say this is no surprise to me. That shows priority of their order of sucking Asia only, or if there is something we still do not know about Senkakus that drives CCP in this way.

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    My prediction: NYT is unlikely to come up with that Japanese scholar’s take. If they do, it would be with heavy edit which the author cannot accept.
    2: That is very possible. But you’ll still be able to read the original and compare it with any edited version.


  3. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    My prediction 2: And in the next account for Senkakus, NYT will say that though they invited any counter case from Japan, (i) no one responded, or (ii) there was a response but later the author withdrew responsez for unknown reason.

  4. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    A: We can do that, but ordinary readers do not bother.

  5. Aceface said

    Yeah,It’s kinda curious how they react.Especially now they are making online Chinese version from this year.How they deal with inconvenient fact can tell what their journalistic standard remains to be.

  6. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Aceface: Has NYT ever had or created anything you can call standard with respect to Japan other than bias, belittling and distaste? NYT is pretty akin to CCP.

  7. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    No, NYT is worse than CCP in that it claims itself as a journalsim. CCP claims, of course, itself as a system of power willing to destroy things stand in between. They are much more honest and straight forward than NYT.
    2: Why don’t you be a counter-revolutionary and drop a link to this post in the comment section of the Kristof article at the New York Times?


  8. toranosuke said

    Thanks for sharing this; I read Mr. Shaw’s article, and was wondering what the counter-argument was, or where the flaws in his argument were. I may be a historian, but I am not a historian of this specific subject (the nitty-gritty details of treaty negotiations and claims to these particular islands), so, much thanks for illuminating this. One small thing, though: if the Chinese “belated protest” did in fact come in 1971, that would have been before the US gave back Okinawa. The US Occupation in Okinawa didn’t end until the following year.

    Of course, at the end of the day, no matter who’s right about the stupid Senkakus, the real issue at hand is that the Chinese (and Koreans) stop using miniscule territorial disputes as excuses, or launching boards, for re-igniting anti-Japanese fervor, and riots. At some point, if not today than maybe five or ten or twenty years from now, at some point, the Chinese and Koreans need to forgive and let go for events in the increasingly distant past. It makes me wonder, what is it, actually, that they want from Japan? That Japan should somehow, magically, make it so those atrocities never occurred? Time travel doesn’t exist. So what is it they actually want? What kind of apology or reparations would actually satisfy them, finally, to put an end to it completely? I trust you know a lot better than I do the history of Japanese apologies and attempts at reconciliation, so I won’t go any further to guess at what has or hasn’t happened, the extent to which Japan has (or has not) tried to apologize. … But, anyway, that’s really the issue here. Resolving the territorial dispute is irrelevant – and, if I may be so bold as to say so, I don’t think it’s really China’s interest to resolve it in their favor. China doesn’t want to win the islands; they want the dispute to continue, so that they can continue to use it as a launching point for reawakening old hatreds about 60-plus-year-old wrongs.
    T: Thanks for the note. The Chinese and Taiwanese objections came after the announcement of the return, or the return itself. I think it was the former, but I’ll have to check.


  9. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    A: I am wiling to do that and now looking for the article.

  10. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    But my will lacked one L, hahaha.

  11. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    And I found out I have to pay for it. A, tell me if I am wrong and I can do so for free.
    2: Forgot about that. You probably do have to pay for a subscription nowadays. There’s probably a way out there on the web to get it done anyway in a shady manner, but I don’t know much about that stuff!


  12. Ken said

    Minister of State, Clinton rarely criticized China, “China will be the poorest country in 20 years.”

  13. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Ken: I cannot believe my eyes on that. Is it the same old Mrs. Clinton?

  14. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Ken: I wanted to see the source of Hillary’s speech but could not make it. Could you?

  15. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    「されば、今日の謀(はかりごと)を為すに、我国は隣国の開明を待て、共に亜細亜を興(おこ)すの猶予(ゆうよ)あるべからず、むしろ、その伍を脱して西洋の文明国と進退を共にし、その支那、朝鮮に接するの法も、隣国なるが故にとて特別の会釈に及ばず、まさに西洋人がこれに接するの風に従て処分すべきのみ。悪友を親しむ者は、共に悪名を免(まぬ)かるべからず。我れは心に於て亜細亜東方の悪友を謝絶するものなり。 」

    The above quotes are from the Datsu-A Ron (脱亜論) or Get Out Of Asia, attributed to Yukichi Fukuzawa. There is a translation to modern Japanese, but it is a bit rearranged reflecting translator’s idea.

    Reading this again, I have to say to myself, that few things has changed since then. I am not talking about China and Korea only. I am talking about Japan also, and also…. No, I stop here.

    The original text was an editorial of a Japanese newspaper in 1886.

    You can find the original text here.

    A bit twisted translation is here.

  16. yankdownunder said

    Nicholas Kristof is a journalist like Han-Yi Shaw is a scholar.

    I don’t know if his Chinese wife twisted his head or if he was an idiot before he met her.
    Y: She’s ethnic Chinese, but American.


  17. toadold said

    Meanwhile there seems to be conflicting messages between the US Defense Department and the US State Department.
    The JDF and the US Marines are practicing together on the retaking of Islands. I read this at the nasty old Japan Times online in English.

  18. trapped in brazil said

    Hillary must have seen now how stupid she and her hubby were. After all those years of kissing China’s boot (thought I would say the other “b” word huh?) now the VP was “missing” and couldn’t receive her, but he magically appeared before Merkel. I think this mean that China has already sucked the USA of everything they could.

    Here is a funny notice of what is happening with Apple and a quick preview of what is to come to anyone who outsourced to China:

    Try taking foxconn to the courts hehehe…
    T: That’s an astonishing story at the link.


  19. trapped in brazil said

    Toranosuke, China and Korea want two things:
    a) To use Japan as an scapegoat to their people, as to hide their mismanagements and;
    b) Money.

    So no matter how much or in which manner Japan apologizes, or how much money it throws in there. They will always complain, until they feel that there is nothing more to take from Japan, except for it’s territory and people. And that’s when everyone will become Han’s vassals, like the ambassador Niwatori, I mean, Mr. Niwa.

  20. Ken said


    That is all I got. How about calling New Tang Dynasty Television?

  21. Barrie said

    You’re probably quite correct in your writing here. But it’s also very difficult to argue with 1.5 billion people who ‘like the islands very much’. Game over methinks.

  22. Tony said

    Sounds like Barrie has nailed most relevant “inconvenient truth” of the entire issue.
    T: So, you’re saying that the Chinese will invade, seize the islands, and the Japanese (and the Americans) will let it stand. Which will of course lead to something similar with Okinawa.

    Good morning Merry Sunshine!


  23. yankdownunder said

    9 Chinese ships remain near Senkaku Islands

    2 Chinese vessels enter Japan’s territorial waters

    Some 70 Taiwanese fishing boats are expected to arrive in the area near the islands on Monday

    If the above continues there is a good chance there will be an incident. China always says that everything is Japans fault and Japan must take full responsibility. China could sink a JCG boat and say it was Japans fault. I think the USA would not allow China to take Senkaku. Not because its occupation by China would threaten
    Taiwan and Japan. But because it would almost certainly result in Japan asking the US to leave since they obviously are not there to protect Japan. But maybe US thinks Japan will never ask them to leave.

    If 1000 Chinese or 70 Taiwanese boats do show up there will certainly be “sparks”.

  24. Tony said

    Whoah! Back off of channeling Donald Rumsfeld in your commentary. You can put in the words that you wished I said but that certainly doesn’t mean “I” said them. While it doesn’t mean the Chinese are right. the weight carried by 1.4 billion citizens who fervently believe the Senkakus are theirs is trumping any legal documents and historical arguments used to defend Japan’s view. Where that leads, I don’t know but I do believe that where ever it leads, that belief of the Chinese will play a large factor in determining the final outcome.
    “is trumping”? In the present tense?

    Barrie said, “Game over, methinks”, and you agreed, saying he “nailed” the “inconvenient truth”.

    As for an invasion, that’s the only way to reach “game over”.

    What the Donald Rumsfeld reference has to do with anything is beyond me. That’s the sort thing that goes over big at the Huffington Post or Daily Kos.

    See how easy it is to play that game?


  25. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Barrie and Tony: I do not know if you guys understand Japanese, but we would say, in this case, “Sore wo itchaa oshimaiyo!” (それをいっちゃあ、おしまいよ!) It means “you may be right, and this is it (or don’t mention it).”

    BTW, so when 1.4 billion people earnestly want something, they get it any way, and this world will be China in the end. Happily ever after.

  26. Tony said

    The Rumsfeld reference is for the strawman argument you and I have no doubt it was beyond you. Nice ad hominem counter, two logical fallacies in two attempts, you still have your knack.

    Yup, I agreed with Barrie that what 1.4 billion people belief plays more importance in China’s actions than do any legal arguments coming from Japan. Not that I think that is what should happen, which is evident in what I’ve said. Rather, judging from your reaction, it is quite clearly an inconvenient truth.
    Apart from the incoherence of the first sentence, and simply calling something a strawman argument doesn’t make it so, the fact remains that 1.4 billion people might think they can sit in a circle and chant and it will stop raining. What they think is not important. What they do is important. If they don’t do anything beyond their borders, nothing changes. They don’t get the Senkakus unless they take military action. If they do, Okinawa will be next. All you have to do is read what they say.

    That also presupposes that 1.4 billion people are saying and thinking the same thing. I doubt the Uighurs, Tibetans, or Mongolians much care. As we’ve seen, plenty of people in China are more concerned about domestic problems than the islets, and the society lacks internal stability, as the 180,000 public disturbances annually suggest.

    Do yourself a favor and read the Gordon Chang piece in the Toadold comment following yours.


  27. Tony said

    Yadayadayada, don’t be so thin skinned when people don’t fully agree with your opinion. It’s bad form.
    That’s odd. After rereading these comments, I can’t find an opinion from you with an argument to back it up. I can find “Donald Rumsfeld” (for some inexplicable reason), “strawman”, “thin-skinned”, “bad form”, the eloquent “yadayadayada”, and other spitballing, but nothing that resembles an argument.

    Until you present an argument, I can only assume that you don’t have one.


  28. Aceface said

    Isn’t the truth we are talking here is the content of the Kristof’s column and not what 1.4 billion in China taught to believe from their government and it’s consequences?

    And there are about 7 billion people on this planet with 5 and a half billion living outside of China.Some of them might be interested in not to blindly follow the Chinese government.

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