In the Asia-Pacific region, one of the situations many find troubling is that surrounding the territorial battles regarding the East and South China Seas. Ever since China unveiled its nine-dash line, which it says offers historical evidence that the area is inherently there’s, we’ve seen several high profile events with neighboring nations.
China and Vietnam this summer squared off in the South China Sea when China moved an oil rig into Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Vietnamese fishing and Coast Guard vessels were sunk or damaged, and citizens rioted in the streets, damaging Chinese factories. The United States and Japan both have had their aircraft buzzed by Chinese fighters while on patrol.
During the United States’ recent Valiant Shield 2014 exercise in the region, host Steve Miller spoke with RAND Corporation political Analyst Scott Harold and asked him if he thought the area was entering a new “Cold War” in the area and if he thought we might have to face a crucial event, before all parties stepped back to ease tensions.
It was also recently reported in the Mainichi newspaper citing “Japanese government sources” that China and Japan might be planning to meet and negotiate a solution to competing claims over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The sources claim Prime Minister Abe would reassert to President Xi during their meeting that the Senkakus are an inherent part of Japanese territory. However, Abe would then acknowledge that China has a case as well, and finally propose settling the issue through mutual dialogue over time.
If true, it would go a long way to help resolve some tension in the area, but for now, there’s been confirmation of any high level meetings.
What do you see in your crystal ball for the South and East China Seas?
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