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Chinese invasion of Senkaku Islands unjustifiable

By John D. Nitowski
On September 18, 2012

Depending on how dedicated to the World News' cycle you are, you might be surprised to hear that over the weekend China's population committed millions of dollars of property damage as anti-Japan riots erupted over a territorial dispute. The property in question? The Senkaku Islands. A few rocks in the East China Sea amounting to 7km squared. Try finding them on Google will take a few minutes to locate them. Then compare the islands with mainland China. Oh, and remember that no one lives on those islands.
Now, here's the problem I have with the dispute in general: aside from the idea that by entertaining this ridiculousness adds legitimacy (thankfully, the United States' diplomatic stance is "PRC, call us when you're ready to talk"), the line that the People's Republic of China uses to claim the Senkaku Islands is, "this land has been an integral and inalienable part of China since ancient times and we will not allow a separation of the Chinese state."
That line is the official reason for China's military occupation of Tibet today and their invasion in 1959. It's the same line they use today in the Senkaku Islands. And it's the same line they'll use when they finally decide to invade Taiwan.
Now, I'm not denying that China had nothing to do with the Senkaku Islands since ancient history. But the apparent justification China uses for an "integral and inalienable part of China" is "whenever it shows up in Chinese history."
At various parts in its history, one dynasty or another has controlled land in Russia, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Taiwan, and even Japan.
Historic justification for their control of Tibet includes the Dalai Lama's journey to visit the Emperor during the Ming Dynasty. When the Lama reached Beijing, he publicly bowed to the Emperor. Today, the People's Republic (which, you may notice, does not have an emperor) uses that as evidence of Tibet's subservience to China, while Tibetan historians read it simply as a mark of respect from Lama to Emperor. Yet, with these tiny historical hints, they justify their religious, social, and political oppression of an entire nation.
Their justification for the Senkaku/Daiyou Islands dispute is even worse: Chinese historians have a 1372 map with the Islands on them, but the Japanese only have a map dating back to 1754. See! The Japanese didn't even know about this inhabited bit of land for almost 400 years! Proof!
Obviously, the island of Taiwan has been known to the mainlanders for much longer than 700 years. But it still operates from a different capital city with a different set of laws. If they had asserted their independence a little more forcefully, Beijing might have ended that "insurrection" decades ago and eliminated one more American ally in this unstable region.
There's a book out there called "1421" by Gavin Menzies. It's very interesting ,and posits genetic and historical information with the idea that the Chinese explorer Zheng He journeyed to America 70 years before Columbus made his journey. And in those 70 years, a dozen other Chinese explorers discovered two new continents, and even built colonies in Peru and Rhode Island. In addition, Chinese explorers took their first look at Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand.
All historians in this area of interest are disputing Gavin Menzies' thesis. His history is sketchy and his archaeology is even worse. But the implications of his book are shocking. The reason the Chinese want the Senkaku/Daiyou Islands so bad is because of the natural gas reserves nearby. The reason they invaded Tibet was for the gold and political dominance. What happens when minerals are discovered in Antarctica? Or when the Chinese grow strong enough to enforce their political and economic will in the Americas?
Anyone who knows me knows I will almost never say that violence is the answer. But go back to 1938 and look at Hitler's behavior in Czechoslovakia. He insisted that all he wanted was one country... and he'd be done. The Allies gave in, figuring that once Hitler was appeased, he'd go back to Berlin and want nothing more. They were wrong. He invaded Poland one year later. If the United States gives in and allows China the satisfaction of owning and controlling the Senkaku Islands, Taiwan will come next and finally the world.  

By John D.

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