Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Diaoyu Controversy Festers

Since the Chinese fishing trawler collided with Japanese Coast Guard vessel off the Diaoyu islands, the crew was detained, the captain arrested, China protested then tourism to Japan dried up and rare earth exports halted and finally the captain was released without charges. However, the bilateral tension and dispute continues today.

A recently released video clip taken from the coast guard ship strongly suggested that the ship swerved in front of the trawler in an attempt to stop the forward motion of the fishing boat. Since two objects cannot occupy the same space, the collision became inevitable. Claiming that Chinese trawler deliberately rammed the coast guard vessels seemed a bit of a stretch.

A more enlightened summary of the incident and dispute has been written by Professor Jerome Cohen in the Council of Foreign Affairs. It is recommended reading for those interested in the history behind the dispute.

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