Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Diaoyu dispute sowed by US 

That's the headline on the op ed page of the China Daily today. I have been following this story for a few days, because it has to do with a relationship that is naturally of interest to me. I was born and raised in Japan, and I live in China.

But the article, written by Feng Zhoukui, was hopelessly unhistorical:
When the US decided to return the occupied Okinawa to Japan in 1972, the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets, which belong to China, were also handed over to Tokyo. In so doing, the US wanted to prevent China and Japan from getting too close and bring ties between the two countries under its control. Washington's viciously conceived move, a tactic often employed by imperialists, proved useful in serving its interests in the past decades.
Such nonsense has to be an embarrassment to the China Daily. The agreement between the United States and Japan returning Okinawa to Japan was signed in 1971 before Nixon's trip to China. What are the odds that they Americans would take part of Okinawa and give it to "Red" China, a country with which the Americans had no diplomatic relations? It's absurd. The United States returned those islands to Japan for one simple reason: It was Japan that they had taken them from after World War II, and they had no interest in the islands themselves. To take a couple obscure islands that were considered part of Okinawa and give them to a third party would have placed the United States in the middle of an issue they did not want to be involved in.

It's possible the young man who wrote this article was born after the Cultural Revolution, and perhaps even after the end of the Cold War. Still, his ignorance is distracting. The China Daily would be well advised to limit its editorial page to writers who have at least a middle school knowledge of Chinese history.

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