China has stated its adamant opposition to Japan’s illegal “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands since the issue began earlier this year. The Chinese government took a series of forceful countermeasures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity as Japan ignored China’s warnings and intensified its infringement of China’s territorial sovereignty.
China’s Foreign Ministry also warned Japan that it should not misjudge the situation or underestimate the resolve of the Chinese government and people to defend their territorial sovereignty.
China immediately lodged strong opposition and protest after Japan began its illegal “purchase” of the islands. Chinese leaders stated China’s stance on this issue on numerous occasions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense both demanded that Japan withdraw the so-called islands “purchase”.
Later, China announced the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands, and submitted a copy of the table of coordinates and charts of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets to the United Nations. These actions indicate that China has absolute jurisdiction over the Islands and the surrounding waters, which means that China’s maritime surveillance vessels and patrol ships and even the navy are obliged to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity if Japan’s public service vessels or Self-Defense Force intrude on the Diaoyu Islands and the surrounding waters.
China also made surveillance and monitoring of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets a routine. The China Meteorological Administration began providing weather forecasts for the islands and their surrounding waters. And the State Oceanic Administration introduced maritime environment forecasting for the sea around the Diaoyu Islands. In response to Japan’s objections to law enforcement activities by China’s maritime surveillance vessels, China’s Foreign Ministry said China neither accepts nor acknowledges Japan’s “illegal occupation” or the so-called “actual control” over the Diaoyu Islands.
Japan’s behavior also caused strong dissatisfaction among the Chinese people. Various exchange events between the governments and private sectors of the two sides were cancelled. And the number of Chinese tourists going to Japan also fell by 70%. More than 60, 000 seat reservations on flights from China to Japan were cancelled. And sales of Japanese cars and home appliances also decreased significantly. According to a report released by a Japanese research agency, Japan will see its exports to China reduced by 1 trillion yen this year, which could drag down its GDP by 820 billion yen.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun stressed on October 26 that China will watch closely what further actions Japan takes on the Diaoyu Islands, and respond with appropriate measures. He said if Japan continues to take wrong actions and make further provocations, China will definitely take strong and forceful countermeasures, and China does not lack the ability to do so.