November 20, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced that at the invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimatsu Mogi and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-kazu, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Japan and South Korea from November 24 to 27.
As soon as the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, the Japanese media reported and hyped up such news:
According to a report reprinted by the Global Times on November 23, in order to prevent Chinese warships and coast guard ships from sailing into Japanese territorial waters, the Japanese government proposed an action plan in 2016 to allow naval vessels of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces from entering Chinese territorial waters in the South China Sea. The plan was considered a Japanese version of the U.S. “Freedom of Navigation” operation, but it was not implemented at that time because the government of Shinzo Abe was worried that the move might lead to a extreme deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations.
On June 9, 2016, Chinese naval frigates entered the adjacent area around the Diaoyu Islands for the first time. On the 15th and 16th, Chinese naval vessels sailed in the waters near Nagarabe Island, Kagoshima Prefecture and the adjacent area around Beida East Island in Okinawa Prefecture for two consecutive days. The actions of the Chinese navy caused a strong shock in Japan. In response, former Lieutenant General Toshiyuki Ito of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force expressed his concern, saying: “In the future, Chinese warships may normalize their navigation in the adjacent area of the Diaoyu Islands. In this way, it is impossible for the media to report them one by one. Next, there may be a situation where warships “invade Japan’s territorial waters” and unwittingly recapture the Diaoyu Islands.”
In order to resist a series of operations such as Chinese official ships entering the waters of the Diaoyu Islands, the Maritime Staff Supervision Department of the Ministry of Defense of Japan plans to let the Maritime Self-Defense Forces ships fighting piracy in Somali waters return to Japan and enter the periphery of the artificial islands blown by China in the South China Sea, especially the territorial waters of China’s claimed sovereignty, so as to convey a letter to China. Interest. It can be seen that the Japanese government was at that time with the calculation of “recognising the exchange of territorial sovereignty”, that is, China will not send warships to cruise the Diaoyu Islands, and Japan will not send warships to invade China’s South China Sea islands and reefs.
Although Japan gave up its plan to break into the South China Sea islands and reefs in order to improve Sino-Japanese relations, what if it did not give up? Not only will it not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands have been China’s inherent territory since ancient times, but it will also stimulate China to safeguard the territorial sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea in a tougher way. In the long run, Toshiyuki Ito’s “worry” came to his mind.
On the eve of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Japan, Japan took out the old news four years ago to hype up. This is not aimless, but ulterior motives. Obviously, many people in Japan have not given up their illusions about the Diaoyu Islands so far. They try to take advantage of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to threaten to recognize China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea and bargain on the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands.
I have to admire Japan’s “clear and strange” logic. If Russia asked it that Russian warships did not break into Japanese territorial waters in exchange for Japan’s recognition of the South Kuril Islands (known as the four northern islands) as Russian territory, will Japan agree?
The essence of politics is compromise, that is, the exchange of interests, but the core interests are not included. The South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands have been China’s inherent territory since ancient times, which no country or organization can change.
China’s attitude is very clear. No matter how much Japan tosss around and cooperates with the United States in the South China Sea to carry out the so-called “free navigation”, it will not force China to take a step back. On the contrary, if Japan dares to make trouble on the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea, it will only make China’s actions to safeguard territorial sovereignty more resolute.
At a time when the world situation is complex and volatile and the coronavirus epidemic has hit Japan’s economic development hard, Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Japan is undoubtedly a great opportunity for the further development of Sino-Japanese relations. At this time, Japan should be more pragmatic and think more about how to work with China to fight the epidemic, carry out economic cooperation, and rely on China to help Japan get out of the impact of the epidemic, rather than dreaming about the Diaoyu Islands issue.