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Rising tensions in East China Sea complicate China-Japan dialogue

Saturday morning’s Nikkei said active patrol operations by the Chinese in the vicinity of the Senkakus have made dialogue between Tokyo and Beijing more difficult, predicting that a senior Chinese diplomat will probably cancel his scheduled trip to Japan in late August. As a result, it may also become difficult to convene a tripartite foreign ministerial meeting by Japan, China, and South Korea as envisaged in Japan in September. While noting that Tokyo has pressed Washington to take a hard line toward China on this matter to encourage Beijing to take a more conciliatory approach toward Tokyo, the daily said the Obama administration is not being very responsive.

This morning’s Asahi said China’s aggressive operations around the Senkakus are likely to continue since the Xi administration is determined to protect maritime interests and the PLA is aiming to establish effective control over the outcrops. Mainichi conjectured that President Xi’s policy of reinforcing his grip on power within the Chinese Communist Party is behind Beijing’s hard line over the Senkaku dispute, explaining that he is anxious to rein in his political rivals ahead of the party convention next fall.

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