Sept 25, 2012
If you thought it was complicated when “only” China and Japan were disputing the recent escalation in property rights over who owns those three particular rock in the East China Sea, to be henceforth called the Senkaku Islands for simplicity’s sake because things are about to get far more confusing, here comes Taiwan, aka the Republic of China, not to be confused with the People’s Republic of China for the simple reason that the latter officially asserts itself to be the sole legal representation of China and actively claims Taiwan to be under its sovereignty, denying the status and existence of ROC as a sovereign state (yet one which benefits from US backing), to also stake its claim over the disputed Senkaku Islands.
It has done so in a very confusing manner: by replicating what it thinks China did some days ago when an “armada” of 1000 fishing boats set sail in an unknown direction and which the trigger happy media immediately assumed was in direction Senkaku. It subsequently turned out that this was not the case and as we reported, “China’s fishing season stops every year in June-September in the East China Sea, where the islands are located. This year, the ban was lifted on Sunday.” In short the (PR)China fishing boat amrada was not headed toward the Senkakus. Taiwan however did not get the memo, and as NKH reports, “several dozen Taiwanese fishing boats have set sail for the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, to claim access to their fishing grounds.”
So to summarize: a country which (PR)China claims does not exist and is under its own sovereign control, has replicated what it thought was (PR)China’s strategic move to reclaim the Senkaku Islands (which was nothing of the sort), and is sending its own fishing boat armada to reclaim islands whose ownership has sent Japan and (PR)China on the verge of more than mere diplomatic warfare. The only thing that could make this any more confusing is if someone discovered title deeds ceding ownership of the Senkakus to Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China at the same time, and signed by Linda Green.
More than 70 boats from a fishing cooperative in northeastern Taiwan set out Monday afternoon, hoisting banners claiming that the islands belong to Taiwan, and that Taiwan’s sovereignty and fishing rights must be protected.
The cooperative is protesting Japan’s purchase of 3 of the islands in the Senkaku chain from a private owner earlier this month. The cooperative says the waters surrounding the islands have long been a major Taiwanese fishing ground.
The cooperative says the boats will be joined by vessels from other cooperatives along the way to the islands.
The fleet plans to arrive at a point about 40 kilometers southwest of the islands by early Tuesday morning.
The boats are to circle near the islands after forming into groups of 5, with the aim of entering Japanese territorial waters.
More than 10 Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels will be on hand to monitor the fishing fleet’s activities.
So who’s next in order of territorial claims – Argentina?
In short- utter confusion which can only mean one thing – sit beck and enjoy. It’s popcorn time.