Envoy predicts China to control Senkaku mess

If a top Chinese diplomat has the Senkaku dispute figured out accurately, China will be “controlling” the issue soon enough.

A top Chinese academic is adding his thoughts that the Senkaku matter will be settled within a couple years, although not necessarily the way early predictions are going.  China’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, believes the new government in Japan will come to grips with historical reality “and take the right measures to overcome the difficulty in relations with China, and bring relations back on the track of normal development.”

Tension between the two countries has been mounting since the previous government headed by the Democratic Party of Japan bought three of the disputed Senkaku islands claimed by both Taiwan and China from private owners.  The move effectively nationalizes the islands, infuriating China, as the islets are surrounded by both rich fishing areas and potentially large bodies of oil, gas and minerals.

Ambassador Liu has condemned Japan’s purchase and position, maintaining it “seriously encroached upon China’s sovereignty.”  Although he wants to believe it will be settled in short order, he wouldn’t make a prediction.  Yan Xuetong, Dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Beijing Tsinghua University is more optimistic, saying he has “great confidence” the two countries will settle the dispute without outside help, and soon.  “I think that they can settle down this dispute within two years,” he says.