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China pushes control over Senkaku through patrols

Date Posted: 2012-03-28

An announced move by China it is now conducting maritime patrols in waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, in the southern reaches of Okinawa Prefecture, has Japanese authorities concerned.

China revealed its latest steps it says “will break Japan’s intent to acquire a so-called ‘statute of limitation’ and eventually steal the Diaoyu Island” in the latest issue of the People’s Daily newspaper. It quotes a senior State Oceanic Administration official speaking for Beijing of concerns the Senkaku Island might be recognized under international law as Japanese territory if Japan control of the islands lasts 50 years.

A Chinese maritime surveillance vessel has already been spotted entering the territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands. The islands are claimed by both Taiwan and China, as well as Japan. The move seems to validate China’s statement it will beef up patrols in the region.

With only a decade remaining before Japan will have administered the uninhabited islands for 50 years, China’s thinking is that ''Chinese patrols in this area would help weaken Japan's effective control over the Diaoyu Island, neighboring islands and surrounding waters for more than 40 years.'' The Chinese official says the islands have been part of Chinese territory since ancient times.

To exercise its claim, the China Maritime Surveillance has nine aircraft, 380 ships and more other vehicles. The China Maritime Surveillance falls under the State Oceanic Administration.

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