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This post was edited by abramicus at 2012-10-22 04:31|
While it is appropriate for China to patrol its waters up to some 30 miles from the shore of Diaoyudao, it has avoided getting closer to the island for the most part, even just within 12 nautical miles that is the boundary of its sovereign territory, and never attempted to land its sailors on the island.
One cannot be too critical of China's cautious and patient approach to the explosive problem of Japan "nationalizing" its sovereign territory by an official act of its Cabinet on September 11, 2012, because the consequences of attempting a forced landing on Diaoyudao is likely to be bloodshed that could lead to an all-out war, and even, possibly, though remotely, another world war.
Thus, China has given Japan multiple opportunities to say it is sorry, simply by the Cabinet reversing its own decision to "nationalize" Diaoyudao, and then inviting China to the negotiating table to discuss their dispute over its sovereignty. Japan, on the other hand, has taken China's offers for talks to signify weakness, and all the more insisted it will never reverse its "nationalization" of Diaoyudao, and repeated its incorrect position that Japan's sovereignty over Diaoyu is not in question, when it clearly is in question. Even the USA said it could not take a position on the sovereignty of Diaoyu, which it would have done, if it was sure Diaoyu really belonged to Japan. The indecision of the USA is proof enough that the sovereignty of Diaoyu is definitely a question mark at the very least, even though to China, its claim of sovereignty is backed up by every piece of historical evidence.
On the other hand, with Japan insisting on "de facto" sovereignty, i.e., that it has its boots planted on Diaoyudao, while China's clippers are tossing in the waves outside its sovereign waters, China's ability to exercise jurisdiction over Diaoyu naturally is also in question, regardless of how questionable Japan's claim of sovereignty over Diaoyudao may be.
To resolve the question of China being able to exercise jurisdiction on Diaoyudao, having Chinese fishermen and coast guards on the ground on Diaoyudao is indispensable. It has become not a matter of if, but of when. Much as China does not savor such a physically dangerous encounter, and has reservations as to whether it can really pull off such an act, China is missing one element in its claim of sovereignty -- physical jurisdiction, even for just one day.
Thirty miles is a shore too far. Being on Diaoyudao is what really counts as sovereignty. The longer Japan holds out, the more likely it will face the Ground Zero reality of Chinese forces landing on Diaoyudao. Whether or not it will trigger a broader war, or even a world war, cannot be surmised from the current distance of 30 miles. But if Japan is to avoid severely unpleasant developments, Japan should withdraw from Diaoyudao physically or legally, before Ground Zero Day arrives. Heaven hath no wrath like mercy to vengeance turned.