China has been raising flags in the South China Sea region especially after it made clear that it will not honor any international interventions. Recently, the country seemingly tested Japan after sailing through its waters in what many consider as a tensed time in the Asia Pacific region. Is China urging war?
South China Sea Dispute: China Operating on Japan Waters
In the previous week, Japan reportedly summoned the Chinese ambassador over concerns on what the Chinese navy ship did on territorial waters. According to reports, Beijing’s ship sailed near Japan’s territorial waters in the East China Sea for the first time. This not only sparked concerns but also raised tensions in a time when a lot of countries are aiming for ownership over the disputed region.
According to a report from Reuters, Japan claimed that a a Chinese frigate sailed within 24 miles (38 kms) of the disputed area. Specifically, the ship sailed shortly after midnight near the islands referred to as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Throughout recent periods, Japan and China have found themselves facing off near the islands as both nations pursue their claims.
“We are worried that this action raises tensions to a higher level,” said Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga during a press briefing.
“Related ministries are working together to deal with this and we will work closely with the U.S.,” the official added.
China maintained that it has the rights to operate on such waters.
“Chinese naval ships sailing through waters our country has jurisdiction over is reasonable and legal. No other country has the right to make thoughtless remarks about this,” said China’s Defense Ministry.
China’s Illegal Fishing Contributing to Tensions in South China Sea
It is not only China’s navy that is threatening international waters. According to a report from The Huffington Post, China’s illegal fishing is also threatening such. The report cited Western sources claiming that Chinese fishing boats are still operating on foreign waters like South China Sea, Korea’s Western Sea, Indian Ocean, East China Sea and also the South American coast. Whereas other nations are subject to sunken boats, fines and other penalties for illegal fishing, the situation does not seem to let up which only adds to the trouble.