Tuesday, March 5, 2024

China plans to keep ships near Senkaku 365 days in 2024

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China plans to anchor ships near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in 2024, sources said on Saturday, as President Xi Jinping seeks to strengthen China’s sovereignty claims over the islands. .

During President Xi’s unusual visit to the East China Sea Regional Command of the China Coast Guard in Shanghai on November 29, he pointed out the need for China to “constantly strengthen” efforts to protect the sovereignty of the islands. According to officials, China calls it the Diaoyu Islands.

Regarding the bilateral conflict over the Senkaku Islands, Mr. Xi, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, the highest national defense body, said, “We can only move forward, we cannot retreat. We will not let anyone take it away from us,” the official added.

A file photo taken in September 2013 shows the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are administered by Japan. (Joint)

The coast guard has since developed a plan to continue to have ships anchored near the island every day next year and conduct inspections of Japanese fishing vessels in the area as needed, in an effort to strengthen Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

On December 14th, the number of days in a year in which Japan witnessed Chinese ships near the Senkaku Islands exceeded the previous record of 336 days announced in 2022.

Mr. Xi’s directive comes even as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reiterated his “serious concerns” about the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands during a mid-November summit with Chinese leaders in San Francisco. It was done without fail.

After President Xi’s visit, Chief of the Chinese Coast Guard Yuzhong held a meeting at the headquarters and said that ships will continue to be dispatched to the waters near the Senkaku Islands, and more Chinese naval vessels will be sent to Yonaguni Island in southern Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. It was decided to enable navigation between Iriomote Islands. officials said.

Yonaguni Island is Japan’s westernmost island, located 111 kilometers from Taiwan and has a population of about 1,600 people.The Chinese government claims the autonomous democratic island as its own.

The dispute over the Senkaku Islands has been a source of long-running friction between the two Asian neighbors. Since Japan placed the islands under state control in September 2012, China Coast Guard vessels have repeatedly entered Japanese territorial waters near the islands.

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