China-Japan Island Dispute Spreads to Cyberspace

China-Japan Island Dispute Spreads to Cyberspace

On Tuesday, China’s National Marine Data and Information Service launched a website on the Diaoyu Islands which asserts Chinese over the disputed territory. The Chinese website mirrors a website earlier established by the Japanese Foreign Ministry dedicated to promoting Japan’s own claim on the islands, which it refers to as the Senkaku Islands. Kiki Zhao at The reports:

In a new effort to bolster its claim to disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Chinese government has endowed the isles with a website under their Chinese name,, for the . Japan, which also claims sovereignty, calls them the Senkaku.

Next to the Chinese national flag, the words “Diaoyu Islands — China’s inherent territory” top the website’s home page. Below are photos of the uninhabited, Japanese-administered archipelago with islands identified by their Chinese names, the Chinese government’s statement as to why the islands are an integral part of China and a timeline reaching back to the 14th century with historical documents offered as proof of China’s claim. “The Diaoyu are inseparable parts of Chinese territory,” the website reads. “Whether from a historical perspective or a legal one, they are China’s inherent territory.”

[…]  “This might be a response to Japan’s earlier of its position and related documents about the islands,” said Zhou Weihong, a professor in Japanese studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The Japanese set up a website detailing Japan’s claim to the islands, along with supporting historical records, around the time Tokyo announced it would purchase the islands from a private owner in 2012, Mr. Zhou said. That website, which is available in a dozen languages, including Chinese, declares: “There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law.” [Source]

Read more about the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute, via CDT.

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