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Area Chart

It seems the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) are determined to cause international problems by making territorial claims with their neighbors.  One really has to wonder why this is being done as one would think the PRC has its hands full trying to handle what is still really a third world nation - even though they now consider themselves a first world power.  With its vast territory, multiple nationalities, languages, religious believes and in many cases hatred of the Beijing Government it has many, many internal problems.

Having recently set the cat amongst the pigeons in the South China Sea they are now provoking tensions or worse with the Japanese over the Senkaku Islands, known in the PRC as Diaoyu Islands.  Situated west-south-west of Okinawa, north-east of Taiwan, therefore well east of the PRC, in the East China Sea the Senkaku Islands have been historically administered by Japan and were regarded as Japanese territory before and since World War 2.

The islands are uninhabited and it is now realised are resource rich so, as in the South China Sea, are of great interest to the Chinese both PRC and Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. Tensions have risen to the degree that Japan's Foreign Ministry called in the PRC Ambassador to Japan in to protest against action taken by PRC patrol boats in the East China Sea islands.

The incident protested against was the incursion of three PRC fishery patrol boats on Wednesday, on being told to leave the sea zone by Japan Coastguard they initially refused.  Later having stated through Xinhua News Agency the official PRC news source that they were carrying out a "fishery protection mission in the area" they did depart from the Japanese sea zone.

This is of course the same procedure used by the PRC in the South China Sea to claim islands there.  One can now expect that the PRC Agency China Marine Surveillance (CMS) will send their armed patrol vessels on a regular basis near Senkaku.  By 2016 CMS will have an armed fleet of 360 vessels and some 20 aircraft available for these patrols no doubt we can therefore expect tensions to continue to rise in the East China Sea as in the South China Sea.

On another point the PRC Ministry of Defence has been strangely quiet about the position and progress of the training ship PLAN Zheng He on its round-the-world voyage.  About two days or so after it arrives somewhere there is an announcement in their MOD website.  This week the PLAN Zheng He transited the Panama Canal refuelled and resupplied ready to cross the Pacific Ocean home to China (PRC). 

One can only suppose the reporting time delay is due to security concerns which in fact are largely meaningless as the vessel is tracked by intelligence satellites every meter of its voyage.  The PRC has been making statements both in MOD Press Releases and by its Press Officers that appear to indicate a strong conflict mentality in the PRC-MOD thinking.  Generally the PRC seems to be currently operating on an "attack is the best defence" concept.

Good Watch.


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