WASHINGTON — China and Japan continue to spar over the Senkaku (or Diaoyu) island chain, which Japan occupies but is claimed by China.
Reuters reported that China refused to honor calls from Japanese leaders to hold a leaders’ summit to discuss the issue and said that Japan is “grandstanding”.
It also did not help that Japan’s finance minister suggested that his superiors should not hesitate to use its navy to defend the island chain from China. The world’s second- and third-largest economies have been at odds for the past several months over who owns the island chains.
China is also embroiled in other island disputes with Vietnam, the Phillippines and other countries when it has occupied and built structures on several of them. Yet, China is upset that Japan is occupying this particular island chain.
Why are they upset? Because of the Law of the Sea, where if a country has control over an island, it has the right to mine and use the resources in the water around the island for up to several hundred nautical miles. Some speculate that the Senkaku islands hold natural gas resources in the waters around the islands.