Speaking of lines, however, there is no ambiguity about the clear red lines China has drawn on what it describes as its core, non-negotiable issues: These include Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, and perhaps tracts of the South China Sea. These are territorial and sovereign issues for which it is officially willing to go to war.
The Chinese insecurity over these is clear from the repeated assurances Beijing seeks from every capital that it adheres to the One China principle.
Beijing also has disputes over various island chains in the South China seas with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei, and of course, Japan. Extension of maritime boundaries, fishing and mining and oil exploration rights further compound these disputes.
Anti-Japanese riots erupted across China in September after Japan purchased a group of islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from their private owner. Violent mobs attacked Japanese-owned supermarkets, factories and car dealerships, while the local police and authorities watched. So far, Japan estimates losses of more than $100 million."
Image: A Chinese policeman emerges from a closed Japanese restaurant covered with Chinese national flags and banners saying "Protect my Diaoyu islands and I love China" as anti-Japanese protests continued outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing over the Diaoyu islands issue, known as the Senkaku islands in Japanese, on September 17, 2012.