Island row: Chinese daily asks military to be ready

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 15, 2012 07:40 hrs

Beijing, Sep 15 (IANS) A state-run daily Saturday asked the powerful Chinese military, including a corps that controls conventional and nuclear missiles, to be prepared and intensify its deterrence against Japan following a row over Diaoyu islands.

An article in the op-ed section of Global Times said: "China should be confident about strategically overwhelming Japan. The People's Liberation Army's Navy and Air Force, as well as its Second Artillery Corps, are advised to increase their preparation and intensify their deterrence against Japan's Self-Defense Forces."

The Second Artillery Corps of the People's Liberation Army controls China's missile forces and it is responsible for both ballistic and cruise missiles, with varying ranges and differing payloads.

"China will not shy away if Japan chooses to resort to its military. As friction escalates, it is more likely for Japan to retreat in the face of unreliable US security assurances and China's strengthened strategic combat capabilities," it said.

"For China, triumphing will cement cohesion and public confidence in the country. We cannot back off and we must win."

The daily said that a total of six Chinese surveillance ships have carried out a patrol and law enforcement mission in waters around the Diaoyu islands and its affiliated islets Friday.

"The move marks China's disdain for Tokyo's so-called `control' over the islands," it said.

The disputed islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Taiwan, lie on a vital shipping route and are surrounded by large hydrocarbon deposits beneath them.

Japan says it has controlled the islands since 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II. The islands were controlled by the US from 1945 to 1972 and subsequently returned to Japan's control. China claims the islands' discovery and control since the 14th century.

The article said that China's maritime enforcement will serve as a strong deterrent against Japanese right-wing activists who seek to land on the islands.

"The situation would further change if China seized Japanese nationals who illegally enter China's sovereign waters," it added.

"The consequences of China strengthening its law enforcement within 12 nautical miles of the islands include possible confrontation with the Japanese Coast Guard. As China firmly stands determined to safeguard its own sovereignty, Japan is more than likely to change its mind," said the daily.

It went on to say that Japan touched probably the thorniest issue in bilateral ties, which in turn serves as an opportunity for China.

"We should seize the chance and make historic advancements in safeguarding our sovereignty by breaking Japan's `administration' of the islands."

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