The following is a translation from Chinese media:
China’s qianzhan.com says in its report today that China’s Kaixuan-1 oil rig is on its way to the area near the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkakus in Japan), accompanied by quite a few Chinese warships. Chinese people are excited at the news. They are happy that in order to prevent Japan from occupying the islands, China has taken this action to “defend” its territories.
Hong Kong’s SCMP published an article on September 3 titled “China deploys new oil rig to drill in East China Sea,” stating “China has sent a new oil rig to explore the East China Sea, in an area that includes waters disputed with Japan.”
It quotes a Cosco Shipyard statement as saying the new oil rig “Kaixuan-1 had a smooth start to drilling operations despite challenges thrown up by typhoons,” and that the drilling went to a depth of 5,200 metres.
Qianzhan.com says that being a large energy consumer, China needs to deploy oil rigs to exploit the energy resources in the waters there, as it has now obtained the technology for the exploitation. At the same time, it is also an action to claim China’s sovereignty over the disputed waters.
As the exact location of the oil rig is unknown, qianzhan.com cannot be sure it is precisely within the Diaoyu area. However, it must not be far away from the Diaoyus, and may move increasingly closer to the islands.
Contributor’s note: China chose the right timing for this offensive, when the US was sending National Security Adviser Susan Rice to visit Beijing from September 8 to 10 to make preparations for US president Obama’s Beijing visit in November. It is very clear that the US and China are making efforts to mend their ties. In addition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying hard to make Chinese President Xi agree to a summit between Xi and himself, while China and Vietnam have already mended their ties and eased the tensions between them.
Since China’s oil rig offensive in the South China Sea has proved so successful, China certainly want to test its luck in the East China Sea. Moreover, there have been dangerous encounters between Chinese and Japanese aircraft that may well ignite a war, but no military conflicts have taken place. That makes Xi bold in further extending China’s brink-of-war adventure. The disputed islands are but worthless rocks. What China and Japan contend for is the energy and fish resources there, of which the energy resources, if found by exploration, are especially valuable.
So far, Xi’s terms on mending ties with Japan are only that Japan must admit that there is dispute over the sovereignty of the disputed islands, and Abe’s promise not to visit Yasukuni Shrine in Japan again. It is but the restoration of the status before the dispute gave rise to the tension. If Abe is willing to accept the terms, I believe that China is willing to withdraw its patrol ships, aircraft and oil rig. The oil rig move is China’s further act to tighten the screw. Abe must be aware that if energy resources are found by the oil rig, China will raise harsher terms. That is the great strength underlying the oil rig move.Source: qianzhan.com “Abe got a slap in face: Chinese warships escort oil rig to go close to the Diaoyu Islands” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese) Source: SCMP “China deploys new oil rig to drill in East China Sea”
- China and Japan: The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands under international law (chinadailymail.com)
- Vietnam says China moving oil rig, but sending in warships (chinadailymail.com)
- Chinese media says Chinese ships rammed Vietnamese ship in South China Sea; 121 ships “protecting” oil rig (chinadailymail.com)
- China Takes the Offensive in South China Sea Disputes by Its Oil Rig Move (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
- China’s Wise Ways in Dealing with South China Sea Disputes (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
- CHINA – JAPAN – VIETNAM – Beijing’s diplomacy to ease maritime tensions with Tokyo and Hanoi (asianews.it)
- ‘ Oil Rig Moved Away From Disputed Waters ‘ (acenewsservices.com)
- Japan gives Vietnam six ships to boost maritime patrols (rappler.com)
- China deploys four new oil rigs (thehindu.com)
- Anger in Vietnam as China sends four more oil rigs into disputed waters (irishtimes.com)