China Dispatches Patrol Ships as Island Dispute Heightens with Japan

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The Chinese regime dispatched two patrol ships to waters near the Diaoyu Islands, after Japan announced it will purchase the disputed islands—also known as Senkaku in Japan.

Chinese leaders have already called the purchase "illegal and invalid." Today, state-run Xinhua News Agency published a strongly worded statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry telling Japan to, quote, "Immediately stop all actions that may undermine China's territorial sovereignty."

The two patrol ships are from the China Marine Surveillance. Its role is similar to that of coast guards, tasked with enforcing the Chinese regime’s marine territorial claims. The ships are lightly armed.

Japan has not confirmed the presence of the two ships, but said it will act accordingly if they are seen.

[Osamu Fujimura, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary]:
“If they are indeed entering the waters around the Senkaku Islands, then we will demand they not cross over in to our territorial waters."

Tensions over the Diaoyu Islands escalated in recent weeks after several Hong Kong and Chinese nationals landed on the island. Japanese authorities detained them before being sent back home.

This stoked anti-Japanese sentiment in China, with several protests flaring around the country. Chinese authorities initially encouraged those protests, but soon urged for calm, fearing the venting would be redirected at the government.

Japan announced it would purchase islands from its current private Japanese owner. The transfer is estimated to cost around 2.05 billion Yen, or around 26 million US dollars.

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