chapter  5
17 Pages

The US factor in China’s dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands

Balancing Washington’s ‘rebalancing’ in East Asian waters
WithUlises Granados

The Diaoyu/Senkaku islands territorial conflict between China and Japan is, particularly since 2009, one of the most worrisome flash points in East Asia, and an important source of insecurity in the region. This chapter overviews Chinese and Japanese central narratives on their own claims, highlighting that both narratives contain important arguments. The recognition of Japanese administration of the islands has been shared by the United States (US) Congress. China protested the approved US National Defense Authorization Act in late December 2012, whereby the Congress also recognized, in section 1286, Japan's administration over the archipelago. China, however, recognizes that the US bilateral relationship is her most important one, above that with Japan. Through major power relationship model, China can send a message to the US that the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute is a threat to the overall Sino-US bilateral relationship and thus undermine the Japanese position against China.