China vs Japan: Islands spat gets nasty

China and Japan are once again ratcheting up territorial tension over a chain of uninhabited rocks known as the Diaoyu Islands or Senkakus.

The latest bout of sabre rattling began after a flotilla of ships carrying activists from China, Hong Kong and Macau landed on the islands on Aug. 15. This was followed by a retaliatory landing by Japanese activists before several anti-Japanese protests occurred in cities across China.

Located around 100 miles northeast of Taiwan, the islands were administered by the US after the end of World War II before handed to Japan in 1971, a decision which China disputes, claiming historic records and geographical features show the islands are Chinese. The islands are also claimed by Taiwan.

The Diaoyutai/Senkaku spat is just one of a number of territorial spats China is involved in. Beijing also regularly tussles with other Asian nations such as the Philippines and Vietnam over island chains in the South China Sea.


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