A man in Xi'an holds a sign that reads CAR SMASHINGS AHEAD, JAPANESE CAR OWNERS SHOULD TURN BACK NOW
The sign in the foreground reads DEFEND DIAOYU ISLANDS TILL OUR DEATHS and ƒück JAPAN
Quote:Much at stake for US as tensions rise in troubled China Seas
Vast oil reserves, trillion-dollar trade routes, fervent nationalist sentiments, competing territorial claims and bitter histories – the waters off the east coast of China are a sea of money and a sea of trouble.
Tensions have been rising for several years and recently hit new heights with activists landing on disputed islands, angry diplomatic exchanges and even a threat to deploy troops, prompting fears of an armed conflict that could potentially involve the United States, China, Japan and other nations.
The South China Sea has a myriad of competing claims of ownership: China staked out most of it in 1947 but its neighbors have never accepted it. The Spratly Islands alone are claimed by a total of five countries: China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.
All are eyeing oil and gas reserves thought to be so rich that the area has become dubbed "The Second Persian Gulf." Also, an estimated $5 trillion worth of trade is shipped through its waters.
Quote:Japan's ambassador-designate to China, Shinichi Nishimiya, died on Sunday in a Tokyo hospital, the Foreign Ministry said, three days after he was found unconscious on a Tokyo street.
Doctors were looking into the cause of death, ministry official Takashi Ariyoshi said in a statement, but no other details were available. Nishimiya, 60, was found unconscious on a street near his home on his way to work.
Nishimiya was to have left in mid-October to take over from Uichiro Niwa as Japan's top envoy in Beijing.
While coincidental, Nishimiya's death came as tensions flared up between Japan and China over a disputed group of islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.
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