China Coast Guard conducts patrol near Diaoyu islands, asserts rights in territorial waters

China Coast Guard’s 2501 fleet conducted a patrol near the Diaoyu Islands, asserting rights in territorial waters.

The China Coast Guard (CCG) announced on Friday that its 2501 fleet conducted a patrol in the territorial waters surrounding China’s Diaoyu Islands. In a statement, the CCG emphasised that the patrol was a legitimate exercise of rights to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the law.

The Diaoyu Islands, also known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, have been a longstanding source of territorial dispute between China, Japan, and Taiwan. China asserts historical claims over the islands, which are located in the East China Sea, while Japan maintains administrative control over them. Tensions over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands have periodically flared up, leading to maritime confrontations and diplomatic tensions between China and Japan.

The CCG’s patrol near the Diaoyu Islands underscores China’s commitment to protecting its territorial interests and asserting its presence in disputed waters. The deployment of the 2501 fleet is part of China’s broader strategy to assert its maritime claims and defend its sovereignty in contested areas.

The statement issued by the CCG reiterated China’s position on the Diaoyu Islands dispute and emphasised the legality of its actions under international law. China argues that the Diaoyu Islands are an inherent part of its territory, historically and legally, and that it has the right to patrol and enforce its jurisdiction in the surrounding waters. The CCG’s patrols serve as a visible demonstration of China’s sovereignty claims and its readiness to defend them.

The Diaoyu Islands dispute has remained a sensitive issue in China-Japan relations, with both sides asserting their respective claims while seeking to avoid escalation into a full-blown conflict. Despite efforts to manage tensions through diplomatic channels, maritime encounters and territorial disputes continue to pose challenges to regional stability and security. The presence of Chinese coast guard vessels near the Diaoyu Islands is likely to further exacerbate tensions and increase the risk of maritime incidents in the area.

The Diaoyu Islands dispute is also emblematic of broader geopolitical rivalries and power dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region. The strategic significance of the East China Sea, with its rich fishing grounds, potential oil and gas reserves, and strategic maritime routes, makes it a focal point for competing territorial claims and maritime disputes. The involvement of major powers such as China, Japan, and the United States adds complexity to the situation, raising concerns about the risk of unintended escalation and military confrontation.