Beijing’s Coastal Real Estate

A History of Chinese Naval Aggression

Courtesy Reuters

On September 7, Japanese coast guard officials detained the crew of a Chinese fishing trawler after it rammed into two Japanese coast guard ships. The captain of the trawler was detained and faced charges that could have sent him to prison for up to three years. The incident set off a high-profile showdown between Beijing and Tokyo: the Chinese government threatened to withdraw from discussions over the East China Sea gas field and suspend ministerial-level contacts, organized demonstrations outside Japanese diplomatic missions in China, imposed an embargo on the shipment of rare earth metals to Japan, and detained four Japanese citizens for allegedly videotaping military targets in Hebei Province. Japan finally succumbed to the pressure and released the captain in late September.

Many analysts have pointed to the incident as proof that Beijing has adopted a more aggressive stance toward its regional rivals. But Chinese behavior in the South China, East

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