China sends warships to escort oil rig to waters claimed by Japan near Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands

A drilling platform of China Oilfield Services. China has sent a new oil rig to explore the East China Sea.

A drilling platform of China Oilfield Services. China has sent a new oil rig to explore the East China Sea.

The following is a translation from Chinese media:

China’s says in its report today that China’s Kaixuan-1 oil rig is on its way to the area near the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkakus in Japan), accompanied by quite a few Chinese warships. Chinese people are excited at the news. They are happy that in order to prevent Japan from occupying the islands, China has taken this action to “defend” its territories.

Hong Kong’s SCMP published an article on September 3 titled “China deploys new oil rig to drill in East China Sea,” stating “China has sent a new oil rig to explore the East China Sea, in an area that includes waters disputed with Japan.”

It quotes a Cosco Shipyard statement as saying the new oil rig “Kaixuan-1 had a smooth start to drilling operations despite challenges thrown up by typhoons,” and that the drilling went to a depth of 5,200 metres. says that being a large energy consumer, China needs to deploy oil rigs to exploit the energy resources in the waters there, as it has now obtained the technology for the exploitation. At the same time, it is also an action to claim China’s sovereignty over the disputed waters.

As the exact location of the oil rig is unknown, cannot be sure it is precisely within the Diaoyu area. However, it must not be far away from the Diaoyus, and may move increasingly closer to the islands.

Contributor’s note: China chose the right timing for this offensive, when the US was sending National Security Adviser Susan Rice to visit Beijing from September 8 to 10 to make preparations for US president Obama’s Beijing visit in November. It is very clear that the US and China are making efforts to mend their ties. In addition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying hard to make Chinese President Xi agree to a summit between Xi and himself, while China and Vietnam have already mended their ties and eased the tensions between them.

Since China’s oil rig offensive in the South China Sea has proved so successful, China certainly want to test its luck in the East China Sea. Moreover, there have been dangerous encounters between Chinese and Japanese aircraft that may well ignite a war, but no military conflicts have taken place. That makes Xi bold in further extending China’s brink-of-war adventure. The disputed islands are but worthless rocks. What China and Japan contend for is the energy and fish resources there, of which the energy resources, if found by exploration, are especially valuable.

So far, Xi’s terms on mending ties with Japan are only that Japan must admit that there is dispute over the sovereignty of the disputed islands, and Abe’s promise not to visit Yasukuni Shrine in Japan again. It is but the restoration of the status before the dispute gave rise to the tension. If Abe is willing to accept the terms, I believe that China is willing to withdraw its patrol ships, aircraft and oil rig. The oil rig move is China’s further act to tighten the screw. Abe must be aware that if energy resources are found by the oil rig, China will raise harsher terms. That is the great strength underlying the oil rig move.

Source: “Abe got a slap in face: Chinese warships escort oil rig to go close to the Diaoyu Islands” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Source: SCMP “China deploys new oil rig to drill in East China Sea”


Categories: Politics & Law

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10 replies

  1. Time to slap xi in the face. Just a coward.


  2. A forked tongue in full display here: China is forcing Japan to admit this Japan-administrated area as dispute while declaring the Paracel water as a dispute even though, it invaded and took control of the area from Vietnam in 1974. China’s indisputable history of sovereignty has so many twists and turns, it even confuses Chinese people (of course when fraudulently, taught for 70 years), Chinese scholars (of course when you’re paid only to research for facts and fictions reaching predetermined conclusion), Chinese government (of course when your ruling legitimacy depends on restoring the glory which never was).


  3. China is the one who “changed the status quo” way before Japan nationalized the Senkaku islands. China only used the nationalization of the islands to whip up domestic nationalism to mobilize its citizens to attack Japanese shops, products, and even people! Way back in 2008 China suddenly started sending government ships to the waters and also permitting Chinese fisherman to trespass — all in the false belief that doing so would fool everyone into believing China was exercising “effective control,” which it never possessed. In response to this aggression, some forces in Japan started wanting to do more to defend Japanese sovereignty over the islands. Then the situation escalated in 2010 when Japanese detained a fishing boat captain and crew for trespassing. China demanded the ship’s release saying that they were not trespassing because China claimed the Senkaku waters — as if just because China claims something it belongs to them. This is a young child’s logic. It is backward. This 2010 action by China was the last straw for some politicians like former Tokyo major Ishihara who threatened to raise money and buy the islands and have Tokyo administer them if JPN wasn’t going to take action. Now, the DPJ (then the ruling power) thought the situation would get out of hand if they let Ishihara buy the islands (and probably build on it) so, the DPJ bought the islands themselves at the very last minute. And so, you see it was actually. China is the party that maneuvered to create the current lack of friendly diplomatic relations.


  4. For years Japan just peacefully patrolled the Senkaku waters. Then in 2008 China suddently started sending government ships to the waters and allowing fishermen to trespass. This created concern in Japan and rile up those who thought something should be done to stop China’s trespass. Then in 2010 a Chinese boat captain and crew trespass and when Japan arrested them China angrily demanded they be release because “they were after all in Chinese disputed territory.” In other words China turned the issue on its head. This made some Japanese politicians like former Mayor of Tokyo Ishihara very angry and he vowed to raise money and buy the islands himself and control them from Tokyo. The DPJ politicians were more moderate and they wanted to stop Ishihara, so they nationalized the islands at the 11th hour. So you see, you need to know the background of the purchase. It was China that set off the cascade of events that led to today’s diplomatic difficulties between the two countries.



  1. Japanese people hate China more than ever | China Daily Mail
  2. Japan caves to China on Senkaku Island dispute | China Daily Mail
  3. Here’s China’s latest tactic in its attempts at taking a disputed island chain from Japan | China Daily Mail
  4. China says its new super-quiet anti-submarine warship is like ‘a black hole in the ocean’ | China Daily Mail
  5. Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 24, 2015 | China Daily Mail
  6. China building 3 more large deep sea oil rigs to explore for oil in South China Sea | China Daily Mail

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