9 Responses to “Significance of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Dispute for the American People”

  1. Kevin Chiang says:

    Thank you for your unbiased and well written article.
    American people should not forget our principles, namely honesty,freedom and justice, and shouldn’t be fooled and manipulated by our politicians who have been only interested in their own benefits and interests under the name of “national security.”

    Japan has been disguising as a pacifist, but in reality she has been revising the history and brain washing their youngsters. The American people should not overlook these facts and stand for our principles by not allowing our politicians and government to jeopardize our own future.

  2. Rich Braverman says:


    I would add two issues: The Chinese communist Gov’t has for over 60 years violated human rights in China. And the US has had a bias against China because of it’s communist Gov’t.


  3. helen chang says:

    if america fight china with japan, what impact would be on all oversea

    chinese in the whole world?

  4. Don says:


    I think we need to analyze this issue a little more deeply. First, let’s look at the history of the U.S. in terms of human rights. When the U.S. established its constitution in 1787, there was still slavery, and each slave was counted as only three fifths of a free person in terms of determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. It took 78 years before the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was approved on December 6, 1865 and abolished slavery. Then it took another 55 years until August 18, 1920, or 133 years from the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, before the Nineteenth Amendment was approved and gave women equal voting rights. This means that just from a legal perspective, it could take a long time to change long-established traditions and prejudices. Furthermore, even after the abolishment of slavery from a legal perspective, for another 90 years black American citizens had to sit in the back of the bus, attend poorer segregated schools, were denied equal employment, ranked always on the bottom of the economic scale, etc. They were far from getting equal treatment. It took the massive civil rights movement that started in the 1950′s and 1960′s and continues to today to gradually move the nation so that black Americans and other minorities are getting closer, but still some distance to go, to achieving equal treatment.

    Then there is the treatment of Native Americans. Much of their land was taken away, and many of them were slaughtered. They were segregated in reservations, and relegated to second-class citizens. There was also the extremely discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which lasted for over 60 years and was not repealed until 1943 when China and the U.S. were allies in WWII. Did we forget that during WWII, the U.S. government also rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in concentration camps?

    More on the international front, the U.S. used gunboat diplomacy when Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. navy sailed into Tokyo harbor in 1853 with a fleet of navy ships and demanded concessions from Japan, which the U.S. obtained in 1854. Starting near the end of the 19th century, the U.S. was also one of the foreign powers who obtained various kinds of concessions from China, putting many parts of China under the control of foreign countries. As this article pointed out, in exchange for their knowledge and skills, the U.S. government purposely did not prosecute any of the top leaders/scientists who ran Japan’s infamous Unit 731 during WWII, the world’s largest biological/chemical weapons research laboratory and factory in the history of mankind. And in the last half century, the U.S. was illegally and immorally involved in serious and massive interference in countries like Vietnam, Iran, and Iraq.

    Can we honestly say that the U.S. has the moral authority to lecture other countries on the issue of human rights? This is not to say that China does not have significant human rights issues, because it does. Considering how long it took the U.S. to improve some of its domestic human rights record and keeping in mind that modern China is still a relatively young country, shouldn’t we at least allow China more time to work on additional improvements in this area?

    For a more detailed discussion of this issue, please read “On the Issue of Human Rights in China” in http://www.dontow.com/2012/06/on-the-issue-of-human-rights-in-china/.


  5. Don says:


    First, let me address the impact on the world. If America fights China with Japan, the impact on the world will be extremely serious. It could lead to a big and long war, and a very devastating war for both the winner and loser. It will affect greatly world trade and the world’s economy. Many people will die or get injured. The U.S. will act with great injustice, because instead of pressuring Japan to correct a major injustice from WWII, the U.S. will be rewarding the perpetuator of that major injustice. Japan will be even less likely to stop its revision of WWII history, and a resurgence of Japanese militarism will pose great threats all over Asia, and in the long term, could even to the U.S.

    It will have dire consequences for oversea Chinese, especially those living in the U.S. and Japan. Oversea Chinese will be looked upon as suspects, if not as outright enemies, and our civil rights will be trampled upon.

    As Chinese Americans, it is our responsibility to help educate the American public about this part of history and to point out the complicity and danger of the current U.S. policy on this issue.



  6. Dai Chung says:

    Don, you wrote well and I like the rhetoric of your prose. I just watched a documentary on 鳳凰衞視, which is quite worth watching.



  7. Dai Chung says:


    This book, written by Cornell historian Walter LaFerber, chronicles the 150 year history of the love-hate relationship between the US and Japan, and should be a good read. I just glanced through the book myself when I saw it on my son’s desk (it is a text book). It started with how Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo harbor in July 1853 to open up Japan to the world. China has always played a major role as the story unfolds. As a matter of fact, I think “the clash” should be depicted as among all 3 nations: US, Japan, and China.

  8. Keith says:

    After reading your comments on the several issues you’ve discussed and your conclusions, as a new learner attempting to understand these issues and the larger PRC/USA and PRC/Japan relationsships in general, I cant find here a discussion that considers the arguments from all sides. I also find that you haven’t really read some of the relevant literature, e.g. the Potsdam Treaty, because you make statements about these documents from a one-sided interpretative viewpoint rather than cite specific statements from the documents that support your position. So, for those of us who want more than a superfical understanding, your conclusions are unconvincing. There’s really no balanced treatment of the issues; how can a serious writer expect your audience to agree with your conclusions when your discussion doesn’t consider all the points of view on these issues? After all, these are ISSUES which suggest people have varying points of view, both about the relavent historical events and the documents that contribute to their understanding.

    I wish you would take more time to read and discuss these matters in a more thorough and objective way. It appears from your simplistic discussion and conclusions that you are neither objective or neutral. And while I haven’t any problem with a writer reaching and forming an opinion, your conclusions are not compelling because they lack a thorough discussion of all the points of view.

  9. Don says:


    Actually I have studied the relevant documents, such as the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, also called Potsdam Proclamation (see, e.g., http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1945/450726a.html) and the 1943 Cairo Declaration (see, e.g., http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/wwii/107184.htm).

    The Potsdam Declaration states “The terms of the Cairo declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.” The Cairo Declaration states “the territories stolen from China by Japan – including Manchuria, the island of Taiwan, and the Pescadores Islands – would be returned to Chinese sovereign.”

    The fact that you think that I might have distorted the contents of these documents is an indication of the success of the American government and press in muddying this part of history.


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