China Names 50 Geographical Features Under The East China Sea

The Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands are located on the East China Sea and become a hot spot for disputes between the two countries. (Image: Reuters)
The Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands are located on the East China Sea and become a hot spot for disputes between the two countries. (Image: Reuters)

China names 50 geological features under the East China Sea, adding to the tension in the relationship between China and Japan.  

The territorial conflict surrounding the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Tokyo and called Beijing Diaoyu by China and Japan, has lasted for many years. The archipelago lies on the East China Sea and has become a hotbed for disputes between the two countries.

On Tuesday, June 23, the Ministry of Natural Resources of China published a list of standard names and coordinates of 50 geological features near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

Tensions between China and Japan have increased rapidly in recent weeks. On June 18, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) spotted a Chinese submarine near the island of Amami Oshima, according to a press release from the Japanese Defense Ministry.

The Japanese Coast Guard also reported that Chinese public service vessels have continuously appeared in the territorial waters near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands since mid-April, and the number of patrol boats invading Japanese territorial waters has increased which is dramatically worrying.

At the same time on June 23, the 7th Fleet had a joint rehearsal with Japan at sea. The drill consisted of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. Navy's near-shore combat ship, and two Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces training ships. 

Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Expeditionary Group, said bilateral drills played an important role in effectively maintaining a free Indo-Pacific region and open.

It is not yet clear whether the reason for the Chinese naming 50 geographic features is in response to the joint exercise of the US and Japan. However, according to NHK, the Japanese government maintains that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are part of Japanese territory in terms of history and international law.

According to a trial by the International Court of Justice in 2001, the naming of geological entities was not effective in determining territorial sovereignty on the coast.

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