Why did Japan invade Singapore

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This content was published on June 1st, 2014 - 8:19 am (Keystone-SDA)

A Chinese army representative used unusually harsh words to accuse the governments in Tokyo and Washington of provocations. The background to this are equally sharp statements by the USA and Japan on China's territorial claims in Asia the day before.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had apparently agreed on their "unacceptable" allegations against his country, said Chinese Vice Chief of Staff Wang Guanzhong in Singapore on Sunday. Representatives of the three countries had verbally clashed there at an Asian security conference.

The high-ranking military representative deviated from the manuscript during his speech at the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue in order to rave about the "almost unimaginable" statements of his two previous speakers. It was not China but the US that destabilized the situation with threats and intimidation, said Wang after the simultaneous translation of his speech into English.

Japan criticizes intrusion into the territory

Hagel had accused the leadership in Beijing on Saturday of trying to enforce territorial claims in the South China Sea with "destabilizing, unilateral measures". Washington rejects any kind of "intimidation, coercion and threats of violence" to enforce territorial claims.

Hagel criticized, among other things, the relocation of a Chinese oil platform in waters also claimed by Vietnam. At the opening of the conference on Friday, Abe called for respect for international law without naming China.

Representatives of Japan also accused the Chinese coast guard on Saturday of having again entered the twelve-mile zone with two boats in front of a group of islands claimed by both countries. This was the twelfth such incident that year.

China invokes "historical rights"

Several territorial conflicts have been simmering in the region for years. China not only claims almost the entire South China Sea for itself, but also regions off the coasts of neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Beijing invokes "historical rights", which the country wants to enforce increasingly aggressively.

For years, China has been fighting with Japan over an uninhabited archipelago in the East China Sea. The islands named Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China are controlled by Tokyo. They are located in waters rich in fish, and large oil and gas deposits are also suspected in the area. To show strength, China keeps sending ships to the area.

With Vietnam, China has been fighting over islands in the South China Sea for decades. The conflict had come to a head in early May when Beijing moved a deep-sea drilling platform in front of the Paracel archipelago. As recently as Thursday, Vietnam accused the Chinese Navy of pointing the weapons of several warships at Vietnamese boats in the region.

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