According to South Korea’s Far East Daily newspaper, China’s public radio broadcast an interview with a currently active Major General who spoke like many Generals do, with much aplomb and sabre rattling to be heard. Let’s see what he has to say.

MGen. Jin Yinan is the head of China’s National Defense University’s Strategic Studies department.  However, for the “head of strategic studies” he certainly speaks from the hip.

“In regards to the Daioyu Islands, China must clearly show their rightful ownership through their actions.  However, this problem expands to China’s rightful ownership of all Okinawa too.”

For a quick geography lesson; Okinawa refers to the chain of over 100 subtropical islands to the south of Japan’s main islands, also known as the place Karate Kid II took place.  The Daioyu Islands (aka Senkaku Islands in Japan, aka Pinnacle Islands in other countries) are a few uninhabited islands at the very south edge of Okinawa.

Japan has been widely accepted as the owner of these islands until recently when China and Taiwan have been making claims of ownership based largely on history.  However, the head of strategic studies’ solution seems to be sending warships out to them.  And while they’re at it they ought to start planting Chinese flags all over the Okinawan islands too.  That’s quite the gambit, MGen. Jin.

On top of that, he had a history lesson for us.

“Okinawa was once essentially the [sovereign] Ryukyu kingdom, but in 1879 Japan forcibly occupied it.  When they did so, they threw out all links to China like the Qing Dynasty [dating system] and the Chinese writing style.”

That’s a bit of a stretch going back to 1879, even if that did happen as he said.  By that logic, I can think of a few “autonomous regions” in the west of China more freshly forcibly occupied.  Not to mention that he  seems to have previously  implied that to correct Japan’s forcible occupation of Okinawa, China should forcibly occupy Okinawa.  At this point MGen. Jin appears to show some diplomatic restraint.

“We must look in detail how Japan occupied Ryukyu [Okinawa] and whichever country it was connected with before then.”

Until he follows it up with.

“Then it’ll be obvious that Japan should leave Okinawa.”

This is why, generally speaking, generals shouldn’t speak publicly.  Surely MGen. Jin is a fine commanding officer, but diplomacy is best left to the diplomats. Aside from his words ruffling a few feathers in Japan, more importantly I wonder how people in Tibet feel about his statements.

Source: MSN News (Japanese)