On September 7, 2010, a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Japan coast guard ship near the Senkaku Islands. The Global Times accused the Japanese coast guard ship of ramming into the Chinese ship in an attempt to sink it.
“Japan’s irresponsible moves may eventually set fire to the Sino-Japanese relationship, or even force a military showdown,” said the Global Times.
So much for transforming the East China Sea from the Sea of Conflict into the Sea of Fraternity. This incident would mark the beginning of yet another period of seikei bunri. On the surface, the incident would damage the political relationship between China and Japan, as both sides would complain furiously about each other’s behavior in the wake of the incident. Meanwhile, on the economic front, both sides would work together quietly to build their East Asia Community.
This incident is probably why Obama was smiling and giving a thumbs up sign yesterday (I assume that the collision was planned and I assume Obama knew about the plan beforehand).
Obama would not be smiling for long, however.