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Which one of the following statements best reflects the issue which Senkaku Islands, sometimes mentioned in the news?

(a) It is generally believed that they are artificial islands made by a country around South China Sea.

(b) China and Japan engage in maritime disputes over these islands in East China Sea

(c) A permanent American military base has been set up there to help Taiwan to increase its defence capabilities.

(d) Through International Courts of Justice declared them as no man’s land, some South-East Asian countries claim them.

Explanation

  • The correct answer is option (b) – China and Japan engage in maritime disputes over these islands in East China Sea.
  • Option (a) is incorrect as the Senkaku Islands are natural islands located in the East China Sea, not artificial islands made by any country around South China Sea.
  • Option (c) is incorrect as there is no permanent American military base set up on the Senkaku Islands to help Taiwan. The islands are controlled by Japan.
  • Option (d) is incorrect as the International Court of Justice has not declared the Senkaku Islands as no man’s land. The islands are administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan.

Learn more:

  • The Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan, are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
  • The islands are located northeast of Taiwan, east of China, northwest of the Ryukyu Islands, and west of Okinawa Island.
  • The largest islands are Uotsuri, Taisho, Kuba, Kita-Kojima and Minami-Kojima. The total land area is about 7 sq km across 5 islands and 3 barren rocks.
  • Japan incorporated the islands in 1895 after determining they were terra nullius (unclaimed territory). China and Taiwan started claiming sovereignty over the islands in 1970s after potential oil reserves were found nearby.
  • The islands are currently administered by Japan as part of Ishigaki city in Okinawa prefecture. However, they are claimed by China and Taiwan.
  • The territorial dispute over the islands has led to diplomatic tensions between Japan and China. Chinese ships frequently enter waters around the islands leading to confrontations with Japanese coast guard.
  • The US recognizes Japanese administration over the islands in accordance with the Okinawa Reversion Treaty of 1971. The US has stated it will defend the islands if attacked under the US-Japan Security Treaty.

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