China's lines around islands suggest more conflict
BEIJING (AP) - One of the hottest items in bookstores across China is a map for a place that is closed to visitors, home only to animals such as goats and crabs, and the reason China's relations with Japan are at their lowest point in years.
China calls them the Diaoyus; Japan, the Senkakus. The new map shows a satellite image of a kidney-shaped main island with splotches of green, and a list of 70 affiliated "islands" that are really half-submerged rocks.
China hastily published the map to help maintain public outrage over the Japanese government's purchase of some of the islands from their private Japanese owners. Beijing also has engaged in another type of mapmaking that may end up escalating the conflict.
It has drawn new territorial markers, or baselines, around the islands, and submitted them to the United Nations (UN). That could lead to a more serious attempt to claim the islands, and broad swaths of valuable ocean around them.