'Tragedy of Xi Jinping' book says China intended to take islands from Japan in 2013, but failed

Author says Shinzo Abe's campaign of 'diplomatic encirclement' and Japan's SDF averted military conflict

Xi Jinping meets Shinzo Abe at APEC summit Dec. 2014

Xi Jinping meets Shinzo Abe at APEC summit Dec. 2014 (By Associated Press)

TAIPE (Taiwan News) -- A reporter working for the conservative Japanese newspaper Sankei Shunbun, Akio Yaita, has recently published a book detailing his time working in the Beijing field office.

The book “The Tragedy of Xi Jinping” outlines how the leader dealt with the 2012-2013 crisis regarding the dispute with Japan over the Diaoyutai islands (called the Senkaku islands by the Japanese). The author claims that Xi Jinping was seriously considering using military force to claim the island chain.

In the book, the author asserts that an air of pride and wishful thinking filled the halls of power in Beijing, after Xi Jinping had first declared the national dream to “rejuvenate the Chinese nation” in November 2012, shortly after taking the position of party secretary, reports Liberty Times.

As a grand first step, the book alleges that Xi was intending to seize and occupy the island chain to demonstrate the military prowess of China in the Pacific.

A propaganda poster with Chinese Flags over the Diaoyutai islands (Jp. Senkaku Islands). Oct. 2012 (Wikimedia Commons Image)

However, Yaita’s book alleges that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ultimately spoiled Xi Jinping’s plan by initiating a successful campaign of “diplomatic encirclement” while also maintaining strict military guard near the island chain.

The author cites the clear efforts of the Chinese government to incite anti-Japanese sentiment in China during 2013, as evidence that the public was being prepared for the military conflict over the Diaoyutai islands. Yaita says the CPC had already drafted resolutions in mid-December 2012 for the military operation.

On two occasions the PLA navy and Japanese Self Defense Forces confronted one another in the waters near the islands on Jan. 19 and Jan. 30. Yaita claims it was the cool heads of Japanese military leadership that kept the conflict from escalating.

Shinzo Abe, who had unexpectedly returned to power in the 2012 Japanese elections, was quick witted enough to recognize the potentially volatile situation from December, and immediately begin making diplomatic overtures towards Taiwan and nations of Southeast Asia.

The author alleges that the campaign of “diplomatic encirclement” of Abe ultimately compelled President Obama of the United States to intervene in the dispute, by voicing his administration’s position towards the issue on the eve of Xi Jinping’s state visit to the USA in June, 2013.

After Obama clearly stated that the islands were important locations for the regional security of both the US and Japan, China’s aggressive posturing towards the issue has slowly eased over the years.

This forced political retreat of China from the Diaoyutai island chain is one aspect reflected by the books title "The Tragedy of Xi Jinping."

Yaita claims that Xi was forced to accept defeat in such an obvious and public way, in what was meant to be his first great act as China’s new supreme military commander, and a symbolic first step towards the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

(Image from Amazon)