Six Chinese surveillance ships entered waters near disputed islands claimed by Tokyo and Beijing on Friday, raising tensions between Asia’s two biggest economies to their highest level since 2010 over a long-running territorial row.
Diplomats say Tokyo and Beijing would prefer to keep the row from spiralling out of control, but with China facing a once-in-a-decade leadership change, an election looming in Japan and mutual mistrust deep, managing the feud could be difficult.
“The dangers of miscalculation are real,” said Brad Glosserman, executive director at Honolulu’s Pacific Forum CSIS.
China’s foreign ministry said that the ships entered the disputed waters to conduct maritime surveillance and that for the first time China was carrying out a mission of “law enforcement over its maritime…
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