Beijing Says Okinawa May Belong to China

China’s main newspaper said on Wednesday that Beijing is unsure of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa—the home of key U.S. military bases.

A long-winded article in the People’s Daily—the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party—said that Beijing may rightfully own the Ryukyu island chain, which includes Okinawa. The island is home to 1.3 million people, who are much more closely related to Japan than to China in terms of both ethnicity and linguistics. The Ryukyus chain was a sort of vassal state of China before Japan annexed it in 1879, and now the Chinese say it should return to them based on post-World War II measures requiring Japan to return territories that it took from Beijing. Continue reading