Going into 2015, it seems that China has decided that the best way to resolve a disputed territorial claim is through a website. The China’s State Oceanic Administration launched the website www.diaoyudao.org.cn this week in order to maintain claims that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands belongs to China.
The website features facts about the islands’ natural environment, its history, legal documents about the islands, and news update. Interestingly, the website is available in only one language - Mandarin Chinese. It seems that the China’s State Oceanic Administration intends for the website to be solely for its domestic audience. On the homepage, a bright red Chinese flag and the statement “Diaoyu Islands - China's sovereign territory” is placed on top of the page.
Expectedly, the website disavows Japan's claims over the islands. The purpose of the website seems to corral popular opinion to legitimize its claims.
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has its own version of history and claims over the Senkaku Islands on its website. The website is available in 12 languages, which makes it a lot more international than China's website.
Is this the future of diplomacy? Nations fighting over disputed territories through websites to manipulate popular opinion.
It would not be too difficult to imagine the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, and Denmark launching their own websites to claim sole sovereignty over Rockall, the uninhabited, disputed granite islet in the North Atlantic Ocean.