As promised in the last post but one, Friday evening's contribution on Sino-Gist has been on a subject other than China and Japan. However, in the interest of completeness, it is worth mentioning that the Chinese government has (according to Xinhua) decided to send "marine surveillance" vessels to the East China Sea area in order to protect China's rights and interests in the region. The site's coverage of the move did not focus on the trawler controversy as such- a reflection of the extent to which the disagreement has now started to impact on Sino-Japanese relations as a whole.
It is unclear exactly what these surveillance ships are capable of, but one would think that they have the potential to do far more than simply observe events if required. The direct decision to deploy some of the Chinese fleet will partly have been made to add extra pressure on Japan to back down and release the still-detained Chinese captain from custody without charge. But, if this were not to happen, the PRC's willingness to move ships into the region to protect its rights shows a new defensive mentality in Beijing which might widen the divide between China and Japan even further.