Clinton Reveals China Claim to Territorial Rights in Hawaii

Hillary Clinton reveals that China may have rights to Hawaii

This weekend Japanese netizens have reacted to an article by MSN Sankei News that China had suggested to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that they might be able to assert territorial rights in Hawai’i.

While Clinton used the example to emphasize that any claims to territorial rights should be arbitrated through the correct channels, it seems that the news has been received by some netizens as demonstrative of a pro-active Chinese territorial agenda. The article has been re-tweeted thousands of times, and has garnered over three thousand Facebook ‘likes’, despite only having been posted less than 24 hours ago.

From MSN Sankei:

China ‘Could Also Insist Upon Territorial Rights in Hawai’i: US Secretary of State Reveals Part of Consultation With China.

On November 29, it was revealed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in a question and answer session at a speech she gave in Washington, that when the US had consulted with China about the past problems of territoriality in the South China Sea, the Chinese side had said that they could also ‘insist on (territorial rights to) Hawai’i’. To which Clinton replied, ‘Well, you’re welcome to try. Territorial rights will be settled through arbitration institutions. That is precisely the action that we want you to take’.

She did not mention the time of the consultation or the specific details, but it is possible that it was an exchange that happened around the time of the East Asian Summit on November 20.

Hillary Clinton with Chinese officials

It was also confirmed that Admiral Keating was made commander of the United States Pacific Command, it was suggested by officials of the Chinese navy that the US navy could administer the area East of Hawai’i, while the Chinese navy could administer the West.

Regarding the territoriality problems between China and surrounding nations, Secretary of State Clinton stated that any situation which invited regional tensions due to assertions of territorial rights ‘would not be tolerated in the 21st century’ and she re-affirmed her support for the ‘code of conduct’ plans laid out by ASEAN. Clinton also emphasised that the territoriality problems must be resolved using ‘legal means’.

Furthermore, she also admitted that as a ‘global power’, the US could not neglect the possibility that territorial disputes might arise in the Arctic and Mediterranean seas. She said that while China asserts its territorial rights in ‘as broad an area as possible’, to maintain order based on international law, we must ‘discuss things directly’.

Comments from Twitter:

赤羽 龍十:

@mugilin:This is an exaggerated remark, but it seems like they’re going to say that the whole world is Chinese territory.


I just don’t get this at all.


Well, this is getting interesting www


I thought this was made-up wwwww


So this is the background to the US reconfirming its defence obligations and to it making clear its defence authorization bill. The end of Hilary’s diplomacy with China. China has some nerve, what with trying to use Hawaii as the boundary that divides East and West, and I’m shocked but we shouldn’t make fun of this frightening [turn of events].

Chinese people are out of their minds, aren’t they? I guess that they don’t understand or teach the rules of the world as we teach to our children.


Why did they encourage the US?


‘International’ ‘US’ ‘Tokutei Asia‘ ‘China’ ‘Foreign Diplomacy’ ‘Territory’ ‘This is awful’ No — it’s none of those things, even if you think about it normally. If only Japan would also come out with such a strong attitude.


If that’s how China feels, then it seems like it’d be better for us to review the division of China.


Is this like saying ‘Hawai’i is the Ra nation in the ancient Chinese Records of Wei: Biography of the Wa People'(・ω・)?RT @nekoguruma — What kind of logic is that?

各務原 夕(障り猫車):

What the hell kind of logic is this?


If we don’t defend it seriously then Senkoku — even Kyushu — is in danger!


Far from having omni-directional foreign policy, is China aiming for omni-directional territorial expansion? Is their final objective total world domination? (笑)

生島 勘富:

This is reality and not a joke, but do Japanese people really understand this?


Hmmm.It’s a Sankei article I guess, but if it’s true I’m grateful. I want the Chinese Republic to try even hard and so that it’s ‘true self’ is known to the world. I support China with all my heart. Do your best, China!

shinya sugiura:

I can’t really imagine Hawai’i being in China. Rejected.


If you look at things from the other side, could you say that Japan administers the area up until inland China? We don’t really want inland China though.

Yuichiro Tahara:

Seems like the Eastern edge of what China thinks is Chinese territory is Hawai’i.


Amazing (笑) Japan will probably be claimed as Chinese territory..

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  • HaakonKL

    Didn’t the Chinese see what happened the last time some upstart colonial power in East Asia tried to take over Hawaii?

    • Jahar

      Who tried to take over Hawaii?

      • sam

        I believe it Japan

        • Jahar

          No they didn’t they bombed the naval fleet there.

          • dk2020

            Well don’t the Japanese own a big chunk of Hawaii? Hawaii is the only state that has an Asian majority, you can tell the Asian influence in the cuisine like poke and spam masubi ..

          • jahar

            Right they tried taking it over by.. immigrating.

          • dk2020

            Do you see them as evil foreigners taking over? Did you forget about the internment camps Japanese Americans were placed in during WW2? If you didn’t know most of the early Asian immigrants over a 100 years ago migrated to the US through Hawaii working the sugar plantations ..

          • Jahar

            Me? no. You are the one that supported the idea that they tried to take it over. I totally disagree. I have no idea why you think I agree with that.

          • dk2020

            oops read it the wrong way ..

          • Jahar

            haha ok. my point was that they aren’t, and that the idea that they were is ridiculous. ps if htat is your arrow down can you turn it around? haha

          • Shepard

            Actually Hawaii was the only state that didn’t have large amounts of Japanese Americans interned during WW2. They had the largest Japanese population but very very few of them were interned like 1 to 3 percent at the most.

          • HaakonKL

            The joke.

            Your head.

  • Jahar

    The emperors of China were the emperors of “All under Heaven,” So They will probably try to say they have a claim to rights over the whole world.

  • Zappa Frank

    i’m waiting Rome starts to claim half europe as hystorical part of italy.
    however, USA likes to have a double standard when it’s about Israel

  • Cleo

    So Mrs. Clinton is playing sarcastaball – right over the heads of everyday Japanese. It’s obvious that the Japanese have long to Japanize Hawaii buying up real estate influencing the lingua franca so that signage includes Japanese translations but it sort of petered out because America knew that the Japanese were just wasting their money in the remote part of the Pacific Ocean. Japan has also tried to seed a claim to the Inuits and the territory in the uppermost part of Canada for themselves. They’ve been studying and embedding since before the Pearl Harbor attack. Do you really think Mrs. Clinton is referencing China and not Japan??


    • lol.

      It’s amazing how people can see what they want to see, in spite of what they see.

      • Cleo

        What a coincidence: somehow Japanese have also been tricked into reacting against the FACT that Germany and Japan work in concert to take Tibet which is the SOURCE of the Mekong River affecting not only China but multiple ASEAN countries as well as the FACT that the Japanese has long been taking trees from China and Hong Kong not only during the war when they dug up HUGE ancestral trees. Gingkos and cherry blossom trees are part of Chinese cultural heritage not original to Japan but look at how they insist on embracing it.

        Island row dulls China land grab fears in Japan

        (AFP) / 28 November 2012

        A spat over disputed islands has put a damper on Chinese sales of Japanese products from cars to cosmetics, but there is relief in one market at a fall-off of foreign buyers — real estate.

        The chance to own land in Japan’s beautiful mountain wilderness of Hokkaido has proved a real draw for moneyed Chinese, but there are local fears over what some see as a land grab targeting forests and water sources.

        The backlash started in 2010, when a Chinese woman was quoted by local media as saying: ‘What’s arresting about Japanese land is that it has water.’

        Broadcasters jumped on the issue, running stories that talked of how Chinese money was ‘targeting Japanese water’ and buyers were ‘trying to conquer Hokkaido.’

        The reports left locals nervous amid much talk of land being appropriated by potentially hostile foreigners.

        Mineral water producers say they are often contacted by brokers for Chinese buyers.

        Morihiro Oguma, president of Japan Mineral in Makari, said he has received dozens of calls.

        ‘I think the water industry is targeted,’ he said.

        Foresters fret that woodland could be exploited for timber.

        ‘Anonymous ownership is a problem as we want owners to preserve forests, making it a rule to plant trees after cutting down,’ said Takafumi Norota, an official at the Hokkaido Association of Forestry Cooperatives.

        ‘We also fear that Chinese investors may buy up Japanese larch trees in Hokkaido and take them all back to China’ on the back of rising global timber prices, Norota said.

        • I’m not sure how the article you posted is supposed to project poorly on the Japanese. Valuing precious water and preserving forests is a bad thing? Would it be better if they polluted their water like China and deforested their land like Indonesia? Would that make them more likeable to you? I’m really not following your logic.

          • Cleo

            Oh, didn’t you know that the annual floods in the Philippines are thanks to the years of Japanese deforestation for … disposable chopsticks and one-use frames for pouring cement on Japanese construction sites?

            They stole heritage trees and other flora from China during the war and they covet Tibet for being the source of the Mekong River. If they and Germany manage to “free” Tibet, ASEAN countries will be at their mercy because they will control the Mekong River.

            China is trying to develop Hainan into a Hawaiiesque location so that the majority of foreigners aren’t “Japanese surfers.” Recent news report that Japanese are still the main foreign tourists to Hawaii.

          • So you think the Japanese are secretly trying to take over Tibet, Hainan, and Hawaii? Wow, you’re more delusional than I originally gave you credit for. I’ve got to respect a creative imagination. Good job!

  • Your Sexy Cousin Rex

    It was just a metaphor
    Why so srs Japan

  • Observer

    Claiming ownership based on history doesn’t work. It all depends on what part of history you want to remember (basically, which part suits the particular country best). As previously mentioned, could Italy claim ownership of most of Europe if they want to reference the historical geography of the Roman Empire period. Before that, and ever since, country boundaries have shifted constantly.

    In more recant history, the British Empire covered 25% of the globe, including Hong Kong. Could the British argue that China should give Hong Kong back? (Obviously I know they can;t, i’m just using this as an example of how “historical claim”) People may argue that this is not “historic enough” since it’s relatively recent. OK then, lets look further back in history. Most of China was once owned by the MONGOLIAN EMPIRE. Does this mean that Mongolia can claim ownership of those parts of China today?

    Many countries who argue over territory due to historic reasons are just cherry picking the period of history that best suits them. China is in the middle of many territorial disputes scatered all over the place, each claim comes from a different points in history.

    China itself was made up of many smaller Kingdoms Each with a different language culture, religion and tradition.

    It usually all comes down to nationalism, encouraged by propagation from all sides concerned and of course, natural resources and tactical (military/shipping) positions.

    Apologies for the long comment :p

    • wacky

      claiming based on history means that the claim has a base. the border shift constantly by war and if it is to change again is must be by war too.

      most of mongolia to are once part of tang empire so could china claim that land too? of course not china has settled the problem with mongolia and acknowledge that mongolia is an independent country. the same way china does not claim that vietnam is a part of han dynasty hence rightfully chinese.

      “china was made up by….”
      irrelevant point, if china was made up by many kingdoms etc, doesnt this mean that this strengthen the claim? since all this territories are also different people from different group.

      “it usually come down to…”
      true but historical claim means that the claim has a base regardless of the motive.

    • G$

      Actually, it’s interesting that you mention “Most of China was once owned by the MONGOLIAN EMPIRE. Does this mean
      that Mongolia can claim ownership of those parts of China today?”

      When I was living in China in Shanghai, I was staying with a homestay for two months. The father of the family was a well-educated man, he installed computers in tanks for the PLA, but was not in the PLA.

      Anyways, one time early on he and I were having a discussion, it turned out he liked history as I do. I decided to bring up Genghis Khan to see what they though of it in China, but didn’t know how to say his name in Chinese. SO, I just said I don’t know how to say his name, but you know the man that almost conquered the world, but didn’t conquer all of Europe? The Mongolian man? He had the largest empire in the world.

      Him: Oh you mean the Chinese man that almost conquered the whole world, he had the largest empire.
      Me: No, I mean the Mongolian man.

      Chinese essentially view Mongolia as theirs historically, and it probably would have become part of China early on had the Mongolians not allied themselves so well with Russia so as not to be.

      • takasar1

        genghis khan didnt conquer china, kublai khan did and he has a chinese name. probably why

    • 404nameNotFound

      “Claiming ownership based on history doesn’t work.” Tell that to Israel.

    • I say let China have their way with this….then when Tibet and Xinjiang (and possibly Inner Mongolia, HK, or Taiwan) push this same argument, they’ll have no defense any longer…

  • Here is a link to a transcript of Clinton’s actual comments which were made on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at the Newseum in Washington, DC:

    And here is the offending paragraph:

    “So I think that this is a work in progress. There isn’t any shortcut to just continuing to raise it. At one point in one of my long discussions about this, one of my Chinese interlocutors said, “Well, we could claim Hawaii.” I said, “Well, go ahead, and we’ll go to arbitration and prove we own it. That’s what we want you to do.” ”

    It is actually really unclear what the exact context of the Chinese remarks were, or on what basis the claim to Hawai’i would be made but the Chinese were obviously not being serious.

    So it seems the netizens are over reacting and misinterpreting this out of context quote.

    • Butsu

      Yes, but also remember that China in is territorial dispute with at least, Vietnam, Phillipines, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, (Taiwan) etc. And comments made by Chinese generals that they should “free Okinawa of the Japanese menace!” it’s not weird that people take it seriously.

      Also it seems China has changed it’s map on pictures inside its newly printed passports, which shows that every island in east china sea is a part of China…which is wrong…This has spurred Vietnam and Phillipines to refuse chinese travellers with these passports.

      While it does not seem like such strong remark for us maybe, there’s a real problem going on here, so I don’t think they’re overreacting really.

      • wacky

        china has no territorial dispute with indonesia as far as i concern.

        i dont know about south korea, tell me more please, which territory is on the dispute?

        taiwan is a part of china under international law the US acknowledge that there is only one china and it is the PRC who sits on the security council not taiwan, and if there is a real problem this is one of the oldest real problem in place, i wonder why there is no country nor US really want to follow their “rules” and push taiwan for the reunification.

        • Butsu

          Yeah I’m sorry for including Indonesia, my bad. But with South Korea it’s Tumen River, Yalu River, Ieodo Island/Suyan Rock.

          They can’t push anything concerning Taiwan, because Taiwan does not want to unify, and this sentiment grows even stronger each generation. These days Taiwan is more “Taiwan” than R.O.C too, but they can’t change anything anyway, because someone might be trigger happy on the other side of the strait.

          • Butsu

            Might be a strech to actually call them “territorial disputes” though

          • wacky

            whether taiwan want to unify or not is not the concern, according to international law taiwan is a part of china therefore it must unify if the international community want china to go by the law (which bring no benefit to china) they should also push for the action that benefit china in the end of the day whether to unify or not it is up to taiwan.

            iran is also getting more and more isolated but the decision to continue or drop the nuclear program is for iran to decide.

            i am a supporter for international law and regulation, but so far i can see all the organizations are western controlled which never work for the sake of anybody other than western countries and its allies. that is why china is pushing for bilateral settlement rather than international arbitration

      • wacky

        as far as i concern there is no territorial issue with indonesia.

        i dont know with south korea but i ve never heard any.
        in fact if this americunt really wants to settle all the problem with international law, they should push the unification of taiwan first

        • deiknumi

          Wrong, China claims part of the Natuna Islands administered by Indonesia.

        • deiknumi

          Also with Korea, various features (islets etc) of the NK border are disputed, and Socotra Rock.

    • besudesu

      I agree. The media has used Clinton’s comment, which is basically intended to prove that the correct arbitration procedures have to be followed, and netizens have turned it into China saying that they’re going to claim Hawaii…mountains and molehills…

  • Stacy

    What is Tim Geitner doing there?

    • MeCampbell30

      Being bored.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    If China really was serious about this, I doubt they’d win over the natives. One haole is no different from the other with them.

  • elizabeth

    China is already the center of the Universe. They’ve claimed it, the exact spot is located in the Forbidden City. Territorial rights is child’s play by comparison.

  • dim mak

    Probably taken out of context, sankei is barely news

  • ABC

    Really China? No, really?

    IAn American Born Chinese from Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Pearl of the Orient!!!

    China land of a Piracy,Land of Greed Moron!!let’s make the Dragon put a Sleep maybe the Dragon is day dreaming!!! Hello China are you OK???…if you (China) you can stand the super power so make your move!!or face your destruction!!

    • linette lee

      easy, send all the chinese immigrants to hawaii and buy up all the lands and properties. Send all the chinese students to take over all the top universities in hawaii.. Within one year, hawaii will become another chinatown. 🙂

    • wacky

      they are making their move now, unlike those so called allies of the a merry cunt who talk big only behind a merry cunt back.

    • Germandude

      Pearl of the Orient!!!, just wanted to let you know about a small mistake in your name. Shouldn’t it be: Fool of the Orient!!! ?

  • linette lee

    Poor hillary, must be hard to be in her position. She is dealing with bunch of wolves. All these men against her. She has to act like a tough bitch. The chinese officials must be thinking go back to the kitchen and make me an omelete bitch.

    • 404nameNotFound

      Oh look who made me laugh today! 😀

    • LMAO Linette….moved me to tears! Cause thats more than likely the truth!!! But Hilary aint beat by those small pecked mofos

      • takasar1

        honestly, i doubt the confidence of a women who’s husband very publicly cheated on her

  • Adrianojapan

    I thought this article was supposed to be on CHINAsmack…

    • Japanese netizen comments belong on JAPANcrush. Get a clue.

  • the communist leader has already a damage mind due to toxic food they eat. the world must sucrifice and made an economic embargo to china. this is how to trim down their horn.

    • wacky

      well i would like to see you do that, so far you guys are crybaby behind american back. i would rather you shot one or two chinese ships and start a war than talk big but act small

  • YourSupremeCommander

    With all the $$$ the USA owes China, giving away Hawaii could wipe clean their debt.

  • Tia

    America is shit-stirring between China and Japan. If China and Japan really do fight, who do you think will come out on top economically? the USA of course. Don’t believe this crap people! Lets put aside our differences and see who is really trying to divide and conquer Asia for their own gain!

  • Tia

    America would never say such a thing unless it is beneficial to themselves

  • islandboy

    No one person or country should ever claim territorial possession of an island, group of islands, continent or region. The indigenous people/populace of the respective areas make the choice whether to “join” and be a part of another country, region or union – as in Hawaii and Alaska becoming states of the United States of America or Puerto Rico and Guam territories of the USA; Micronesian countries of Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau and Republic of the Marshall Islands having a political relationship of Freely Associated States with the USA; Tahiti in the South pacific being associated with France, etc. China holding the greatest land mass on this planet and having the highest population does not warrant its domination over others.

    • “China holding the greatest land mass on this planet and having the
      highest population does not warrant its domination over others.”

      Erm…Russia and Canada are both larger.

      And China has roughly the same amount of land as the USA.

  • nitewings

    this whole article is stupid. was completely taken out of context. and of course. netizens are like mind zombies. most of them prob didn’t even read it and went straight to the commenting section to rant.

  • loldwtf

    so the chinese politician jokingly said ” we can claim hawaii” and you idiots take it all serious. LOL

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