Nationalist Chinese paper publishes game in which players reclaim Japanese island

Recover the Diaoyu Islands

The nationalist Chinese newspaper Global Times published a browser game called Recover the Diaoyu Islands (or Defence of the Diaoyu Islands, depending who you ask) in which players must reclaim a small chain of Pacific islands that was given to Japan by the U.S. in a 1972 deal. The islands, known in Japan as Senkaku, made news again last year when Japan nationalized their ownership (previously they were privately owned). Then, in April, China’s Foreign Ministry declared that gaining sovereignty over the islands is a priority.

Recover the Diaoyu Islands puts players on a People’s Liberation Army ship and tasks them with avoiding attacks from Japanese fighter jets, ship and submarines, while launching attacks that kill the Japanese opponents in turn. “The Chinese nation’s determination to protect the Diaoyu Islands is unwavering!” says the game’s intro, in an interesting bit of spin – there’s no one living there to “protect,” after all. It’s clearly “yet another move by one of China’s most popular media outlets to stoke nationalism in support of a more assertive foreign policy,” as the South China Morning Post puts it.

It’s unclear exactly when the game was published but it appears to have been around for several months at least.