In 1951, Japan and the United States illegally signed a treaty in San Francisco without the presence of China, which was one of the victor countries in the World War II.
Although Article Two of the treaty said that Japan surrendered its claim over Taiwan and the Penghu islands, Article Three wrongly assigned the Diaoyu Islands, which Japan had stolen from China, and other islands, to the Ryu-kyu zone which was under U.S. control.
Since the 1970s, Chinese activists have launched campaigns to assert territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.
In April 1971, some two and a half thousand Chinese people demonstrated in Washington D.C. the U.S. capital, to claim territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. Over the next year there were more than two hundred demonstrations.
On September 15, 1996, more than ten thousand people rallied in Hong Kong to protest Japan's occupation of the Diaoyu Islands.
On September 26, 1996, Japanese warships and fighter planes intercepted a fishing vessel carrying 17 Hong Kong activists including Chen Yuxiang. Chen Yuxiang and other five activists drowned trying to swim to the Diaoyu Islands. And on October 7 the same year, Taiwan's activists in more than a thousand fishing vessels started from Keelung City and succeeded in landing on the Diaoyu Islands and waved the Chinese flag on the Islands.
On June 23, 2003, 15 Chinese activists from the mainland and Hong Kong arrived in the western sea area of the Diaoyu Islands. It was the first non-governmental campaign launched by mainland.
On March 24, 2004, seven activists including Feng Jinhua succeeded in landing on the islands -- the first successful landing by activists from the mainland.
On June 15, 2008, 12 Taiwan activists went to the Diaoyu Islands to claim territorial sovereignty. They were escorted by Taiwan navy frigates. The activists in the fishing vessel made a return voyage after sailing smoothly in a circle around the islands.
On September 13, 2010, two Taiwan activists were intercepted by Japanese warships as they sailed around the Diaoyu Islands.
On July 3, 2012, Taiwan activists including Huang Xilin sailed from New Taipei City to the Diaoyu Islands. Although the activists' vessel was escorted by frigates, they were intercepted by Japanese warships 1.7 nautical miles from the islands on July 4.
On August 15, Hong Kong activists successfully landed on the Diaoyu Islands where they planted the Chinese flag.
(CNTV.cn August 18, 2012)