Boats from China and Japan chased each other around a set of disputed islets, setting off a diplomatic crisis. But when Taiwan entered the fray, neither side seemed to care.
Japan is sending a top diplomat to China for talks. But Taiwan is now sending ships to patrol the disputed region, threatening to further complicate things.
Twelve Chinese vessels have moved to the waters around disputed islands in the East China Sea to patrol and enforce the law, according to Chinese state media.
Chinese protesters followed the rules on Tuesday, obediently forming small groups and awaiting their turn to march past the Japanese embassy to express anger over disputed islands.
Chinese surveillance ships briefly entered waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea that fuel nationalist passions on both sides. Will Beijing ultimately accept Japan's reasoning for the move?
In the past month, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan have all had brushes with China as they all assert territorial claims in the oil-rich South China Sea.
China's version of Twitter, Weibo, has trained a critical public eye on authority figures across the country, spawning a growing cadre of citizen-vigilantes on the prowl for evidence of corruption.
Elements of the dispute include a Ming Dynasty map, a US treaty, and a fish factory. The following is a basic breakdown.