Post-letter action

by Chris Zappone

It will be very interesting to see if tensions ease over the Diaoyu-Senkaku Islands in the wake of the ice-breaking letter sent from Japan to China’s new leader in waiting Xi Jinping.

The letter from Shinzo Abe to Xi Jinping, as seen by The Associated Press, did not contain any substantial overtures, but it sent wishes of good health, spoke of the two countries’ ‘‘shared responsibility for peace and prosperity’’ in the region and said Friday’s meeting was a ‘‘valuable opportunity to share views.’’

If the Chinese continue to send ships, it underscores the disconnect between the civilian leadership and the Chinese military. Xi Jinping technically has control over the PLA, but it’s never clear who makes the decision to dispatch ships and planes.