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China slams Japan’s Abe over interview comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. AP

BEIJING—China has sharply criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for telling a US newspaper that Beijing had a “deeply ingrained” need to challenge neighbors over territory, state media said Friday.

Abe, visiting the United States for talks with President Barack Obama, told the Washington Post in an interview published Thursday that China uses disputes with Japan and others to shore up its domestic support.

Tensions between the Asian giants are growing over rival claims to a group of small islands in the East China Sea that the Chinese call the Diaoyus and the Japanese refer to as the Senkakus.

Beijing is also at odds with several Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, over islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China’s confrontational stance risked eventually harming its economy and scaring off foreign investors, Abe said.

“Such behavior is going to have an effect on their economic activity at the end of the day,” the paper quoted him as saying.

“In the case of China, teaching patriotism (is equivalent to) teaching anti-Japanese sentiment,” he added.

Beijing fired back, with foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying Chinese officials were “shocked” at the comments, according to the state-run Global Times newspaper.

“It’s rare that a country’s leader would brazenly distort facts, attack its neighbor and instigate confrontation among countries in the region,” it quoted Hong as saying.

China was demanding a clarification and explanation over the comments, he added.

Japan administers the uninhabited islands, though China and Taiwan also claim them. The dispute has simmered for decades but tensions rose last year after Tokyo nationalized those islets in the chain it did not already own.

China responded angrily, with violent street demonstrations damaging Japanese businesses and property, and some Japanese citizens reporting being harassed and physically attacked.

Beijing and Tokyo have both scrambled jets to ward off moves by the other side and fishing boats and government patrol ships have played cat-and-mouse in the vicinity of the islands.

Earlier this month, Tokyo alleged that a Chinese frigate locked its weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese destroyer in what it characterized as a dangerous escalation. Beijing denied the charge.

Abe is due to meet Obama on Friday. Japan and the United States have a security treaty and Washington stations some 47,000 troops in Japan.

Last month Hillary Clinton, approaching the end of her term as secretary of state, said Washington does not take sides in the territorial dispute but pointedly cautioned Beijing not to challenge Japan’s control over the islands.

China’s official Xinhua news agency in a commentary Friday warned the US that backing Tokyo would risk damaging ties with China, urging Washington against “being hijacked” by Japan.

“US support for Japan on the issue would not only damage Washington’s credibility as a constructive superpower, but also as an important partner of China on many pressing global issues”, the commentary said.

US backing would only encourage Japan “to take further provocative actions, which will definitely send China-Japan relations to new lows and even threaten the peace and stability in East Asia”, Xinhua added.

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Tags: Asia , Barack Obama , China , Japan , Philippines , Shinzo Abe , South China Sea , territorial disputes , US , West Philippine Sea

  • truth_will_set_us_free


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

     Japan owned Senkaku historically and develop physically the Islands, supported by evidence of development that China doesn’t had.

    All old maps support the Philippines’ claim that Scarborough or Panatag Shoal belongs to its territory and not China, as they show the disputed area was under Spanish colonial sovereignty as far back as 1734.
    The oldest map, titled Carta Hydrografica de las Islas Filipinas and by Spanish cartographer Pedro Murillo Velarde, includes a space designated as “Panacot” or “Bajo de Masinloc” off the coast of Zambales.
    Spain occupied the Philippines for more than 300 years.
    This navigation chart, along with another by Murillo Velarde dated 1734 and two later maps, one of them British, shows the shoal 124 nautical miles from the Luzon coastline.
    The four maps that feature Scarborough Shoal are part of of the exhibition Three Hundred Years of Philippine Maps: 1598-1898 unveiled on Tuesday, June 26 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila as part of several activities commemorating the tenth anniversary of Filipino-Spanish Friendship Day on Saturday, June 30.
    China has no oldest Maps to claim scarborough shoals. China world’s JOKER!!!! Joker eye!

    • Mario_Garcia

      There is no development in the Diaoyu Islands, both governments agreed to shelve the matter during the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and japan in Beijing 41 years ago.  The Diaoyu Islands were to be returned to China after WWII but the US gave them to Japan together with Okinawa.  

      The Chinese claim of the Scarborough Shoal dates back to the Chin Dynasty which was several folds of years of Spanish rule of the Filipinas.

      Be that as it may, we have to deal with the situation through negotiations, probably shelve the issue of sovereignty and co- develop the area economically.  There were no visible conflicts before 2010 because nobody provoked a conflict.  Let us now define the sharing of economic benefits out of the disputed areas rather than hurt ourselves through senseless provocation and retaliations.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

        In 1910 Japan had a fish processing plant in on one Islands of Senkaku.

        Re: The Chinese claim of the Scarborough Shoal dates back to the Chin Dynasty which was several folds of years of Spanish rule of the Filipinas.

        On record in U.N China submit their claim only in 2009. Chin dynasty or other China’s dynasty has no records of sovereignty/ claims in South Sea. If there is tell me your proof not just history. If we base our claim in history Adam and Eve and the Jews are ahead of everyone. It is recorded in world’s oldest books can be found in Bulgaria’s museum.

        International arbitration is the right venue for legal battle who really had the right of these shoals, reef, and islands. No bully, No stupidity how big China is. No conflict because China is sneaky lied to Philippine government. Fishing shelter to Military garrison. It is right?

        China always is always in provoking attitude in whatever angles as the world see it.

        We are not born yesterday.

      • Mario_Garcia

        Nevertheless, we can’t do anything about it because a weak country has no foreign diplomacy to talk about.

      • Jamie x. Licaros

         I fully agree with your great sense of sensibility… “Let us now define the sharing of economic benefits out of the disputed areas…”. And so I’m wondering… why didn’t they do this in the first place? Talk with their neighbors FIRST before making their claim and entering the territory. Kindly enlighten us my friend.

      • Mario_Garcia

        I believe they did, but we refused.

  • Jamie x. Licaros

    Hello my fellow Patriotic Filipinos…..I’m back!!!

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