China retaliates, accuses Japan of stirring up trouble in sea row
MANILA, Philippines – It’s now China’s turn to point a finger at Japan saying that it was the one stirring up trouble in the East China Sea and that it has “ulterior political motives” in making a big issue out of the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
“The one who stirs up troubles and changes the status quo on the Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands and in the East China Sea is no other than Japan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said in a press conference in China Wednesday, the transcript of which was posted on its website.
“Japan makes irresponsible accusation of China’s normal maritime and air activities and hypes up ‘China threat’ since it has ulterior political motives,” he said.
The Diaoyu or Sankaku Islands are several disputed islands in the East China Sea being claimed by China but currently under the control of Japan. China’s recently established ADIZ covers the airspace above the disputed islands.
Japan and the United States (US) previously criticized China for the ADIZ saying that it unilaterally changes the status quo in the East China Sea. Japan, US, and South Korea defied the ADIZ by sending airplanes into the zone and not identifying themselves with China.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a previous statement that the ADIZ “increases tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.”
Lei reiterated that China has a “legitimate right” in establishing an ADIZ and that it was compliant with international laws and conventions.
Japan is hosting the 40th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan Commemorative Summit where the issue of territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the West Philippine Sea are expected to be discussed.
Heads of member countries of ASEAN will meet in Japan, including President Benigno Aquino III, who intends to achieve a peaceful resolution to the territorial dispute with China by pushing for the adoption of a maritime code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines has a pending case before the international Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands against China’s expansive claim that overlaps with the country’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
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