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China naval activities raised at APEC

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida expressed concern Saturday about China’s increasingly assertive naval activities at a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia.

“It is critical to allow for unimpeded movement of people and goods. APEC members are connected to each other by sea and it benefits all of us to keep ensuring the freedom of navigation,” Kishida told the two-day gathering, which began Friday on the island of Bali.

“Establishing rules by law is fundamental for economic growth” in the region, Kishida told the participants, who included Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong.

The remarks come after Kishida, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop voiced concern about China’s maritime assertiveness during trilateral talks Friday on the sidelines of the APEC meeting.

In a joint statement released after their discussions, the three stressed that they “opposed any coercive or unilateral actions that could change the status quo in the East China Sea,” without directly naming China.

The statement further noted “the importance of efforts to reduce tensions and to avoid miscalculations or accidents in the East China Sea, including by improving marine communications.”

Tensions between Japan and China have soared over the past year following Tokyo’s effective nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, which China and Taiwan also claim, in the East China Sea. China is further involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea with various Southeast Asian countries.

On the South China Sea sovereignty clashes, the statement urged all claimants “to refrain from actions that could increase tensions, to clarify and pursue claims in accordance with international law.”

While China remains resolved to protect its interests, it has joined countries with competing claims in calling for a peaceful resolution to the disputes and has talked of creating a code of conduct for all parties to follow.

Concerning North Korea, Kishida, Kerry and Bishop expressed their “deep concern” over Pyongyang’s human rights violations, including the past abductions of Japanese citizens, as well as its continued nuclear and missile development programs in the face of global pressure to shut them down.

The three also hailed recent developments toward restarting international talks on Iran’s alleged nuclear weaponization drive, saying they hope the country will “engage substantively . . . in the new round of talks” on the issue with the United States and some European Union nations.

On the civil war in Syria, they demanded the regime of President Bashar Assad fully respect a recent U.N. resolution that was adopted unanimously on dismantling Damascus’ chemical weapons.

The 21-member APEC forum, which includes China and the United States, will hold a summit from Monday to Tuesday.

Indonesia, Japan unite against pirates

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa, have agreed to promote cooperation in protecting key sea lanes in Southeast Asia from pirates.

At their meeting Friday on the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Kishida and Natalegawa discussed the prospect of bilateral and multilateral cooperation on an issue that has been drawing increasing attention as pirates continue to raid commercial vessels in the Straits of Malacca.

Japan depends on the straits to import natural resources from the Middle East.

The aid might include Japan Coast Guard training for Indonesian maritime security authorities, an official said.

  • bridgebuilder78

    Why is Fukushima not on the agenda at the APEC summit? The continuing nuclear disaster will turn the oceans around South East Asia toxic if Japan does not handle it quickly and properly.

    • hai_nguyen

      There’s working method and proper scientific approach to Fukushima with several nations assisting Japan and hopefully, they can soon bring the problem under control.
      Meanwhile Chinese aggression is on the agenda at APEC summit because no one knows how to handle it quickly and properly. Nuclear disaster happened several times before and their damages are well known, Chinese criminal and lawless acts are accompanying the newly risen China which will turn not only oceans, but people of South East Asia more than toxic.

      • Justice1215

        Mankind at the 21st century is still so barbaric. In fact, relations between countries of the international community is no different with the underworld. Almighty superpowers are acting like godfather still need smaller weaker countries as followers .They can only wags its tail and follow its master.

      • Daniel Hu

        why do you think Chinese acts are criminal and lawless? It is well known that Japan is a extremely aggressive country, and invaded neighbor countries for many times in history. Do not argue based on your imagination, pls based on the history and the facts.

      • hai_nguyen

        Facts of Chinese criminal and lawless:
        . China is the only claimant country that uses deadly forces to invade islets, rocks… previously occupied by others ( 1974, Paracel and 1988 8 Spratley from Vietnam, 1998 Mischief and 2012 Scarborough from the Philippines ).
        . Twice in 2012, Chinese Coast Guard vessels cut cables of Vietnamese oil survey ships within 82 miles from Vietnam shore and so far this year alone, shot and caused fires 3 Vietnamese fishing boats. Leaving damaged boats 100 miles from shore not only criminal but barbaric.
        . Building a city on inhabitable island of Paracel, illegally taken from Vietnam, giving it 2 million square miles administration, conducting tourism with government officials, building excessive military garrisons… all in violations of Asean/China 2002 DOC.
        . If any one or any nation argues based on imagination, it’s China and its dream of having practiced sovereignty thousand years ago over inhabitable rocks, reefs, atolls… thousand of miles their shore and racially based dismissal of the maritime skills of the Cham, Malay, Poly, Indo Viet… who live right on these waters.
        Yes, Japan had done horrific crimes to the world and Asia during the 1st part of 1,900′s but, the atoned Japan of the last 70 years has demonstrated peaceful intent and civil partnership with their neighbors. Unlike China, Japan has reached the position of 2nd largest global economy in the 1970′s and technology base 2nd to none without utilizing them to rebuild their militarism and imperialism. Meanwhile, China took the 1st opportunity its has, since the past few humiliated centuries to show uncontrollable aggressions- not against its old colonial masters but, against small neighbors that were equally victimized by the same colonialists. Such is a shameful act and that’s why anti-China movement within Asean is growing, to the point where Japanese rearmament is welcome.