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China urges Japan to keep South China Sea row off G-7 agenda: sources

Kyodo

China has pressed Japan not to broach Beijing’s disputes with regional neighbors in the South China Sea at the upcoming Group of Seven summit to be held in Japan in May, arguing that touching on the issue would hamper efforts to improve bilateral relations, diplomatic sources said Saturday.

China pressed the point to Japan at a vice foreign ministerial gathering held in Tokyo in late February, according to the sources.

But Japan rebuffed the Chinese demand, saying the international community cannot accept China’s building of artificial islands in the sea and their militarization, they said.

China is embroiled in overlapping territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea with Taiwan and four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to clearly state the importance of the rule of law in the G-7 leaders’ declaration after securing unity over the South China Sea issue at the G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting that will take place in Hiroshima in April.

If Japan does raise the issue at the summit, Chinese ire could cast a pall over budding signs of improvement in bilateral ties marred by a territorial spat surrounding islands in the East China Sea.

This year’s summit of the G-7 states — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, host Japan and the United States — is set to take place in Mie Prefecture on May 26-27.

At a meeting with Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on Feb. 29, Kong Xuanyou, an assistant Chinese foreign minister, voiced strong discontent with Tokyo’s open criticism of Beijing over the South China Sea issue, according to the sources.

Kong was quoted as telling Sugiyama that Japan, which is not involved in the disputes, is acting like a concerned party. He also expressed doubt about whether Tokyo really wants to improve relations with Beijing.

Ties between the two nations sank to the lowest point in years following the Japanese government’s purchase in September 2012 of most of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea from a private Japanese owner. But they have gradually warmed since Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first meeting in November 2014.

The Chinese diplomat went on to warn that how Japan approaches the issue at the G-7 summit will be a litmus test of whether bilateral ties can be improved and that China will be watching closely, the sources said.

Sugiyama responded that it would be intolerable to try to change the status quo in the South China Sea with military might and that it would serve the international community’s common interest to establish the rule of law in the sea.

Kong showed optimism on Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s planned visit to China, possibly this spring, but was cautious about fixing the schedules of a trilateral summit between Japan, China and South Korea or a foreign ministerial meeting to be held in Japan this year.

Kong and Sugiyama also exchanged views on differing perceptions of history.

The Chinese diplomat accused Japan of not showing sincerity about historical issues, citing Sugiyama’s remark at a U.N. panel in February that Tokyo has found no documents confirming that so-called comfort women were forcefully recruited by military or government authorities during World War II.

The South China Sea issue was dwelt upon when Kishida and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held telephone talks last Monday. Wang called for Tokyo’s constructive efforts to improve bilateral relations, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

  • Tachomanx

    How about a compromise?

    China stops it’s incursions into japanese territory and Japan doesn’t bring the issue at the G-7

    No? Too bad.

    • TV Monitor

      Tachomanx

      China stops it’s incursions into japanese territory

      The Diaoyu Islands aren’t Japanese territory.

      • Tachomanx

        Yes they are little guy, plenty of documentation and de facto international recognition by the U.S.

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        de facto international recognition by the U.S.

        Let’s see.

        Whom do the Diaoyu Islands belong to?

        Japan : Japan
        US : Neutral
        China : China
        Taiwan : Republic of China
        ROK : Republic of China
        North Korea : China

      • Tachomanx

        The U.S. included them in the mutual defense treaty, so that’s basically a de facto recognition of Japan’s sovereignty.

        As for the others claims, largely without backing either on terms of documented evidence or simple credibility as a nation. You know, Korea’s rabid anti-Japan official stance and it’s “correct” version of history which they use to put down opposition and silence any debate.

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        The US has made it absolutely clear it does not recognize Japan’s sovereignty on the Diaoyu Islands.

      • Tachomanx

        And yet they included the Senkaku on the mutual defense treaty and has even made plans with Japan for a recovery mission in case of armed invasion.

        This is the same as with the australian submarine bid where they said they wanted their weapon systems on the japanese option and then saying they would be ok with the french or the germans.

        Ever heard the term lip service or saving face? That’s exactly what’s going on, but the writing is on the wall and very clear for all to read little guy.

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        has even made plans with Japan for a recovery mission

        What recovery mission? Is the US drilling for it like it does in Korea, the biggest military drill of the such kind on the planet in which 30,000 US troops take a part?

        When the US is serious like seizing North Korea nuclear facilities, the US drills for it every year. When the US is not serious like the recovery of the Diaoyu Islands, no drills.

        The US will obviously try to stop the PLA landing. But once the PLA takes back the Diaoyu Islands, that’s it. Just to remind you, Ukraine had a territorial integrity guarantee from the US back in the 1990s, but look at how much that is honored today.

      • Tachomanx

        Constant training of amphibious forces from both countries on landing operations is more than enough for such operations, after all the conflict for the Senkaku would be mostly a naval/ air affair considering that the islets can barely hold a company of soldiers on the them without any cover or defensible positions.
        And on both accounts the U.S. and Japan already operate quite seamlessly.

        And that’s why Japan is stepping up it’s game and has added the navy to the pátrol and defense of it’s territory. Plus, no landing is sustainable without naval and air supremacy of the surrounding area which will certainly spark a greater conflict as one side will need to attack the other in order to keep the islets. And all that would merit self-defense and activate the mutual defense treaty.

      • Tachomanx

        Constant training of amphibious forces from both countries on landing operations is more than enough for such operations, after all the conflict for the Senkaku would be mostly a naval/ air affair considering that the islets can barely hold a company of soldiers on the them without any cover or defensible positions.
        And on both accounts the U.S. and Japan already operate quite seamlessly.

        And that’s why Japan is stepping up it’s game and has added the navy to the pátrol and defense of it’s territory. Plus, no landing is sustainable without naval and air supremacy of the surrounding area which will certainly spark a greater conflict as one side will need to attack the other in order to keep the islets. And all that would merit self-defense and activate the mutual defense treaty.

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        The US has made it absolutely clear it does not recognize Japan’s sovereignty on the Diaoyu Islands.

    • jybarz

      Not enough!
      Also, China has to p!ss off from SCS and stop bothering the true owner countries.
      Also, stop its disputes with all its neighbors.
      STOP CHINA’s GREED, THIEVING AND BULLYING!

  • wfraser11

    China’s claims are so far reaching, and so ill founded and illegal that it is the responsibility of every democratic nation to bring this issue up until the bully backs down or loses so much face that it is completely dishonored. China no more owns the South China Sea than Mexico owns the Gulf of Mexico and the sooner they come to grips with this , the better off everyone, including them, are going to be.
    OR, they can choose failure and humiliation by continuing this outrageous and illegal behavior. OUT OF SCARBOROUGH SHOAL NOW ….ITS FILIPINO

  • seb6

    China dubious historic claim is isolating itself from her neighbours. America, European Union, Asean, Japan, India, Austrialia and all free democratic countries has refuted the excessive 9-dash line claim. It has no place among responsible nations in international waters

    When I was studying history in secondary school, I never know SCS belong to China. It was an international sea for more than 70 years and we have enjoy peace and prosperity because countries respect that international rules governing the freedom of the seas.

    China cannot be a signatory of UNCLOS and claim 90% of the sea. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Tell me, what is the coordinate of the 9 dash line? What does the area mean?
    If China cannot articulate these, how is it that it belong to her? And can China show documents prove and have it cross-examine by legal expert? In this way, the dispute can be resolved peacefully.

    If China wants to be the regional power, it is taking self-defeating steps that fail to
    promote trust and collaboration with other countries.

    • A Peaceful Life

      It seems that you’re a little Vietnamese and you don’t know what you’re talking about :)

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

      • Jarret

        It seems he does know what he is talking about, Vietnamese or not. Try to answer any of his points…. Bet you can’t!

  • Testerty

    Continue with the China containment policies and watch China take over South China Sea while Japan’s economy continue to tank.

    • Brock

      Unclear whose side are you on?? China is being a real bully in a crowded area of smaller nations.

    • Brock

      Unclear whose side are you on?? China is being a real bully in a crowded area of smaller nations.

    • jybarz

      WRONG!
      China will be the one to tank economically and militarily if it continues with its greed, fraud, thieving, dishonesty, disrespect and bullying in the SCS countries’ territorial waters/region.
      China is a THIEF AND A FRAUD!

      • Testerty

        Go read Gordon Chang’s annual prediction of China demise for the last 25 years, and tell us if China can be bullied into oblivion as you wished.

      • RGW

        No one is trying to bully China into oblivion- you have it exactly backward!

        This seems to be the crux of the matter- China seems convinced that it’s neighbor’s existence in the world is a threat and act of aggression against China.

        If China were a person, they would be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

      • RobRoyston

        thats the effect of the CCP yearly celebrating a so-called “national day of humiliation”. in the process, they have created a nation with a “victim syndrome”!

      • RGW

        Yes, it’s hard to understand the thinking process. On one hand, Chinese people participate in these anti-Japan rallies with hysterical, over the top nationalism. Then they go down to the travel agent and book a 3-day weekend in Kyoto.
        Schizophrenic.

      • Testerty

        In the last 300 years, China has recorded over 400 foreign invasions …from the sea alone. That is one invasion from the sea every 7.5 years. How many times have you been invaded?

      • RobRoyston

        can you list those 400 invasions? wars were common during those times. there would also have been a high incidence of confict in europe and africa in the same period. this is not uncommon in that period and certainly not unique to china. yet it is only china who in modern times harbor a grudge against the world. only china feels as if they have an ax to grind against the world. such deep rooted sense of insecurity can tip the scale into an armed conflict. the world can only blame china when that happens.

      • Testerty

        In the last 300 years, name me one invader that have landed in UK or US by sea.

      • RobRoyston

        a prediction of someone with a chinese sounding surname is as dubious as chinas 9dash line viewed from the perspective of international law. its a prediction that must be consigned to the trash dump, along with the 9 dashed line.

      • Jarret

        That’s what he said, idiot. Read the whole comment, next time

      • jybarz

        Jarret, you obviously have difficulty reading.
        Here’s what Testerty said:
        “…. while Japan’s economy continue to tank.”

        So you’re the stupid idiot who can’t read.

      • Jarret

        I was referring to RGW’s comment

      • jybarz

        No you weren’t. It was directed at me.

      • jybarz

        Jarret, you obviously have difficulty reading.
        Here’s what Testerty said:
        “…. while Japan’s economy continue to tank.”

        So you’re the stupid idiot who can’t read.

    • RGW

      Smoke and mirrors.

      Actually CHINA ‘S economy is tanking as the world watches. The best thing any and all western democracies can do for their own economies is to begin to disengage economically from China. There will be an adjustment period, but in the long run it will be much safer than relying in any way economically on an aggressive expansionist communist regime.

      It was always a mistake to become so heavily entangled with a government that has total disregard for human rights and even human life.

      • Testerty

        LOL. First you have to throw away your Made in China keyboard, Made in China iPhone…. made in China…. made in China… made in China. Now that you are naked, you can start preaching disengagement from China.

  • Testerty

    Continue with the China containment policies and watch China take over South China Sea while Japan’s economy continue to tank.

  • rotary_rasp

    South China Sea is a global issue. Why are the Chinese trying to place this matter under the carpet? Are they realizing that no one in the world respects their fake claims? LOL.

    I say – Japan and all parties should discuss this issue during the G7. It is a matter about trade and trade routes. China should go down on its knees and apologies on its lies and deception!

    Bring it on Japan!

  • Brock

    ” China is using reverse psychology by blaming the USA or other countries
    of provocation so as the World will not see China as the sole instigator
    in SCS by building Fake islands near or in the INTERNATIONAL SEA LANE. ” Agree 100%. I hope if Japan does not bring up this issue at the G7, Canada’s new prime minister will. We can’t stand by and watch China bully it’s smaller neighbours anymore. At least the West condemned Russia’s action in Ukraine and Crimea, and we put sanctions on Russia!!

  • Brock

    ” China is using reverse psychology by blaming the USA or other countries
    of provocation so as the World will not see China as the sole instigator
    in SCS by building Fake islands near or in the INTERNATIONAL SEA LANE. ” Agree 100%. I hope if Japan does not bring up this issue at the G7, Canada’s new prime minister will. We can’t stand by and watch China bully it’s smaller neighbours anymore. At least the West condemned Russia’s action in Ukraine and Crimea, and we put sanctions on Russia!!

  • Brock

    I hope if Japan does not bring up this issue at the G7, Canada’s new
    prime minister will. We can’t stand by and watch China bully it’s
    smaller neighbours anymore. At least the West condemned Russia’s action
    in Ukraine and Crimea, and we put sanctions on Russia!!

  • Brock

    I hope if Japan does not bring up this issue at the G7, Canada’s new
    prime minister will. We can’t stand by and watch China bully it’s
    smaller neighbours anymore. At least the West condemned Russia’s action
    in Ukraine and Crimea, and we put sanctions on Russia!!

    • Francis Barker

      russia has a negligible economic impact – alternative energy sources had been secured before winter and the Germans won’t freeze, so yup – sanctions are perfectly viable. russian counter-sanctions against europe hurts the russians far more than it hurts europe.

      china is everyone’s major trading partner and there is simply too much trade and money at stake to contemplate sanctions.

      oops – sorry – was anyone under the impression that countries are altruistic and economic growth should be subservient to international justice and fair-play?

      • RGW

        We’ve heard this before- China’s economic power is too big to risk upsetting them.

        But that argument is hollow and meaningless- does China’s economic power excuse any unlawful act? When they set up oil rigs in other nation’s waters, everyone should look the other way so as not to rock the boat? If the CCP is allowed to bully it’s neighbors this way, expect it’s lawless acts to become more frequent and more outrageous.

        I’m expecting them build fake islands for “research” off the coast of Hawaii next and claim that those territories have always belonged to China.

      • RobRoyston

        absolutely, the world must be wary about chinese underhanded tactics. as far ad the hawaii scenario, thats not the next big concern. after the south china sea, the world should be wary about chinese moves in the antarctic where chinese “research” activities have ramped up.

      • Francis Barker

        i perfectly agree with you – but all i’m saying is that until the politicians, be it G7, G20 or UN, grow a conscience (something that is a challenge even under the best of conditions) and cojones (something that is, more often than not, only visible when the stakes are low, and the visibility is high), its not happening.

  • RobRoyston

    international maritime law designates much of the south china sea to be international water and airspace. attempts by china to annex and control geographical features of international domain justifies the community of nations (from afghanistan to zimbabwe) to be involved in this issue.

  • skeptica

    Japan: China is not a sleeping giant, it’s a giant in coma.

  • A Peaceful Life

    I think that China should suspend all trades between Beijing and Tokyo…

  • South China Sea

    This is a typical move by these so-called Chinese diplomats, a hallmark of a totalitarian state: coercion, bullying and worse physical intimidation when a subject matter does not fit their own perv world view. Or just when they feel uncomfortable about a subject. What kind of a meaningful dialogue do they really want, solution and what kind statesmanship do these PLA-CCP surrogates really have, if any?

  • Ariko Honda

    Seb 6 makes a lot of good points. Clearly what the Chinese fear is a united front from the many nations affected by their ridiculous claims—they seek a divide a conquer strategy. I hope Vietnam, Japan, the Phillipines, and even nations like India, who experience Chinese aggression in a different form, can stand together.