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China cautions Japan over Diaoyu Islands dispute (2)

By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)

08:24, September 04, 2012

"Tokyo is trying to beef up its reach to the islands by any possible and available approach while trying to avoid major damage to overall China-Japan ties," Liu warned.

Tensions over the issue have escalated since the right-wing Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara in April unleashed his government's plans to "purchase" the islands.

Noda, battling poor domestic public support, announced his cabinet's plan to "nationalize" the islands in early July, a move that prompted further protests from Beijing.

The turbulence occurring in China-Japan relations has "mainly been caused by illegal moves by Japan" that have infringed on China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, Hong warned.

"In consideration of the big picture of China-Japan ties, China has long called for a steady resolution of the Diaoyu Islands issue through dialogue and negotiations," and he urged Tokyo to return to reconciliation for a resolution.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is arriving in Beijing on Tuesday, and Japanese media said the Diaoyu Islands issue will be on the agenda.

When asked about Washington's position that the islands fall within the scope of the 1960 US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, Hong said the treaty is "a relic of the Cold War", and the treaty should not extend beyond Japan and the US or hurt the interests of any third party.

"We hope Washington will refrain from taking a position on the issue in order to maintain regional stability," Hong said.


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