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Xi slams Diaoyu 'purchase' (2)

By Zhao Shengnan, Qin Zhongwei and Wu Jiao  (China Daily)

08:43, September 20, 2012

But Panetta tried to dismiss concerns during his speech, saying security treaties with allies do not necessarily mean Washington will not criticize their policies.

Tokyo has been urged to shoulder responsibility to peacefully solve the issue through diplomatic means, said Panetta.

He understood, he added, the history and pain left by World War II, but Chinese and Japanese people should work together for regional peace and prosperity instead of living in the past.

The future security and prosperity of the US will be linked to Asia more than any other place in the world, but this is a region threatened by terrorism, nuclear proliferation, piracy and natural disasters, he said. Strong China-US relations are vital for the region, said Panetta.

He called for Washington and Beijing to look beyond disagreements to areas where both share common concern and can work together.

"We cannot let those disagreements and challenges blind us to the great opportunities that exist," he told the military academy. "If we work together and cooperate together, we can solve problems together."

He acknowledged that improving relations and building trust will take time and that, "despite the distance, the distance that we have traveled over the past 40 years, it is clear that this journey is not yet complete, particularly for our two militaries''.

But the Diaoyu Islands, illegally transferred from the US to Japan, is a time bomb to such relations, said Liu Youfa, vice-president of China Institute of International Studies.

"The US wants to use the issue to leverage China-Japan ties and maintain its leadership in the region," he said.

Japan's provocation sparked protests across China. A car carrying US Ambassador Gary Locke on Tuesday was surrounded by about 50 protesters outside the US embassy, which is close to the Japanese embassy.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei on Wednesday said it was an "individual case" that is under investigation.


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