China denies helicopter flying too close to Japanese destroyer

08:08, April 01, 2011      

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China on Thursday dismissed Japanese claims that a Chinese helicopter Saturday flew too close to a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer in the East China Sea.

Noting China's stance on the East China Sea was consistent and clear, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said a Chinese State Oceanic Administration helicopter was conducting regular patrols and maintained the necessary safety distance from the Japanese destroyer.

News media allegedly reported that Japan regarded the Chinese helicopter's maneuvers as "extremely deplorable", because such actions occurred when Japan had been focusing on recovery efforts after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and Japanese side had lodged protests to China.

"The helicopter's activity is not relevant with the disaster relief efforts in Japan," Jiang said.

"We need to note that China and Japan hold different views on part of the East China Sea," Jiang said, urging Japan to take a responsible attitude on relevant issues and stop doing things that might further complicate the situation and adversely affect bilateral relations.

China and Japan reached in principle a consensus on the East China Sea issue in June 2008 and conducted the first round of negotiations on implementing the consensus in July 2010.

Source: Xinhua
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