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Commentary: Japan's theft of Diaoyu Islands risks China-Japan trade ties

(Xinhua)

08:20, September 25, 2012

Japan's "purchase" and "nationalization" of China's Diaoyu Islands is putting China-Japan economic and trade ties at risk due to man-made factors.

Despite repeated protests from Beijing, Japan launched its unilateral move to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands, which are Chinese territories, on Sept. 10 this year.

The move not only ruined the political basis for China-Japan relations, but also greatly harmed Chinese people's feelings. It was not in line with the overall situation of bilateral relations highlighting peaceful development, and it ignited demonstrations across China.

Japan should be responsible for all the possible disastrous effects to China-Japan relations resulting from its single-handed farce of its "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands since it has challenged one of China's "core interests", which brook no compromise.

It is starting to take its toll on bilateral economic and trade ties.

Chinese consumers spontaneous boycott of Japanese products in recent weeks is proof of it.

China-Japan economic and trade relations was back on track in 1952 when the two countries signed their first non-governmental trade agreement, following a halt caused by the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s.

Further, economic and trade exchanges have picked up speed since the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations 40 years ago.

Currently, China has been Japan's largest trade partner since 2007 while Japan is China's fourth largest trade partner, after the EU, U.S. and the ASEAN.

Meanwhile, China is the biggest destination for Japanese exports and biggest source of imports. In the first half of 2012, Japan's exports to China totaled 73.54 billion U.S. dollars, down 6.2 percent from the same period last year, while its import from China was 91.29 billion U.S. dollars, up 7 percent from the same period last year.

Now, China-Japan economic and trade relations are at a crossroads. China urged Japan to rein in its behavior and stop any words and acts that undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Negotiation should be the way out of the rift.

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