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Yin Zhuo: China doesn't need to inform Japan when passing through Miyako Strait

(People's Daily Online)

08:13, October 12, 2012

Translated by People's Daily Online

On the afternoon of Oct. 4, 2012, seven Chinese naval vessels passed through the international waters between Okinawa and Miyako Island without noticing Japanese side, which aroused vigilance of Japan. A Japanese right-wing media outlet said that Chinese naval vessels had violated the related agreement reached by both sides. In this regard, Yin Zhuo, rear admiral and director with Navy Information Technology Commission, said in an interview with People' Daily Online that Chinese naval fleets did not need to inform the Japanese side to pass through the international waters nearby the Miyako Island because it was a routine training activity in China's annual training plan.

Routine exercises of Chinese naval fleets has nothing to do with the Diaoyu Islands issue

Yin said that Chinese naval fleets went through the Miyako Strait for routine training activity, which was included in China's annual training plan. The annual training plan must be reported to the Central Military Commission at the end of the previous year and implemented after the approval of the commission. The training is a large-scale open sea activity involving lots of heavy equipment and must be prepared several months in advance. The open sea training is a routine activity, not special for certain event or directed at certain countries.

Chinese naval fleets' passing through the international waters did not violate China-Japan agreement

In fact, the Japanese government believes that Chinese naval fleets did not violate the international law by passing through the international waters, and Japanese Foreign Minister Genba Koichiro also said that it was not directly related to the Diaoyu Islands issue. However, Japan's "Sankei Shimbun" said on Oct. 8 that Chinese side's ignoring of the "notification in advance" agreement reached by both sides might be a military countermeasure directed at Japan's "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands.

Yin also pointed out that this training activity had nothing to do with the Diaoyu Islands issue so there is no need to inform Japan. Moreover, Japan does not have any reason to require China, a sovereign state, to issue such a notification.

Training activity of Chinese navy on Pacific Ocean is decided by national strategic requirement

China has several important ship routes on the Pacific Ocean, including exchanges of trade with North America and Latin America. Yin said that with the expansion of China's maritime transport lines and interests, the Chinese navy will inevitably extend its combat forces to the Pacific Ocean to defensively protect the foreign trade and oil routes of the state.

"I think that it is understandable for Chinese navy to strengthen the maritime activities and Western countries also expressed appreciation of such activities. China's participation in international convoy and anti-piracy operations is conducive to safeguarding the world peace and stability and striking transnational crimes," Yin said.

Chinese ships will follow the future development trend and more frequently sail on high seas, and Chinese navy will also take defensive measures to safeguard China's national interests and economic development.

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