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Japan must not cross line in Diaoyu spat

(Global Times)

08:16, August 15, 2012

Whether a Hong Kong ship carrying 14 activists from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong will arrive at the Diaoyu Islands as expected and how Japanese authorities respond to them are of great concern. Sino-Japanese relations are facing a severe test.

The dispute over the Diaoyu Islands is more controversial than the Southern Kuril Islands and Dokdo Islands.

The Southern Kuril Islands are home to a large number of Russian residents while the Dokdo Islands are firmly under the control of South Korea, which has military personnel stationed there. But the Diaoyu Islands are uninhabited. There is nothing on them.

Japan takes for granted that the Diaoyu Islands are under its actual control. This is wrong.

Chinese activists have landed on the Islands. In recent years, China's marine administration ships have stepped up patrols around Diaoyu. China has never backed from its claim that it has sovereignty over the Islands.

Japan's "control" over Diaoyu has no substance. China's efforts to stop Japan's development of the Islands have worked.

If Japan mistakes the Diaoyu dispute as being the same as the Southern Kuril Islands and Dokdo Islands, it is deceiving itself.

Japanese authorities may stoke extreme nationalist sentiment among the Japanese public and lead bilateral relations into an abyss.
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