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Japan's capture of Chinese citizens in gross violation of international law

By Li Bo (Xinhua)

08:03, August 17, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Japan's capture of 14 Chinese Wednesday on and off the Diaoyu Islands, part of China's sovereign territory for 600 years, is in gross violation of their basic human rights and international law.

Claiming "illegal entry" as an excuse for the capture is totally unfounded, as Chinese citizens do not need visas to visit the Diaoyu Islands, which are in the East China Sea and indisputably belong to China.

Moreover, the Japanese authorities badly infringed the human rights of the Chinese citizens when the Japanese Coast Guard used water cannons to attack them in Chinese territorial waters, boarded their boat, took them in handcuffs to Naha, Okinawa, interrogated them separately, and confiscated their cameras and other personal property.

In the current civilized world, flexing military or administrative muscle in front of unarmed citizens in their own land is a relic of militarism and a degeneration of morality and conscience.

It is not the first time Japan has wielded its power against unarmed ordinary Chinese in Chinese territorial waters. Ships of Hong Kong and Taiwan of China are often attacked by Japanese vessels in sea areas off the Diaoyu Islands.

In September 1996, Chen Yuxiang, a Hong Kong activist, was drowned in deep waters after his boat, "Bao Diao", was attacked by Japanese patrol ships near the Diaoyu Islands.

The islands, 120 nautical miles (222 kilometers) northeast of China's Taiwan Province, have been China's territory since ancient times.

History shows the islands have been part of China's territory since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which established a maritime defense zone that included the islets.
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