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APEC offers opportunity to cool down islands disputes

(People's Daily Online)

07:44, September 11, 2012

Successful negotiations on boundary delimitation between China and Russia as well as between China and Vietnam prove that territorial disputes over islands are not a zero-sum game and peaceful cooperation is the right solution to such disputes.

The 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting was held in Russia from Sept. 8 to Sept. 9. The platform is created for APEC leaders to discuss economic cooperation, but both the Japanese and Philippine sides have shown their willingness to discuss islands disputes at the meeting. Why do they take the APEC meeting as an opportunity to solve the islands disputes?

First, they cannot afford a conventional war. The United States has shifted its strategic focus back to the Asia-Pacific region and taken advantage of the Diaoyu Islands issue and South China Sea disputes to contain China and consolidate its alliance with Japan and the Philippines. Japan and the Philippines attempt to “kidnap” the United States and sow discord in Sino-US relations, in order to seek benefits from the disputed islands. However, they cannot afford a war between China and the United States.

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