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Islands 'purchase will hurt economic ties'

By LAN LAN and WANG ZHUOQING (China Daily)

08:43, September 14, 2012

A senior trade official warned on Thursday that the Japanese government's so-called purchase of the Diaoyu Islands will "inevitably have a negative impact on China-Japan economic and trade ties", while Japanese-funded companies expressed concerns over tensions.

"If Chinese consumers, in a reasonable manner, express their positions and views against Japan's violation of China's territorial sovereignty, I think it is within their rights to do so and it is understandable," Vice-Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei said at a news conference on Thursday.

China is Japan's biggest trading partner. Japan's exports to China hit $73.54 billion in the first half of the year, while imports from China were $91.29 billion during the same period, according to statistics from Japanese customs authorities.

A good political environment is the foundation for bilateral ties as well as multilateral economic and trade relations, Jiang said.

Trade cooperation is in line with bilateral interests, but needs concerted efforts from both sides, he said.

Tensions between China and Japan are likely to hurt Japanese companies' revenues in the coming months, and it's an "inescapable task" facing two countries and their people to control the effect on bilateral economic ties, experts said.

Online purchases of Japanese products fell quickly in large e-commerce platforms such as Taobao this week after the Japanese government announced on Monday the "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets.

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