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|موضوع: China's Xi says Japan's purchase of disputed isles a farce 19.09.12 14:12|| |
leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping denounced Japan's decision to buy disputed
islands as a farce on Wednesday and said Tokyo should "rein in its
behaviour" as China moved to snuff out anti-Japan protests.
Relations between Asia's two
biggest economies have faltered badly, hitting their lowest point in
decades on Tuesday when China marked the highly charged anniversary of
the start of Japan's occupation of its giant neighbour in 1931.
had run high on land and at sea, with four days of major protests in
cities across China and Japanese and Chinese boats stalking each other
in waters around a group of East China Sea islands, known by Japan as
the Senkaku and by China as the Diaoyu.
should rein in its behaviour and stop any words and acts that undermine
China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xi said in a meeting
with visiting U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, according to Xinhua
Xi, whose recent
absence from public engagements sparked a series of rumours but was
eventually pinned to a back injury, is expected to replace Hu Jintao as
party chief at a Communist Party congress this year.
has been known for using blunt language, and on this occasion he used
it to become the first top Chinese leader to stake out a position on the
islands since the uptick in tensions, promoting his own leadership
Like any new Chinese
leader, Xi must try to establish his authority even while his
predecessors retain considerable influence. The protests contained some
criticism of Beijing as being too soft on its traditional Asian rival,
creating pressures that could push China's incoming new leadership
deeper into a diplomatic corner.
analysts and Western diplomats have said Xi is not the hardline,
militarist nationalist of some portrayals. But activists campaigning for
China to regain control of the islands said Xi would have to be more
assertive than Hu in pressing Japan, or risk losing credibility.
Yinhong, a professor in international relations at Renmin University in
Beijing, said Xi's comments were "very normal" and would not encourage
government has discussed the anti-Japan protests but never encouraged
them," Shi said. "It's very clear too that the Chinese government is
about to open its 18th Party Congress. I think after September 18, the
Chinese government will not encourage public opinion on these protests
governor, Shintaro Ishihara, floated a plan in April for metropolitan
authorities to buy the islets, prompting Japan's government to buy them
instead in a bid to defuse the crisis.
Japan yields to China on this problem ... China's hegemony in Asian
waters would easily be established," Ishihara told the Tokyo
businesses shut hundreds of stores and factories across China, some
sending workers back to Japan in fear the protests would get out of
hand. Japan's Beijing embassy had been under siege by protesters
throwing water bottles, waving Chinese flags and chanting slogans
evoking Japan's occupation.
"It seems the protests in front of our embassy have subsided," the embassy said in an email to Japanese citizens.
Outside the embassy, police moved on a lone protester who had been shouting "Defeat small Japan" early on Wednesday.
prevent a repeat of the protests, large numbers of riot police were
deployed around the embassy and Beijing's subway operator closed the
station nearest to the Japanese mission.
Tuesday, about 50 Chinese protesters surrounded and damaged a car
carrying U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke outside the U.S. embassy, which is
close to the Japanese embassy.
embassy personnel just met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this
afternoon to express our concerns but also to urge them to do everything
possible to protect our personnel as well as our facilities in China,"
Locke told reporters.
He added that
the Chinese Foreign Ministry "promised a thorough review". Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said it was "an individual case"
which would be investigated.
protests sprang up in other major cities including Shanghai, raising the
risk they could get out of hand and backfire on Beijing, which had
given its tacit approval through state media. One Hong Kong newspaper
said some protesters in the southern city of Shenzhen had been detained
for calling for democracy and human rights.
Tuesday was especially significant as China marked the day Japan began its 1931 occupation of parts of the mainland.
ties have long been plagued by China's bitter memories of Japan's
military aggression in the 1930s and 1940s and present rivalry over
resources. The disputed islands are believed to be surrounded by large
Panetta said Washington was concerned that these "disputes could lead to greater conflicts and to greater violence".
understand the deep wounds that China suffered during World War Two,"
Panetta told Chinese military cadets. "But at the same time we cannot
live in the past."
reporting by Terril Yue Jones, Michael Martina, Max Duncan and David
Alexander in BEIJING, Melanie Lee in SHANGHAI and Antoni Slodlowski,
Kiyoshi Takenaka and Nathan Layne in TOKYO
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