News / Asia

China Challenges US Statements on Island Dispute

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing, July 7, 2011.China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing, July 7, 2011.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing, July 7, 2011.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing, July 7, 2011.
Shannon Van Sant
China's foreign ministry is pushing back on statements from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about a chain of islands claimed by both Japan and China. The Secretary's comments provoked a critical response from officials and state-backed media.
Friday, Clinton met with the Japanese foreign minister and said the United States does not have a position on who has sovereignty over the disputed islands in the East China Sea. But she said Washington opposes actions that would undermine Japan's longstanding administration of the islands.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing that Clinton's comments confused right and wrong.

Rising tensions

He said China urges the U.S. to take a responsible attitude towards dealing with the Diaoyu Islands, be cautious in what they say and do, and take concrete steps to maintain regional stability and Sino-U.S. ties to gain the trust of the Chinese people.
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Click to Enlarge
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Tensions over the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have risen in the past year, alongside other similar regional territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Chinese and Japanese ships have had numerous stand-offs and run-ins in the international waters around the remote islands. Last week Japanese fighter jets scrambled after a Chinese state-owned plane flew close to the islands’ airspace.
Clinton said Washington wants to maintain the status-quo until there is a more constructive dialogue.

Beijing backlash

State-backed newspapers in recent days in China have carried critical commentaries, slamming the United States for weighing-in on the dispute with Japan.

Shi Yinhong, Professor or International Relations at Renmin University, said China’s reaction to Clinton’s remarks is no surprise given Beijing's statements avowing its historical sovereignty over the islands.
"The Chinese reaction represents the severe disagreement and resentment against U.S. attitude toward Sino-Japanese confrontation which in China's eyes is biased against China and in favor of Japan," said Shi.
Last year, when a wealthy Japanese family sold the privately-held islands to the government, the sale triggered widespread protests in China. China says it will carry out a geographical survey of the East China Sea, mapping it’s territorial islands and reefs. It has not yet clarified, though, when this survey will take place.

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Comment Sorting
by: whitetea from: USA - Hawaii
January 24, 2013 6:59 AM
.. Do some research before you bash the wrong country.
USA gave Japan control over the island when it wasn't ours to hand over. We have never had power over the island, it has always belonged to China. Therefore, China has every right to reclaim what is theirs to begin with. Japan knows this. Between the faults China has with the USA and the faults Japan has committed towards us... I would shake hands with China over Japan any day. Especially considering Japan is trying to erase their history and claim that their bombing of our beautiful Pearl Harbor never occurred, as well as hiding their horrible war with China. Both unforgettable.
USA just needs to calm down, and stay out of those Asian's business. We need China, vice versa, it's like an old married couple... 'can't live with them, can't live without them.'

by: jonathan huang from: canada
January 22, 2013 11:35 PM
very simple because, US ally and democratic Taiwan also claims Diaoyu island and the whole South China sea. Dont you think it is interesting that the claims between China and Taiwan have no one inch difference?
So stop the bull $hit about the communist party. Taiwan and China are both Chinese! OK? And Diaoyu island and south china sea belong to Chinese!

by: Kamikaze from: Japan
January 22, 2013 3:40 AM
Let's wait and see how communist Chinese make a map around the East China Sea. According to Chinese logic, all areas of this globe may belong to China because, Chinese say, they have long belonged to China; however, there existed no continuous dynasty in the area called "China" now. Communist China has no right to offer claims to Senkaku islands and other islands in the South China Sea that belong to other Asian countries.
In Response

by: John
January 22, 2013 9:55 AM
When China to more powerful weapons, economic.They will map the share to the whole world?!Strong argument but take any label is for the Chinese to go through, where he is their territory!

by: CJ
January 22, 2013 1:51 AM
How do we attribute any validity to a claim from China when it invaded another nation, Tibet, without concern for Tibet's claim of autonomy? China is heading down a dark road which can only result in eventual conflict with the world. Shame on its leaders.

by: Cheng
January 21, 2013 9:51 PM
Something is lost in this news compared with China' version. "It is the US who gave the islands to Japan", leaving this bomb between Japan and China!

by: guy j. from: winnipeg canada
January 21, 2013 6:46 PM
Its name is East CHINA Sea, South CHINA Sea, need I say more!!!!!!!!

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