News / Asia

Chinese Official Calls for Dialogue on Island Dispute

VOA News
A senior Chinese leader is calling for talks with Japan to resolve an increasingly bitter dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea.

Jia Qinglin, who heads China's top political advisory body, made the comments during a meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The state-run China Daily quoted Jia as saying Beijing places "great importance" on its ties with Japan, and that the dispute should be resolved in order to preserve regional stability.

His remarks are in contrast to Beijing's recent hard-line rhetoric on the long-running dispute, which has worsened significantly in the past few months, with both sides sending fighter jets to patrol the islands.

A China scholar at the University of Nottingham in Britain, Steve Tsang, tells VOA that Jia's comments are significant, even if they do not represent a fundamental change in Chinese policy.

"It is a very significant escalation and the risk of an unintended further escalation is very high. And therefore any move on the part of either government to try to back off from the escalation is a very positive thing," Tsang said.

For its part, Japan has rejected talks about the islands, saying there can be no discussions over territory it has long considered its own.
 
Hatoyama, the ex-prime minister who supports closer relations between the two Asian powers, told Jia during the Wednesday meeting that Tokyo should end its policy of not formally recognizing the dispute.

The Japanese government later criticized Hatoyama. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said it was "extremely regrettable" that a former prime minister would make such remarks, adding they were "clearly opposite" to Japan's position.

Hatoyama, who is making a private trip to China, pushed for closer relations with Japan's neighbors during his time as prime minister from September 2009 to June 2010.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
x
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
China-Japan relations reached a low point last year after Japan nationalized some of the uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Since then, Beijing has sent regular patrol boats to "monitor" the Japanese-controlled islands, which are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potential energy deposits.

Although there have been no clashes, both countries have sent fighter jets to the islands in recent weeks, raising fears of a conflict between Asia's two largest economies.

Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century. China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971, saying ancient maps show it has been Chinese territory for centuries.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wang from: China
January 18, 2013 3:19 PM
Caubang war 1979, China got very bitter from little Vietnam, the good friend Vietnam betrayed to China because China want to used Vietnam like Tibet, but not ease like China thought. Now is Japan, Vietnam,Philippines and etc. want to bring China to the bottom.
In Response

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 19, 2013 11:29 PM
I must say I buy Chinese products, I am happy to do so. I have many Chinese friends, and they are very nice people. I do not want to see anything bad happen to China, nor to Japan. I also do not want to see a massive arms race in Asia. What I do want to see in any conflict, is the use of international laws and conflict resolution systems. I am not an expert, on arbitration of facts, I do not even know all the facts. I think, as the Sr, Chinese gvmt officials have stated, that a peaceful resolution, should be achieved. China as any one else, needs to press its case through the UN, with all the facts it has to show they have a case; I am sure Japan will show its case; and some form of arbitration should solve the issue. Confronting ships/aircrafts etc, are a recepe for a potential disaster, because of human error. In the meantime, both China and Japan should conduct a normal relationship, so as not to alarm all of Asia and beyond. Past Japanese errors need to be put behind, the world prospers better under peace conditions.
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 19, 2013 12:24 AM
@ Wang from China

You have a very simplistic mind. No other sovereignty can be used by any other country they have responsibility to its citizen as well as to the larger global community.

I have not heard of any country had been used by China. Have you?

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
January 18, 2013 10:44 AM
The CCP wants China to be the Middle Kingdom again. The CCP is very hegemonistic & is trying to bully other Asian nations. Asian nations & the US should stand up to the PRC. CCP's policies are pushing China into conflict with its neighbors.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 18, 2013 3:26 AM
Dissapointingly ex-prime minister Hatoyama is made fun of by Japanese people because he had been too oportunistic to trust what he said during his term. Any Japanese no longer listen to what he says. He has no power in any part in Japan.
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 20, 2013 6:59 PM
@ Yoshi from Sapporo

You as a Japanese should be proud of Hatoyama for performing an excellent service for his country. He is reaching out to China on behalf of his country to offer its sincerity of its action in WWII. In doing so endeavour to reduce the current tension.
This should serve a good example to many Japanese who continue of harbour militaristic view and self ego.

by: Igor from: Russia
January 17, 2013 11:20 PM
Japan must take stronger actions to stop the Pirate State of China's intention to invade the island. If China continue to send airfighters and ships there, you must shoot down some of their J 10 and sink some of their warships. Chinese army is large but coward and is not professional.
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 19, 2013 12:09 AM
@ Igor from Russia

Why don't you take a cold shower and settle down. You might be able to think clearer and talk some sense. Rambling along like a warmonger show your immaturity in posting illogical comments.

by: DI DAO
January 17, 2013 10:16 PM
China have too may population with out land and shelters, China try to bump every countries in SE Asia and use them as slaves like Tibet. If you SE Asia don't get together and cooperate closely one day it will to late.
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 19, 2013 12:04 AM
@ DI DAO

Please do not spread false information instigating that China is using SE Asia and Tibetan as slave. South East Asian people are smarter than you to listen this sort of nonsense ,and as for Tibetans they are one of the five major ethnic races of China. China do not imprison any people as slaves. You should check your information before you post them.
I also recommend you to read the Tibetans history prior to the 1950s and I also suggest you compare the current living condition of current Tibetans with the past to note the difference.

by: kioto from: usa
January 17, 2013 7:22 PM
Why none of my commnets is shown?
Chinse websites show the vilest attacks on China as any website should be, imparitial and respect all views.
Yet this site does not show any comment slavishly following the Japanese point of view.
This is not voice of America; it is voice of Japan as no American can be this unfair.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 19, 2013 3:52 AM
It is probably not only you but including me whose comments were not shown. Reflecting on my experinece, I notice my commnets were too selfish, one way and emotional. I hope yours were not such one.   
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 18, 2013 10:00 PM
@ kioto from usa

I agree with you, my first comment in this article were not shown as well. Even in Globaltimes and JapanToday websites one could post a pro or anti comments about the article it got posted. I am sure VOA can do better than them.

by: toni from: usa
January 17, 2013 4:31 PM
Abe should keep his promise to focus on Japanese economy.
Instead he is damaging Japan's economy by engaging in frivilous military blinksmanship.

by: kioto from: usa
January 17, 2013 4:27 PM
It is time for Japan to act like adults.
Chicken games are for teenie bobbies, not for dignified leaders.
Chinese has acted like an adult with constant stance while Japan acts like a ruderless ship drifting with the wind.
Japan, grow up.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 17, 2013 3:02 PM
Japan controls the islands, owns the islands, for 100+ years. Maybe China will offer some form of territorial exchange? or else is a "stick them up, give me the islands..." type of dialogue. Like the dialogue over the Spratly islands?
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 18, 2013 3:28 AM
@ JFK from Ottawa, Canada

China discovered Diaoyu Islands in the 14th Century during the Ming Dynasty, way before your claimed that Japan controls the Island for 100+ years. May be it's time Japan should come to the negotiation table with China and return the islands as well.

By returning the Islands to China it at least proves its sincerity and seriousness in valuing the progress made with China for the last 30 years.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs