Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China and Japan clash over disputed territory

China and Japan clash over disputed territory

China and Japan clash over disputed territory

120712_02b

China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) attends an ASEAN meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) attends an ASEAN meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Amidst a week of predictable discussion about the South China Sea, a different territorial sea dispute dominated the sidelines of the ASEAN conference in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Japan lodged a protest with China yesterday against the entry of Chinese patrol ships into waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, claimed by Beijing and Tokyo as well as Taipei, are located near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil and gas reserves.

In a snap sidelines meet this afternoon, the Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers held off-campus discussions at the InterContinental Hotel.

The Chinese delegation released a statement directly after the meeting emphasising that the disputed islands – known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China – and “their affiliated islets have always been China’s territory since ancient times, over which China has indisputable sovereignty”.

The Chinese statement said that Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi “urged Japan to adhere to relevant agreements and understanding between the two sides in good faith, return to the right path of managing differences through dialogue and consultation with the Chinese side”.

At a Tokyo press conference, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said: “It is clear that the Senkaku islands are inherently Japanese territory from a historical point of view and in terms of international law and that they are under the effective control of Japan.”

Naoka Saiki, deputy press secretary at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Post that the meeting yesterday afternoon between the two foreign ministers had resulted in no resolution at this point.

“Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba lodged a strong protest against Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi of China on this incident,” she said, adding that Gemba also stated the importance of maintaining the bilateral relationships between the two countries.

Under the chairmanship of China’s close ally Cambodia, ASEAN has stipulated that the production of a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea will have Chinese involvement at every step, despite opposition from the Philippines at the ASEAN Summit in April.

In the annual joint communiqué of the foreign ministers in 2011, the 10-member group made it clear that a region code of conduct was an ASEAN-only issue, with “intensive discussion in ASEAN” to follow.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]
David Boyle at [email protected]
With assistance from Reuters

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group