China says Japan ruined atmosphere for Wen, Kan meeting

China has accused Japan of `torpedoing` the chances of a summit meeting between premiers of the two countries on sidelines of the ASEAN meeting.

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2010, 16:49 PM IST

Beijing: China has accused Japan of
`torpedoing` the chances of a summit meeting between premiers
of the two countries on sidelines of the ASEAN meeting, by
making "false statements" on the talks between the Foreign
Ministers and ruining the atmosphere.

Wen and Kan are both in Hanoi to attend the East Asia
summit, and there were talks that the two leaders would meet.
The "long-awaited" summit meeting between Beijing and
Tokyo failed to take place yesterday as a result of the
Japanese attempts to "ruin the atmosphere," Chinese Assistant
Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said.

He accused Japan of violating China`s sovereignty and
territorial integrity by making statements misrepresenting
some of the contents of the talks held in Hanoi yesterday
between Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Japanese
counterpart Seiji Maehara.

"Japanese comments torpedo meeting" read the headline
of the state-run China Daily here today.

China was especially livid with Japanese claims that
it was agreed during the meeting to resume negotiation on the
exploration of oil and gas fields in East China Sea, which
were put off by Beijing last month after the detention of the
skipper of a Chinese fishing trawler off the disputed Diaoyu
islands.

Yang and Maehara held a half-hour meeting on the
sidelines of a series of summits between the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners in the
Vietnamese capital yesterday.

"The Japanese should take full responsibility for the
consequences," Hu told the Chinese media.

The Japanese also made false statements about the
content of a meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign
ministers and misrepresented China`s stance on implementing
the consensus on the East China Sea, he said.

Hu also said that before the East Asian leaders`
meeting, Japanese foreign ministry authorities played up the
issue of the Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku islands in
Japan) with other countries.

"Their actions before and during the summits have
damaged the atmosphere between the leaders of the two
countries," Hu said.

According to the official media here the two foreign
ministers agreed that it is in their fundamental interest to
maintain and promote relations, and reach a consensus on
maintaining regular contact and making efforts to further
develop ties.

Relations have been strained since a collision between
two Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats and a Chinese trawler on
Sept 7 in waters off the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Beijing suspended all high-level contacts with Tokyo
after Japan detained the Chinese trawler captain.

Premier Wen Jiabao and his Japanese counterpart Naoto
Kan last met in Brussels earlier this month in a hallway on
the sidelines of a summit for Asian and European leaders.

Feng Zhaokui, former deputy chief of the Institute of
Japan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told
China Daily that although Kan wants smooth ties with China,
Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and the Japanese media are
pursuing tough policies on China.

"Looking from the outside, Tokyo is wavering on
whether to repair ties or hold onto disputes with China. They
are at sea themselves," Feng said.

"The appointment of Seiji Maehara as the new foreign
minister shows Kan`s cabinet is seeking a harder diplomatic
strategy toward China," Zhou Yongsheng, a professor of
Japanese studies at the China Foreign Affairs University said.

"But when they found the policy didn`t work, they made
a U-turn and released the captain (of the fishing trawler)",
he said.

PTI