Island row: China announces geographic coordinates
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 15, 2012, 23:32
  
Beijing: In a new move to affirm its sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, China on Saturday released geographic coordinates of the islands, while a state-run daily asked the Chinese military to be "prepared" and intensify its deterrence against Japan.

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) announced details about the exact longitude and latitude of the Diaoyu Island and 70 of its affiliated islets. It published location maps, three-dimension effect graphs and sketch maps for the islands, Xinhua reported.

The agency said in a statement that the announcement aimed to help people understand the information concerning the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets.

The statement came after the Chinese government announced Monday the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets as well as names and coordinates of 17 base points.

In previous statements released this week, the SOA said a country has the same sovereignty over its territorial sea as it does over territorial land, and such sovereignty extends to the seabed and subsoil as well as the air space above it.

China's permanent representative to the UN Li Baodong met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and filed a copy of the Chinese government's Diaoyu Islands baseline announcement.

Meanwhile, state-run Global Times Saturday asked the Chinese military, including a corps that controls conventional and nuclear missiles, to intensify its deterrence against Japan following the island row.

An article in the daily said: "China should be confident about strategically overwhelming Japan. The People's Liberation Army's Navy and Air Force, as well as its Second Artillery Corps are advised to increase their preparation and intensify their deterrence."

The Second Artillery Corps controls China's missile forces and it is responsible for both ballistic and cruise missiles, with varying ranges and differing payloads.

"China will not shy away if Japan chooses to resort to its military. As friction escalates, it is more likely for Japan to retreat in the face of unreliable US security assurances and China's strengthened strategic combat capabilities," it said.

"For China, triumphing will cement cohesion and public confidence in the country. We cannot back off and we must win."

The daily said six Chinese surveillance ships carried out a patrol mission in waters around the Diaoyu islands Friday.

"The move marks China's disdain for Tokyo's so-called 'control' over the islands," it said.

The disputed islands in the East China Sea, also claimed by Taiwan, lie on a vital shipping route and are surrounded by large hydrocarbon deposits beneath them.

Japan says it has controlled the islands since 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II.

The islands were controlled by the US from 1945 to 1972 and subsequently returned to Japan's control. China claims the islands' discovery and control since the 14th century.

Tokyo says its rivals only became vocal over the issue in the 1970s upon the discovery of valuable minerals.

The Global Times article said that China's maritime enforcement will serve as a strong deterrent against Japanese rightwing activists who seek to land on the islands.

"The situation would further change if China seized Japanese nationals who illegally enter China's sovereign waters," it added.

In a related incident, thousands of protesters rallied at the Japanese embassy in Beijing, RIA Novosti reported.

A sea of protesters wielding Chinese flags broke through a ring of police officers at the embassy and hurled eggs, plastic bottles and other debris at the building, the report said.

Protests against Tokyo's move have continued all week at various locations, including at Japanese missions, car dealerships and restaurants.

IANS


First Published: Saturday, September 15, 2012, 14:34


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