Japan seeks UNESCO status for disputed islands; China riled

Last Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 19:46

Beijing: Publicising pictures of Chinese ships patrolling waters around the disputed islands, China on Monday opposed Japan`s move to seek UNESCO`s World Heritage recognition for the islets, saying it would further escalate tensions between the two countries.

State-run People’s Daily online today prominently carried the pictures of Chinese ships patrolling the disputed waters close to the islands in the East China Sea.

The photos showed the territory, called Diaoyu by China and Senkakus by Japan, with the ships that went within 3 nautical miles of the islands.

The four-hour patrol was completed after the fleet sailed around Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets.

China considers Japan`s plans to seek UNESCO`s World Heritage recognition for the disputed islands as a "clear provocation" and would further escalate tensions between the two countries, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The plan, once carried out, will certainly escalate the tension between China and Japan over territorial disputes, the Xinhua report said.

The underlying purpose of the move is to get disguised recognition from an international organisation on Japan`s sovereignty over "China`s Diaoyu Islands", it said.

According to UNESCO procedure, a country has to first make an inventory of its important natural heritage sites located within its boundaries to begin the nomination, which means that sovereignty over the sites is the prerequisite for such an application.

A local government in Japan had already come up with a draft plan and proposed to send investigation teams to land on the islands to fetch sufficient material and data to convince the Japanese authorities and UNESCO, Xinhua report said.

Whatever the results of the Japanese move, the proposed landing on China`s islands itself is a clear provocative "political move" against Chinese sovereignty, it said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 19:46

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