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Diaoyu Islands 'Purchase' reflects weakened Japan: experts

Updated: 2012-09-14 23:12

BEIJING - A senior international relations expert Friday has described the Japanese government's move to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands as a reflection of the weakening of Japan's national strength.

Ji Zhiye, executive vice-president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, made the remarks on Friday at a symposium on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Ji said that Japan is using the "purchase" to make it appear stronger, as the country's populace has long been unsatisfied with the government's performance.

He told the symposium that the "purchase" is intended to distract Japanese citizens from the country's poor economic situation and increase public support for boosting military spending, as well as justify its decision to strengthen military ally with the United States.

China should respond to the Japanese move in a well-targeted manner so as to safeguard its sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, Ji said.

Feng Zhaokui, an analyst from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, referred to Japan's "purchase" as a key step in moving toward ultra-rightism.

The development, along with remarks from Japan's right-wing politicians on revising laws and upgrading Japan's military, demonstrates that the country is accelerating this movement, Feng said.

Japan intends to use the "purchase" to provoke China and hinder its development, according to the analyst.

"What Japan fears most is the peaceful rise of China," Feng said, adding that China should not let the implementation of its peaceful development strategy be affected.

He said Japan should join hands with China to tackle global issues, including environmental concerns, food safety and nuclear power safety.

Getting tough with China might to some extent distract the Japanese public from the country's poor economic situation, but it will undermine Japan's national interests in the long run, Feng said.

Also on Friday, two Chinese surveillance fleets, comprising six ships, arrived in waters around the Diaoyu Islands for patrols of the area.

"Chinese surveillance ships' patrol and law enforcement activities in the waters around the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets are normal and beyond reproach," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily press briefing on Friday.

It is the first time Chinese surveillance ships have patrolled there after the country's government on Monday announced the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets, as well as the names and coordinates of 17 base points.

These law enforcement and patrol activities are aimed at demonstrating China's jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets and ensuring the country's maritime interests, according to a government statement.

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