No-landing island trip `still success'
( 2003-10-11 01:47) (China Daily)
The Chinese civilians from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong who set out this week for the Diaoyu Islands were prevented from landing on Thursday by Japanese ships and helicopters, and the bad weather.
The activists were expected to return to Xiamen in East China's Fujian Province between 4 am and 6 am on Saturday, Peng Guohui -- one of the operation's co-ordinators -- told China Daily on Friday.
Zhou Wenbo, a spokesman for the operation, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency on Friday as saying the operation was aimed at stopping attempts of the Japanese Government and right-wingers to seize the islands and at safeguarding through action the Chinese nation's "inviolable sovereignty'' over the islands and China's territorial dignity.
According to Zhou, those people taking part in the non-governmental operation were strictly law-abiding and loved the motherland in a sensible way, and they would not initiate any "drastic'' action against Japan.
The group planned to land on the islands, 190 kilometres northeast of Taiwan, on Thursday morning to proclaim China's sovereignty over the islands, which are called the Senkaku Islands by Japan.
The activists sailed to the islands in two ships, with the Minlongyu F861 setting off from Xiamen and the Xinhang 166 setting off from Taiwan. The two ships joined each other en route and continued the trip together, said Zhou.
The relatively small Xinhang 166 was forced to turn back due to strong winds and waves, but the Minlongyu F861 managed to reach the vicinity of the Diaoyu Islands at 2:30 pm on Thursday, Zhou said.
The larger ship carried 10 people -- one from Taiwan, five from Hong Kong and four from the mainland. Japanese ships and helicopters prevented it from landing by blocking its way. The ship eventually managed to get to about 100 metres from the islands and then turned back.
The Minlongyu F861 was expected to arrive in Xiamen on Saturday morning.
The co-ordinator Peng said: "Though the team failed to land on the islands, the operation can be regarded as a success in the sense of uniting people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the mainland for the first time to safeguard the Chinese nation's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands together.''
Before their departure from Xiamen, the activists issued a statement expressing their determination to safeguard the dignity of the Chinese nation and China's territorial integrity. They also called on all Chinese people to join them in this effort.
Their statement also asked the Japanese Government to make concrete and practical efforts to shoulder Japan's due responsibilities for world peace and the peaceful coexistence of both countries.
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