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Japanese seabed research roundly decried
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-09 00:23

China warned yesterday it "retains the right to take further actions" after Japan's recent seabed explorations for natural resources at a disputed section of the East China Sea.

"The Chinese side is closely watching the latest developments on the issue," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a news conference in Beijing.

Japan launched explorations on Wednesday in the disputed waters to the east of so-called "medium line" which were unilaterally proposed by the Japanese side.

The spokeswoman told reporters that Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi had summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami on Wednesday to lodge solemn representations on the issue.

Wang said the East China Sea has not yet been demarcated and controversy still exists regarding the matter. China has never recognized and will unlikely accept the so-called "medium line," which was a unilateral action by Japan.

China cannot tolerate Japan's move imposed upon others and firmly opposes the dangerous and provocative act, said Wang.

The demarcation of the East China Sea can only be solved through negotiations, which are the only correct choice, said Wang, adding that China urges the Japanese side to abide by international laws and immediately stop acts that infringed upon China's interests and sovereignty in the disputed sea area.

Reports said that Japan considers waters east of the mid-way point between its coastline and that of China to be its exclusive territory.

Picking up on an inquiry on the latest cases of bird flu, Zhang said relevant Chinese departments have taken strong and powerful measures and there is no need for alarm from outsiders.

"Under this condition, especially with the experience China has accumulated in this sector, I think other countries should not worry about it," she said.

At the same time, departments in China have asked all the regions and farms to take measures to prevent possible spread of the epidemic.

When commenting on a preliminary decision made by the US Commerce Department that it would impose anti-dumping duties of up to 112.81 per cent on imports of Chinese shrimp, Zhang said that China has expressed concern over the decision made by the US side.

"It's quite normal to have some trade conflicts within the background of the rapid development of the two countries' trade and economic relations," Zhang said. The two sides should deal calmly with their latest trade spat to protect and ensure bilateral trade and economic relations from impacts, she added.

Answering a query on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea nuclear issue, Zhang said some concrete progress has been made on the way to solve the problem after several rounds of negotiations.

"We hopes all the parties involved can double their efforts to stride forward 'new steps' on substantial solutions to the issue," she said.

China is contacting with related sides on the meeting of working groups of the six-party talks, Zhang said, adding there has been no concrete decision on the date of meeting.

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